Gossip Girl: You're the One That I Want

A Gossip Girl Novel


By Cecily von Ziegesar

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The wickedly funny sixth book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series that inspired the original hit CW show and the new series coming to HBO Max’s Spring 2020 launch season (alongside hit series such as Pretty Little Liars and Friends).

Welcome to New York City’s Upper East Side, where my friends and I live in gorgeous apartments, go to exclusive private schools, and make Manhattan our own personal playground. It might look hard to be this fabulous, but for us it’s as easy as sleeping with your best friend’s boyfriend.


Copyright © 2004 by 17th Street Productions, an Alloy company

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Little, Brown and Company


Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at www.HachetteBookGroup.com

First eBook Edition: October 2004

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.

Produced by 17th Street Productions,

an Alloy company

151 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001

ISBN: 978-0-316-02925-4

Be sure to read all the novels in the #1 New York Times bestselling GOSSIP GIRL series

Gossip Girl

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

Only In Your Dreams

Would I Lie To You

Don't You Forget About Me

And keep your eye out for the Gossip Girl hardcover prequel, It Had to Be You, coming in October 2007, to find out how it all began …


the it girl

Be sure to read all the novels in the New York Times bestselling it girl series

the it girl




And keep your eye out for Lucky, coming November 2007.

Gossip Girl novels created by Cecily von Ziegesar:

Gossip Girl

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

Only In Your Dreams

Would I Lie To You

Don't You Forget About Me

If you like gossip girl, you may also enjoy:

Bass Ackwards and Belly Up by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain

Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita

Haters by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

And keep your eye out for

Betwixt by Tara Bray Smith, coming October 2007.

b is the star of her own little movie

"Just talk about how you're feeling right now. You know, with college admission letters coming this week and everything." Vanessa Abrams squinted into the camera and adjusted the lens so Blair's jade-and-Swarovski-crystal chandelier earrings were in the frame. It was a balmy April afternoon and the park was a madhouse. Behind them a group of senior boys from St. Jude's chased a Frisbee up the terraced steps overlooking Bethesda Fountain, swearing and tackling one another in a frenzy of pent-up pre-college-admission stress. Around the perimeter of the fountain lay sprawled the perfectly tanned and manicured bodies of Upper East Side high-school girls, smoking cigarettes and rubbing their legs with the latest Lancôme tan invigorator, while the winged bronze lady in the center of the fountain gazed down on them forgivingly.

Vanessa pressed record. "You can start anytime."

Blair Waldorf licked her glossy lips and tucked the grown-out wisps of her dark brown pixie cut behind her ears. Underneath her plain black Polo shirt and gray Constance Billard uniform she was wearing the new turquoise-silk-and-black-lace underwire bra-and-thong set she'd bought in Barneys' lingerie department. She pressed her back against the fountain's rim and adjusted her butt on the folded-up bath towel Vanessa had given her to sit on.

Hot weather and thongs are a bad combination.

"I promised myself that if I got into Yale, Nate and I would finally do it," Blair began. She glanced down and twirled her ruby ring around and around on the ring finger of her left hand. "We're not even really together—yet. But we both know we want to be, and as soon as that letter comes …" She looked up at the camera, ignoring Vanessa's weirdly intense, shaven-headed, black-combat-boots-wearing stare. "For me it's not just about having sex, though. It's about my whole future. Yale and Nate. The two things I've always wanted."

She cocked her head. Actually, she wanted a lot of things. But except for that exquisite pair of Christian Louboutin silver lizard platform sandals, those were the two major ones.

"Nice try, loser!" a boy shouted as he snatched a Frisbee out of the air from under his friend's nose.

Blair closed her blue eyes and opened them again. "And if I don't get in …" She paused dramatically. "Someone is going to fucking pay."

Maybe she should be required to wear a muzzle this week.

Blair sighed, reached into her shirt, and adjusted her bra straps. "Some of my other friends—like Serena and Nate—aren't as freaked out about the whole college thing. But that's because they aren't living with their way-too-old-to-be-pregnant mom and their fat, gross stepfather. I mean, I don't even have my own room anymore!" She swiped a tear away and looked up at the camera with a mournful expression. "This is like my one chance to be happy. And I think I deserve it, you know?"

