Dark Side

Lux Gallagher is a contestant on The X Factor USA.
She thinks everything is going great for her, until the producers drop some news.

Everyone is getting their own celebrity mentor for the live shows.

Lux is excited, until she finds out her mentor is an obnoxious, pompous jerk.
Not only does he think he's God's Gift to women, he's in a boy band to top it off.
Will their constant arguing and fueding ruin her chances on the show?
Will their dark sides tear each other apart and destroy one another?

Find out who wins this war in Dark Side.

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49. Anxiety

 

Harry was naked, staring at himself in the mirror, his eyes dark and blank, his mouth set in a hard line. He could vaguely hear the shower running behind him, knowing that he should get in, seeing as how it’s been running for the past 20 minutes while he stood at the mirror.

He blinked, breathing out hard through his nose, looking down from his reflection finally, clenching his hands into a fist and watching his arm muscles twitch. With a quick shake of his head, he turned and stepped into the shower, moving under the hot water and letting it wash over him. His skin began to turn a light pink color from how hot it was, but he barely felt a thing. All he felt was a solid, pulsing numbness flushing through his veins and skin.

It was all because of Lux. She tore her way into his heart and took it over like a pirate would take over a ship. She made him feel things that he swore he would never feel again, things that he’s never felt before, and now she was destroying him. Leaving a girl shouldn’t be so hard for him, he’s done this many times before, but he got so fucking attached to her. He was so dependent on her, more than she was on him. He didn’t want there to be a day when he wouldn’t see her, but he knew that if he was strong enough, tomorrow he would leave her. He would get on a plane, go back to his hometown, and go back to his life.

If he was strong enough.

He pressed his forearm to the shower wall, burying his face in the crook of his elbow, his breath becoming harsh and heavy. He felt a tightening in his chest, like his heart and his lungs were being pinched, and it was a feeling he hadn’t felt in a long time.

He was having an anxiety attack. The last time he had one of these, he was still competing in the X Factor. He hasn’t had one since One Direction had their big break, not even when Caroline broke his heart.

He tried to slow his breathing, but when he did, he felt his chest tighten more, so he had to let it quicken again. He backed up, pressing his back to the shower wall, feeling the cold tiles against his skin. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t speak, he couldn’t get help.

Luckily, help came to him.

The shower door opened and Lux slid in, wetting her hair under the shower head for a second before turning around to look at Harry. Her face turned concerned as she reached out and grabbed him. He fell into her, gasping for breath and searching for her eyes. His locked with hers, and he felt a swoosh of air enter his lungs fully. His chest expanded, releasing the tightness he felt in it, and he buried his face in the crook of her neck, hearing her say his name over and over. Her fingers pressed to the back of his wet curls, combing through them as he pressed his body to hers tightly, breathing in and out slowly, his mouth on her shoulder.

“What happened? You looked like you couldn’t breathe!” Lux asked, her voice full of worry that only a girlfriend or a mother could manage to possess.

“I think I was having an anxiety attack.” He whispered, feeling his entire body shake in her arms, which led her to switching their positions so he was standing under the hot water.

“I didn’t know that was something you had a problem with..” She whispered, pulling back to look up at him. Water dripped down over his face, and she pushed his hair back from his forehead, slicking it back. He was so pale.

“It’s not anymore. I haven’t had one in a long time, since the competition.” He mumbled, just wanting to curl back into her body and breathe again.

“Why did it come on? What’s wrong?” She asked, and he shook his head, burying his face back into her shoulder. He knew she would leave it alone for now, she wouldn’t want him to begin to have another attack. The tightening in his chest faded away completely, and when he felt like he could breathe normally again, he pulled back to look down at her face.

He smiled lightly at her, tilting his head down to touch his lips to hers. The kiss started off soft, like a butterfly kiss, but as thoughts of tomorrow and what he’s going to do flew through his head, he found himself pressing his mouth against hers desperately. An ache fell inside his lips, an ache that seemed to only go away the harder he pressed them to hers. She smiled against his mouth briefly, leaning back against his hands until he stepped forward, pushing her against the tiled wall of the shower stall. Her skin touched the cold tiles, goosebumps appearing over her body instantly, and Harry reached one long skinny arm back to tilt the shower head until he was streaming onto her body. His lips found hers again effortlessly, his eyes slowly opening so he could stare down at her as they kissed, not wanting to miss a single moment of this.

“Mmm...” She sighed, her toes curling in as his lips moved down to her neck. “This is exactly what I came for.” Her voice was quiet and she laughed lightly when he nipped her on the neck playfully, trailing his mouth roughly back up to her own. Her fingers curled into a fist at the back of his head, his wet curls in her grasp.

