Charlotte wasted no time, hurriedly wrestling her way to the front of the dancing mob. “When you decide to quit being such a pussy, I’m waiting for you to punch me,” Harry antagonized. Jackson furiously strained to control his breathing.
He refused to give Harry the satisfaction of exploding, especially when he had such a spectacular night planned for Charlotte. “What’s wrong?” Harry continued. “Worried you’ll be humiliated in front of your girlfriend? She’s smoking by the way…I’d get with that easy.”
The moment Jackson took a large step towards Harry, Charlotte emerged in front of him. “Stop it, Jack! It’s not worth it!” She wailed desperately, both her hands on his shoulders, holding him back. It was almost comical to Harry. Such a small girl holding the monster back with just her hands, except for the fact his life was essentially at stake.
“I suggest you move, dollface, or you could get hurt,” Jackson cautioned inhaling her familiar sweet vanilla perfume. The perfume that once pacified him couldn’t bottle the anger he felt inside.
The pumping base music began to fade out, replaced by a sweet ballad. “Jack baby, you know I love this song,” she squaled, feigning excitement. “Dance with me?”
Jackson looked around them, suddenly noticing a mob of people formed around them, eagerly waiting for them to fight. Some held their cellphones in the air ready to record. With looking away from Harry, he took a breath to speak. “If that’s what you want sweetheart.”
Jackson took her by the arm toting her out to the dance floor. Louis could’ve sworn he’d seen Charlotte flinch at his touch, but he resolved not to comment.
For a moment – a few seconds in time – Liam’s eyes met Charlotte’s. The strangers were entranced, their gaze saying everything neither one had the courage or time to say. As she kept walking, Liam looked down at his feet, struggling with what he should do. Charlotte blinked, feeling herself being tugged away physically, but emotionally unaffected.
She was certain Jackson had seen her bashful exchange with Liam, but he appeared completely oblivious to all around him. He was utterly and completely focused on Harry.
Instead of stopping at the dance floor, Jackson continued pulling Charlotte through the crowds of people in the club. When they reached the terrace, he released her forcefully. Charlotte stumbled and fell on her back with a loud thump.
She sat up, her arms and hands newly scraped and looked up at him in confusion. A couple sucking face in the corner noticed the aggressive exchange and hurried off the terrace. Jackson closed the door behind them.
“How dare you!” He screamed, pointing his finger accusingly at her. “How dare you think you can control me! How dare you make me look like a fool out there! How dare you embarrass me in front of all those people!”
He paced on the balcony. Charlotte stood shakily, shocked by his reaction. “I-I didn’t realize…“
Jackson cut her off. “You didn’t realize what! That you were humiliating me? Any human being with a brain would see that! God Charlotte! You’re so stupid sometimes!”
Jackson sat in a nearby metal chair. He leaned back his fists as his side. She slowly approached him. She stood between his knees. He snarled, his eyes looking off into the city. He couldn’t bear to look at her. “I’m sorry, Jack. I just thought you were making a mistake.” Charlotte spoke slowly and cautiously, careful not to awake the monster.
“Since when have I ever asked for your opinion?” He rose quickly, knocking Charlotte to the side. He continued pacing towards the opposite wall.
“This isn’t you Jackson,” Charlotte declared unwavering. “I thought you said it was over. That you were done with all the drugs.”
He turned abruptly. “You have no fucking right.” He angrily headed towards the door. She inserted herself between him and the door. He grabbed the handle. “Move.
“I’m your girlfriend, Jackson! I have more right than almost anyone else on the planet!” She yelled back at him. Her nose touching his.
The next few seconds for Charlotte were a blur. There was a loud thump noise and slowly, but surely, Charlotte felt a numbing sensation spread on her cheek. She grabbed her face and collapsed to the ground, barely managing to catch herself on impact.