Cue applause.

n just wants to taste her lip gloss

Reaching the end of the elm-tree-lined promenade leading up to the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Nate Archibald tossed the nub end of the joint he'd been smoking to the ground and walked straight past his Frisbee-playing friends. Not ten feet away, Blair sat cross-legged at the base of the fountain, talking into a camera. She looked nervous and sort of innocent. Her delicate hands fluttered around her small, foxlike face, and her short gray school uniform barely covered her muscular thighs. He shook the golden brown locks out of his emerald green eyes and shoved his hands into his khaki pants pockets. She was sexy all right.

Of course, at that very moment every single female in the park was thinking exactly the same thing—about him.

Nate recognized the odd, shaven-headed girl behind the camera only vaguely. Normally Blair would have nothing to do with her, but she was always up for anything that involved talking about herself. Blair liked attention, and even after breaking up with her and cheating on her for the umpteenth time, Nate still liked giving it to her. He dipped his hand into the fountain, walked up behind her, and flicked a few drops of water on her bare arm.

Blair whipped her head around to find Nate looking irresistible as ever in a pale yellow button-down, unbuttoned, untucked, and rolled up, so all she could see were his wonderful tanned muscles and perfect face. "You weren't listening to what I said, were you?" she demanded.

He shook his head and she got up from the towel, ignoring Vanessa completely. As far as Blair was concerned, they were finished.

"Hey." Nate ducked down and kissed her cheek. He smelled like smoke and clean laundry and new leather—all the good boy smells.


"Hello." Blair tugged on her uniform. Why the hell hadn't she gotten into Yale today?

"I was just thinking about how last summer you were completely addicted to ice cream sandwiches," Nate observed. He had a sudden urge to lick all that candy-sweet-smelling lip gloss off her lips and run his tongue over her teeth.

She pretended to adjust her new earrings so he would notice them. "I'm too nervous to eat, but lemonade would taste really good right now."

Nate smiled and Blair tucked her hand into the crook of his arm, just as she always used to when they went around together. The old familiar thrill passed through her. It was always like this when they got back together—comfortable and thrilling at the same time. They walked over to the vendor parked at the top of the steps and Nate bought two cans of Country Time lemonade. Then they sat down on a nearby bench and he removed a silver flask from his olive green canvas Jack Spade backpack.

Cocktail hour!

Blair ignored the lemonade and grabbed the flask.

"I don't know why you're nervous," Nate assured her. "You're like the best student in your class." Nate felt sort of ambivalent about getting into college. He'd applied to five schools and yeah, he wanted to get into one of them, but he was pretty confident he'd have a decent time wherever he went.

Blair took another swig from the flask before giving it back. "In case you forgot, I kind of totally fucked up both of my interviews?" she reminded him.

Nate had heard about her little nervous breakdown at her first Yale interview and how she'd ended the session by kissing her interviewer. He'd also heard about her brief flirtation in a hotel room with her alumni interviewer. In a way, he was responsible for both mishaps. Whenever they broke up, Blair went completely apeshit.

He reached over and adjusted the ruby ring on her finger. "Relax. Everything's going to be okay," he told her soothingly. "I promise."

"Okay," Blair agreed, although the truth was she wasn't going to stop stressing until she had the Yale acceptance letter hanging above her bed in a custom-made silver Tiffany frame. She'd turn on the new Raves CD that always made her horny, even though it was kind of loud and obnoxious, and lie down on the bed, reading her acceptance letter over and over while Nate ravaged her naked body—

"Good." Nate leaned in and began to kiss her, interrupting her little X-rated fantasy.

Blair groaned inwardly. If only she could have sex with him right there on the greasy old wooden Central Park bench! But she had to wait until she heard from Yale. It was the deal she'd made with herself.

the only thing she hasn't got

At the other end of the promenade Serena van der Woodsen was eating a Fudgsicle and minding her own business when she spotted her two best friends on a park bench, devouring each other's faces and looking like an advertisement for true love. Serena sighed, walking slowly as she licked fudgey drips from the popsicle stick. If only true love was something you could buy.

