outfit for this chapter: http://www.polyvore.com/chapter_new_years_outfit/set?id=136187192
(my polyvore account is called whatididntsay)
“Look who decided to join us!” the familiar leggy brunette greeted, tottering over quickly to envelop her best friend into an overdue hug. "Late as usual," Eleanor Calder tutted and rolled her chocolate brown eyes.
"But with a valid excuse," Charlotte Tate defended, her eyes intently roaming the crowded nightclub in pursuit of a specific face...but to no avail.
Charlotte listened indifferently while the hollow words spewed from Eleanor’s mouth rapidly and with excitement. Without dropping eye contact, she rummaged through her Maison Martin Margiela clutch for her Blackberry. When she found it she scrolled to her recent messages in hopes that her boyfriend, Jackson, had an explanation to ease her worries. Yet still to her disappointment, she had only received a single indecipherable message from Eleanor an hour ago urging her to hurry.
Her eyebrows knitted together in confusion as she considered her boyfriend’s possible whereabouts and reasons why he’d blow her off on New Year’s Eve nonetheless. But in regards to her own behavior, nothing stood out, so she resolved to trail behind Eleanor who waltzed to the nearest counter and sat herself on an empty white leather stool.
Eleanor tapped an adjacent seat for Charlotte who, after sitting beside her, spun around to face the sea of swaying glittered bodies in the Boom Boom Room of New York City. She leaned back against the bar counter tapping her fingers on the edge of the dark mahogany.
"So what happened today? Did your limo break down?" Eleanor threw her head back and giggled, the flashing neon lights illuminating her sun-kissed skin and award-winning smile. "Or wait, was Daddy Tate’s private jet out of fuel again?"
"Sometimes, I don’t know whether I should laugh with you or feel insulted," Charlotte joked along. She slapped her best friend lightheartedly on the arm, but the action seemed strained or distracted almost – as Charlotte often was – to all onlookers.
“Well nobody’s perfect,” Eleanor retorted. “I even forget…sometimes that you can’t be bothered to interpret my humor, but can zip through a logarithmic functions worksheet in no time at all.” Eleanor smiled, satisfied with her sarcastic joke. But the smile soon began to fade, swept away by a wave of concern at the silence that followed between them.
She followed Charlotte’s eyes to the VIP entrance of the nightclub, and watched as the fogged glass doors swung half open. Charlotte sat on the edge of the stool before sighing in discontent when a couple of stoned twenty-somethings giggled on their way in. She rotated back to the bar and ordered herself a Shirley Temple. She flashed her credit card and instructed the bartender to open a tab.
“He wasn’t there, was he back at your apartment…that’s why you’re so late?” Eleanor speculated aloud, disrupting the excruciating silence between them.
“Jackson actually hasn’t been home in a few days,” Charlotte confirmed, sneaking another hopeful look at her notifications and groaning. “But he’ll be here,” she added too quickly, repeating the words to herself until she almost believed them.
“I don’t doubt it,” Eleanor lied, shooting Charlotte a sympathetic smile. Eleanor sipped at her apple martini and peeked at Louis, standing beside Harry and Liam. Zayn walked up to them, doling out some beers, before joining them on the wall.
Charlotte glanced around the VIP section, taking in the multitude of short sequined dresses and mile high stilettos. She fiddled with her gold Mizuki necklace. “I just don’t know what is it, El. I suppose he’s just been…different lately.” She exhaled through her nose, the weight of her paranoia lifting from her shoulders.
“What makes you think that?” Eleanor questioned sincerely, stirring her apple martini with a thin red straw. Charlotte bit her lip, crossing and uncrossing her legs while she thought. In truth, Jackson had done nothing specifically that suggested he was up to no good.
He made her coffee every morning, cooked her dinner when he could, texted her hourly, walked her to her ballet rehearsals, and met her for lunch every day. But Charlotte’s intuition told her that Jackson was up to some kind of dodgy business, though she had no idea what explicitly.