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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42. Stay

 

Harry's lips moved over her skin like silk, waking her from her deep sleep. His curls fell over his eyes lightly as he stared down at her face, watching her yawn and rub her eyes with a smile.

“You look quite satisfied.” He said with confidence, knowing he spent nearly half the night pleasing her when they both should have been asleep. She does have a competition to be winning here, after all.

“I am.” She tried to say, but her voice was nearly gone. It came out a cracked whisper, which made Harry's face scrunch up in concern immediately. His fingertips reached out to touch her throat, feeling for her swollen tonsils and his expression turned to guilt.

“You need to see a doctor. I shouldn't have kept you up so late last night.” He stood out of bed and began to gather clothes for her, either forgetting or not caring that he was naked.

“I'm fine!” Lux tried, but her eyes watered when she spoke because of how painful it was.

“Fuck.” He murmured, shaking his head as he laid out her clothes on the bed for her. “C'mon, in the shower you go. I'll go talk to the producers and see if we can get you to a specialist right away.”

“I want you to shower with me.” She whined in her raspy whisper of a voice, watching him wince at the sound of it. “Stop blaming yourself.”

“I'm supposed to take care of you!” He replied, leading her into the bathroom.

“You did.” Lux smiled lightly, turning to face him and pressing her hands to his bare shoulders. She eyed his face, noticing that he was breaking out – probably from all the stress, and leaned up to kiss his red lips gently. “Please, don't blame yourself. I can't stand it.”

“Will you please see a doctor?” He asked, “It will make me feel better.”

“Then yes. I'll do whatever you want me to do.” She whispered, leaning up and kissing him again. His lips responded this time, pulling her in closer for a long moment. When he pulled back, he reached over and started the shower for her, making it super hot so she can breathe the steam in to soothe her throat.

“Take a shower, get dressed, I'll go make you some hot tea and talk to Mike, okay? NO SINGING IN THE SHOWER.” He ordered, raising his voice slightly on the last sentence. She held back a laugh and nodded, watching him turn and walk out to find his clothes from last night on her floor.

When Lux finished her shower and walked out of her room in the clothes Harry picked out for her - which were way too stylish for a straight man to be choosing - she was met in the hallway by Harry, 3 producers, and a man she's never seen before all talking in hushed tones. They stopped when she walked out.

Lux waved instead of speaking, taking the mug of steaming tea from Harry's outstretched hand, shivering when she felt his fingertip brush against hers for a second. Their eyes locked and she could see that he was stressing out, his jaw and stance were tense and his eyes were clouded. She read him like a book and he knew it, changing his stance immediately, trying to cover up that he was stressing.

“Lux, this is Dr. Garcia. He's an ENT specialist, the best in the state. He's gonna take a look at your throat, is that okay?” Mike asked, watching her and Harry as they stared intensely at one another, seemingly reading each other's minds.

Harry raised his eyebrows, wanting her to see the doctor, and she rolled her eyes because she didn't think she needed to. But in the end, she'd do whatever he wanted, so she sighed and turned to Mike, nodding slowly.

“Okay Lux, let's go somewhere private, I'll do an examination on you and we'll see what the problem is with that gorgeous voice of yours.” Dr. Garcia smiled, his teeth white and gleaming and so obviously fake, along with his California tan and slicked back black hair.

“Oh, you watch the show?” Lux asked, watching him wince at the sound of her voice.

“My daughter is a big fan. I need to take a look at that throat right away.” He sounded more concerned and doctor-like than he was a second ago, and it made her stomach feel queasy. She hates doctors and any serious medical-related issues. It gives her the heebie jeebies, big time.

Dr. Garcia began to lead her off into a different room and she reached back her hand, grabbing Harry's shirt and yanking him along with her. He pried her hand off his shirt, felt how clammy it was, and seeing she was nervous, he let her grab back onto his shirt. He would normally take her hand, but everyone was still on thin ice with the producers about “off-screen relationships”, so he avoided it.

