silk faille

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1870s-1880s, Soft Bustle, Fish Tail
Sky blue silk faille dress, 1870s, designed and labeled by Mme. Gabrielle / Robes Confections / 205 Rue St. Honoré in Paris. From the collections of the Charleston Museum

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WORTH PARIS BEADED VELVET and LACE DOLMAN, 1880’s. 

Cranberry velvet with stand collar having elaborate metallic gold cording and bronze beads, sides of fine cotton net decorated with jet beads in a pattern of bells, all trimmed with ruffled black floral lace and bronze beaded tassels, lined in rust silk faille. Label “Worth Paris”.

At home with Phryne Fisher: now you see it, now you see it again Pt 13

Marion had the silk cardigan fabric and when she started designing for Phryne this was the first time she wanted to cut it up.” 

(MFMM Costume Exhibition catalogue, 2014)  

Phryne’s beautiful, soft silk knit long line cardigan is for ‘at home’. She wears it over cream silk faille pants or raw silk skirt together with cream silk blouses of various necklines and collars -  tie, mandarin, v-neck, round, roll, cowl and boat necks. She accessorises it with a long scarf with gold thread that follows the line of the cardigan, or a green silk chiffon brooch. Phryne looks relaxed and casual but elegant and stylish to entertain, and interrogate!

Right from the first episode, home sitting rooms double as investigation rooms. In Series 1 Episode 1 Cocaine Blues, headache powders are suspected of being laced with cocaine  - Phryne confirms the doctor’s opinion.

Phryne: Definitely cocaine.

Mac: I’m the doctor.

Phryne: Just to make sure.

Jack learns early on that he needs to find a place in the St Kilda incident rooms if his cases are to run smoothly. In Murder on the Ballarat Train an offer of tea precedes an offer of evidence.  This time a green ‘sea anemone’ silk chiffon brooch augments the outfit.

Phryne: Morning, Inspector. I was just on my way to see you. 

Jack: To explain yourself, I hope. 

Phryne: Tea? 

Jack: I can’t believe your hide. Appropriating a child who should have been in the care of the state. 

Phryne: State care? You know what those places are like. And if that woman was Jane’s aunt, I’ll eat my cloche. The poor child clearly loathed her. 

Jack: None of this explains how that ‘poor child’ came to be in possession of Mrs Henderson’s jewels, or what she had to do with the murder. 

Phryne: It’s lucky for you I convinced Jane she should speak with you. Come in, Jane!

And from her own home to another’s in The Green Mill Murder, the cream and gold accessories blend seamlessly with the Freeman’s decor.  The Freemans are a family in crisis - societal prejudice and family secrets lead to confrontation and tension as Phryne finds ways to solve and absolve.

Death By Miss Adventure supports a similar theme of bigotry as the episode reopens wounds for Phryne with the reappearance of Murdoch Foyle, and Mac hides her own wounds  - ironic for a doctor.  Mac finds it difficult to open up to her closest friend, even in the comfort of her parlour.

Aunt P voices society’s intolerance of difference in a visit to Phryne’s home to warn her of the hospital board’s view of Dr Mac’s ‘unconventional activities’. The setting and Phryne’s outfit are in parallel for both conversations.

Narrow views of women’s place in society, with car racing as a metaphor, provoke reactions from Phryne in Blood at the Wheel. Her parlour and the cream outfit with green sea anemone silk chiffon brooch, play host to meetings with two men, one immediately after the other, Lachlan Pepper from the VAA and Jack.

Pepper comes to Phryne’s home to ensure she cannot race in place of Gerty Haynes. He dismisses suggestions of race fixing, is offhand at the mention of past attachments and perfunctory in his manner.

Pepper: You women are all the same. 

Phryne: I’m quite sure we aren’t. 

Pepper: Ah, no, your threats are wasted on me, Miss Fisher. Your driving offences are on the record. My hands are tied… Good evening to you too, Miss Fisher.

Wheels within wheels as the confrontation with Pepper is immediately followed by a quieter dissonance between Phryne and Jack.   At this point Jack is unable to express the depth of his feelings for her, and she is so distracted by the case that she misreads the reasons for his dark mood and disquiet. 