Not that she hadn't had a gazillion boyfriends who were totally crazy in love with her and totally fun. There was Perce, the French boy who'd chased her in a little orange convertible all over Europe. Then there was Guy, the English lord who'd wanted to elope with her to Barbados. Conrad, the boy up at boarding school in New Hampshire, who'd kept her up till dawn, smoking cigars. Dan Humphrey, the morbid poet who never could find the right metaphor for her. Flow, the rock star turned stalker—not that she really minded being stalked by someone that hot and famous. And Nate Archibald, the boy she'd lost her virginity to and would love forever, but only as a friend.

And that was just the shortlist.

Still, she had never had that one true love, the kind of love Blair and Nate had.

She tossed the remains of her ice cream into a trash can and quickened her pace, her pink terrycloth Mella flip-flops slapping noisily on the paved walkway, her long, pale blond hair streaming out behind her, and her short gray pleated Constance Billard uniform flouncing against her endlessly long legs. As she drew near, the boys cavorting around Bethesda Fountain and skateboarding up and down the promenade pressed their inner pause buttons and turned to gape. Serena, Serena, Serena—she was everything they'd ever wanted.

Not that they'd ever have the guts to even say hi to her.

"Why don't you guys just get a room at the Mandarin? It's only a few blocks away," Serena joked when she reached her friends on the bench.

Nate and Blair looked up with happy, dazed expressions on their faces.

"Did you do the thing?" Serena asked Blair in that way only best friends can understand.

"Uh-huh," Blair nodded. "I didn't talk for very long, though, because Nate was totally listening."

"Was not!" Nate protested.

Serena glanced at Nate. "I just wanted to make sure Blair wasn't freaking out too much. I should have known you'd be able to calm her down."

Blair took a sip of lemonade. "Did you hear anything yet?"

Serena swiped the lemonade away from her. "No, for the fiftieth time today, I didn't hear anything yet." She took a drink and then wiped her mouth on the sleeve of her pale pink Tocca blouse. "Did you?"

Blair shook her head. Then she had an idea. "Hey, why don't we keep all our letters and then open them together? You know, so we can, like, freak out at the same time?"

Serena took another swig of lemonade. It sounded like the worst idea she'd ever heard, but she was willing to risk getting her eyes clawed out to make her friend happy. "Okay," she agreed reluctantly.

Nate didn't say anything. No way did he want to join that little party. He held out his flask to Serena. "You want?"

She wrinkled her perfect nose and wiggled her unpolished toes. "Nah. I'm late for my pedicure. See you guys." Then she turned and walked south toward the end of the park, taking the half-empty can of lemonade with her.

She had a habit of picking things up without even realizing she was doing it. Lemonade, boys …

d rescues v, or the other way around

Vanessa waited patiently as Chuck Bass adjusted the red collar around the neck of his pet snow monkey so that the monogrammed S was visible to the camera. Chuck had wandered up to the fountain right after Blair left. He didn't even say hello, just sat down on the towel with his monkey and started talking.

"NYU better let me the fuck in, because I want to stay in the apartment my parents just bought me. And then me and Sweetie can stay together." Chuck ran his hands over the monkey's short white coat, his gold monogrammed pinky ring flashing in the sunlight. "I know he's only a monkey, but he's my best friend."

Vanessa zoomed in on the Prada logo on Chuck's black leather man-sandals. His toenails were freshly buffed, and a thin gold anklet hung loosely from his salon-tanned ankle. She'd been accepted early admission to NYU back in January. The idea that she and Chuck might be classmates next year was more than a little disturbing.

"'Course I'll rent a place wherever I go," Chuck continued. "But the decorator just did my apartment up in Armani Casa, and come on, who the fuck wants to live somewhere like Provi-fucking-dence, Rhode Island?"

Daniel Humphrey tossed the remains of his Camel cigarette into a pile of wet green leaves on the edge of the promenade. Zeke Freedman and a bunch of his other Riverside Prep classmates were playing roller hockey, and for a brief second he considered joining them. After all, Zeke used to be his best friend—before Dan hooked up with Vanessa Abrams, his other best friend. Now he was completely friendless, and that all seemed like a long time ago. He turned away, lit another Camel, and continued his ritual lonely after-school prowl across the park.

