Across the room, Liam admired the unidentified brunette. She clung to Eleanor as they pushed their way through the bobbing crowd to the edge of the VIP dance floor. “She’s really lighting up the entire room,” he mused, his eyes glued to Charlotte. They stopped momentarily, the stunning girl beaming up at El. She erupted in laughter, her bony shoulders jumping up and down.
Zayn too couldn’t help gawking at her long legs, her striking olive complexion, and her piercing brown eyes. All of which, intrigued him in such a surprising way, that he was grateful the congested club was dimly lit and easily concealed his…interest. Because there was just something about her just drew him to her in the purest way. Like gravity or a magnet. Something the distance couldn’t even deter.
“In all honesty mate, I was not expecting that from you. But it’s great you’re getting back in the game!” Harry slapped Liam on his back and turned to the sea of women grinding and swaying with the music. “So, which one of these ladies is to be the luckiest in the world?”
Liam began speaking eagerly and anxiously. Louis and Harry chuckled quietly at his keenness, but remained careful not to spook him. “She’s the brunette talking to Eleanor in black dress the and—“
“She’s fit. Seriously fit mate,” Harry observed, cutting Liam off. He zealously took in every inch of Charlotte’s body. Liam tensed, feeling an odd, but immediate protectiveness over her. As Charlotte turned, her bum rotated to face the three boys. Harry raised an eyebrow at their new angle, his small display of attraction igniting a storm of jealousy inside Liam.
Liam growled and cursed to himself, instantly regretting that mentioning her as he watched Harry admire Charlotte. Though Harry was nothing like the ‘womanizer’ the press had dubbed him, he did have a way with the ladies. Plural. And he was going to eat Charlotte up – in all senses of the word – before Liam even had a sliver of a chance.
“She’s real pretty,” Zayn confirmed, sliding beside Harry. Zayn leaned against the bar, fiddling with his brand new black leather jacket. The three boys (excluding Louis who ignored Charlotte and remained sitting to drink) rested against the wall, savoring the different angles they got of Eleanor’s best friend.
“Well we all agree, so why are we hesitating?” Harry interjected. “Somebody needs to grow a pear? Because if you don’t I will,” he threatened, hoping the threat would drive Liam from his dormant state.
“I’d b-better go c-check up on Nialler,” Zayn stammered, excusing himself. He drifted away to the beat of the music, still unable to take his eyes from Charlotte.
“What a nancy boy,” Harry snickered, signaling the bartender for another shot.
“He’s a taken man,” Liam defended, looking to Harry incredulously.
“That’s never stopped anybody,” Harry joked, and Liam sighed in disapproval. “Want one?” Liam shook his head no, still admiring Charlotte from afar. “It’d help with those jitters.” Harry held a shot of Vodka to Liam again, and when Liam didn’t acknowledge him, he groaned.
“C’mon mate! It feels like I’m having a conversation with myself!” Harry complained, gently punching Liam in the arm. Liam rubbed the area for a moment. “If she’s really got you whipped, you’ve got to do something Liam.” Harry pushed Liam forward. He barely budged.
Unable to handle Liam’s dampening mood, Louis guzzled the last of his beer and grabbed Liam’s shoulders to march him to Eleanor and Charlotte. Harry trailed behind them.
Once they were further from the bar, Louis babbled in Liam’s ear. “Her name’s Charlotte. She’s pre-law in university.” Paul cleared the way for them, ordering drunk people out of their way. “She’s clever too…and a dancer. Just your type.”
Jackson rotated to his left where the four boys formerly stood. He’d previously snorted at their futile endeavors to pick up girls, but his lips curled and his blood boiled the moment he realized their current target. He eyed his girlfriend, innocently engrossed in a conversation with Eleanor just outside the edge of the dance floor.
He hastily leaped from his perch at the bar and weaved through the throngs of befuddled people furiously. He reached Charlotte in the center of the club before her suitors did. He possessively draped an arm around her…as if to mark his territory.
Charlotte smelled the rubbery odor long before Jackson was at her side. “Hey sweetheart,” Jackson murmured in Charlotte’s ear, his words slurring together. He leaned on her slightly, using her smaller frame to his advantage.
Louis’s smile faltered the moment he saw Jackson latched onto Charlotte. The three boys stopped for a moment, unsure of what to do. Louis sighed softly, patting Liam’s shoulder as if to apologize. Liam only shrugged.
Louis drifted over to Eleanor, planting a light kiss on her temple. His arm found it’s way around her waist just as Charlotte glanced up at the invitingly sociable young adult.
She looked up at Jackson, who only smirked drunkenly down at her. She balanced on her heels, deciding that Jackson would not be her problem…or least tonight he wasn’t. “So this is the man of the hour?” Charlotte faced Louis, who seemed to draw a crowd of adoring girls to circle them. A taller man wearing all black, a bodyguard, politely, but firmly asked them to make some space to which they dizzily obliged.