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(Take You Back Where You Belong) This Could be Our Favorite Song

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"Can I get you something to drink, sir?”

Louis’ head lifts up from where his nose is buried in his book, eyes flicking up from the words on the page to the kind eyes of a blonde flight attendant, hands hovering over the push bar on the small cart of various drinks in front of her.

Louis just shakes his head, politely declining the offer. The flight attendant offers him a smile before she moves on, posing the same question to the next passenger.

Louis sighs, dog-earring his page and closing the book, setting it down on the tray table. He’s only two hours in to a fifteen hour flight and he’s restless already, aching to open his laptop and check reports, update the company's tax database, anything.

Except, when his best mate Zayn had waltzed into his home unannounced and shoved a voucher of plane tickets and a pamphlet for a dream vacation in Aruba, he’d taken Louis’ laptop and his Blackberry and told Louis that, under no circumstances, was he allowed to have them back until he came home after two weeks in tropical paradise, hopefully with a new tan and mellow demeanor.

“You’re way too fucking absorbed in your work, Louis,” Zayn had said when Louis asked why the hell he was being shipped off to Aruba for two weeks, squabbling to get his beloved laptop back.

“I am not,” Louis protested, crossing his arms defiantly over his chest.

“Oh yeah?” Zayn raised his eyebrows. “Then please, Lou, tell me when was the last time you came out with me and the lads?”

Louis opens his mouth to speak but pops it shut when he falls short because, honestly, he can’t remember. It had to have been months, six at least. “I actually don’t even know.” He admits.

“Exactly,” Zayn sighed. “We never get to see you anymore, mate. We -” Zayn paused, assessing. “We know that - that the divorce has been hard on you, but you can’t shut us out, Lou. We miss you and we’ve all agreed that you just need to get away from this for a while.”

It’d been hard to argue Zayn’s logic, seeing as he was absolutely right. Louis knew he was being a right arse, acting the way he was, and he’d felt pretty shit about it now that Zayn had brought it up to his face. “How am I going to get two weeks off work?” Louis asked, still trying weakly to find a loophole.

Zayn grinned wickedly, knowing Louis was caught. “Already taken care of. Told the boss you had a funeral to go to in the states. Some great aunt or something.” Zayn picked the voucher up from where Louis had tossed it haphazardly onto the sofa, sliding it back into Louis’ hands. “You leave tomorrow.”

And that was how Louis found himself here, sitting first class on a fifteen hour flight from London to Aruba, with no idea what was in store for him other than two weeks on a tropical island, living in some hotel resort called the Riu that was supposedly one of the best on the island.

Louis sighs, head lolling back on the headrest, eyes feeling a bit heavy and he hopes he can manage to sleep for the rest of the flight. His arse is already cramping and his legs are getting the jitters, foot tapping impatiently and he knows if he doesn’t sleep, he’s going to drive himself stir-crazy, more so than he already has.

His hand drops down to the side of the seat, searching blindly for the lever that will drop his seat back. He finds it and grips it, yanking upward without a second thought, squawking indignantly when the whole backrest flops down completely horizontal. Louis panics for a moment, thinking he’s encroached horribly on another passenger’s personal space, but he’s soothed when he realizes he’s got plenty of room to himself - there’s a curtain separating the seats, even. He wonders again how the hell Zayn even payed for this.

Once he’s satisfied that he’s not up anybody’s ass, Louis grabs the blanket from his little seat-cubbie and throws it over himself, glad that he decided on sweatpants for the flight instead of jeans. He wiggles around a bit on the seat-turned-bed until he gets comfortable enough, letting his eyes fall close and his breaths even out, hoping that by the time he wakes up, he’ll be landing in Aruba.

x

A slight jostling against Louis’ shoulder is what wakes him up, mumbling groggily and pushing at the hand on him. He cracks open an eye and flushes when he sees a flight attendant smiling politely down at him, nodding when she tells him that they’ll be landing arriving at their destination in about fifteen minutes, and to bring his seat and tray table back to the upright position.

She leaves him with another smile, heading down the aisle to gently wake another passenger. Louis scrabbles for the lever to bring his seat back upright, giving a yelp when the seat shoots up faster than he’d expected it to. “Fuck these seats,” Louis grumbles to himself, throwing his blanket off of his lap and fixing his tray table so it’s stuck back up.

The plane drops and Louis’ ears pop. He plugs them with his fingers, hoping to ease the crackling. He closes his eyes, cracking one open when he feels a tap on his shoulder, a pretty woman with curly red hair smiling back at him, offering him the stick of gum in her hand. “Helps with the pressure change,” she says. Louis takes the gum out of her hands, unwrapping it quickly and shoving it into his mouth with zero grace at all. “Thank you,” he says as he chews, already feeling relief in his stinging ears. He holds out his hand to the woman and she takes it, pale fingers delicate against his own. “Louis,” he grins, giving her hand a shake.

“Grace,” she smiles back at him and he finds it endearing how her front teeth are a bit crooked. “Lovely to meet you.”

“I fully return the sentiment,” Louis grins back at her, patting her hand with his other before he drops it, sliding back into his seat as she does hers.

The plane dips and banks a few more times before the captain’s voice comes over the loudspeaker, telling the passengers that they will be landing at Queen Beatrix International Airport in approximately one minute, so any loose belongings must be secured and that the flight attendants would be coming down the aisles to offer any assistance, if need be.

Seeing as his only bag was securely checked in the belly of the plane, Louis simply tightened his seatbelt, relaxing against the plush first class seat as the plane dipped again.

As the captain had said, after what had been only a minute or two, the plane is jerked as the wheels touch down on the tarmac. Louis looks out the window for the first time since he’d woken up, gasping slightly as he takes in the sight of the clear, tropical blue sky, the palm trees arching up in greeting as they sway in the slight breeze. He can see the clear blue of the Caribbean Sea from the window of the plane, and to his surprise, he actually feels excited to get off the plane and out of the airport so he can get to his hotel and explore, feel the tropical breeze and the lick of the Sea on his skin.

When the plane is finally docked and the passengers given the okay to get off Louis is shooting up and out of his seat, ignoring the grumbles from the other first class passengers. He feels young, like he’s sixteen again, wild and stupid and completely uncaring, and it feels good.

The airport is bustling, filled with tourists and families looking for a vacation, businessmen with their much too young girlfriends on their arms, expensive Dolce and Gabbana suitcases dragging on wheels behind their sleek frames. Louis cringes at the concept of it all, of girls who can’t be any older than twenty-five sleeping with men who had to be nearly in their fifties just for the perks of the wealth that they come along with.

Louis takes his leisurely time getting to baggage claim, loving the way that even the airport has a tropical feel, painted with sea blues and greens, hot reds and oranges and yellows. The whole front of the building is giant glass windows, glinting with the glare of the water and the sand and it’s lovely, all of it.

He collects his bag with no trouble, yanking it from the conveyor right when it rolls up to him and he pauses, not quite sure where to go next. He figures catching a shuttle to the hotel would be best, turning on his heel and making his way down to the pickup entrance.

It’s a quick journey, the entrance having only been an escalator ride down from baggage claim. Convenience, Louis thinks.

Louis throws his bag over his shoulder, pursing his lips as he exits the airport. He’s immediately hit with a wave of hot, stuffy air, and he thinks for a moment that Aruba really is perfect and beautiful, and, as much as he was against leaving in the first place, he owes Zayn big time.

In front of him, idling at the curb, has to be dozens of shuttles, all with a different destination listed on the front of it. Not one he sees says “Riu” on it, and he feels a bit miffed that Zayn didn’t have the sense to plan him a ride to the hotel from the airport.

He’s about to turn around and go back into the airport to find somebody who can help him when he feels a tap on his shoulder and whirls around to find the redheaded woman from the plane, Grace, grinning up at him. He didn’t notice how small she was while she was sitting, and now that she’s actually standing on her own two feet, she can’t be any taller than five-foot-three. She’s tiny, really.

“Well if it isn’t Louis from first class,” Grace says.

“If it isn’t Grace with the gum,” Louis shoots back, offering her a smile. “You wouldn’t happen to know how these shuttle buses work, would you?”

Grace laughs airily, breathlessly. “Depends on where you’re going.”

“I’m headed to the Riu,” Louis tells her, watching as her thin eyebrows shoot up nearly to her hairline.

“The Riu, huh?” She sounds a bit shocked by Louis’ telling. “You’ve gone all out for this trip, haven’t you?”

“Guess so,” Louis says, grinning wryly to himself. “Needed a good vacation. Good, expensive vacation.”

“You’ve got the expensive part down, that’s for sure,” Grace laughs. “And if you’re going to the Riu, you don’t need a shuttle. A taxi should do just fine. S’only two blocks away and trust me when I say every taxi driver will know how to get you there.”

Louis grins, pulling Grace in for a quick, unexpected hug. She giggles as he bundles her into his arms. “Are you always this loved up with strangers?” She jibes.

“Only ones that are as helpful as you, love,” Louis shoots back. “Would it be cheeky of me to ask you where you’re staying? See if you’d like to meet up for coffee one day?”

Grace chuckles, shaking her pretty red head. “I’d love to, but I don’t think my husband would quite approve.”

Louis pouts dramatically. “Well damn, thought I’d made a friend.”

Grace rolls her eyes, placing a small hand on Louis’ shoulder. “We’ll probably run into each other again, no doubt. We seem to have that sort of luck.”

Louis shrugs. “Perhaps,” he says. “Maybe I’ll even get to meet your husband.”

Grace flushes, the color matching her hair. “Maybe,” she gives a soft sigh. “I ought to be going now, though,” she lifts her small hand in a wave. “Hopefully I’ll be seeing you, Louis from first class.”

And with that, she hails a taxi and she’s on her way, leaving Louis to hail his own and be on his way as well.

x

When Louis’ taxi pulls up to the Riu, saying Louis is shocked would be one hell of an understatement. The Riu is absolutely huge, looking almost like a snow-white castle with towers and pillars and three different buildings to boot, all placed right smack on a glorious, nearly white-sand beach, with crystalline water lapping against the shoreline, and Louis can still hear the waves when he makes it up to his room.

The suite is just as fantastic as the hotel itself, bathed in taupes and reds and easy browns, with a huge sliding glass door that opens to a balcony overlooking the Caribbean, and Louis spends nearly all of his first day in the hotel sitting on the plush outdoor furniture with his book in his lap, enjoying the squall of the seagulls and watching the fish leap daringly out from under the waves. He thinks he sees a dolphin of two playfully break the surface, but he’s never actually seen a real dolphin before, so he can’t quite be sure.

Night rolls in quickly and Louis’ view from his balcony is just as gorgeous under the stars, but he’s getting a bit restless. He figures he should get up, change out of the clothes he wore on the plane and into something appropriate to wear to the small beachside restaurant he saw when he was being checked in at the main desk by some cheeky bloke with green eyes and dimples and curly hair who he could’ve sworn was hitting on him the whole time; who'd asked Louis his name and didn’t even give his own when Louis had so graciously answered.