Bethesda Fountain on a sunny day wasn't really his scene—too many stoner jocks running around shirtless and tan girls listening to their iPods in Missoni bikinis—but it was a nice day, and he had nowhere else to be.

There were his little sister, Jenny, and her Constance Billard School friend Elise Wells, giving each other pedicures. There was that asshole Chuck Bass from his class at Riverside, sprawled at the base of the fountain with his monkey in his lap, talking to—

Dan ran a shaky hand through his overgrown boho-poet haircut and took a long drag on his cigarette. Vanessa hated the sun and hated guys like Chuck even more, but she'd put up with anything to make a good film. The willingness to suffer for their art was one of the many things she and Dan had in common.

He rifled through his messenger bag and pulled out a pen and the black leather-bound notebook he always carried, jotting down a few lines about the way Vanessa had worn the toes of her boots down until the metal showed through. Maybe it was the start of a new poem.


steel-toed boots

dead pigeons

dirty rain

"I'm making a documentary, if you want to be in it," Vanessa called over to him, cutting off Chuck in midsentence. Dan was wearing a cigarette-burned white undershirt and baggy tan cords. He looked like the same scruffy, disheveled poet she'd always known and loved. After his poem "Sluts" had been published in The New Yorker, Dan had started paying more attention to his look, buying clothes at French boutiques like Agnes B. and APC. It was right about then that he'd started cheating on Vanessa with that anorexic, yellow-toothed, poet-whore Mystery Craze. But Mystery was history, and maybe the old Dan was back for good.

The idea of sitting down and talking to Vanessa face-to-face was kind of unnerving, but perhaps if they just focused on the film, they wouldn't have to dig up all the ugly stuff. Dan glanced at Chuck, who was brushing his monkey with a child-sized pink tortoiseshell Mason Pearson hairbrush. "Are you—?"

"We're done." Vanessa dismissed Chuck. "Come back when you hear something."

Of course she didn't even have to say that. Chuck would be back. They all would. They couldn't help themselves. Getting self-absorbed people to dish their own dirt is so easy, it should be illegal.

"But I didn't get to the part about the publicist I hired for Sweetie," Chuck pouted. "We're going to get him on TV—"

"Save it," Vanessa barked. She tugged on the sleeve of her black button-down shirt and pretended to glance at her watch, when Dan knew for a fact she didn't even own one. "Next."

Chuck stood up and stalked away with his monkey on his shoulder. Palms dripping with nervous sweat, Dan took his place. "So what's the film about?" he asked.

A girl lazing by the fountain dropped her lighter and Vanessa kicked it back with her boot. "I'm not sure yet. I mean, it has something to do with how crazy everyone is right now. You know, about college and everything," she explained. "But it's not just about that."

"Uh-huh." Dan nodded. Nothing Vanessa did was ever that simple. He dug around in his bag for his Camels and lit another one. "I have been kind of anxious about the mail lately," he admitted.

Vanessa peered into the camera and began to record. Dan's pale face looked so vulnerable in the sunlight, it was hard to believe he'd cheated on her—that he was capable of doing anything mean. "Go on."

"I think the thing that bugs me most is hearing the guys in my class say, 'Dude, I'm gonna miss you next year.'" Dan took a long drag on his cigarette. The apple-whiteness of Vanessa's inner arm made him forget what he was talking about. Apple-white, that was good.

"Go on," Vanessa prompted.

Dan blew smoke directly into the camera. "No one's going to miss me, and I'm not going to miss anyone, except for my dad and maybe my sister." He paused and swallowed hard. And you and your apple-white arms, he wanted to add, but decided he'd better write it down instead.

Vanessa tried to keep quiet, but Dan's little half-baked speech had moved her, even without the mention of her arms. "No one's going to miss me either," she declared, keeping her face pressed firmly against the viewfinder so they couldn't make eye contact.

Dan ashed on the ground and rubbed it in with the heel of one of his scuffed blue Pumas. It felt weird to be talking to Vanessa in such a removed way when a little over a month ago they'd been in love and he'd had sex for the very first time. "I'll miss you," he admitted quietly. "I already miss you."

Why'd he have to be so goddamn cute?

Vanessa turned off the camera before she could say anything too revealing. "Camera's out of juice," she told him brusquely. "Maybe you could come back another day," she added, wishing she didn't always sound like such a bitch.

