Chapter Fifteen - Brax’s POV
From the very first moment Charlie and I met I have always been fiercely protective of her. She was the essence of innocence in this fucked up world, and all I wanted to do was to shield her. The more I found out about her past, the greater that need grew. Seeing Calvin intimidate her again had me stretched like an elastic band, the friction ready to explode spectacularly. The outcome would be catastrophic.
Seeing this prick smirk at Charlie, knowing the obvious effect he had on her, I stepped up towards him as she started to stumble on her words. "Cal . . . Calvin, what do you want?" Before I could say a word the rest of the band started firing at him. As I took Charlie's wrist and pulled her towards me, I saw Mark square up to him.
"You've got some balls showing your face near us." The physical effects of the trauma had set in and when I felt her hand trembling in my own, I wrapped my arms around her. Calvin I didn't need to worry about, my boys had him covered, and she needed me more.
"I'm sorry, did I speak to any of you. . . what are you anyway?" The pompous nature of Calvin that Charlie had often displayed when describing him was seeping in every word he spoke. Not that any of us gave it a second thought, opinions like his meant nothing to us.
Mark made it clear if he spoke to her, he spoke to all of us before Liam added, especially if he wanted to try and intimidate her. "Are you trying to intimidate her Cal? I can call you Cal right?"
He looked at Shane and said he would prefer not before Chester added too bad. He needed to fuck off and stay the hell away from Charlie. "I don't know who you think you are, but I can assure you if you want to make a call to Richard, he will be all too happy to explain."
When I heard this asshole use her father against Charlie, I was ready to take control of the situation. Marcus beat me to it. "Fuck Richard, and fuck you! What kind of grown ass man thinks it is appropriate to groom a thirteen year old child? You're a sick fuck and if you don't walk away, I'll make sure to drag your name through mud and back, so everyone knows exactly the kind of man you are."
When Mace and Kendall spoke up, pure horror plastered to their faces, I suddenly remembered they weren't there when Charlie had explained it to us. Kendall turned to Calvin, a look of utter disdain on her face as she called him a sick bastard. "You need to get your women under control. Disgusting mouths on them, especially in public."
That did it for me as I stepped out from behind Charlie, pushing Mark aside as I squared up to Calvin. "What the fuck did you just say? You NEVER disrespect a woman like that!"
"It's understandable, being so common you would all think this is acceptable. I thought you had more decorum than this Charlotte." When I stood in his line of vision and reminded the asshole her name was Charlie he smirked back at me. "Exactly my point. No cla. . ."
Before Calvin could finish what he was saying, I fell back as I saw a fist come flying out of nowhere. With little time to process I shook my head furiously as I looked up, Calvin gripping his left eye as Marcus stood over him shaking his fist out. "Damn dad! What a fucking hit!" My head turned to Chester as he stood over Calvin inspecting the damage, the rest of the band looking on amused.
Shaking his head once, Calvin looked up at Marcus and told him he would regret his actions. Not perturbed, I watched as he shook his head and replied. "I don't think I will, you arrogant son of a bitch."
Not invoking the reaction in us, the one he was used to manipulating Charlie with, intimidation, he turned to her and said he would speak to Richard about this. I felt Charlie grip my wrist tighter as I reached out, wrapping my arm around her shoulder.
"Well when you do speak to him, can you pass her father a message for me." As soon as she said it, Mace stepped closer to Calvin and threw what was left of her coffee in his face. "Tell Daddy dearest we said to go fuck himself." Calvin spluttered the coffee out of his face, as he used his sleeve to wipe it off.
I felt Charlie tug on my arm and looked down at her. "Let's go, he's not worth my energy or yours." As she tried to turn I heard Calvin to tell her to think twice about what she was doing. Something snapped in Charlie in that moment, I felt the shift in her body language as she stood taller, firmer, a new resolve washed through her.
I wasn't sure what to expect next as she walked over to Calvin, and lowered her voice to a deathly rasp. "And I suggest you shut the fuck up and stop telling me what to do! You don't know me, and you never will. I will never be your trophy wife! You make me physically sick Calvin, you are nothing more than a disgusting example of white privilege."
Trying to maintain some dignity Calvin shook his head, not realising how close Charlie was to breaking point. "It's such a shame you chose this avenue. You've really become such a waste, no class and tactless. You had so much potential."
That elastic that held Charlie so tightly wound for most of her adult life, finally snapped. . . in spectacular fashion. Anyone who stood too close would have suffered first degree burns from the fireworks as she flew at him. "POTENTIAL! Potential for what Calvin? For you to continue to groom me as a child? For your parents and yourself to continually interrogate a child over every aspect of her life? To force me to disclose to you my sexual. . ."
