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The uptown girls are headed downtown as Serena and Jenny take on their new fabulous roles as rock-star model girlfriends of New York’s hottest band, The Raves. Meanwhile, Dan is to busy drowning his sorrows in empty bottles to notice a mysterious French beauty who has a penchant for dirty, Jim Morrison-wannabe lead singers. Blair takes residence at the Plaza to think about her future. Will she become a gun-toting international spy or Manhattan’s snobbiest society hostess? Decisions are so difficult! Sounds like everyone needs a day off at the spa. And Senior Spa Day promises to serve up further doses of scandal for New York’s busiest private-school vixens.
Copyright © 2005 by Alloy Entertainment
All rights reserved.
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group, USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
Visit our Web site at hachettebookgroupusa.com
First eBook Edition: May 2005
The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Be sure to read all the novels in the #1
New York Times bestselling GOSSIP GIRL series
You Know You Love Me
All I Want Is Everything
Because I'm Worth It
I Like It Like That
You're The One That I Want
Nobody Does It Better
Nothing Can Keep Us Together
And keep your eye out for the ninth novel, coming May 2006.
EVERY GIRL DREAMS ABOUT IT.
SOME JUST HAVE IT.
HOW FAR WILL ONE GIRL GO TO BECOME …
the it girl
A new series created by
Cecily von Ziegesar,
author of the
#1 New York Times
bestselling GOSSIP GIRL series
Coming November 2005.
N's Bedroom Is 100% Pure Love
"Wake up!" Blair Waldorf yanked off the Black Watch plaid duvet and let it fall to the floor beside the antique sleigh bed. Nate Archibald lay sprawled across the mattress on his stomach, naked and very relaxed. Blair sat down beside him and bounced up and down as hard as she could. Nate kept his eyes closed as her ruthless bouncing jarred his golden brown head up and down. Why was it that s-e-x made her so hyper and him so sleepy?
"I'm awake," he mumbled. He opened one glittering green eye and instantly felt more awake than he had a second before. Blair was naked too, all five feet four inches of her, from her shiny coral-glossed toes to the chestnut brown waves of her grown-out pixie cut. She had the type of body that looked even better naked than in clothes. Soft without being fat, and more delicate than her usual costumes of preppy, neatly creased jeans and cashmere cardigans or short, tight little black dresses let on. She was still a pain in his ass, but they'd been in and out of love pretty much since they were eleven years old, and he'd wanted to get naked with her for even longer. How typical that it had taken Blair six and a half years to stop fighting with him and finally do it.
And once they'd done it, they couldn't stop doing it.
Nate reached up and pulled her down on top of him, kissing her randomly and ferociously because she was finally his, all his.
"Hey!" Blair giggled. The navy blue silk Roman blinds were raised and the windows were open, but it wasn't like she cared if anyone saw or heard them. They were in love, they were beautiful, and they were sex fiends. If anyone was looking, it was only because they were seriously jealous.
Besides, she relished the attention, even from the random perverted Peeping Toms and Thomasinas who happened to be spying on them through gold-plated opera glasses from the windows of the surrounding town houses.
They kissed for a while, but Nate was too worn out to do much else. Blair rolled away from him and lit a cigarette, giving Nate little puffs every once and a while like the actors in Breathless, the supercool black-and-white French film she'd watched earlier that day in AP French. The blond female lead always looked so chic and beautiful and was never without lipstick. All the people in the movie did all day was ride around on a Vespa motorbike, have sex, sit in cafes, and smoke. Of course they always looked gorgeous. But Blair had to keep her grades up if she wanted to get off Yale's wait list, and what with school and homework and sex with Nate every day after school, there was hardly time for primping. Blair's wavy brown hair was matted and sweaty, her lips were chapped from prolonged kissing and infrequent lip gloss application, and she hadn't plucked her eyebrows in two whole days. Not that she really minded. Sacrificing a little personal grooming time for sex was totally worth it. Besides, she'd read somewhere that an hour of sex burns three hundred and sixty calories, so even if she was a little scruffy, at least she'd be skinny!