Phryne: Did you follow up on Antony’s story? 

Jack: The girl can’t be found, but the manager of the York Street Hotel thinks Mr Rose checked in. 

Phryne: Hardly watertight. 

Jack: No, but I can’t question him again without further evidence. 

Phryne: But you could question our friend Pepper. See what comes to light. 

Jack: I intend to. I’ll see myself out. 

And so ends one of the most devastating scenes in the show (IMHO).

Thank goodness the cardigan makes another appearance and I don’t have to end the post at this point.  Dead Air has the cardigan and cream accessories playing host in Phryne’s parlour to interviews and evidence sharing again. 

First to the all-too-helpful Jimmy Creswick:

Phryne: While you’re here, I would like a quiet word about Louisa. 

Creswick: Of course.

And then to Jack/Archie.  Here again we have mirroring of setting and outfits as in Miss Adventure and Wheel, but on this occasion the chord struck between Phryne and 'Archie’ is anything but dissonant.


Jack: Who told Hazel Creswick I should diversify into singing? 

Phryne: I’m not sure, but it certainly is a wonderful suggestion. 

Jack: I’m glad my feeble undercover attempt provides you with amusement. 

Phryne: I look for joy in all the dark places, Archie. 

I think Archie quite likes the thought of the dark places.  

Don’t we all!

Journey To Glory - Prologue, Part 2

Prologue – Part 2

Airborne, December 14th, 2012.

The following morning the Bass jet took off before dawn had the time to tinge the sky with its pale pink stripes. Sat next to his wife, Chuck averted his gaze from her to guide it out of the round window at his side.

It was the first time in the past two days that he felt the necessity to turn his attention to something that wasn’t her; inevitably, as the plane gained altitude, he found himself staring at the city he had so passionately dreamed of conquering his whole life.

It was without surprise that he realized that the panorama broadening under him didn’t give him any sort of emotion. As he observed the tall building and the streets he had grown up thinking he was destined to own becoming smaller and smaller under his look, not pride, nor bitterness touched him. It was his now; his kingdom, his dominion, the most blatant statement of the absolute power he had conquered through pain, sacrifices and efforts.

And yet, in spite of everything it had meant to him, now nothing but numbness filled his mind at the thought of his ambitions, of his projects, of his so intensely craved role in that world he was expected to rule. It seemed all alien to him, distant, even irrelevant.

He was actually leaving it behind with an ever-growing sense of relief – relief from the meaning of his achievement, from its costs and, most of all, from the obligation to feel anything, whether that was satisfaction, rage or hollowness.

Not even guilt brushed against his conscience. He should have heard it screaming loudly, forcing him to support the weight of responsibility, but he didn’t. No matter how atrocious they were, the echo of his faults couldn’t reach him.

“There’s nothing quite as gorgeous as New York’s skyline standing out against the dark,” Blair wondered, sighing in front of the view.

The pull of her voice drew Chuck’s eyes towards her once again and, all of sudden, his chest was back to be a fertile ground for the most powerful emotions; she catalyzed them, forced them out of the impassiveness he was locked into. They all started and ended with her, with the strength of her glistening eyes. She was the only thing he managed to feel - the only one he wanted to feel.

He couldn’t stop looking at her, for she had the power to drag him out of his emotionlessness; watching her, he felt alive, dazed by his love and his gratitude for her. Over the past forty-eight hours, his stare had witnessed the changing of her demeanor several times and he had been overwhelmed by each side of her, as if they had presented themselves before him clearer than they had ever had. Strength, bravery and determination had made her the woman who had taken him by the hand and guided him to safety and life, but she had been much more; the desperate heart who had still chosen to trust him, the enamored, moved bride who had married him with no hesitation, the glowing spouse he had danced with during their reception and the passionate lover who had canceled months of deprivation with the first touch they had shared in the intimacy of her empty house.

The most wonderful, enigmatic woman. His wife. Blair.