Louis gets up off the chair he’s been sitting in for hours with a grunt, closing his book after he folds down the page, wandering back inside.

It takes Louis only a second to decide on what he’s going to wear to dinner, pulling a white v-neck shirt and turquoise shorts from his bag and slipping them quickly on. He hadn’t noticed how hungry he actually was when he was sitting on the balcony, and now that he’s up and moving his stomach is screaming at him to put something inside it, other than that rank food he’d been given on the plane. First class or not, plane food was still shit.

Louis fishes his wallet out from his bag and tucks it into his back pocket, giving himself a once-over in the full length mirror that hangs across from the king-sized bed, deciding he looks good enough for just going out to dinner alone. He runs a hand through his hair, mussing it up the way he likes before he grabs his key card from the coffee table and out of the suite, making his way down to the lobby and down to the beach to eat.

x

When Louis walks into the restaurant he’s greeted by a lovely hostess in a sundress, with curly hair and a curvy body who introduces herself as Danielle. She hands him a menu and tells him that everything on there is included with the booking of a suite, so he’ll have his pick of the whole menu without having to worry about the price. Louis gapes at her, waging a war of panic inside of himself because seriously, how the fuck did Zayn pay for this?

“A waiter will be around to take your order in a moment,” Danielle tells him before politely excusing herself to greet the next round of customers.

Louis scans the menu, rubbing his forehead in indecision because really, everything on the fucking menu sounds like it’d be delicious, and he’s really having a hard time picking one thing that he wants. He figures he could order more than one thing and completely gorge himself, but he decides against it, as he is on a vacation on a tropical island and he wants his arse to still be able to fit into his swim trunks when he finally decides to have a swim.

“Personally, I’d recommend the shrimp stir-fry,” Louis starts as the voice speaks from behind him, whirling around and, to his surprise, seeing the same cheeky bloke who’d checked him in at the front desk of the hotel standing before him in a waiter’s uniform, dimpling as he grins. His voice has a low, slow drawl to it, having surprised Louis when the drawl had come along with a very English accent, much like his own.

“You’re a hotel concierge and a waiter?” Louis asks, eyeing the nametag clipped to the waiter’s uniform. Harry.

“I’m a jack of all trades,” Harry says, still dimpling. He’s quite handsome, Louis must admit. Louis really hadn’t been interested in a bloke since year nine, but the way Harry flicks his curly hair out of his face and just grins at him has something Louis hasn’t felt in months twisting in his stomach.

The thing is, though he’s devastatingly handsome, the kid looks like he can’t be any older than twenty. He’s still got a few bits of acne dotting up on his forehead and down by his chin, still looks lanky and uncoordinated like he hasn’t quite yet grown into his own body. “I bet you are,” Louis says, pulling his eyes from Harry’s damn dimple and back down to his menu, where they coincidentally land right on the shrimp stir-fry.

“Have you decided what you want, then?” Harry asks, and if Louis’ not mistaken, he sounds a bit miffed.

“I think I’ll try that stir-fry,” Louis says, listening to the scribble of Harry’s pen as he writes the order down.

“Anything to drink?” Harry asked and his tone sounds lighter.

“Have you got wine?” Louis asks, meeting Harry’s eyes again.

“We’re a hotel resort, what do you think?” Harry jibes. Cheeky.

“Are you always this rude to customers?” Louis asks, and Harry rolls his eyes. Very cheeky.

“Only the cute ones,” Harry says and Louis sputters a bit on nothing, his cheeks heating with a flush. Harry grins hugely. “I’ll bring you a glass of chardonnay, sound good?”

“Yes good thank you,” Louis says in a rush, tucking his face back into the menu. He hears Harry give a chuckle as he walks away, his face still burning.

Louis lifts his head out of the menu once he’s sure Harry’s left, mentally kicking himself for letting a damn child get the better of him. He’s thirty-five years old, dammit, he shouldn’t be letting some smart ass twenty-something get him blushing and stuttering like he’s sixteen again. Louis huffs, folding the menu up and letting it fall down onto the table with a small smacking sound.

Louis leans his elbow on the table, propping his chin up on his open palm, letting his eyes wander around the restaurant - which, in all reality, isn’t anything but a bunch of cabanas flocked together on a platform in the sand. There’s a pathway that leads into one of the Riu’s three buildings, and Louis assumes that’s where the kitchen and everything else is - and his eyes settle on a small stage set up under an otherwise empty cabana, set in the middle of all the others. There’s some sound equipment set up, a few stools, and a guitar or two. The stage looks like it’s set up for somebody to play, and Louis briefly wonders if there’ll be a show tonight.

Briefly because, right as he goes to ponder it, that stupid, curly-headed waiter is back, setting Louis’ glass of chardonnay down onto the table. “Your wine, sir,” Harry says and Louis turns to question why the hell he’s suddenly sir, but he quickly rethinks it when he sees the wicked smirk Harry is wearing.

“Thank you,” Louis quips, snatching up the glass and taking a generous sip. Harry gives a little snort.

“You know I’m just messing about, right?” Harry questions and Louis looks up from his glass to the kid’s face.

“You’re very crass,” Louis says, not giving nor taking.

Harry shrugs. “S’just me,” he says. “Anyway, your stir-fry will be out in few minutes.”

“Thanks,” Louis murmurs, sipping his wine again.

“You’re really not going for my game, are you?” Harry asks, sliding smoothly into the seat across from Louis at the table.

“What game?” Louis questions.

“My pulling game,” Harry states like it’s the most obvious thing in the world, and Louis has to smile because Harry is so fucking English in what has to be the most un-English place in the world.

“You’re trying to flirt with me?” Louis asks, quirking an eyebrow. “Think I’m a bit too old for you, kid.”

“Kid?” Harry snorts. “What do you think I am, twelve?”

“I think you should be off making sure my stir-fry doesn’t get ruined instead of sitting here, slacking off of work and hitting on the patrons,” Louis jibes.

“I’m subbing for somebody, I’m allowed to slack,” Harry shoots back. “But really, how old do you think I am?”

“Like I’ve already implied - much too young,” Louis says.

“I’m legal, if that’s what’s bugging you.” Harry says and Louis rolls his eyes.

“Still. Doesn’t mean I’m going to go yanking all of my clothes off for some cheeky twenty-something -“

“Eighteen.” Harry interrupts.

“I’m sorry, what?” Louis sputters.

“Eighteen,” Harry says again. “I’m eighteen. Not some cheeky twenty-something.”

“God, Harry, that’s worse!” Louis huffs. Eighteen. Fucking eight. Teen. Harry’s not even paying any mind to Louis’ outburst, rather choosing to look stupidly smug at the fact that he never outright told Louis his name, probably thinking that Louis had been casually checking him out when he’d spotted the name tag.

“Are you always this shouty?” Harry asks and Louis blanches because how?

“I’m not shouty,” Louis grumbles. Harry rolls his eyes and god, Louis thinks, the damn kid is gorgeous.

“Whatever,” Harry brushes him off. “Tell me then, why is my being eighteen so bad? S’not like you’re that much older than me, anyways.”

Louis raises an eyebrow. “Do you even have any idea how old I actually am?”

“I assumed you were only like, twenty five or something,” Harry says and Louis physically had to hold in a snort.

“Add ten, love,” Louis says, watching with amusement as Harry’s big, stupid green eyes widen comically.

Thirty-five?” Harry nearly shouts. “Well shit.”

“Sorry to bust your game, kid,” Louis says. He’s surprised when Harry laughs loudly.

“My game’s not busted,” he says. “Just a little altered. I still think you’re cute. And I want to take you out for a drink tonight.”

“Jesus, Harry -” Louis huffs. “What don’t you get about this?”

Harry opens his mouth to retort but, before he can, that pretty hostess in the sundress - Danielle, his brain supplies - is stomping over to Harry, sticking one hand in his curls, and yanking him up and out of the chair he’s sitting in, holding Louis’ shrimp stir fry in the other. “Jesus fuck Dani, ow -“

“God, Harry, you’re worse than Nick is,” Danielle quips. “Stop sticking your ass in the chairs and bugging the patrons and actually do the job you’re supposed to, yeah?” Harry grumbles something Louis doesn’t quite catch, but it makes Danielle roll her eyes and shove him away with a firm command of, “Get to work, Harry.”

Harry flips up two fingers as he walks away and Danielle flicks him off, smiling sheepishly at Louis when she turns back around. “Sorry about him,” she apologizes. “Doesn’t know how to work for shit.” She sets his stir-fry down on the table in front of him. “Here you go,” she says politely.

“Thank you,” Louis says. Danielle nods and turns to leave, but before she can, Louis stops her with an, “Is he always like that?”

Danielle smiles a bit to herself, turning to fully face Louis again. Her dress wafts away from her body and settles in a completely different way, and Louis thinks it makes her look even more attractive. “Harry’s - charming,” she says. “He’s just got this way about him. Nobody really gets it. He’s a good kid, though. Bit too cheeky, if anything.”

“Cheeky is right,” Louis agrees.

“He’s very quick to act on things, too,” Danielle adds. “Doesn’t think things through very well. Just dives in head first, ends up getting himself hurt.” Danielle’s eyes meet his right as the words come out of her mouth and, for some reason, he feels like he’s just been given a warning. “But he’s a good kid. Really good kid.”

Louis doesn’t reply, simply letting his eyes drop to his stir-fry that stopped steaming a while ago. He doesn’t see Danielle leave, instead hears the swish of her dress as she turns and walks away.

Louis groans, resting his head on his palm. God, why was he even thinking about it? Harry was eighteen, for Christ’s sake. Seventeen years separated them, nearly Harry’s whole life. There was no way - no way.

But yet, Harry was new and Harry was interesting and the only reason Louis was even on this vacation was to find new and interesting things, right? That’s what Zayn had told him, no?

Louis decides he’s going to leave it up to chance.

If his stir-fry is still hot when he takes a bite, he’s going to tell Harry no. He’s going to tell the boy to leave him alone and stop trying to court him in his stupid, charming little way and hope that he doesn’t hurt Harry’s feelings too much. But, if the stir-fry is cold, he’s going to tell Harry yes. He’s going to tell Harry to take him out for drinks, let Harry woo him, maybe take him for a late-night swim, maybe dance with him in the smooth, white sand. And then he’ll decide if he wants to see where it goes from there, decide if he wants Harry to take him out again.

Louis picks up his fork, scooping up a bit of the veggies and the shrimp, taking a deep breath before he takes the bite.

The stir-fry is cold, and Louis’ really not surprised.

x

Louis doesn’t know how long he’s been sitting at his table, waiting for Harry to wander back around to him. He hasn’t seen Harry around the restaurant since Danielle practically dragged him away by his ears, and Louis feels a bit like he’s been ripped off. But it’s not like Danielle knew Louis was going to stay and sit and wait for Harry like some stupid love-sick teenager.