She reached up and felt the stubble gathering between her dark, neatly arched eyebrows. Okay, so maybe she minded just a teensy bit, but she could always grab a cab down to Elizabeth Arden for an eyebrow wax.
Stubble aside, Blair had never felt so happy. After finally doing it with Nate nearly two weeks ago, she was a whole new woman. The only dark cloud in her rosy sky was the irritating fact that she was still only wait-listed at Yale. Just exactly how were she and Nate going to get together every afternoon if she wound up having to go to Georgetown in DC—the only school that had actually accepted her—and he was up at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut, or Brown in Providence, Rhode Island, or one of the other great schools he'd so unfairly gotten into? Not that she was bitter, but Nate had shown up stoned for the SATs, took no APs, and barely had a B average, while she was in every AP Constance Billard offered, had gotten a 1490 on her SAT, and had almost an A+ average.
Okay, so maybe she was slightly bitter.
"If I joined the Peace Corps and spent a couple of years building sewers and making sandwiches for starving children in, like, Rio or somewhere, then Yale would have to take me, wouldn't they?" she asked aloud.
Nate grinned. Here was the thing about Blair that he loved. She was spoiled, but she wasn't lazy. She knew what she wanted, and because she believed absolutely that she could have everything she wanted if she tried hard enough to get it, she never stopped trying.
"I heard everyone gets sick in the Peace Corps. And you have to speak the native language."
"I'll do it in France then." Blair blew smoke up at the ceiling. "Or one of those African countries where they speak French." She tried to imagine herself conversing with the natives in some arid African village while balancing a clay pot of fresh goat's milk on her head and wearing an elaborately dyed caftan that could be supremely sexy if tied in the right places. She'd have a killer tan and would be nothing but muscle and bone from all the hard work and horrible intestinal diseases. Children would clamor at her knees for the Godiva chocolates she'd order for them, and she'd smile serenely down at them like a beautiful, unwrinkled Mother Teresa. When she returned to the States she'd win some Peace Corps award for best volunteer, or even the Nobel Peace Prize. She'd have dinner with the president, who would write her a recommendation to Yale, and then Yale would fall all over themselves to accept her.
Nate was pretty sure the Peace Corps only helped out in third-world countries, not economically thriving places like France, and no way would Blair last more than half an hour in some remote African village where they didn't have Sephora or even flushing toilets. Poor Blair. It was completely unfair that he'd gotten into Yale without really trying, while she, who'd wanted to go to Yale since she was two years old, had been wait-listed. Then again, Nate was used to getting things without really trying.
He propped his head up on his hand and tenderly smoothed Blair's dark hair away from her forehead. "Unless you hear soon that you got in, I promise I won't go to Yale," he vowed. "I'm fine with going to Brown or wherever."
"Really?" Blair stamped out her cigarette in the sailboat-shaped marble ashtray beside Nate's bed and flung her arms around his neck. Nate was by far the best boyfriend a girl could ever ask for. She couldn't imagine why she'd ever broken up with him, not once, but again and again.
Because he cheated on her again and again?
All Blair knew now was that she never ever wanted to leave Nate's side. She rested her cheek against his strong, bare chest. Now that she thought about it, moving into the Archibalds' town house wasn't such a bad idea, since her own house wasn't exactly an episode of Seventh Heaven right now. Her mother had given birth to her baby sister just over two weeks ago and was now suffering from severe postpartum depression. Just this morning Blair had left her mother weeping over a DVD sent from a Peruvian Alpaca farm. Apparently, if you adopted a herd of alpaca yearlings, you could custom-order handwoven blankets and sweaters made from the hair of the animals in your herd. Her baby sister would soon be the proud new owner of a hairy white alpaca blanket that would be completely useless all summer long, and probably the rest of her life, unless as a teenager she got into the hippie handmade-chic thing, cut a head-hole into the blanket, and fashioned it into a poncho.