He smiled at her. “I can think of at least one thing that is better,” he replied, reaching out to her cheek. He raised his eyebrows at her, darting her a sly glance as his smile sharpened into a smirk. “You.”

Blair rolled her eyes. “You’re such a flatterer,” she said through a giggle, leaning in towards him. His fingers indulged her movement and traced the side of her face in a caress, sliding into her hair when she placed a light kiss on his lips.

Pulling back, he eyed her. The Nile blue silk faille dress she was wearing lent her a both regal and delicate appearance; she looked sophisticated and poised, impeccable with her full curls falling over her shoulders and the string of pearls enhancing the neckline. Still, it was the glow of her skin that kept luring him, the vibrancy of her gaze; a blast of passion below a surface of perfection.

“I’m just stating the truth,” he observed, his voice become hoarse with sudden lust. He cursed the safety belt crossing her chest that kept him from pulling her onto his lap, freeing her from her classy attire and relishing the wildness hidden behind her unblemished composure.

Blair smiled pleased at him. Reading correctly the subtext of his tone and glimmer of his eyes, she laid back on her seat and crossed her legs slowly. “What a solemn compliment,” she commented, careful to make the fabric of her dress slid slightly up her thigh to expose a few more inches of skin.

His eyes widened at her gesture. The subtle way she had of provoking him was still the most tempting allure he had ever experienced. It was both challenging and gratifying; it had the exciting nature of a dare and yet it brought with it the awareness that the he was the one and only who could win her sweetly cruel game. Her refined, elusive invitations always led to the same outcome: he would have found the key to seduce her and her instinct would have triumphed over her enjoyment in prolonging his wait. His pride would have fed hers and pleasure would have left them both with a victory.

Chuck leaned in and slithered his hand under the hem of her skirt. His palm inched along her thigh as he buried his fingers in between her tightly crossed legs and pressed them against her skin. “In a couple of minutes, we’ll be free to unfasten these instruments of torture,” he told her.

Blair, who had closed her eyes and parted her lips at his insistent touch, nodded. Realizing that he had stolen her ability speak imprisoning her voice in a barely repressed moan, Chuck smirked victorious.

Her body shook with a shiver when his index finally skimmed over the border of her panties, and her legs spread. “Chuck,” Blair pronounced his name as an invocation, in a chocked, tremulous voice, urging him to stop lingering and to insinuate his fingers under the thin lace of her underwear.

And he was just about to do that when the flight attendant entered the cabin.

He noticed her immediately, but Blair didn’t. When he abruptly pulled back his hand, her eyes snapped open in surprise just for a second, before she realized the situation. She sat up bolt upright with a jolt and straightened her back, trying to compose herself.

Chuck leaned back in his seat staring at her. Though she quickly smoothed the dress’ skirt and adjusted her legs in a less compromising position, the flush brushing her cheeks revealed all of her arousal and frustration. He let out a chortle when she glanced up to glare at him and smiled slyly at the accusatory expression on her face.

He bent forward and placed a kiss on the side of her neck. “Remember, I never leave things unfinished,” he murmured swiftly into her ear just as the hostess approached their seats.

Blair gave him another dirty look. “You’d better not to,” she hissed as a discreet smirk took shape on her lips.

The flight assistant stopped by their side and cleared her throat to announce herself. “Good Mr. Bass,” she greeted her employer before directing her gaze to Blair, “and Mrs. Bass. Everything went well with the takeoff. We’re safely airborne. You’re free to unfasten your safety belts and move to the lounge, if you please.”

Freeing himself from the belt, Chuck gave her an abrupt nod. “My wife and I are going to need a few minutes of privacy,” he told her curtly to dismiss her. “We’ll let you know when we’re ready for breakfast.”

The woman answered with a polite smile and rapidly made her way out of the cabin, leaving the couple alone.

As soon as she did, Chuck stood up and, fixing his suit, he looked down at Blair.

A bright grin was stretching her lips and lightening her expression. “She called me Mrs. Bass,” she said in the most elated tone. Her doe eyes shimmered with delight when she brought them on him.