Louis checks the time on his watch, and it’s half-nine. He sighs, just about to call for his check when the whole restaurant begins to bustle, patrons turning in their seats towards the center cabana with the makeshift stage, and Louis rolls his eyes when he sees who’s on it, sitting atop the stool with a guitar in his hands.

Of course, it’s Harry.

Harry’s not alone on stage, though. There’s another boy sitting behind him, looking like he’s about the same age. Louis briefly wonders how many teenagers have been left to just run rampant around this place.

Harry taps the mic once, twice, while the other boy tunes his guitar, grinning crookedly. “How’s everybody feeling tonight?” He asks, speaking into the mic, voice carrying loud and clear across the cabanas. The crowd gives a small cheer. “Well, I’m Harry, and this is Josh,” the boy behind Harry gives a little wave, “and we’ll be singing a little something for all of you this evening. Hope you like it.”

With that, Harry starts to strum, fingers dancing gracefully and pulling the strings in a rhythm Louis feels like he knows.

"I found your hairband on my bedroom floor," Harry sings, surprising Louis again because Louis absolutely adores Ed Sheeran. "The only evidence that you'd been here before," it's then that Harry decides to look around, spotting Louis and giving a smirk when he notices Louis' obvious staring.

Harry's singing voice really is lovely. It's low and deep and gravelly, much like his talking voice, and Louis finds himself swaying slightly in his seat as he listens.

By the end of the song, Louis' completely entranced, oblivious to the point where he doesn't even notice that Harry's been staring at him with a wicked look in his eyes the whole time he's been singing.

"This next one," Harry says, looking over at Josh for a moment and Josh strums a bit on his own guitar. "Is one Josh and I wrote ourselves. We think it's pretty good and we hope you all think so, too."

Louis' ears perk when Harry starts to strum along with the melody Josh had started, lips brushing the mic as he hums.

Harry sings softly about mending broken hearts with a kiss and starting over again, and Louis thinks that the song is lovely. It's written in a way that sounds like Harry and Josh spent years on it, and it's easy for Louis to see that this is Harry's passion - the music, the stage, the swaying crowd, all of it.

Louis can't help but think it's quite beautiful.

He shakes his head, brushing off the tender thoughts because, despite the beauty of the song and of Harry, the boy is still eighteen and Louis is still thirty-five. He's not going to go against his stir-fry decision, he's not that sort of person, but rather decides he's going to...alter it.

He'll let Harry take him out for a drink and then leave it at that - no dancing in the sand or swimming in the ocean or second drinks. Louis can't invest himself in an eighteen year old kid, no matter what Zayn had told him to do on this vacation.

Louis drops his gaze to his hands, folded on the table, and he can feel Harry's gaze burning into him. It's almost like Harry starts singing louder then, a desperate plea for attention. Louis really should throw him a bone, should at least give Harry some recognition, but he feels like of he does, all of the decisions he's just made are going to go out the window, all his dignity and self worth buried ten feet under just because some eighteen year old boy looked at him a certain way.

But you can't deny that you like the way he looks at you, Louis' conscience reminds him wryly. He'd very like to tell his conscience to fuck off, but god, it's right. It's like he's fighting a war that he's destined to lose - he wants to wave over the waiter and get his check and leave, and focus on avoiding those stupid green eyes and that dimple and that curly hair, but he knows he just doesn't have it in him. He wants those curls and those dimples and that goddamn drink and fuck it all if he's going to get them.

He's really one of those people who acts before thinking through what the consequences of his stupidity is going to be (he let his stir-fry make a possibly life-altering decision for him, for fuck's sake) and he knows he's going to do the same thing with Harry.

So, with a sigh that's definitely more dramatic that it needs to be, Louis lifts his head and meets Harry's eyes over the mic. He mouths the words drinks tonight? and Harry's face stretches in a wicked grin, eyes glinting with something that promises trouble.

And that's the first time Louis realizes he's fucked.

x

Harry finishes his set about a half hour later, thanking the crowd and giving Josh a pat on the shoulder before he's slinging his guitar onto his back and waltzing off stage towards Louis' table with that wicked grin that Louis' come to know as a permanent fixture on his face.

"So I see it's worked," Harry says, sliding smoothly into the other chair at Louis' table just like the first time, only slightly hindered by the guitar on his back. 

Louis rolls his eyes. "You're just annoyingly persistent. I couldn't even enjoy the music because of the way you were glaring at me over the microphone."

Harry snorts. "Wasn't glaring," he says, getting to his feet. "I was admiring you. There's a large difference between the two."

"Po-tay-to, po-tah-to," Louis says, flicking his wrist dismissively. He gets to his feet as well, stretching out the cramps in his back and legs from sitting so long. He called for the waiter to give him his check about halfway through Harry's set (he still didn't have to pay - the restaurant just liked to keep tabs on the orders by writing up checks anyways, or something) so he was good to go when Harry offered his hand. 

Louis takes it wearily, skidding a little on his feet when Harry pulls him close to his side and slings a long, lanky arm around his shoulder. "So there's this beach party tonight," Harry says, leading Louis out of the cabanas and down into the sand. 

"No way," Louis says. "I'm not going to a beach party with you and whatever teenage friends you have. I'm not as young as you think I am, remember? I don't do parties anymore."

"Come on, Lou, it'll be fun," Harry urges. Harry's still pulling him down the beach, and Louis gets this sinking feeling that he's going to be attending this party whether he likes it or not. "You'll have a blast, trust me. Besides, you look like you could use a good party. Get so pissed you don't even remember what you did in the morning."

"Haven't done that since I was twenty-one," Louis murmurs.

"You're a schmuck," Harry laughs. "You're thiry-five, not fifty-three. You're still young enough to party."

"What alternate universe do you live in where thirty-five is still young enough to party?" Louis questions.

Harry winks at him in a way that he shouldn't be able to pull off in the way he does, grinning when he says, "The universe where thirty-five year-olds are still young enough to party as long as they still have an arse like yours. Because," Harry leans back to stare lewdly and Louis gapes because seriously? "Your arse is absolutely fantastic. Better than some of the girls I know."

"God, who are you?" Louis sputters, flushing and feeling very self-conscious all of the sudden. 

"'M Harry Styles," Harry says and Louis rolls his eyes because really, who's real name is fucking Harry Styles?

"You're ridiculous," Louis gripes. "I can't believe I've agreed to this -"

Harry pulls them to a halt, yanking Louis around to face him. Louis didn't notice how tall Harry was until now, the teenager towering a good head or so above him. "You really need to loosen up, Lou," Harry says and Louis rolls his eyes at the use of 'Lou.' "Look, I'm gonna give you an option here. It's" - Harry lifts his wrist to check the time on a watch Louis hadn't even realized he was wearing - "eight-thirty right now, and the party starts at eleven. That gives you two and a half hours to decide if you're young enough to still go to a party or not," Harry says and Louis doesn't miss the bit of mocking in his tone. "If you decide that you are, meet me back here at eleven and we'll go down to the party, alright?"

Louis sighs, puffing out his cheeks with air. Harry's looking at him like somewhat of a dejected puppy and it kind of reminds Louis of one of his mates from back home called Luke, who Louis can't deny anything from because when Luke gets denied he looks like a sad, kicked puppy and Louis sort of feels like he's kicking a puppy right now.

"I'll go," Louis says, running a hand through his fringe, a bit damp from the humidity. Harry's face lights up immediately, dimpling hugely. "On one condition, though."

"Anything," Harry agrees, quick as a bullet. 

Louis snorts, rolling his eyes and saying, "As long as you don't try to get me drunk and then take advantage of me once all of my inhibitions have gone."

Harry throws his head back and laughs, loud peals bursting from his lips. "I could say the same thing to you, Lou," Harry grins. "You're the thirty-five year-old who's taking an eighteen year old boy out for drinks, after all."

"Hey, hey, no!" Louis squawks, flailing indignantly. "You're the one who invited me."

"Po-tay-to, po-tah-to," Harry says, mimicking the way Louis' said the exact thing earlier. Louis rolls his eyes. 

"You're such a smart-arse," Louis grumbles, failing to look upset due to the way the corner of his lip turns up into an amused smile. 

"Just admit you like it," Harry sing-songs. "Admit you think I'm charming."

"I think you're a pain," Louis snuffs.

"A charming pain," Harry intones, waggling his eyebrows. Louis snorts. 

"Innit?" Louis muses, shoving his hands into the pockets of his shorts. Harry's face cracks another huge grin, and he raises his arm to check his watch again.

"Shouldn't you be off getting ready?" Harry asks, arching an eyebrow. "You're going to need all the time you can get to fuss over what to wear so that you can impress me."

Louis cackles, loud like a hyena. "Tell me, Harry, how far up your own arse are you, really?"

Harry laughs too, no more controlled than Louis'. It sort of makes Louis want to smile, gives him this tiny flutter in his chest. "Now, Lou, no need to get mean," Harry snickers. "We'd actually both better be off already. I've got to catch the shuttle all the way back to the other end of the hotel, and you've got to shower. You smell like shrimp."

"Well shit, I wonder why?" Louis snorts. "Though, I thought the whole seafood vibe was working for me."

"Not really, not at all," Harry says and his nose scrunches up the tiniest but - it's actually quite endearing, if Louis' honest. "But whatever you were wearing when I checked you in this morning was really nice, so you should wear whatever that was."

Louis has to bite back a laugh because he hadn't been wearing any cologne at all and had just spent fifteen hours on a plane. But if Harry liked the scent of plane food and sweat, all the power to him. 

"I'll see what I can do," Louis smirks, brushing a hand through his hair. Harry grins widely and Louis squawks when Harry grabs his arm and yanks him in for a tight hug. 

"Down here again at eleven, don't forget," Harry says, releasing Louis from the hug.  He looks around for a second and sighs, saying something about how he better not miss the shuttle because not fucking walking all the way to the other end of the hotel on foot. "I've got to go," Harry says, "And so do you."

"Yeah, yeah," Louis rolls his eyes. He pushes at Harry's shoulder, and pretends he doesn't feel miffed when Harry barely moves. He's not that weak, is he? "Go catch your shuttle."

Harry sticks his tongue out at him and Louis' suddenly reminded of how young Harry actually is. He must be insane, he thinks, to ever had agreed to going out with Harry tonight.

But with his curls and his dimples and those goddamn green eyes Harry's much too charming for his own good, and Louis gets this tight feeling in his chest, a foreboding, like there's something extremely important that's going to happen, but he just doesn't know what it is, yet.

And when Harry turns away from Louis with a squeeze to Louis' shoulder to go catch his shuttle, Louis thinks that he'd quite like to find out. 

x

By the time he showers and gets dressed, Louis' pacing back and forth in the sitting room of his suite. 

God, what was he thinking? Going to some beach rager with a guy he's just met - a guy who's eighteen, mind you - trying to party like he's a teenager again and he hasn't been a teenager for seventeen years. He thinks this is what it's like when somebody has a mid-life crisis - desperate to be young again, to be free and careless and reckless - but he's only thirty-five, much too young for him to be stressing about getting old already.