Back when her mother was still pregnant, she had asked Blair to name the baby, and out of devotion to her favorite college Blair had chosen the name Yale. Now baby Yale served as a living, breathing, very noisy reminder that no matter how stunning Blair's record was, the school had all but rejected her. Worse still, the baby had taken over her bedroom, and she was forced to sleep in her stepbrother Aaron's room until she left for school in the fall. Aaron was a vegan Rastafarian dog-lover, so the room had been decorated specifically for him in wall-to-wall organic, environmentally sound products in shades of eggplant and wild sage. To add insult to injury, Blair's cat, Kitty Minky, had taken to peeing on the barley husk cushions and throwing up on the woven sea grass floor mats in an effort to rid the room of the scent of Aaron's dog, a drooling boxer named Mookie.
Move in with Nate. Blair didn't know why she hadn't thought of it before. A freaky mother, a cat-pee-soaked bedroom, and a newborn baby sister named Yale were not exactly conducive to studying or s-e-x. It was only natural for her to seek other accommodation. Of course there was always Serena's house, but they'd tried that before and wound up fighting. Besides, Serena couldn't offer her much in the way of s-e-x.
Unless those old rumors were actually true …
Nate ran his hands lazily up and down her smooth bare back. "Have you ever thought about getting a tattoo?" he asked out of nowhere as he traced the lines of her shoulder blades.
Except for a brief stint in rehab earlier that year, Nate had been stoned pretty much all day every day since he was eleven, and Blair was used to his random questions. She wrinkled her pointy, slightly upturned nose at the thought of having a big scar filled with black ink. "Gross," she responded. Leave that to skanky-looking actresses like Angelina Jolie.
Nate shrugged. He'd always thought carefully chosen, tiny tattoos in just the right places were insanely sexy. A little black cat between Blair's shoulder blades, for instance, would totally suit her. But before he had a chance to take the notion any further, Blair briskly changed the subject.
"Nate?" She nuzzled her face into his manly, perfect collarbone. "Do you think your parents would mind if I stayed—?" Before she could finish her sentence, the downstairs buzzer rang.
Nate's personal wing of the town house took up the entire top floor, necessitating his very own front door buzzer.
He rolled away from Blair and swung his feet to the floor.
"Yeah?" he called, pressing the button on the intercom.
"Delivery!" Jeremy Scott Tompkinson shouted in his hoarse stoner voice. "Hurry while it's still hot!"
Nate heard laughter and other voices in the background. Blair waited for him to tell them to get lost. Instead, he pressed the button to unlock the door and let them in.
"I should get dressed," Blair observed tersely. She slid out of bed and stomped into Nate's adjoining bathroom. How could he be smart enough to get into Yale, yet too dumb to understand that inviting his stoner friends up to their steamy love den would totally ruin the mood?
Not that Yale had accepted Nate because of his smarts: the school needed a few good lacrosse players. End of story.
At least Blair had an excuse to use the delicious L'Occitane sandalwood body shampoo the housekeeper stocked in Nate's shower. She toweled herself off with a thick navy blue Ralph Lauren towel, slipped on her flimsy pink silk Cosabella underwear, zipped up her blue-and-white-seer-sucker Constance Billard School spring uniform skirt, and buttoned two of the six buttons on her white linen Calvin Klein three-quarter-sleeve blouse. Braless and barefoot, it was the perfect my-girlfriend-just-got-out-of-the-shower-and-would-you-please-leave? look. Hopefully Nate's friends would get the hint, make like bees, and fuck off. She tousled her damp hair with her fingers and pushed open the bathroom door.
"Bonjour!" A buxom, raven-haired, long-legged L'Ecole girl greeted Blair from Nate's bed. Blair had met the girl before at parties. Her name was Lexus or Lexique or something equally annoying, a sixteen-year-old junior who'd done some modeling as a child in Paris and was now working on perfecting the French hippie-slut look. Lexique, whose name was really Lexie, was wearing a lavender-and-mustard-yellow hand-dyed cotton wraparound dress that looked homemade but had actually been purchased at Kirna Zabete for four hundred and fifty dollars, and those ugly flat Pakistani sheep-herder sandals from Barneys that everyone but Blair seemed to think were so cool this year. Lexie's face was makeup-free, and she cradled an acoustic guitar in her skinny arms. On the bed beside her was a Ziploc bag full of pot.