She sounded almost surprised, Chuck realized, and ecstatic; there was a dreamy note in her voice, a thrill of enthusiasm that made him smile back immediately. “Of course she did,” he stated proudly. “It’s your name.”

Her beam widened. “It is,” she uttered. “Blair Waldorf Bass.”

Once again, as he watched her unfastening her belt, Chuck was faced with the unquestionable fact that the look of joy and bliss on her face was what gave meaning and hope to his life; it was observing her that he was able to bring clearness into his present and to shape his future in his mind. Everything around him was blurred and confused; everything but her. She was the one who gifted his world with significance.

He bent on his knees and rested his palms over her legs. “I’m going to spend my whole life making sure you’re glad of being Mrs. Bass,” he told her, ducking his head.

It came to him then, as he spoke, that he would have done anything in his power in order to preserve her happiness, to never make her regret the choice she had made when she had vowed to spend the rest of her life by his side.

Even if his side wasn’t the safest or the brightest of places. On the contrary, it was often narrow and dark; uncomfortable to occupy. He was a complicated person living a complicated reality.

In spite of his best intentions to grant her joy, to dedicate her all of his devotion, his weaknesses and his flaws could have accidentally caged her in an existence of sacrifice and struggle. The most recent events proved it; standing by him, protecting him, she had found herself having to face terror and death.

His heart turned heavy with fright at the thought, at the idea of not being able to shelter her from the darkness of his past, from the shadows and the deep holes making his soul a difficult one to love. His hands trembled and clutched her thighs in a way that was a wordless plea for reassurance.

In a moment, he felt Blair’s fingers trapping his chin and gently pushing it up. Inhaling a deep breath, he gave in to her gesture and, glancing up, he found out that she had leaned over. Her face was so close to his that the tip of her nose almost touch his.

He noticed that her smile had changed; it hadn’t lost its delight, but its enthusiasm had softened. There was a tender sweetness about it now; it was caring and warm.

“I am already,” she said, cupping his cheek and stroking it with her thumb. “And proud,” her voice lowered to a whisper when her lips brushed against his, “I’ll always be.”

Closing his eyes, Chuck deepened her delicate kiss. His hands trailed to her waist pulling her skirt up as they slid over her sides. He was suddenly overcome by need; need to know feel her presence as strongly as he could, to let her show him that he was still there, still present; that what made him who he was, what made him the man she loved, hadn’t fallen down the roof of a skyscraper.

Slipping his palms under her bottom, he pushed away that fresh memory. His lack of pain, grieve and anger lost once again its importance the moment Blair clung her arms to his neck and allowed him to lift her up. Carrying her to the lounge, he buried his face into the crook of her neck as she wrapped her legs tight around his waist.

He could feel her. She was the piercing emotion cutting through his numbness; she was life, love, hope, tension towards the future.

A future she had chosen to share with him, Chuck told himself as he laid her down on the leather couch. She had done it consciously, with passion and conviction; she had trusted his ability to give her happiness. And it was his duty not to question her decision.


“You know,” Chuck said about half an hour later, his fingers trailing slowly up and down Blair’s arm, “you make eating a croissant look incredibly sexy.”

It was true; her gestures were unintentionally sensual. They were unhurried, almost ethereal in their elegance and delicacy. He had spent the past five minutes staring at her as she ate and found himself discovering a graceful eroticism in every movement her hands and lips had produced.

His food, two French toasts topped with marmalade, laid untouched on his plate. He was completely absorbed by Blair; she left him in a state of utter amazement. He couldn’t resist the magnetism she seemed to unleash to his eyes; he had to gaze at her, he had to touch her, to breathe in her perfume. She was inebriating.

Chuck leaned over. Her neck, which was partially covered by her hair, was an irresistible lure. His eagerness had left marks on it; races of his fervent kisses still reddened her naturally pale skin, giving him an immediate reminder that she belonged to him.

Just as he was about to press his lips right under her ear, Blair playfully pulled back and her curly locks followed the abrupt movement of her head, exposing the curve of her neck fully.