It's just - Harry's got this thing about him, where he smiles and Louis feels like he'd do anything the kid asked him to. He's much too charismatic for his own good, too charismatic for Louis' own good, too much dimples and curly hair and Louis feels like he might be drowning.

It's a weird thought for him, wanting to get to know and be around someone since the divorce. He's focused all of his attention so hard on his job and he's almost forgotten that he's not a fifty-year old man, and it's almost like Harry is a light dredging him up from the pit of darkness that he's dug himself into since Eleanor left and took all of Louis' good humor and wit with her. 

A knock on Louis' door startles him out of his pacing and he whips around, wobbling a bit at the quick movement. He actually debates for a second whether or not to actually open the door, but he figures it's housekeeping or something of the sort, so he fluffs a hand through his hair and trudges to the door, opening it with a frown creasing his face.

Behind his door is not the woman in a maid's uniform that he was expecting, but a tall, quiff-haired gentleman, dressed in skin-tight black jeans and a navy blue shirt that Louis vaguely remembers being called a 'bro-tank.' The guy's leaning against his door frame, eyes going from Louis' toes to the tips of his hair in a very (seemingly) satisfying once-over.

"Um," Louis says, unsure how to voice his question of "who the actual fuck are you" without coming off as a rude twat. 

"Definitely as sexy as Harry said you were," the guy says and Louis chokes a little, taking the tiniest step back. 

"I'm sorry?" Louis flounders. "You - uh, you...?"

The guy's face lights up suddenly, like he'd just realized he'd completely failed to introduce himself. "Nick Grimshaw, friend of Harry's," the guy - Nick, apparently - says breezily, extending a hand for Louis to shake. Louis grabs it, firm, and Nick jerks his arm once in greeting before letting go. 

"You said you're uh, you're a friend of Harry's?" Louis asks, tucking his hand behind his back because it's the least awkward thing he could think of to do with them. 

"S'what I said," Nick grins, tucking one of his large, stringy hands into the front pocket of his jeans. How the hell he fits him in there, Louis would very much like to know.

"Why are you here?" Louis questions, and Nick chuckles lowly. 

"Just as snippy as Harry'd said, too," Nick murmurs and Louis makes an offended noise.

"I'm not -" Louis starts to protest but Nick's there before him, cutting him off with a wave of his ridiculous hand. He plucks a note from the pocket of his jeans with the hand that'd been in there previously, offering it up to Louis. Louis grabs it quickly, tucking it into his own back pocket.

"Harry's invited you to the party tonight, then?" Nick muses and Louis nods. Nick gives a wry smile. "At least I won't be the oldest one there tonight then, yeah? Twenty-eight may be a bit old to be partying with teenagers, but you take it to a whole new level with thirty-five, huh?"

Louis rolls his eyes, giving a small snort. He can tell he and this Nick character aren't going to get along much. He hopes for a second that Nick and Harry aren't that great of friends if Louis' going to be spending a lot of time around Harry, but he cuts the thought right off the second he realizes what it's implied. He's not planning to spend any more time with Harry after this party, and that's that.

"Anyway," Nick lulls, running a spindly hand through his quiff. "I've got to be going, or Cazza's going to have my balls for making her wait. See you on the beach, old man."

"Oh fuck off," Louis mutters under his breath after Nick's turned and walk away, annoyance bubbling under his skin. He's never instantly disliked a person the moment he'd met them, so this is new. He feels like a lot of things he's been doing on this vacation so far are new.

Like Harry, for instance. Again.

Louis plucks the note from where he'd tucked it into his pocket, gently uncreasing the folds of it with his fingers. The note itself is just a few lines scribbled in messy handwriting, quickly jotted down onto a napkin. 

Lou,

Had to leave to go help out a mate, so I'm gonna be a few minutes late. You can wait for me or go the party without me. I've told a few friends about you, so you should be good if you decide to go ahead of me. But whatever you do, don't talk to Caroline, alright?

Harry

P.s. Party's on the South End Beach, it's only a five minute walk from where I originally told you to meet me.

Louis sighs, balling up the note and tossing it into the small rubbish bin by the door. He debates for a moment whether or not to just wait for Harry where they were originally supposed to meet up, but, in lieu of the pretense of standing around alone for however long it takes Harry to meet up with him looking like a wanker, Louis makes the quick decision to just throw caution into the wind and go to the party without Harry. 

He gives himself a final once over in the mirror before he tucks his keycard into his back pocket with a prayer that he doesn't lose it sometime during the night. He hopes that he's not going to be making a complete fool of himself by going to this party without Harry at first, but he figures if there was any a time for him to make an arse of himself it'd be now, when he's off on some tropical island where he won't ever have to see anybody he meets there ever again after his two-week vacation is over.

A snide voice in the back of his mind offers Harry's name, but Louis shakes it off, choosing rather to not think of even wanting to see or know Harry after he goes back to London.

It's not healthy, Louis thinks, to even be thinking it. If it wasn't for the fact that Harry was only eighteen it should be for the fact that Louis hasn't even known him for a full day, and Louis definitely isn't one to jump into some crazy whirlwind affair. He'd been there and done that and it'd turned around to bite him in the ass, and he wasn't too fond of the idea of doing it again.

But you are doing it again, he thinks wryly to himself. He sighs yet again, choosing to ignore his stupid conscience or whatever the fuck it is that keeps reminding him how stupid he's being in lieu of dropping out of his suite and into the corridor, hoping that he won't get too much sand in his TOMs. 

x

Louis' uncomfortable the moment he arrives at the party, standing on the outskirts of the ring of logs that's been constructed around the makeshift bonfire, nursing a beer in his hand that stopped being cold about thirty seconds after he'd opened it. 

The bonfire's making the already-muggy air even hotter, and Louis wishes he'd been smart enough to have worn trunks because all he wants at the moment is to run and jump into to ocean because he's sweating his balls off. 

There's a gentle tap on his shoulder and Louis whirls around, his heart jumping a bit and then falling when he realizes the person tapping his shoulder isn't Harry.

Instead it's a woman with light, caramel colored hair and a pair of legs that go for miles, showing off every inch of the smooth skin with the skimpy bikini bottom she's rocking. She cocks her head to the side and gives Louis a sly smile, and Louis feels a jolt of recognition even though he's one-hundred percent sure he's never seen this woman before in his life.

"Hi," the woman drawls,  flicking her hair over her shoulder. "You're new."

"Yeah," Louis says, fingers circling the rim of his bottle. "I'm on vacation."

"Oh?" she drawls, stepping a bit closer. "See, I knew I was right when I saw you standing all alone over here that you didn't belong," she giggles and it sounds so off, like she's forcing it much too hard. "Are you looking for somebody?"

"Probably me," a voice says from behind Louis and there, that's it, because the voice is definitely Harry. Thank God.

"Oh, Harry, you made it," the woman grins, stepping forward to tug Harry into and embrace. Louis pretends that he doesn't feel that slight flare of jealousy in his chest. 

"Don't pretend like you're happy to see me, Caroline," Harry snorts. "Know you're probably bummed because I've busted your pull."

"Wasn't trying to pull him," Caroline says and Louis can see now why Harry'd warned him against her. "Just making friendly conversation."

"Right," Harry rolls his eyes. "And I was late because I was off shagging a mermaid."

Caroline shrugs. "Could've been. I don't know what you do in your free time, Hazza."

"Go, Caroline," Harry snorts. "Olly looks lost over there without you."

Caroline purses her lips, looking over Harry's shoulder before giving a shrug. "Seems you're right. Ta, boys," she gives them a small wave as she leaves, trotting over to a blond haired guy in a pair of blue board shorts, pulling him into an embrace.

"I see why you warned me against her," Louis says, turning to face Harry. "She's quite the uh - personality."

"I wouldn't have put it so politely myself, but yes, she's quite the personality," Harry smirks. "Got quite a thing for younger lads, too."

Louis quirks an eyebrow. "Oh yeah? Have you experienced that first hand then?"

Harry snorts a laugh and Louis tries to ignore the little coil of jealously burning in his chest. "A time or two, yeah," Harry admits. "Nothing more than casual sex, though. Wasn't really anything more."

"Is that a thing you do, then?" Louis asks, biting on the inside of his cheek. The orangish light of the bonfire is casting dark shadows across Harry's cheekbones and the craters of his dimples, and it's making it hard for Louis to focus. "Just meet people, fuck them, and leave?"

Harry frowns, suddenly tense. "It wasn't like that," he says. "Caroline and I had an agreement. I didn't 'hit it then quit it,' if that's what you're implying."

Louis sighs, shaking his head. "I'm sorry, I'd just assumed -"

"Assumed that because of my age I'm incapable of having a real, mature relationship so I have to resort to casual sex to quench my burning hormones and carnal desires?" Harry muses.

"No, God, Harry, that's not what I meant, alright?" Louis says, flustered. "If anything, I would've thought it was Caroline who was the 'hitter-then-quitter.' She doesn't really seem like a one-man woman."

Harry laughs, genuine, and Louis watches the tension flood from his body. "She likes a good time," Harry shrugs. "Nothing wrong with that."

"Not at all," Louis agrees. 

Harry slings an arm around his shoulders, turning him and taking him over to where a group of people are hovered by a cooler, drinks in their hands. Louis only recognizes Nick and he scowls. 

Harry calls out a greeting and three of the approximate nine or so raise their heads and wave to him, and, with a sigh of relief, Louis sees that Danielle is standing amongst the group as well. 

"Hazza!" Nicks slurs and slumps forward, wrapping Harry in his spindly arms. Louis' nose crinkles, Nick's breath already smelling strongly of vodka. "Glad you made it, mate."

"'Course," Harry grins, hugging Nick back. "So who's in charge of drinks, here? 'S the weekend, wanna get a buzz on."

"You're gonna get way more than a buzz on, Popstar," Nick grins, digging down into the cooler and tossing Harry a beer. "Vodka's in the blue if you'd rather have that," Nick informs then turns to Louis with a wicked smirk. "We don't have any prune juice, though, sorry, Old Man."

Louis curls his lip, about to lunge forward and show Nick who the real old man is here, but Harry moves first, shoving Nick's shoulder and giving an icy, "Shut up, Grimshaw."

Nick raises his eyebrows, giving a low whistle before shrugging his shoulders and turning back to the group mostly full of people Louis doesn't know. 

"Don't worry about Nick," Harry says and Louis jumps a little when he feels Harry's lips brush his ears. "He's kind of a huge prick sometimes."

"Why are you friends with him?" Louis asks, slightly bitter.

Harry shrugs. "Throws good parties, I guess."

"Harry, hey - oh!" It's Danielle stepping forward now, red cup in her slender hand. "You brought Louis? From the restaurant? Huh. Didn't actually think he was into you. Guess I judged that one wrong." She says, laughing lightly.

