What I Didn't Say

Charlotte Belle Tate seemed to have it all. Money, beauty, grace and talent. Not to mention that her hunky high school sweetheart would be popping the magic question sometime soon. Sure her life seems as if it is one to be desired, but what happens when the foundations begins to crumble right below her. Who will be there to pick up the pieces?

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10. Chapter 10

Chapter 10

Emily's outfit: http://www.polyvore.com/chapter_emily_at_brunch/set?id=136943221

 

“Emily.” Jackson’s greeting was harsh and laced with disdain. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Not causing trouble,” she retorted while waltzing past him. Her booties lightly tapping on the mahogany floor as she went. “Hopefully.” Jackson followed her in silence.

 

For as long as he could remember, he and Emily had animosity towards each other. There was no complicated story or dramatic incident that explained the contempt between them…it was simply an undisputed truth.

 

Jackson paid no mind to the exchange of ‘hellos’ that rang out between Charlotte and Emily. He stalked off to the parlor and opened the glass liquor cabinet. He chose a bottle of Scotch, poured himself a glass, and reached into his pocket. Without hesitating or feeling remorse, Jackson retrieved a small plastic baggie with some white powder in it. He poured a medium sized amount onto the table.

 

After guzzling down the remainder of the Scotch, Jackson took a 50-dollar bill, rolled it up, and snorted the power in one fluid motion. He swept the residue onto the carpet, which was coincidentally, a pure white color as well. He adjusted his suit jacket, wiped his nose with a tissue, and returned to the dining room.

 

“So is this band of theirs any good?” Emily questioned jokingly. As she spoke, she blocked her mouth with her hand, as if to suggest Eleanor should speak candidly.

 

“We like to think so.” Harry laughed along with the others as the room fell into a comfortable silence. Jackson entered, reassuming his place at the head of the table.

 

From his seat beside Charlotte, Zayn spoke up. “Charlotte said you’re an art major?”

 

“That I am,” Emily affirmed. “I’m planning to get a degree in Fine Arts at Cooper Union.”

 

“We’re both juniors,” Charlotte chimed in. Jackson fidgeted in his chair, groaning slightly.

 

“Where is Cooper Union?” Liam inquired, practically reading Niall’s mind. For Niall had grown oddly curious about the freckled strawberry blonde with big blue eyes.

 

There was something enigmatic about her. Puzzling even. Almost like she was some sort of treasure he was dying to discover and had until then, not known where to look. Charlotte had mentioned Emily was her freshmen roommate at Columbia and remains one of her best friends, but that did little to settle his interest.

 

“It’s a little far from here in Cooper Square.” Emily spoke fluidly and confidently. Niall noticed her voice raspier and deep than that of most other girls...not that it mattered. She wore a rich purple dress with sheer black sleeves. Like most female New Yorkers in winter, she wore stockings to cover her legs. Only Emily’s stockings were intentionally ripped up the sides exposing slivers of pale skin.

 

She had masked her eyes with black eyeliner and mascara in an attempt to appear older, but it hardly worked. Liam could see past all of it. To him, she looked younger than she was, sixteen maybe, but she radiated this fierce energy or rather a fire to make up for it. Liam admired that about her. “Cooper Union is known for our programs in the Arts, Architecture, the Humanities, and Engineering.”

 

“Cooper Union’s a joke.” The agitated, rumbling voice boomed.

 

“Jackson, “ Charlotte scolded, barely loud enough to be heard. Zayn sat beside Charlotte, momentarily distracted by the sadness in her disposition and the quiet resistance she embodied. It was then that he noticed she was too willowy, as if if she worked too hard and ate too poorly or too little.

 

“And your frat at Columbia isn’t?” Emily scoffed. Her cheeks beginning to flush bright red as she engaged with Jackson. Louis guessed she did this often.

 

Emily sat a little taller, adding a few more inches to her almost 5’8 frame. Compared to Jackson, she was an ant that he could easily squash, but not without a fight. Despite her limited assets in the upper region, Harry observed that she was curvy in all the right places.

 

The waitresses walked out tentatively, carrying trays of French toast, pancakes, muffins, yogurt, and every other breakfast food they could manage to hold. Jackson ignored them.

 

“It’s a fraternity. Not a frat,” Jackson corrected, taking his fork and stabbing it into a stack of banana pancakes.

 

“You say that like it’ll make a difference.” Emily held strong. Eleanor couldn’t help but to see the opposition Emily offered their best friend’s life. But she decided that maybe it was a good thing. Charlotte needed a little oil to fuel her fire, and Emily seemed just the person for it.

 

“What do they even teach at Cooper Union?” Jackson’s jaw hardened, and Charlotte began to tremble slightly.

 

“How not to be a dick.” Emily sat back in her seat calmly, hardly fazed by his rage. “You should try it sometime.” Eleanor gulped, and Louis gently took her hand in his, feeling suddenly thankful for each other.

 

Jackson Langley was a ticking time bomb that restarted at the top of each hour. One minute he was thoughtful, loving, kind, even stricken with remorse at his previous misdoings. But the next was controlling, antagonistic, and most of all, dangerous.

 

Harry grew worried and looked to Liam for guidance. But Liam didn’t see him. In fact, he had hardly noticed anyone apart from Charlotte since their arrival. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. It was a wonder she didn’t notice it…or maybe she did and just didn’t want to address it. The latter was more likely.

 

“You still smoke right, Em?” Jackson stood now, irked beyond belief. As he spoke, spit spewed from his mouth and the veins in his neck and forehead emerged. “When should we expect the invitations to your funeral?”

 

“Jackson that’s enough!” Charlotte shouted out in disbelief, still however unable to meet his eyes.

 

“I’ll tell you when that’s enough, bitch!” Jackson screeched back, pointing his finger at her as if she was a child accused of causing trouble. Charlotte recoiled.

 

His face softened but only marginally. He sat again, took the silver fork in his hand, and began to eat as if he didn’t care that each and every person around him regarded him with disgust.   

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