“Oh? Not to save me from an anxiety attack?” He questioned, smirking down at her before reaching down to grasp her thighs.

“Wasn’t on my agenda for the night, no.” She smiled, leaning in and licking a trail over his jawline, back behind his earlobes, where his skin was super sensitive and guaranteed her a Harry Styles moan. She laughed softly when she heard it, feeling his lower half immediately pressing into hers tighter. The hands that were grasping to her outer thighs moved back to her ass, grabbing her and sliding her easily up the wet wall. He positioned himself between her open legs, feeling them instinctively wrap around his waist, her hand bracing herself against the wall.

He spread out his legs slightly, bracing his feet against the non-slip decals on the shower floor, his fingernails digging into her soft, wet flesh as he touched his lips to her chest. She sighed softly, leaning her head back and closing her eyes as his tongue swirled around her nipples, his open mouth moving up along her collar bones, kissing lightly.

Harry slid into her gently, hearing her gasp, and as he felt her tighten around him, his tongue flicked out against her skin, sucking on her neck. She grabbed onto one of the handles on the shower wall, her skin turning whiter than usual from the harsh grip she had on it. He shook his head with a moan as he pulled back and slowly thrusted back into her, torturing both of them.

Her hand pulled at his hair, which was still wrapped in one of her fists, and he allowed her to pull his head back until his eyes met hers. Her lips were immediately on his, water dripping over both their faces and mingling at the crevices of their mouths.

“Talk to me, babe.” Harry’s voice was a low grumble, her lips feeling the vibrations as he spoke. “Tell me what you want.” He was trying desperately to hold himself still inside of her. She looked as if she were in pain when he wasn’t pumping in and out of her.

Lux whimpered, burying her face in his shoulder. “Slow.”

She gasped again as he pushed into her further, and her hand tightened in his hair again.

“Yes, yes, yes..” She whispered, “Deeper.”

Harry shoved her flat against the wall, realigning his legs quickly before rolling his hips in a forward motion, taking her as far as he could. Her body shook in his arms, her teeth biting down so hard on her lip that he was just waiting for blood to begin to drip down her chin.

He began to fuck her at her request, slow and as deep as possible, her fingers gliding over his wet back, feeling the tense muscles. Her lips were swollen from his kisses and her biting them in pleasure, and they were a beautiful red color that only made him want to taste her.

His breathing picked up, his thrusts becoming slightly quicker, the sound of the shower and his skin slapping against hers vague in his mind. All he could hear was her breathing, the little gasps she made, the way she moaned his name. All he could see was the look on her face as she saw him watching her, the flush in her cheeks and the red of her mouth, the wet of her skin.

She moved her hand up to his face, touching it to his wet cheek for a moment, brushing his hair out of his eyes so she could see them. He couldn’t stand it another moment, jutting his face forward and catching those lips of hers with his own. His tongue sneaked along her closed lips, looking for entry, searching for her own tongue, and she parted her lips against his as he wished. Her tongue began to creep out, helped along by the suction Harry was applying, and Lux felt it being dragged slowly into his mouth for a sucking caress.

He sucked on her tongue, releasing it gently, feeling it swirl around his sensuously, her entire body shivering as she tasted him. He moaned into her mouth, tickling it with the vibrations. He bent his body slightly as he let her slide to her own two feet, watching her immediately go on her tiptoes so that he would stay inside of her. He looped one arm under her knee, lifting her leg up, using his hips to pin the rest of her body against the wall. He braced his other hand against the shower wall, beginning to thrust quickly now, still going deep inside of her. The volume on her moans went up, and he was quick to press his mouth to hers to muffle the sound. He could feel himself at the edge, a warm feeling spreading throughout his lower abdomen like hot lava, and he knew Lux was feeling it too by the way her toes curled and her legs shook.

His hand slipped on the wall, but he couldn’t stop himself, he didn’t want to stop, so he made a fist around the shower curtain, the material wrinkling up in his palm. He thrusted harder, gasping against her mouth, feeling her clench around him as she came in waves of pleasure. As soon as she tightened around him, he felt himself fall off the edge. He bit down on her bottom lip, growling into her mouth as his arm muscles spazzed, his hand yanking downwards, ripping the shower curtain - with the rod still attached - down onto the ground.

He slowed, coming to a stop, his fingers so tight around the curtain that he couldn’t release it for a minute. As he slowly dropped Lux’s leg down, he let go of the curtain, listening to the material settle on top of the partnering rod. Lux watched Harry slide down to the floor of the shower, his entire body shaking even though the water was still hot against his skin.