"I'm not that into him," Louis grins, giving Danielle an appreciative once-over. She's quite gorgeous, even moreso now that she's showing off that body of hers in a slinky silver and black bikini, a sheer cover-up tied at her waist.

Danielle laughs again, pulling Louis in for an unexpected hug. "Didn't Harry tell you this was a beach party?" She asks, scanning his outfit. "You're not dressed for swimming."

"He didn't tell me we'd be swimming," Louis says, shooting Harry a look. Harry shrugs, grinning wildly.

"Figured I could get him drunk and then trick him into skinny-dipping," Harry says, throwing his head back and cackling at the scandalized expression on Louis' face.

"No way in Hell," Louis grumbles. "If I want to swim, I'll just go in my shorts."

"Seems like a good enough plan," Danielle smiles. She takes a breath, clapping her hands together and grinning. "So," she says, eyes lighting with mischief. "Who wants to do some shots?"

x

Louis' drunk.

He's really, really, spectacularly drunk, all slurred words and sloppy movements, and he thinks he might have tried to sit on Harry's lap once or twice or seven times already.

Harry's just as drunk, though, laughing and hooting and groping endlessly at Louis' arse, and there's a tiny voice in the back of his head that keeps screaming bad idea, bad idea, bad idea!

Louis thinks he lost it during the game of 'Never-Have-I-Ever,' having to drink a surprisingly greater amount than he'd first thought he'd have to when he'd agreed to play the game in the first place. It'd seemed like everybody playing was in his brain, picking out his secrets and posing them as questions, making him throw back shot after shot after shot until he was truly, properly pissed.

He supposes he could have quit the game while he still had some sense of coherency, but he'd been having so much fun letting go like he used to that the thought hadn't even crossed his mind.

"I feel hot," Louis says, sitting atop Harry's lap in the sand, head lolling on Harry's broad shoulder. Harry's running his huge hands up and down Louis' spine and Nick is cackling, shouting obnoxiously for Harry to get a room if you're going to touch up on him like that, Popstar! "C'n we go swimming?"

There's already a handful of people in the ocean, splashing drunkenly in the shallowest parts of the water, the occasional shriek sounding as somebody falls under.

"Yeah, les'go!" shouts a girl beside them - Louis learned her name was Cher - standing up on wobbly feet.

"Y'wanna?" Harry asks, just to be sure, and Louis nods. He feels hot and sticky and gross, and, even in his drunken state, knows a dip in the water would do him good.

He thinks the exact opposite the second Harry strips off his shirt.

For only being eighteen years old, Harry's body is magnificent. It's all hard planes flexing with muscles, shoulders rolling as he pulls the shirt over his head. His chest and arms are smattered with tattoos that look more like childish scribbles than real art, all but the two birds perched just under his collarbones and the ridiculous moth-slash-butterfly on his upper belly.

Louis' own body at eighteen had been nothing like that. Sure, he'd had some biceps that he'd been proud of (and is still proud of today), but he'd been no where near the rippling muscles and toned planes that Harry's got. Instead of muscles he'd been sacked with a bit of a belly, the result of his diet of cheap juice cocktails pot noodles as a student struggling through their first year of Uni. 

"Coming?" Harry asks with a smirk, Louis eyes snapping up from where they were tracing the contours of Harry's body, and he flushes. 

"Y-yeah, just give me a second," Louis says, wobbling a bit as he tries to pull his shirt over his head in his drunken state before he remembers he wore a button-down. Harry laughs raucously and Louis flicks him off, popping the buttons on his shirt.

Harry's still snickering when Louis tosses his shirt into the sand, but he cuts off with an abrupt choking sound when Louis undoes his flies, letting his shorts fall around his ankles, leaving him standing in nothing but his black boxer-briefs in the sand. Louis smirks in victory.

Louis strides - less wobbly on his legs, this time - over to where Harry's standing, bristling a little under the burning gaze Harry has focused on him. "Coming?" he mocks, skipping passed Harry and down to the edge of the sea, sighing happily as the lukewarm water laps at his toes. 

Louis' already out in the water up to knee-level before he hears Harry splash in behind him, uncoordinated and ungraceful as he tries to catch up. Louis wades in further, not slowing down for Harry's sake, too entranced by the warm water touching in long tendrils against his skin. 

Long arms wrap around Louis' waist from behind and he jumps, despite knowing exactly whom the arms belong to. "That was very mean of you, Louis," Harry hums in his ear.

"What was?" Louis asks, feigning innocence.

"That little stunt you just pulled on the beach," Harry explains, arms tightening. "Showing off that sexy little body of yours and then running off without letting me get a proper look."

"Wasn't showing off," Louis says, feeling suddenly much sober than he had when he'd first gotten into the water.

"Mmm, sure," Harry hums, hands opening up and spanning over Louis' belly. "You're so sexy."

Louis snorts. "Alright, Harry."

"'M'not kidding," Harry says, curling his fingertips into the flesh of Louis' tummy. "You really are gorgeous."

"Yeah?" Louis breathes, falling back a little into Harry's chest as the waves lap at his hips. "Why?"

Louis thinks he's probably being foolish, making Harry think that this is going to go somewhere when it's not, but Louis hasn't been complimented, hasn't been called anything remotely close to 'sexy' or 'gorgeous' in such a long time, and all he wants at the moment is to hear the words fall from Harry's ridiculous lips.

"Your body," Harry murmurs, fingers still dancing over Louis' abdomen. "You've got this lovely, soft skin," Harry's fingers drag upward, until they're resting on Louis' left pectoral. "Sexy broad chest," over to his shoulders, "these big, strong, freckled shoulders," drift across his collarbones, up his neck, cup his jaw, "jawline like a model," down the back of his neck, down his spine, settling above his arse, "even your back is gorgeous, you know? It's such a turn on to me when a man has a strong back."

Louis' breathing hard by now, not expecting to have been this pulled under by Harry describing his own body to him. But there's something about the slow rolling bass of Harry's voice and the slide of his fingers that has Louis feeling like he's becoming unhinged at the joints, and if Louis could just get over the fact that Harry is only eighteen, he thinks he'd have pulled Harry into the water and kissed him senseless by now.

"Keep going," Louis gasps, letting his head fall back onto Harry's shoulder. He feels hot, so hot despite being submerged up to his waist in the ocean.

Harry doesn't miss a beat, starting up right where he left off: "You know what else is a huge turn on for me?" He asks, rhetorical in question. His hands sweep down to grab Louis' arse through his wet briefs, and Louis squeaks. "I love a man with a full, sexy arse. Know why?"

Louis shakes his head, not trusting that his voice won't shake if he speaks. 

Harry leans in, lips brushing against the lobe of Louis' ear and he speaks, low and dirty and sultry. "I love it when I've got something to keep my hands full when I'm fucking someone through the mattress."

Well, Louis thinks, that escalated quickly.

"Harry -" Louis gasps, voice ragged.

"Don't you want to know more, Lou?" Harry asks, squeezing the flesh of Louis' arse in his giant hands. "Don't you want to know how you and your fucking gorgeous arse were all I could think of tonight? How I jerked myself so fucking hard when I got back to my room at the thought of you naked, spreading yourself for me?"

"Harry, fuck -"

"I think you'd like it, Lou, if you'd just give me the chance," Harry breathes, hands moving from Louis' arse to his front, dangerously close to where Louis' cock is swelling in his briefs, the wet of the fabric doing nothing to hide it. "You know I could do you right, treat you right, if you'd just let me. If you'd stop thinking so much about my age and just let me-"

Louis spins with a gasp, threading his fingers through Harry's dampened curls and yanking him down, slotting their mouths together in the most furious kiss he's ever given anyone. Harry doesn't miss a beat, kissing back with just as much enthusiasm, pulling Louis even tighter to his body.

Harry kisses like nobody Louis' ever had before, all big lips and smooth tongue, dragging over Louis' teeth and lips and Louis' sinking fast. 

Louis groans weakly in the back of his throat, hips stuttering forward by their own accord. He gasps when Harry's groin drags against his, both of them hard under the thin layers keeping them apart.

"Oh, God," Harry whines, making a throaty sound as he nuzzles against the side of Louis' face. His hips clip Louis' again and, even through the lusty haze shrouding he and Harry in their little secluded-not-actually-secluded-at-all corner of the sea, Louis clearly feels it when Harry's broad hand cups him through his briefs, rubbing and squeezing. Louis' torn between his brain screaming no, no, no! and his heart screaming yes, yes, yes!

It doesn't take long before Louis' on edge, panting and rutting and gasping into Harry's damp neck, clutching at Harry's chest for all he's worth. His breath catches when Harry slips a hand inside his briefs, wrapping his spindly fingers around Louis' burning shaft, and Louis, embarrassingly enough, comes the moment Harry gives the first firm tug upwards.

Harry strokes him while Louis shudders through his orgasm, gasping and groaning as the his body jolts with the aftershocks. It's insane, he thinks, that the first sexual contact he's had with anybody since his divorce was finalized is while he's standing waist-deep in the sea with an eighteen-year-old boy he'd just met that day -

Oh, god.

Clarity blares through Louis' mind so quickly it's shocking, and Louis physically jumps back away from Harry, Harry's hand dropping out of his underpants. Harry looks a bit shocked but mostly smug, thinking that Louis' reaction was due to his amazing handjob skills, and not the mental freak-out Louis was having at the moment.

God, how could he have let himself go like that? It was bad enough that he'd kissed Harry like he had, but letting Harry rub him off? In the ocean in the middle of a party where there were still people on the beach who could have seen everything? Louis feels so foolishly stupid, so angry at himself that he didn't even have enough self-control to keep the promise he'd made to himself so many times during the day, his promise that he wouldn't dare let this get any further than a party and a drink or two.

He was reckless, so reckless, and he's fucking pissed with himself. He finds himself wading through the water as fast as he can, yanking away from Harry's grip when Harry tries to stop him from passing, mumbling something along the lines of: "I'm sorry, Harry, I can't, this was a mistake. I'm sorry, I'm really, really sorry."

Louis doesn't look back to see Harry's face when he hits the sand of the beach, knows that Harry's probably looking at him with his face curled into an expression of pleading, those stupid lips pursed in a frown, fingers still curved like they'd been when he'd grabbed Louis' wrist to get him to stop from leaving.

Louis doesn't meet any of the curious eyes of Harry's friends that he can feel burning into him as he slips his shorts back on and throws his shirt over his shoulder, grabbing his shoes and running away from the light of the fire as fast as he can.

His heart is an uncomfortable lump in his throat and he tries to swallow it down, but for some reason he doesn't want to think of - because eighteen and one day and stupid curls and stupid green eyes - he can't.

x

By the time Louis makes it back to his suite, he's breathing hard and gnawing at his bottom lip in a nervous, frantic manner. The whole way back to the hotel he'd been driving himself crazy, scolding himself over and over and over again for being so stupid, so recklessly impulsive, so goddamn irresponsible.