What a rebel. Most L'Ecole girls never go anywhere without a pack of Gitanes, red lipstick, and heels.
"The boys are making bong hits on the roof," Lexie explained. She strummed her thumb across the guitar strings. "Alors, want to jam with me till they get back?"
Blair wrinkled her nose with even more emphasis than she had at the thought of getting a tattoo. She was so not into the whole getting-high, playing-guitars-and-laughing-at-your-friends'-totally-stupid-stoned-observations scene, and she really didn't want to hang out with this Lexique girl, who obviously thought she was the coolest French girl in New York. She'd rather watch Oprah reruns on Oxygen in her cat-pee-soaked room while her delusional mom wept over baby alpacas.
Someone had stuck a stick of burning amber incense into the cork heel of one of Blair's new mint green Christian Dior espadrilles. She grabbed the stick of incense and jammed it into a porthole in one of Nate's beloved model sailboats on his desk. Then she laced up her shoes, buttoned a few more buttons on her blouse, and grabbed her vintage Gucci bamboo-handled tote bag. "Please tell Nathaniel that I've gone home," she instructed briskly.
"Peace!" Lexie saluted Blair with stoned gaiety. "Au revoir!" A tattoo of the sun, moon, and stars was printed on her shoulder blade.
Hence Nate's sudden interest in tattoos?
Blair stomped down the stairs and let herself out onto Eighty-second Street. It felt like summer already. The sun was still two hours from setting, and the air smelled of fresh-cut grass from nearby Central Park, and suntan lotion from all the half-naked girls hurrying home to their apartments on Park Avenue. A gaggle of eleventh-grade St. Jude's Nate-and-Jeremy-wannabes were hovering around the downstairs buzzer outside Nate's town house. One of them had a guitar slung over his shoulder.
"Bien sûr. Come on up!" Blair heard Lexie call out to them over the intercom, as if she lived there.
Nate's house seemed to draw all the stoner kids on the Upper East Side with some sort of spiritual magnetic pull. And Blair swore she didn't mind—really, she didn't—as long as she didn't have to sit around watching them all jam. After all she and Nate had been though, Blair knew it was going to be different this time. She and Nate were together spiritually, and now physically, too, which meant she could leave him alone, feeling perfectly confident that he wouldn't dream of cheating on her.
She carried on down Eighty-second street toward Fifth Avenue, checking her cell phone for a message from Nate at every corner. Obviously he'd call any second now. Like all possessive, aggressive, obsessive girls, she liked to think Nate didn't have a life without her.
Then again, if he didn't, she'd go completely nuts.
Little Diva Gives Big Diva Some Sound Advice
"They gave us five spreads," Serena van der Woodsen explained as she flipped through the hot-off-the-press June issue of W magazine. "That's ten whole pages!" The world-famous fashion designer Les Best had just messengered the fashion magazine over to her apartment with a note that read, "As ever, you are fabulous, darling. And so's that dark-haired little hottie friend of yours!"
The same supposed dark-haired little hottie, fourteen-year-old Jenny Humphrey, was desperately trying not to pee in her pants. Serena, the coolest senior girl at Constance Billard, and totally famous and beautiful model/Upper East Side girl-about-town, had actually asked her to hang out after school today. She was now sitting in Serena's huge, awesomely old-fashioned bedroom—her private sanctuary—on her bed, flipping through the latest issue of the coolest fashion magazine in the world, looking for pages featuring the two of them modeling the type of amazing designer clothes Jenny had always gazed at longingly in stores but never once dreamed she'd actually wear. It was so unreal she could hardly breathe.
"Here, look!" Serena squealed, stabbing at the page with a long, slender finger. "Don't we look like badasses?!"