Dan pulled himself to his feet and hitched his messenger bag over his shoulder. "Good seeing you," he replied with a shy smile.

Unable to restrain herself, Vanessa smiled back. "You too." She hesitated. "Promise you'll come back when you hear any news?"

It was kind of nice to see her smile at him again. "I promise," Dan said earnestly, before loping back down the promenade.

Maybe she was only adjusting the lens, but it kind of looked like Vanessa was checking out his butt through the camera as he walked away.

oh, to be young and worry-free

"So nice of your brother, Daniel, to stop by," Elise Wells commented sarcastically to Jenny Humphrey. She stretched her long, freckled arms up over her head and then let them fall to her sides. "I think he's afraid of me."

Jenny removed her feet from Elise's lap and examined her freshly painted toes. Elise had smeared MAC New York Apple red polish all over her pinky toe, where the nail was supertiny, and it looked like she'd bludgeoned her foot with a hammer. "Dan's been acting like a freak lately," she noted. "And I hate to break it to you, but I don't think it has anything to do with you. He's supposed to hear back from colleges this week."

The two girls were seated on the opposite side of Bethesda Fountain from where Vanessa had set up her camera. Jenny shielded her eyes from the sun and peered over the fountain's rim to see what was going on.

Vanessa was filming Nicki Button now—another Constance Billard senior. It was common knowledge that Nicki had had two nose jobs. If you lined up her yearbook picture from the last three years, you could totally tell.

"She's only interviewing seniors," Elise stated. She tucked her thick, strawlike blond bob behind her freckled ears. "I asked her at school during recess."

Jenny frowned. How come the seniors always got to do all the cool stuff? She pulled her bra down where it always rode up under her arms. Trickles of sweat had collected in the bra's cups, making it feel more like a wet suit than one of Bali's supersupportive comfort bras for big-breasted women. "It's not like I want to be in her stupid movie anyway," she muttered.

"Right," Elise scoffed. "Like you don't always try to copy everything Serena van der Woodsen does?"

Hello, meanness?

Jenny hugged her knees to her chest and glared at Elise defensively. Was she an internationally reknowned model? Was she blond? Did she wear a knee-length Burberry trench coat and smoke imported French cigarettes and walk around looking clueless while boys stared at her with her tongues wagging? Was she secretly the smartest girl in her class? No!

Actually, Jenny was the smartest girl in her class, but it was no secret.

"Name one thing I've done that Serena's done."

Elise unscrewed the little jar of nail polish that was resting on the fountain's edge and began painting her fingernails. The color looked garish and inappropriate against her pale, freckled skin. "It's not really what you've done. …" Her voice trailed off. "It's just how you're always so buddy-buddy with her during peer group. You know, like you want everyone to know you're friends with this model. And how you're always trying on all these fancy clothes in stores, like you'd really have anywhere to wear them, the way Serena does." She didn't even mention Jenny's brief dalliance with Nate Archibald, which had been such a blatant case of a freshman girl getting in over her head with an older guy, it was too embarrassing to bring up.

A soccer ball suddenly appeared out of nowhere and bounced off of Jenny's head. "Ow!" she exclaimed angrily, her face turning bright red. She stood up and shoved her feet into the pink suede DKNY mules she'd bought at the latest Bloomie's sale, messing up her still-wet toenails even more. "I don't know what your problem is," she snapped at Elise, "but I'd so much rather hang out with my freak of a brother than listen to you criticize me."

Infuriatingly enough, Elise kept on painting her fingernails.

"Fine," Jenny huffed, stomping down the steps and away from the fountain toward Central Park West. Copy Serena, she scoffed, her stupendous double-Ds bobbing with each step. Like I could even come close.

But Jenny wasn't one to take challenges lightly, and nothing would please her more than to prove to Elise that she wasn't just some wanna-be, hopelessly trying to copy Serena and failing every time. A boy whistled at her as she bobbed by, and she flipped her brown curly hair back from her face, pretending to ignore him. She might not be six feet tall and blond and gorgeous, but boys still whistled at her. That meant she had something


On Sale
Oct 6, 2004
Page Count
256 pages