Louis falls face-first onto his bed, trying to bury his head in the pile of pillows like he's some sort of pillow-loving ostrich. He groans, shifting uncomfortably against the wet fabric of his briefs. He should probably get up and change them, but he's not quite in the changing mood. He'd rather lay like a limpet on his mountain of pillows and degrade himself than get up and have to risk walking passed a mirror and having to look himself in the eye.

He's not even angry at Harry, not one bit. He's angry with himself that he let himself be so reckless and uncaring, that he let his carefully constructed walls come crashing down after a few drinks and long exposure to a pretty boy. Louis knows he's got a bad habit of doing things without thinking them through, thinks that's what drew him and Eleanor together in the first place and what tore them so far apart in the end.

Louis first met Eleanor when he was nineteen, introduced by mutual friends at a party. They were both fresh into their second year at Uni, and Louis had been immediately entranced not only by Eleanor's obvious beauty, but by her smooth ways of speaking and the way she laughed at Louis' jokes, even if they made absolutely no sense at made Louis flush in embarrassment for having even said them. 

Their relationship had been nothing short of a whirlwind, together all of the rest of their years in Uni, and all of their friends seemed to gush endlessly about how perfect they were for each other. They thought they were perfect for each other, too, two polar opposites that really did fit together like puzzle pieces, drawn together by the magnetic field that always seemed to surround them. 

It seemed to only make sense that he and Eleanor would end up getting married one day. However, as Louis realizes now, it'd probably been the stupidest idea they'd ever come up with together. 

They'd gone and eloped, married in street clothes with only the city hall as their witness, signing their names on the marriage certificate with huge smiles on their faces and nothing but love in their hearts. They were twenty-two.

Though, under all of the fog of perfection, both he and Eleanor were still only reckless kids, driven by what they thought was going to be forever. The first years of their marriage had been amazing, and Louis spent the next eight years of his life happy and in love with the girl of his dreams.

It all started to come crashing down, though, when Louis first started to realize that Eleanor was no longer happy with just Louis. She'd always been a woman with her head on straight and her needs on a bulleted list, and when Louis stopped fulfilling those needs, Eleanor started to fulfill them herself.

And one of those needs included going out and having a two-year-long affair with none other than Zayn.

He and Louis hand't been friends at the time, and Zayn hadn't even known Eleanor was married. (She'd never worn her ring when she went out to see Zayn. Tucked it in a pocket in her purse and slipped it back on when she got home. Louis wasn't surprised to not be surprised.) 

The day Louis had found out about the affair (he'd snooped around on Eleanor's text and call history, and when he'd confronted her, she'd broken right there and admitted it. She didn't seem remorseful at all) he'd made Eleanor tell him where Zayn lived and went right off to confront him, only to end up crashing drunk on Zayn's couch, bitching about his unfaithful wife and inevitable divorce while Zayn bitched about having been completely and utterly lied to. After that, he and Zayn had become fast friends.

Louis and Eleanor's divorce had been quick - no children to fight about, and Eleanor had gladly taken her things while Louis took his. He got to keep the house, Eleanor opting to move to New York City to pursue a modeling career that, last Louis had heard, was actually turning out quite well. 

The divorce had still left Louis feeling useless and empty and he'd thrown himself into his work, leaving no time for dates or friends or any sentiment of a social life. 

And now he lies with his face shoved in a pile of too many pillows, wet boxer-briefs sticking to his skin with water and something else he's rather not think of, brain going a mile a minute due to the fact that he'd just let an eighteen year old hotel concierge slash waiter slash singer-songwriter jerk him off in some random facet of the Caribbean Sea.

Fuck. 

Louis hadn't even thought of being with a guy again after Eleanor. He'd hooked up with a bloke or two in college, quick handies and blowies behind the bleachers on the football pitch, but other than that, there was nothing. He's sure he would have gone back to enjoying blokes when he finally stopped drowning himself in his work and got it together, but he never planned on the first one to be an eighteen year old English castoff in Aruba. 

He's so damn disappointed in himself, content to just lay flat on this bed for the rest of his vacation, ordering only room service so he doesn't have to go out and risk seeing Harry at the front desk or down in the cabanas of the restaurant. 

Louis rolls onto his back with a grunt, deciding that if he's going to lay on his bed doing nothing for the rest of the two weeks he's in Aruba he might want to put on some clean, dry shorts. 

His luggage is set right next to the bed, so all he has to do is reach down and grab a nice pair of comfy sweat-shorts, made from a pair of sweatpants that had gotten a gaping hole just below the knee during an epic footie match back when he was still in Uni. They're his absolute favorite and he had much rather to cut them into shorts then do away with them completely. 

He slips off his wet shorts and pants and slips into the sweats, flopping down onto his back with a yawn. His buzz is really starting to wear off and he just feels groggy and hungry now. There's a phone and a room service menu on his bedside table; Louis grabs for it, sorting through the menu to make sure they offer a complete fry-up before picking up the phone and dialing to order.

The woman on the line is gracious and takes his order quickly, telling him it should be up to his room within the next twenty-five minutes. Louis thanks her, hanging up the phone and plopping backwards onto the outrageous mound of pillows at the head of the bed. He lets his eyes drift closed, figuring he can get in a quick power nap before his food shows up. 

x

A knock on the door of his room shocks Louis awake. He sits up in bed, rubbing sleep from his eyes as he swings his legs over the side of the bed, standing slowly to avoid head rush.  His stomach growls violently. 

There's a second knock and Louis grumbles, sauntering over to the door. He doesn't bother to check his peephole before he's ripping the door open, eager to get to the food once he smells the bacon. 

Louis' eyes meet those of the boy standing behind the cart, and Louis feels the instant urge to slam the door shut. He's got such shit karma. 

"Louis," Harry says, eyes bright through the fog of what Louis knows is half-intoxication. His lips are set like he wants to burst out and say more but is too worried about how Louis' going to react to get them to form words.

"Harry," Louis says, cheeks flaming when his voice cracks. "I'll take my food now, thank you," Louis rushes, trying to get out of this awkward situation as quickly as he possibly can.

Harry frowns. "Louis, look -"

"I don't want to talk about it, Harry," Louis cuts in, eyes downcast. "It was a stupid, crass mistake and I'm over it. Just give me my food, please."

"A mistake, really?" Harry questions, voice taking on an offended tone. "Or are you just saying that to soothe your conscience because you're having a huge, mid-life freak out about having had an eighteen-year-old make you come?"

"Fuck, Harry!" Louis hisses, grabbing the cart and drawing it into the room, along with Harry, closing the door behind him. "There's other fucking rooms in this hall, do you mind?"

"No, I really don't," Harry sniffs, leaning against the wall. He's got that stupid fucking smirk on his face again and Louis hates to admit he's torn between slapping it off or kissing it off.

"You're fucking insufferable," Louis growls, grabbing the plate of food off the cart. He stomps over to the dinette on the other side of the room, setting the plate on the table and sitting down at one of the chairs. Harry's still leaning against the doorframe.

"I don't get it," Harry says, moving from the door to the dinette when Louis gets up to find a fork.

"Don't get what?" Louis asks, pulling open drawers and sighing in defeat when he finds no forks.

"Why you're freaking out about this."

"Why?" Louis snorts, stomping passed the table back to the cart where a shiny silver fork sits next to where the platter of food had been. He grabs it, making his way back to the table where he sits back down in his chair, making a valiant effort to look at everything but Harry.

"Yes, why," Harry says, sounding exasperated. Louis gives a short, hard chuckle.

"Because you're fucking eighteen, Harry," Louis states, "And I don't do that sort of thing."

"That's bullshit," Harry says. "That's bullshit and you know it."

"Really, Harry?" Louis looks up, meeting Harry's stupid green eyes with as steely a look as he can manage while he's still partially drunk. "Would you mind explaining to me why it's bullshit?"

"It's bullshit because you don't have to be you while you're here," Harry says. Louis crooks an eyebrow. "You're saying hooking up with me was a mistake because you don't do that sort of thing. 'You,' as in Louis from wherever the fuck you're from, not 'you' as in Louis who's currently some thousand miles away from anybody who knows him. It's bullshit because while you're here, to put it frankly, you can do whatever the fuck you want to."

"You think that's how it works?" Louis asks, setting his fork down. He hasn't even touched the fry-up. "Well it's not, Harry. I can't just abandon who I am because I'm on some island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea instead of home where I should be."

Harry makes an exasperated noise, getting up from the table and running a hand through his curls. He saunters headily over to over to Louis and Louis' breath hitches. "Fuck it," Harry grunts before grabbing Louis' face in both hands and kissing him hard on the mouth.

Louis' whole body locks for a moment before he's able to comprehend what's going on, squealing against Harry's lips and trying to swat him away when he does. Harry's not going anywhere, though, much more solid compared to Louis than any eighteen-year-old has the right to be. 

Harry does pull back after a moment, but before Louis can rear back and punch him in his stupid mouth, Harry clamps his huge garbage lid hands over the tops of Louis' biceps, holding him in place as his eyes bore in Louis' and he says, "Fuck, Lou, just let me kiss you. Let me kiss you and then tell me you don't want me."

Louis' lips are right on the edge of forming the words "I don't," but the sincerity and the desperate want in Harry's eyes has his whole brain scrambling. For the first time in the short time Louis' known him, Harry actually looks like he's eighteen - no cocky smirk or arched eyebrow; just a pure look of wanting, a face of smooth pale skin, nothing to note his oncoming adulthood but the barest sign of facial hair. Louis thinks that it should solidify his resolve to not get involved with Harry because Harry's really still just a child and it shows, but he finds himself nodding, unable to resist Harry when he's baring himself, wide open and vulnerable. 

Harry gives a small gasp, loosening his grip on the tops of Louis' arms. His fingers drag up over Louis' shoulders, leaving gooseflesh in their wake as they travel from shoulder to neck to jaw, hands cupping around Louis' cheeks. It's much too intimate and Louis feels the urge to cringe away because he doesn't do intimate, not since Eleanor. 

He wants to pull back but Harry doesn't let him, pressing forward and sliding their lips back together. One hand moves from Louis' cheek to grip lightly around the base of his skull, spindly fingers curling in the soft hairs at the nape of Louis' neck. 

The press of Harry's lips on Louis' is insistent, and Louis' quite sure Harry would be right into tonguing him if Louis parted his lips and let him. As if called, Harry's tongue sweeps over Louis' bottom lip, a flutter of want, a request for permission.

Louis' lips part a fraction of a centimeter and Harry's tongue is right there, but it's not the sloppy,overeager sort that Louis would expect from an eighteen-year-old. Louis figures it's because Harry's got experience with hooking up with people older than him (he did say he had a thing with Caroline, after all) so he's got a handle on himself that's not the norm for others his age. 

It's quite pleasant, the kissing, and Louis feels his body relax, arching forward into Harry's long two-by-four torso. Harry's tongue is a constant, wet pressure against his, Harry's body a hot, warm weight along his front. 