Jenny leaned in closer to see, happily inhaling the sweet scent of Serena's custom-blended patchouli oil perfume. Across Serena's perfect lap lay a spread of the two girls dressed head-to-toe in Les Best couture, motoring down the beach in a dune buggy, the Ferris wheel at Coney Island rising up behind them, all lit up. The style of the picture was typical Jonathan Joyce—the über-famous fashion photographer who had shot the spread—totally natural and unposed, like he'd just happened upon these two girls riding their dune buggy on the beach at sunset and having the time of their lives. Indeed they did look like badasses in their crazy turquoise-and-black-striped leggings, turquoise leather vests over white bikini tops, and white leather knee-high go-go boots with teeny-tiny heels. Their hair was winged back, their nails were painted white, their lips were painted cotton candy pink, and peacock feathers dangled from their ears. It was all very retro eighties/futuristic/cutting edge, and absurdly cool.
Jenny couldn't pull her eyes away. There she was, in a magazine, and for the first time ever her enormous chest wasn't the focal point of the picture. In fact the two girls looked so fresh and pure the picture was almost wholesome. It was beyond what Jenny could have hoped for. It was heavenly.
"I love the look on your face," Serena observed. "It's like you've just been kissed or something."
Jenny giggled, feeling very much like she had just been kissed. "You look pretty too."
Oops, look who has a major crush on Serena—just like everyone else in the universe!
But Jenny's crush was deeper than most: she actually wanted to be Serena. And the thing Serena had that she still lacked was a questionable past—that alluring air of mystery.
"Bet it seems like forever ago that you were kicked out of boarding school," Jenny ventured boldly, her eyes fixed on the magazine.
"I was worried I'd never get into a single college because of all that," Serena sighed. "If I'd known I'd get into all of them, I'd never have applied to so many schools."
Poor thing. If only we all had that problem.
"Did you like boarding school?" Jenny persisted, turning to gaze up at Serena with her big brown eyes. "I mean, more than going to school in the city?"
Serena lay back on the four-poster bed and stared up at the white eyelet canopy overhead. She'd been eight years old when she'd first gotten the bed, and she'd felt like a little princess every night when she'd gone to sleep. As a matter of fact, she still felt like a princess, only bigger.
"I loved feeling like I had my own life, apart from my parents and the friends I'd known practically since I was born. I liked going to school with boys, and eating with them in the dining hall. It was like having a whole class of brothers. But I missed my room and the city, and weekends hanging out." She pulled off her white cotton socks and threw them across the room. "And I know it sounds totally spoiled, but I missed having a maid."
Jenny nodded. She liked the sound of eating in a dining hall with a whole bunch of boys. She liked it a lot. And she'd never had a maid, so it wasn't as if she'd miss that.
"I guess it was good preparation for college," Serena mused. "I mean, if I actually decide to go to college."
Jenny closed the magazine and held it against her chest. "I thought you were going to Brown."
Serena pulled a down-feather pillow over her face and then pulled it off again. Was it really necessary to answer so many questions? All of a sudden she kind of wished she hadn't invited Jenny over. "I don't know where I'm going. I might not even go. I don't know," she mumbled, tossing the pillow on the floor next to her socks. Her flaxen hair fanned out around her perfectly chiseled face as she gazed skyward with her enormous blue eyes. She looked so lovely, Jenny half expected a flock of white doves to flap out from underneath the bed.
Serena grabbed the stereo remote from off her bedside table and clicked on the old Raves CD that she'd been listening to a lot lately. The CD had come out last summer and reminded her of a time when she was completely carefree. She hadn't been kicked out of boarding school yet. She hadn't thought about applying to college. She hadn't even started modeling yet.
"What's so great about Brown?" she questioned aloud, although her brother Erik went there and would be totally pissed off if she decided not to go. Plus, she'd met a hunky Latin painter at Brown who was still totally in love with her. But what about Harvard, and that sensitive, nearsighted tour guide who'd also fallen in love with her? Or Yale and the Whiffenpoofs, who'd written a song for her? And there was always Princeton, which she hadn't even visited. After all, it was the closest to the city. "Maybe I should just defer for a year or two, get my own apartment. Model some, and maybe try acting."