It was the clear sound of her soft laugh that distracted Chuck from his lustful thoughts and brought him to glance up at her.

She answered to his look with a complacent smirk. “You’re incorrigible,” she told him quietly, reaching out to the cup of tea set on the low table in front of them. The flight assistant had arranged their breakfast there, so that they could eat sitting side by side on the lounge’s couch.

Chuck shrugged. “Yes, I am,” he stated, raising his eyebrows at her. “Can you blame me?” he asked. “You’re an endless source of temptation.”

Blair giggled again. “I suppose I should take it as a compliment,” she replied before sipping her tea. She smiled naughtily at him behind the edge of the cup.

“Absolutely,” Chuck wrapped an arm around her shoulder, as, with his free hand, he grabbed his flute. “And I’ll be glad to show you my appreciation again after you finish your breakfast,” he took a taste of juice and then added: “The kind of homage I enjoy the most paying to you requires energy.”

“Then you should consider eating too,” she answered. She reached out to his fork, cut a piece of French toast with it and then lifted that small taste of food to his mouth.

Chuck took the bite she was offering with hooded eyelids and a pleased smile. He savored it slowly, enjoying not only the sweet flavor of the fried bread, but also and mostly the avid anticipation her deliberate gesture had brought with it.

When he opened his eyes again, Blair had her purse on her lap. After a moment, she extracted her phone from there.

A doubtful expression crossed Chuck’s face. “Blair,” he pronounced her name with a tad of perplexity, placing his glass back on the low table, “what are you doing?”

Blair ignored him. Instead of looking back at him and clarifying what she was up to, she started typing something, apparently deaf to his question.

Chuck frowned; he tightened his hold on her and pulled her slightly closer to gain her attention. “Blair?”

Blair glanced up from the phone’s screen to smile slyly at him. “Chuck,” she replied simply.

Realizing that she had no intention of sharing the details of what she was doing, Chuck let out a sigh. He was suddenly both annoyed and entertained by her teasing, indifferent attitude. “I thought you had suggested we’d ‘cut any communication with the world’ for at least a week,” he reminded her. Only ten minutes before, she had taken the papers the hostess had brought him together with breakfast and tossed them away, claiming that he didn’t need to read “people’s idiotic opinions” about their marriage.

“Actually,” Blair said, “I didn’t suggest anything. I made a rule out of it.”

Chuck leaned back on his seat adjusting his jacket. “So,” he uttered, “I’m not allowed to read the daily press, but you can use your phone.”

Without averting her eyes from the screen, Blair shrugged. “I simply need an information about our flight.”

The frown crumpling Chuck’s forehead deepened. “This is a private jet, Blair,” he objected.

“Oh! Really?” she exclaimed, fluttering her eyelids as if to express surprise. “So that’s why there’s 'Bass Industries’ written all over the plane’s side!” She shook her head, putting the phone back into her bag. “What a fool I am. I hadn’t made the connection.”

Irritated by her mockery and by the fact that she was purposely keeping something hidden from him, Chuck snorted. “Hilarious,” he commented rolling his eyes.

Blair chortled. “Don’t be grumpy, Bass,” she told him, resting her hand on his cheek. She pushed his face to side forcing him to look at her and, when she did, she smirked cunningly at him. “I just made a small research to see which destinations you can reach in eight and a half hours, leaving from New York and travelling on a direct flight.”

Putting the pieces of her deceit together, Chuck cursed himself for believing that she would have given up on her attempt to find out where they were heading so easily. She hadn’t, obviously; the docile acceptance she had showed the night before, when she had realized he had decided to keep their first stop a surprise, had been a mere façade. “So that’s what you were talking about with the pilot,” he said, as a scowl darkened his expression. “You asked him how long the flight would have lasted.”

Blair’s smile widened with blatant satisfaction. She slid closer to him and started tapping her fingers over his chest. “You were taking forever to get out of that limousine,” she said with a long sigh and an innocent pout curling her lips. “I was bored.”

“I was adjusting my scarf,” Chuck protested. Though he was trying to keep a straight face, he felt amusement tickling at the corners of his mouth. The adoration he had for her dishonesty was far bigger than his annoyance.