Harry ends the kiss with a quick, sharp bite to Louis' bottom lip that makes a shock of electricity run down Louis' spine and a fire curl deep in his belly. He's burning up from the inside, the inferno blazing inside him, and he can't deny - not now, not now - that he wants Harry more than he's ever wanted anyone else.

Harry is pale skin and green eyes and curly hair. Harry is gorgeous and tall and sure. Harry is young and fresh and vibrant. And Harry is eighteen.

Harry is eighteen and Louis wants him more than he's willing to admit to himself at the moment, but enough that he reaches up and grips onto the collar of Harry's ridiculous hotel uniform, yanking him down and dragging his tongue over Harry's stupid, too-big cherry lips.

"Fuck yeah," Harry groans, hands shooting downwards, behind Louis' back to palm at his arse. "Come on, come on," Harry urges breathlessly, using his grip on Louis' backside to haul him upwards. Louis will deny any accusation that he squeaked. 

Tarantula legs get them to the bed in seconds and Louis only has a momentary thought of, Oh, that's where this is going, then before he's flat on his back on top of the duvet, and Harry is looming over him, a look in his eyes like he's damn well got something to prove. 

"We're doing this?" Harry asks, voice raspy and breathy all at the same time, brows bunched together to wrinkle in the middle.

"Don't talk, or I'm going to change my mind," Louis says, not to be an arsehole but because it's true. If he thinks about anything passed the physical feeling of want he has for Harry he's going to pussy out. He's going to flood his head with thoughts of eighteen and practically a paedophile and just a child, what am I thinking? and then he's going to push Harry off him, demand Harry leave, and then go wallow in a raging sea of self-hatred for three days or so.

Harry heeds Louis' warning and doesn't say another word, opting instead to latch on to the side of Louis' neck, just below his ear. Louis arches when Harry nips the skin then soothes it over with his tongue; Harry's found a sweet spot that Louis hasn't had touched in months.

"Can I mark you?" Harry murmurs, lips ghosting the slick of Louis' skin. "Or is that not allowed?"

"S'allowed," Louis says, if only to get Harry's mouth back on him. Not only does Harry's mouth look like sex, he knows how to use it, too. He's all lips and tongue and teeth right when it feels good, and it's not long at all before Louis' going jelly in the sheets, one of Harry's hands pressed under his shirt.

When that happened, Louis' not quite sure.

Harry shifts, going lower to bite at Louis' collar bones. Louis' legs fall open and Harry kicks a thigh over to straddle one, and Louis feels immediately the hard press of Harry's arousal at his hip. 

It scares him for a second, forces him to think, but god, he doesn't want to. He just wants to shut it down, wants to do what Zayn told him to do and just let it go for once in his damn life. He wants to be reckless and stupid and fuck it because Harry was right. He's thousands on miles from home on an island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Nobody knows who is he. Nobody knows about Eleanor or his current status in life as a work-obsessed recluse. 

He can be and do whatever the fuck he wants to while he's in Aruba and, frankly, what he wants is currently hard against his hip and suckling at the hollow of his neck.

His resolve finalized, Louis rolls his hips up into Harry's arousal, blood boiling at the breathy moan Harry lets out. Louis feels himself swelling in his shorts and he wants nothing more than for Harry to get his hand under the band of his sweats and jerk him off until he comes.

But that's not going to happen, not now, at least, because Harry seems to have decided that the best route is to simply adjust himself until his arousal is pressed hotly against Louis', pushing his hips down in a dirty grind that has Louis tossing his head back, letting out a sound he hadn't realized he was still capable of making. 

"God, you're so fucking hot," Harry says, the hand under Louis' shirt scrabbling against Louis' skin like it's not sure what to do with itself. "Wasn't lying when I said I wanked to thoughts of you."

"S-shit," Louis chokes. His nose and throat feel clogged with arousal but it doesn't feel suffocating; it's heady and intoxicating, cloudy and thick but so, so good.

The hand under Louis' shirt presses up until Harry's long fingers graze a nipple, pinching and rolling it between his fingertips while Louis gasps, hips stuttering violently upwards. 

"Like that?" Harry murmurs, not waiting for an actual answer before he's kissing Louis again, fucking his mouth with his tongue like he's probably imagined fucking Louis' arse. Louis shudders and grinds on Harry harder, begging for his release while he can still hold on to the image in his mind of Harry on top of him just like he is now, only with his cock balls deep inside him. 

The friction between Louis' and Harry's bodies is almost to much for Louis to handle, but his orgasm is right there, so close that it makes his whole body get the tingles and the edges of his vision fuzz. "Harry, Harry please, I'm -"

"Yeah, I know," Harry breathes, hips working harder. "I got you."

Harry pulls his hand from under Louis' shirt and plants both on either side of Louis' head, using the leverage to grind faster, firmer, so much better. Louis' breath catches in his throat and he feels something snap from his balls up his spine and he's coming, arching and crying out so loud he misses Harry's own sounds of orgasm. 

The mattress shudders and thumps when Harry falls down on it, chest heaving with his panting breaths. "Shit," he gasps, huge stupid grin plastered on his face.

"Yeah," Louis says, staring up at the ceiling, waiting for the feelings of shame and regret to flood over him, but they don't come. Well, alright then. That's, um, that's good.

"I should really get going," Harry says, Louis' head snapping to the side to stare, incredulous expression on his face. Harry's own head turns, lips still quirked in a smile. The smile falls when he sees the look Louis' turning on him. "No, I'm not like that, I swear," he says, quick to cover his tracks. "I'm uh, I'm actually technically still working? Like I'm not even scheduled for tonight but Josh called in sick and I owe him a couple favors, so I picked his shift up even though I'm still like, buzzed? Had some coffee though. That helped a bit."

"Oh," Louis says sheepishly. Of course Harry had to go back to work - he was still in his uniform for Christ's sake. "Sorry, I -"

"Don't apologize," Harry cuts him off. "I would have thought the same thing if I was you. I really do have to go, though."

"Of course," Louis nods. "On your way now, then."

Harry grins, leaning down before pausing, his face perplexed like he doesn't know if he still has permission to kiss Louis now that the moment is gone. "Go ahead," Louis says. "Just no tongue because then I'm going to want to go at it again."

Harry snorts but nonetheless closes the remaining distance, pressing his lips lightly to Louis'. The kiss is chaste and sweet, just enough to hold both of them off until the next time they can see each other, do this again. Louis surprises himself with that thought, the thought that there's going to be a next time, but he figures there's really no harm in doing it again and again now that they've already done it once.

"What time do you get off work tonight?" Louis asks. The clock on the nightstand says it's just passed half-one in the morning.

"At three," Harry says. "Most of the cabana bars are open until then and we get a lot of late-night breakfast orders from patrons who're pissed drunk and feeling a fry-up."

"Sort of like me?"

Harry snorts. "Yeah, I guess. But I don't normally end up having sex with them."

"Are you saying I'm easy?" Louis asks, eyebrow arched. 

"I'm saying that you're special," Harry grins. His face suddenly pinches up like he's remembered something unpleasant.

"What?" Louis asks. 

Harry shakes his head. "It's nothing, promise." He says, brushing a stray piece of hair off of Louis' face. "How long did you say you were staying for, again?"

Louis hums, nodding. "Two weeks," he murmurs, lifting a hand to trace a finger down Harry's arm. 

"Two weeks," Harry says it slowly, like he's savoring the words, tossing them around in his mouth to determine how he feels about them. "We'll just not think about that, then."

Louis opens his mouth to reply but a shrill ringing cuts him off. Harry curses, digging into his pocket for his cell phone. "Shit," he grumbles, pressing the accept call button and drawing the phone to his ear. "Hello? Yeah, I'm still out on that delivery. No, no I won't be out much longer. Yeah, okay, I will. Just tell her five minutes, okay? Alright, bye." Harry ends the call, tucking his phone back in his pocket. "I gotta go," he sighs, going in for another kiss. 

"I figured," Louis hums, propping his head up in his elbow on the pile of pillows, watching Harry get up off the bed and struggle to make himself look not so sexed-out. 

Once Harry's fixed himself as much as he can, he turns back to Louis. "I only work until noon tomorrow," he says. "Would you - would you like to go out to lunch, or something? My treat."

Louis nods. "I'd love to," he says. "As long as you promise that our server is not going to be somebody I know."

Harry chuckles, searching around the bed to find the shoes he kicked off. "We can go away from the hotel, if you'd like."

"I'd like," Louis says, grinning. 

"I'll meet you here around two, then?"

"Two it is."

Harry offers him another grin, slipping his shoes back on. "Promise you won't change your mind on me?" Harry asks. Louis knows Harry's joking, but he can see insecurity in Harry's eyes, scared that Louis will have a panic attack when Harry leaves, realize what a huge mistake he's just made and leave Harry hanging again.

"I won't," Louis says, trying to sound firm and secure. He manages it if the softening of Harry's eyes is anything to go by. "I swear."

"Good," Harry says. "Two o'clock sharp."

"Sharp," Louis agrees and then Harry's off, a small wave and smile before he's out the door, leaving Louis alone to his own devices.

Louis sits quietly for a moment, feeling himself out to see if there's a freak-out bubbling under the surface. For all he knows, there's not.

He feels like he should sit and think about that, but he really doesn't want to. It feels good not to think again for the first time in six months, free to be reckless and stupid and have lunch with eighteen-year-old boys and no give a shit what the consequences are going to be.

Louis rolls out of bed only to go change his shorts - again, might he add - crawling back in under the duvet once he's free of all extracurricular fluids. 

Snuggling against the bed sheets, the last coherent thought Louis has before he falls asleep is what he's going to wear out to lunch tomorrow, and it feels good.

x

The next day starts with Louis waking up at eleven o'clock nearly exact on the dot, rolling out of bed with cracking joints and a soreness in his back that he's pretty sure is from the thorough manhandling-slash-humping Harry had given him last night. His muscles feel tender in a good way; it reminds him of his days back when he didn't give a shit and could go out and fuck around with whoever he wanted without worry, feeling pleasantly sore and mellow in the morning.

Traipsing out of bed he heads to his suitcase, dropping down onto his bum in front of it. He fumbles with the zippers for a moment before he gets it open, fingers still sleep-clumsy as he takes a moment to figure out which zipper is the right one. 

All of his clothes are packed neatly in rows - courtesy of Zayn, the neat freak - so it only takes him a moment or two to pick out what he's going to wear for the day. He wishes Harry had given him more to go on about the place they were going to eat, but he figures the place is going to be tropical island casual, seeing as all of Aruba he's seen so far gives off that vibe. 

He chooses simple jean shorts cuffed at the knee and a bird-patterned button down shirt with a Peter Pan collar (one of his favorites and a gift from his mum), grabbing pants and shave cream before trudging off into the en suite bathroom for a shower to start his day.

The shower itself is a wonder of jets and steams and other types of shower heads Louis didn't even know existed all working wonders on his body, and if he was sore when he got in, he's definitely not sore when he gets out. His hair smells like cherries, compliments of the shampoo and conditioner provided by the hotel in the teeny little travel-sized bottles that seem to be a novelty among all hotels, no matter if they're cheap one-nighters or something as extravagant as the Riu. 