Lux sat down quietly and stared at Harry while the doctor did his exam in silence except for an occasional question or comment. Harry's eyes never left her, not once during the whole exam.

“There's a lot of swelling on your left tonsil, and it's restricting the movement of your soft-pallet and causing some swelling in the lymph nodes around your larynx. I recommend a tonsillectomy immediately, but that's something that will prevent you from singing, which will obviously result in you leaving the competition. I do have to warn you that post-surgery, your voice will feel and sound different due to the change in the size of the resonating chamber. There's always risks with any type of surgery, and this one could change the way you sing.” He sighed and paused, taking another look down her throat at her tonsils. Her eyes widened in fear as he spoke, looking drastically over at Harry who shared the same look of fear.

“Are there any other options that will allow Lux to stay in and try to finish the competition without ruining her vocal chords?” Harry questioned, standing up and moving next to her, touching her lower back softly. Just his simple touch set her at a slight ease.

“If you were to choose to not have the surgery until after the competition, there's always that risk of really hurting your voice and doing more damage than there already is. You could try taking antibiotics, and of course you would have to be on a strict 'No Speaking' rule and see if that helps before you perform, but I can't promise you anything. I recommend the surgery immediately, but judging by the look on your face I think you're going to ignore me and go with the antibiotics and silence.” Dr. Garcia smiled lightly, raising an eyebrow. Lux shrugged and nodded, smiling shyly. Of course she was going to ignore him. She has to sing, she can't live without it.

“I just want you to be aware that you are taking a risk here, and this risk could be the end of your singing career as you know it. I don't mean to scare you, I just want you to be aware of every possibility before you make your choice.”

Harry grabbed onto Lux's hand, watching her breath hitch when she heard that she may never sing again. He can't imagine how she must be feeling, knowing that if she chooses to stay in the competition, she could damage her voice. It's all in her hands. Nobody can make this choice for her.

But Harry knows that if Lux chooses to get the surgery and save her voice, thats the end for a lot of things. Its the end of the competition for him, for her... it means he goes back to England, she goes back to New York... it all will end. They will end, and they just started. Harry's not ready for it to end yet.

He looked to her and saw her already looking back at him, waiting to see what his opinion was. That was something he's gotten used to, Lux consulting with him before she made any type of decision regarding this competition or her singing career. But this look was different. This was her looking to him for his opinion on their relationship. She doesn't want it to end yet either, she wants him to tell her that it's okay to stay in the competition and damage her voice and be with him.

“I think you should have the surgery..” He heard himself whispering, his voice cracking slightly the way hers did every time she spoke now. Her eyes widened with tears, her hand tightening around his instantly as she shook her head. “Yes, Lux. I think you should have the surgery. This is your singing voice we're talking about here. It could get damaged beyond repair if you continue to sing without the surgery. I don't want you to hurt yourself more than you're already hurt.”

“Lux...” Dr. Garcia looked from Harry over to her, “It's ultimately your decision, and I wish I could tell you that you have time to think it over but you really don't. If you choose to do the surgery, we need to get you in to an operating room as soon as possible. If not, we have to start you on antibiotics immediately....”

Her heart began to beat faster as she searched Harry's eyes for some sign that she should stay and fight. He looked away from her and sighed heavily, staring down at his shoes with his arms crossed tightly over his chest. She knew that if she were to reach out and touch him, he would feel tense all over.

“Harry, tell me it's okay to stay.” Lux practically begged, her voice cracking worse than ever.

He shook his head slowly, refusing to look over at her as he moved quickly out of the room, ignoring her request for reassurance. He couldn't stand there and tell her what to do, he can't listen to her decision, he can't watch her sacrifice her vocal chords for him.

Before Harry was out of the room, he heard her say his name once more, right after the doctor asked her the one simple question that will change the course of their story forever.

“Lux, what is your decision?”

 

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