Blair laced her arms around his neck. She settled herself on his knees and slid her hand over his jaw as he trapped her in his firm hold. “And I took the chance to make small talks,” she said softly as, with her index, she traced an imaginary line down to his neck. “I couldn’t ask directly for the destination, though,” she added. “It would have been too easy, don’t you think?”

“You don’t like easy,” he stated. “You like me.” He wasn’t paying attention to the way she had tricked him anymore; having her sitting on his legs and her hands touching him, he couldn’t do anything but congratulating her for her small victory with a kiss.


Hours later they were flying above France. Europe had welcomed them with the beauty of a nocturnal sky, which didn’t let Chuck’s gaze catch anything but darkness as he looked outside the round windows. That sense of isolation made him feel relieved.

Being airborne meant being unreachable, and that was exactly the condition he wanted to experience; to be inaccessible, to create a barricade made of distance and loneliness to keep the world away from himself and from his wife.

He didn’t want anything or anyone to intrude their intimacy; not yet, at least. The idea of being exposed to eyes and voices that weren’t Blair’s disturbed him. He wasn’t ready for it; for people who didn’t know him and who couldn’t comprehend him as she did.

It had been with this conviction that he had accurately selected the first destination of their honeymoon. He was sure that, once Blair had seen it, she would have understood the motives behind his choice immediately.

A pensive smile on his lips, Chuck peeked at the door that led to the bedroom’s cabin. It was still shut, as Blair had left it when she had closed it behind herself. It had only been a few minutes since she had gone freshening up and changing into warmed clothes before the landing, but he already longed to have her back on his lap.

For hours, as the jet crossed the Atlantic, he hadn’t let go of her, nor Blair had showed any desire to part from his hands, which, sometimes avid, sometimes adoring, had kept stroking her body in a continuous succession of lustful and tender touches.

Realizing that his wife still wasn’t about to come back, Chuck reached out to his phone. Blair’s rule hadn’t been broken again after she had nailed down a list of three possible countries – “Switzerland, Austria or Germany”, she had written down on a post it before handing it to him with a proud expression –, but he was about to make an exception as well.

His reasons, though, had a little to do with curiosity. He simply wanted to make sure everything was settled before their arrival; impeccable, as Blair needed things to be.

Afraid that she might have heard him speak, he decided to write an email to the person he had hired to organize the place for their stay. He typed a few concise and strict sentences, took a couple seconds to re-read them and then sent the message. He didn’t have to wait long for the reply; the woman he had contacted replied to his message almost immediately, letting him know that his demands had been satisfied and that she and her staff were more than ready to welcome him and his bride.

Pleased with himself, Chuck turned the phone off. He decided that his satisfaction had to be rewarded with a drink and called for the flight attendant to order one.

When Blair stepped back into the cabin, Chuck was still sipping the scotch he had chosen to savor slowly. He glanced up to see her pacing towards the lounge and smirked at her sight.

She was wearing a quite dramatic blood red coat-dress; a full skirt blossomed under the waist belt and covered her legs up to her knees. It was a romantic and chic attire, which she wore with natural elegance.

Chuck lowered the glass and placed it on the table without averting his eyes from her. “You look like a dream,” he told her, instinctively leaning in on his seat as she approached.

Blair stopped by the side of the couch. “It’s what Dior couture does to a woman,” she replied with a shrug.

When her hand came to rest on his shoulder, Chuck took her by her waist and swiftly pulled her onto his lap. “I thought it was wedded bliss,” he pointed out, his voice tinged with a tad of irony a vague peeve. He made his hand slid under the wide skirt and grasped her leg possessively.

She raised her eyebrows at him with amusement. “Are you jealous of a dress, Bass?”

The look of enjoyment on her face made him smirk. He squeezed her tighter into his embrace and captured her lips in a kiss. “I’m jealous of everything that makes you glow if it’s not me.”

Blair shook her head lightly. He was expecting a witty reply, but she surprised him with a tender gesture; she brought her hand to his face and gently pressed her palm against his cheek, guiding him to rest his head on her chest.