Charlie's face was turning bright red, her mind catalogued everything she wanted to say, faster than her mouth could convey the frustrations. Desperate for air, a reprieve came when Calvin had the audacity to try and interrupt her. "Charlotte. . ."
"SHUT UP! I am speaking now! Leave me alone, leave my family and friends alone. If you ever try to contact me again I will make sure everyone knows exactly what you are and what you did!"
We all watched on, frozen, unable to look away as Calvin stared at her for a few moments longer than I liked, before realising he no longer held any power over Charlie. Using his hand to push himself up, we continued to scrutinise his every movement until he slowly turned to walk away. When I saw Mace's coffee cup go flying through the air and hit him on the back of the head, I wasn't the only one whose head flung at her. "Bye Cal, remember next time you want to go shopping for a trophy wife, stay the fuck out of Toys-R-Us."
Liam lost it and buckled over laughing when Mace said it, pulling her into a hug. "I fucking love you baby." Our shock was vocal when Liam said it, and Mace looked like a deer in headlights as her eyes searched his face frantically. "Yes babe, I love you."
"I love you too Liam." I could hear the group whispering behind me but my eyes hadn't left Calvin, not until I was sure he had completely left. Once he was out of sight I turned back to the group, especially Nick, Chris, Brett and April apologising for the shit show that just erupted.
April stopped me as she put a comforting hand on Charlie's arm. "There is no need to explain, we got the drift of it. I am just so sorry that happened to you Charlie. Also, nice throw Mace, if you hadn't moved so fast, I would have been the next one."
The others were just as apologetic and when Nick and Marcus both made their disgust of people like Calvin known, I saw Charlie's hands fly to her mouth. "Oh my god, Marcus! You hit him." We all chuckled as the realisation just struck Charlie, and the look in her eyes was priceless, a little worried, but mostly amused.
"It was just common sense." When Liam asked how so, was it because he's an asshole we all laughed. "Well yes, that too. But no, what I meant was if it was one of you that he had provoked to do it, how would that have ended? All over the media. That doesn't end well for anyone, and besides I am allowed to love and protect our evil midget just as much as you all do."
"Fuck yeah, Our dad's a bad ass!" Marcus shook his head at Chester's outburst before patting him on the back. By this stage we were all ready to get out of there and I took Charlie's hand as we made our way back to the car.
Opting to head back for a rest before we got on the road, we soon pulled up and headed outside for a joint first. I pulled Charlie into my lap and as we sat down, I wrapped my arms around her tightly, burying my face in her neck as I started kissing her sweet skin. I could feel her chuckling and trying to push me away, wondering what I was up to. "You know baby, I am so proud of you after today. You stood up for yourself and didn't let him get in your head. Plus, it turned me on a little too."
I heard her gasp and laughed as I kissed her again and pulled back. Charlie brushed my hair back as she stared into my eyes. "I got so angry Brax. I'm tired of the games. I don't want people like that in my life, ever. And you helped me realise I have just as much right as the next person to have my voice heard."
I tapped her nose as I smiled lovingly at her. "Cutie, this is what I've been telling you all along. I am glad you are finally realising you are stronger than you thought. You deserve more than you give yourself credit for." When Charlie said she loved us all, but mostly me I chuckled at her. "I love you baby. And I hope you know how proud I am to call you my partner."
I pulled Charlie into me, desperate to show her how much she meant. It wasn't one of those close-mouthed kisses like you do when you're in eighth grade and you've never held hands before with a girl. It was a full on, open-mouthed, almost sexual kiss. And I loved it. I loved the way her small body melted into mine. The way our lips fit like two puzzle pieces. The way she relented as I played with her hair and held her tighter to me. As we slowly pulled back, we saw Chester with his head, so close he may as well have been in the kiss. "Agh fuck Chester! Would you piss off!"
Of course the prick just laughed in her face before he grabbed a seat and chucked us all a blunt. After a while we headed into our room to have a lay down before we had to get on the road. I wasn't sure how long we had been asleep when I was woken to the doorbell and Charlie mumbling at me to turn the alarm off. "It's not the alarm, it's the door cutie."
I tried to cuddle back into her but it went again, and I threw the blanket off me as I started to get up. "Are we expecting anyone Brax?"
"Not that I know of cutie, I'll get it. Stay here." I leaned back giving her a kiss before I headed out to get the front door.
As I opened the door, I was greeted by two Canadian Police Officers, who spoke before I could. "Good Afternoon Sir, would Marcus Bradley be here?"