She took a moment to let her legs stop shaking before she reached down and grabbed the shower rod, reaching up and snapping everything back into place so they were sheltered once more. Lux looked down at him, noticing that he was still breathing heavily and shaking although he should have calmed down a little bit by now. She didn’t know that this was because he was realizing this was the last time he would ever make love to her.

“Are you having another attack?” She asked, getting worried again, pressing a hand to his arm tightly. He shook his head, lifting her hand to his mouth and kissing it passionately. He stood up carefully, gently tugging her in front of him, snatching shampoo off one of the built in shelves. They took turns washing each others hair and bodies playfully.

“I love you.” He whispered into her ear, watching her turn her head to smile up at him.

“I love -” His lips on hers cut her off, and he kissed her as he rinsed the soap away from her soft skin. His palms moved up to grab onto her hand, not allowing her to pull back from the kiss, his large hands engulfing her head.

When he pulled back his breathing was harsh, and he leaned down to shut the shower off without another word. His eyes never left hers. She was beginning to look confused again by all his weird actions. He stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel, but instead of wrapping it around himself, he held it out for her.

Lux slowly stepped out, her eyebrows pulling together as she watched him wrap the towel around her chest. She took it from his hands and tucked it in, noticing the way he was now avoiding eye contact as he wrapped a matching towel around his waist.

“What is going on?” She asked, her voice a whisper.

“Nothing. What do you mean?” He mumbled, looking up into the mirror only to fix his hair.

“Why did you have an anxiety attack? And why do you keep looking at me like,” She paused, swallowing, “Like you’re expecting me to disappear into thin air any second now.”

Harry’s jaw tightened, and she noticed this instantly. A vein popped out of his neck, his fists clenching as he looked down at the bathroom counter.

“Everything is okay right now, Lux. Just please...” He whispered, shaking his head sadly.

“Please what? Please pretend like you’re not acting funny, pretend that everything is okay? For how long? How long do you want me to pretend that you’re not acting weird around me?” She was getting upset, and he didn’t want this. He wanted her to be happy for one fucking night.

“One night.” He whispered, “Just be happy tonight, please. Please.”

“Why?” Her voice was shaking already, and he knew she was getting ready to cry or yell.

“What is going to happen tomorrow, Harry?”

His eyes were wide and clear as he stared down at the counter intensely. His hands grasped the edge of it, the veins in his arms popping out now, a sign that just made her worry more.

“I don’t understand,” She whispered, “I don’t understand what’s happening.”

He looked at her through the mirror, seeing her large wet eyes, seeing the fear in them, knowing that she somehow felt that something bad was going to happen very soon.

He shut his eyes, trying to control his breathing, trying not to turn around and yell at her to just shut up and listen to him, trying not to shake the stubbornness out of her.

“Did you,” She paused, blinking her tears away. “Did you do something bad?”

“Like what?” He asked, spinning around to look at her finally, his eyebrows pulling together.

“I don’t know, like...were you...with...somebody...else..?” Her words came out slowly, like her mouth had trouble forming them. She looked like she was in shock that she even asked that, and he was equally surprised at the question.

“Why would you ask me that?” He asked, the words coming out too fast, too jumbled.

“Because you look like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.” She replied, backing away from him slowly. “And because you aren’t telling me something.”

“My hand hasn’t been in anyone’s cookie jar, Lux!” Harry snapped finally, stepping toward her and reaching out to grab her shoulders. He held her tightly, giving her a small but effective shake. “I would never do that to you. I would never... I love you too much. I can’t even process the thought of other women. I could never... I can’t believe you think that.”

“I’m sorry.” She gasped out, seeing the look on his face now and knowing he was telling the truth. She trusted him, she trusted him, she trusted him. She had to.

He released her arms, watching as she still backed away from him. Tension rose in the room so thick that you could slice it with a knife as he watched his girlfriend, his best friend, his Lux back away from him, as if being near him hurt her.

“I should go. I’m sorry, I... I think I just need to sleep.”

It took him a second to process this, and when he realized that she wasn’t staying with him, sleeping in his bed, he followed her out into the main bedroom.

“Lux, stop it. Don’t go.” He said softly, catching her hand and tugging her back.

“I have to.” She whispered, pulling her hand back from him. She picked up her discarded clothes from his bedroom floor, setting them down onto his bed and dropping her towel. Harry touched her naked back, feeling her entire body tense under his touch, watching her hands stop moving.

“I promise you I’ll tell you what’s going on tomorrow.” He said, “I just wanted you to have this night to be happy.”