Chuck closed his eyes, his forehead laid against the soft red fabric, and inhaled a deep breath.

“It is you,” she told him quietly as her fingers trailed up to his hair. “It’s always you.”

Inexplicably her words made him quiver. He suddenly felt overwhelmed by an emotion he couldn’t recognize; he wasn’t able to tell if it was pleasant, painful or both. It didn’t have a name or a meaning; it was just dizzying and weakening in a way that obligated him to hang on to her.

Blair’s arms wrapped him. Her hands, stuck firmly on his jacket, arrested the shiver running down his spine, allowing him to let out the breath he was holding. Chuck felt the touch of her lips on the top of his head and her embrace becoming stronger around him.

Her wordless comfort was a safe refuge. Whatever his heart was racing from, it abandoned him slowly, as, little by little, he regained control of himself.

When he moved his forehead away from the shelter of her chest and glanced up at her, Blair had an indefinable expression; it was tough, reassuring, hurting. Breathtaking.

One of her arms unclenched his back; she lifted her now free hand to his face and brushed her fingers lightly against his eyes. It was only when his eyelids closed at her touch that he realized the dampness of tears over his cheek.

Unconcern about their nature, whether they were tears of ache or joy, whether they were relieved or full of blame, Blair wiped them away with the tip of her index and smiled down at him. “You’re okay,” she said softly. “We both are.”

The lack of judgement in her tone, the way its lightness seemed to forget the moment of bare fragility that had just caught him, reminded Chuck that her presence and her love were the only things that truly mattered to him. All the rest – his twisted feelings and his inadequacy facing them – had to be flushed out.

Guided by that thought, he took her hand in his and brought it to his mouth. He canceled the salty traces of his tears by kissing her fingers one by one and, at last, he gripped her palm as if to show her that strength had come back to give force to his touches; to let her know he could protect her as well, to prove he wouldn’t have crumbled down – not with her by his side.

Chuck locked eyes with her. “We are,” he pronounced slowly and, as he did, he promised himself he would have always allowed her to compensate for his limits, because the trust he had in her was what would have given him the courage to never stop defending their hard-earned happiness.


Notes:

[1] Some of my readers might feel as Chuck’s characterization in this chapter is somehow a digression. We see him being totally absorbed by Blair - his feelings and his thoughts are only for her. Chuck had to work hard to find his own stability and to learn that his life was worthy even without Blair (season 5 was, after all, about this necessary growth) and he painfully did; it’s not my intention to ignore it. In this phase, though, the most realistic option is, according to me, a momentary regression to his “emotional dependence” from Blair. It’s the most immediate reaction to the traumatic experience he has just lived. As I previously mentioned, his emotions are almost completely blocked in a sort of denial in this moment and Blair manages to break through it - especially on a physical level. Only at the end of the chapter, we see feelings winning over Chuck’s defences; and yet, they’re confused and barely recognized.

[2] Since this project is full of details, I’m going to post a picspam on Tumblr for each chapter, showing outfits and locations. Every detail has been accurately researched and it makes me happy to be able to give you the chance to visualize everything more clearly through images. You’re going to find the picspam on my Tumblr page under the tag “Journey To Glory”.

[3] I’m currently working on the first chapter. As I said, this is a pretty detailed project and it takes long to write. I hope my writes will be patient!

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Kittyinva: 1920′s Egyptian Revival purse of silk faille with scarab tinsel embroidery in silver and gold threads. Large emerald cut citrine paste and clear stones set into frame. Imported from France to a NYC store. 7x7″, 15″ chain. From Vintage Luxury.

Artist/maker unknown, English. Worn by Sir Henry St. George (the Younger), British, 1625 - 1715.

Made in England 1707-14

Silk satin; appliquéd with silk faille with supplementary metallic wefts; silk and metal-wrapped silk embroidery in satin, stem, and seed stitches and couching; metal-wrapped silk braid; metal-wrapped silk and metal plate plain weave trim; glass beads

Philadelphia Museum of Art