"Or you could do both. Like Claire Danes," Jenny suggested. "I mean, once you stop going to school, it's probably really hard to go back."
As if you'd know, Little Miss Helpful.
Serena rolled off the bed and stood in front of the full-length mirror that hung on the back of her closet door. She'd rumpled her turquoise Marni peasant blouse, and her blue-and-white-seersucker Constance Billard uniform was hanging lopsidedly on her hips. That morning she'd been late as usual and had tripped running to school, losing her orange Miu Miu cork-heeled clogs and landing facedown on the sidewalk. Now the iridescent pink polish on the big toe of her left foot was chipped, and a purple-and-yellow bruise stood out on her right knee.
"What a mess," she complained.
Jenny wasn't sure how Serena could even stand to look at herself in the mirror every day without passing out in amazement at her own perfection. That anyone as perfect as Serena could have issues was totally unfathomable. "I'm sure you'll figure it out," she told the older girl, becoming suddenly distracted by a photo of Erik van der Woodsen, Serena's hot older brother, propped up on Serena's bedside table in a silver Tiffany frame. Tall and lanky, with the same pale blond hair, cut in a long shag framing his face, Erik was a male version of Serena. Same huge dark blue eyes, same full mouth that turned up at the corners, same straight white teeth and aristocratic chin. In the picture he was standing on a rocky beach, tan and shirtless. Jenny squeezed her bare knees together. Those chest muscles, that stomach, those arms—oh! If boarding school was filled with boys who were even half as gorgeous as Erik van der Woodsen, they could sign her up!
Easy there, cowgirl.
Serena's pink iMac beeped, indicating that she had just received e-mail.
"Probably one of our fans," Serena joked, although Jenny thought she was serious. Serena went over to her antique letter-writing desk, jiggled her mouse, and clicked on the latest e-mail message.
Our sorority totally worships Les Best and some of us were at his New York show this spring, so you can imagine how completely thrilled we were when we heard you were considering attending Princeton this fall. And if you do go to Princeton, you have to become a Tri Delt. We already have all these amazing fundraising ideas for this year, including a Les Best fashion show to benefit the Wild Horses of Chincoteague, featuring us, the Tri Delts, as models! The best part is you won't even have to pledge. Congratulations, Serena, you're already a sister! All you have to do now is get your behind up to Princeton a few days early this August so you can get a good room in our house.
We totally can't wait. Big kisses.
Serena read the message again and then logged off, staring at the blank screen in shock. Pushy sorority sisters were just about the last people she wanted to hear from, and anyway, wasn't Princeton supposed to be sort of intellectual? She picked up the phone to call Blair and then slammed it down again, realizing she'd completely forgotten that Jenny was even there. Jenny was sweet and adorable and everything—but didn't she have, like, homework or a movie to go to or something?
See, even perfect goddesses have a bitchy side.
Jenny slid off the bed and hitched up her extrawide supportive bra straps, guessing that she was about to be dismissed. "You know, my brother Dan is singing for the Raves now," she announced. "His first gig with them is tomorrow night. I can put you on the special guest list if you want to come."
Jenny wasn't even sure if there was a special guest list. All she knew was she was getting in free because she was Dan's sister. Dan thought he was so famous now that he was a member of a band with the number one album on the East Coast, but if she showed up at the gig with Serena—two gorgeous models out on the town in matching Les Best dresses—she'd completely outfamous him.
Serena wrinkled her nose. She wanted to go to the Raves gig, she really did, but she and her parents had already RSVPed yes to some Yale prospective students' get-to-know-you party tomorrow night. She couldn't exactly make her parents go by themselves.
"I don't think I can," she explained apologetically. "There's this Yale thing I have to go to. But I'll try to get down there if it finishes early."
- On Sale
- May 11, 2005
- Page Count
- 256 pages