“So tomorrow I won’t be happy?” She asked, frowning. Lux shook her head before he could answer her, putting her bra and panties on as quickly as she could. He grabbed a pair of boxers out of his drawer, slipping them on quickly and leaving his towel in a pile by hers.

“Don’t go, Lux. Please.” He whispered, reaching out for her again.

“I have to.” Lux pulled her wet hair up into a sloppy bun on top of her head, turning to face him still in her underwear. Harry grabbed her face in his hands, tilting her head upwards to his until she was looking into his eyes. He leaned down and kissed her, rubbing his thumbs over her cheeks softly.

She kissed him back despite herself feeling tense and paranoid around him at the moment. He always knew exactly how to melt her down until she was like putty in his hands.

“I would never intentionally do anything to hurt you.” He mumbled against her mouth, kissing her again slowly.

“You’re scaring me so much, Harry.” Lux felt tears enter her eyes as he kissed her, not letting her speak again. She felt a tear slid out from her eye as he poured every emotion he’s ever felt toward her into that one kiss. Lux could feel her knees weaken beneath her, and when they did Harry was right there to hold her up, catching her before she fell.

There was a quick, sharp knock on the door before it flew open. “Bed checks...oh.”

They flew away from each other, but it didn’t matter, because they were standing there in nothing but their underwear, soaking wet. It was obvious what was going on. Alexa, a producer, stood at the door for a moment before she entered slowly, heading for Lux.

Harry’s body tensed up, blocking Lux’s body with his own, his hands instinctively raising up to stop Alexa from coming any closer to her.

“Lux, come with me.” Alexa demanded, holding a hand out. She didn’t sound mad, she didn’t sound upset, she sounded disappointed. Lux hadn’t moved, her entire face pale and her hands shaking at her sides. She was in shock that this was actually happening. The producers all went out tonight, she was sure of it before she snuck into Harry’s room. They shouldn’t have been back for hours, and yet here one was, staring at Lux with such sad disappointment that it made her hurt all over.

“No, don’t..” Harry shook his head, his voice lowering into a growl. “Do not touch her.”

“I need help in the Styles and Tomlinson suite.” Alexa said into a walkie talkie that was clipped at her belt. She put it back, her eyes flickering off Harry and back over to Lux.

“Babe,” Harry said quietly, tilting his head in her direction slightly. “Get dressed.”

He held a finger up to Alexa, motioning for her to stay there and wait, and he turned around to face Lux, blocking her body while she numbly pulled her clothes back on. Her eyes stared into Harry’s, wide and shocked, but not filled with tears yet.

He didn’t know what to say, what to do.

Just as he was going to lean down and kiss her, just as he was going to whisper that everything would be alright, he felt hands grab onto his arms tightly, pulling him back. Harry’s eyes widened as Mike pulled him away from Lux, watching Alexa grab onto Lux’s arms and begin to pull her toward the bedroom door.

“No!” He shouted, “She’s not going anywhere without me, let her go!” He pulled and twisted in Mike’s arms, but there was no sign of him getting free. Lux was still in shock, her eyes wide and scared, but they found his immediately, drawn to him like a magnet.

“Lux..” He said softly, shaking his head as he frowned. “I’m so sorry..”

The full extent of what was happening seemed to hit her right as he apologized, and he watched her face crumble, tears spilling over her eyes and onto her cheeks. But she didn’t make a sound, she didn’t throw a fit, didn’t fight Alexa off of her, just silently wept as she looked at him from where she was paused at the door.

“Harry..” She whispered right before Alexa pulled her around the corner, her white blond hair disappearing from his sight as he felt pain pulse through his body.

He didn’t feel relief over the fact that now he didn’t have to dump her tomorrow. He only felt anger toward himself, he only felt as if he wanted to rip himself to shreds for letting this happen to her. Harry wanted nothing more than to take her place, feel her pain, feel her shame and disappointment for her. He only felt the need to wrap himself around her and protect her from all the negativity that will surely follow her getting kicked out of this competition for having a romance with him, of all people.

But he knew Lux, and that meant she would never allow him to take this on himself. She won’t allow him to make any calls or pull any connections, she’ll want to take this fall with her grace and dignity still intact. And that’s why Harry had to stop this story from getting to the press. He needed to stop the producers from letting everyone know that she’s getting kicked out. He refused to let that happen to her. If she has to go, she will do it with dignity.

As long as Harry can, he will protect Lux, first and foremost.

“Mike,” Harry turned to the producer, swallowing harshly. “We need to talk.”

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