Louis towel dries his hair quickly before getting dressed, wondering to himself if the Riu serves continental breakfasts or not. He figures that the extensive room service menu included in his suite points to 'not.' 

After he's dressed he wanders out into the living area of the suite, shocked to see his fry-up from last night still sitting on the shiny silver platter right on his coffee table before he remembers with a slight flush why the food never actually got eaten. A poke or two to the food lets Louis determine that it's still quite alright to eat, even if it's gone cold as ice overnight. Perhaps he just won't eat the eggs. The bacon, sausage, toast, and potatoes are all still good, so he grabs the plate and sits down on the sofa, digging in.

The food is still exceptionally delicious even stone cold, filling Louis to contentment when he's finished. He sets the plate back on the table when he's finished, flopping down onto the sofa. 

It's coming on noon now and the sun is blazing through his windows. Louis reaches out and grabs the telly remote off the table to flick the television on. He flicks a couple channels before he finds the default weather channel replaying a constant seven-day forecast, already announcing that today is set to be ninety-two and humid. Louis' not familiar with the Fahrenheit scale but he figures that the huge sun above the temperature and the fact that the number ninety-two itself is quite large means it's going to be blazing.

Hot and blazing, in Louis' opinion, seems like the perfect excuse to go out and sun himself at the pool for a bit before it's time to go to lunch with Harry. He gets off the sofa with a grunt, sauntering over to his suitcase to fetch his swim shorts, wondering if two hours is long enough to get back the great tan he used to have when he was eighteen.

He figures it can't hurt to try.

x

Louis' sweating enough to fill buckets by the time he reaches over to check the time on his phone, mentally slapping himself for coming out to the pool after he's already showered, knowing he was going to end up sweaty and smelling like chlorine and the whole point of having showered would be turned moot.

Louis pushes his sunglasses up into his hair, putting his hand over his phone to shade it, eyes widening when he reads that it's 1:53. "Shit, shit," he hisses, gathering up his things as quickly as he can. He's screwed himself, thought he could keep track of time when he was laying out, but apparently not. 

By the time he's out of the pool area and back at the lift it's 1:57, and Harry's probably waiting outside Louis' door. He hustles into the lift as quickly as he can, pressing the button to take him to his floor. He keeps checking the time as the elevator creeps up floor by floor, much too slow for the rush Louis' in. 

"Come on, come on," Louis groans, tapping his foot on the carpeted elevator floor. The time flicks up to 1:59.

When the elevator dings to signal it's landing on Louis' floor, Louis bolts out as soon as the doors open. He walks as fast as he can without full-on running to his room, turning the corner before his hallway and running smack into a hard, solid body.

"In a rush there, Lou?" Harry asks, eyebrow crooked and a smirk on his stupid lips. He grabs Louis' shoulders to steady him, pushing him off so they're not pressed body-to-body. 

Louis takes a second to take Harry in, letting his eyes inspect Harry's outfit - all black skinny jeans with a rip in the knees and a loose white tee, silver chains of his necklaces resting against his chest. 

He looks good. Ridiculously good.

"I lost track of time," Louis admits, sheepish shrug to his shoulders. "I was at the pool."

"I can tell," Harry says, eyes flashing and Louis knows that look. It's the same look Harry gave him last night before he'd basically attacked Louis by mouth and grind-fucked Louis' brains out. "You look good."

"I'm sweaty and sunburnt," Louis says. "Didn't know that sort of look got you going."

"Not the look that gets me going," Harry says, stepping back from Louis and wrapping an arm around Louis' shoulders, walking with Louis down the hall. "More so the mental image of you in tiny swim shorts laying sweaty and gorgeous by the pool that gets me."

Louis shudders, taking a moment before pushing Harry's arm off him when they stop at his door, fishing around in his trunks for his key card. "I need to shower again before we go eat," he says. "Hope you don't mind?"

"Not if I get to watch you do it," Harry smirks. "Or join you, if you'd rather." 

Louis snorts. "Keep it in your pants, Styles. I'll only be a moment." He slides the card through the lock, pushing the door open when the light turns green. "You may entertain yourself as you please while you wait."

Harry grins wickedly and Louis huffs a sigh. "Entertain yourself in a way you would if your parents were watching, Harold, please."

"You're no fun," Harry snuffs, flopping down on the small sofa at the center of the suite's small lounge.

"All of my fun got sucked out of me when I turned thirty." Louis says, shrugging. He drops his phone and his key card onto the coffee table in front of the couch, watching Harry watch him. "You're so fucking sexy," Harry says in that way he does, easy and nonchalant like he's commenting on the weather. 

"So you've said," Louis grins, turning his back to Harry and sauntering into the bathroom, more sway in his hips that's probably strictly necessary. He hears Harry mutter something intelligible just as he closes the door, a smile still on his lips as he strips off his swim trunks and starts the shower.

He's soaping over his chest when he hears the bathroom door open, brow furrowing for a moment before he remembers that no, he didn't lock it when he came in. "Gotta piss or something, Harry?"

Harry doesn't reply and Louis opens his mouth to call out again when suddenly the shower door is ripped open to the side and Louis' confronted with full-frontally nude Harry, all tattoos and taught muscles and hard cock. Louis wonders if he looks and shocked and flustered and aroused as he feels.

"Harry, what -" Louis tries, cutting off with a grunt as Harry steps into the shower, pressing Louis up against the back wall. 

"Couldn't do it," Harry says, pressing his face into the crook of Louis' neck, lips over slick skin.  

"Couldn't do what?" Louis breathes, trying not to arch up when Harry's hands come to rest on his stomach, just above his navel. It's both sensual and sexual at once, and Louis' breathing picks up when he thinks of how it could be if Harry's hands slid just a little lower.

"Sit out there and listen to the shower going and know you were in there, naked and wet." Harry lifts his head from the crook of Louis' neck, one hand drawing up from his tummy and over his chest and neck, settling at his jaw. Harry drags his thumb over Louis' bottom lip, watching it as it goes. "Got me so hard, y'know, thinking of you like that."

Louis absolutely can't help it this time, arching up to grind his cock into Harry's, gasping in surprise when Harry immediately reciprocates, fingers digging into the soft skin of his belly as he thrusts his hips against Louis'. 

"I don't fucking understand," Harry grunts, hand slipping from Louis' tummy down to his arse, "how you can make me feel like this when I've only known you a day."

"Harry -" Louis groans, cut off by the press of Harry's lips on his, hot and heavy and demanding. He opens up right away, letting Harry's tongue slip between his lips. 

They rut together as they kiss, water from the shower cascading over them and adding a sloppy wet smacking sound every time they come together.

"Fuck, fuck," Louis gasps. pulling away to catch his breath. "You're so fucking -"

"Not me," Harry cuts him off, "You - you're everything. Didn't expect you to be like this."

"Like what?" Louis muses, ducking his head to kiss sloppily over the underside of Harry's jaw. 

"Didn't expect you to be able to drive me crazy."

That's all Louis gets before Harry's back on him, hands and mouth all over, gasping and moaning and mewling as they push together again and again. The water's going cold but Louis doesn't care, feels so hot, so itchy under his skin, needing, wanting, begging for something he knows he craves but can't find his voice to ask for.

"Gonna come?" Harry asks, hips stuttering as he breathes open-mouthed against Louis' lips. "Say you're gonna come, fuck -"

"Yeah, yeah," Louis groans, tipping his head back against the shower wall as his hips jerk hard, Harry's cock twitching jerkily against his. "I just need -"

"Know what you need," Harry murmurs, one of his giant hands  coming to wrap around both Louis' cock and his, jerking them hard against each other as their hips continue to push together. Louis keens and Harry groans low, hand working harder and faster and Louis knows Harry's close, wants to see Harry lose it before he does.

"Come on, Harry, come," Louis brings his own hand down to cover Harry's, thumb rubbing hard over the head of Harry's cock. Harry makes a broken sound, throwing his head back, hips stuttering as he comes, hot and wet over his and Louis' fists, getting washed away by the shower the second it splatters on. 

"Now you, Louis, fuck, c'mon," Harry begs, yanking Louis' hand off, stroking him with one hand while he sucks two fingers from his other into his mouth. Louis' right there, right on that edge of whiting out and coming even harder than he had last night, like every time he's with Harry it's going to be better and better, trying to get him so addicted he can't ever leave it. 

Louis comes with a gasp, eyes squeezed shut and mouth hanging open when the fingers from Harry's mouth push up inside him, passed the sweet furl of his arsehole to crook against his prostate. It stings - stings but feels so fucking good - and his vision blurs as his orgasm rips through him, wracking his body with shudders and Harry finger fucks him through it, hand lazy on Louis' cock.

The coldness of the water comes down as a shock against Louis' heated skin as he works through the waves of his orgasm, wincing when Harry pulls his fingers out from inside him. "Holy fuck," Harry says, cheeks flushed and eyes bright. He looks so young again, his wet curls flopping into his face and making him look a sweet sixteen instead of eighteen. Louis' stomach twists.

"Hope you didn't make reservations, or anything," Louis says when his body finally stops shaking. "Because I think they're well fucked now."

"Don't worry," Harry says, pushing his wet hair out of his face into a makeshift quiff that instantly ages him. "We'll be fine. Called the place and told them we might need some wiggle room."

"What, did you plan on having sex in the shower? Or were you just hoping?" Louis asks, eyebrow crooked in question. 

"What kind of guy do you think I am?" Harry says, faking hurt. "I actually did it in case you decided to go into a panic again and try to talk yourself out of going to lunch with me. But hey, sex in the shower is much better than that, if I dare say so myself."

"You thought I was going to freak out again?" Louis frowns, reaching over to shut off the water. The faucet drips a few times, breaking the sudden silence. 

"I thought you might but hoped you wouldn't," Harry murmurs, inching closer to run a finger over Louis' collarbone. "I thought maybe you'd changed your mind, or something."

Louis sighs, shaking his head. He opens the shower door, stepping away from Harry and out into the steamy air of the bathroom. "I'll admit I thought about it," he confesses, "But then I thought about what you said last night, too. And decided that I shouldn't let who I am in London effect me here where nobody knows who I am, especially when I met this really fit bloke who I'd quite like to have a lot more sex with even if he is seventeen years younger than I am."

Harry snorts, stepping out of the shower behind Louis and wrapping his arms around Louis' midsection. "S'kinda sexy when you say it like that."

"You're fucked," Louis snorts, slipping away from Harry to reach into the cupboards and grab a towel. He squeaks with surprise and jerks away when he feels fingers teasing as his arsehole, spinning on his heel to glare at a grinning Harry.

"Judging from the way you reacted to my fingers just now in the shower makes me think you're going to be the one getting fucked."

Louis' eyes narrow and he feels his face flush red without permission from his brain. "Shut up."

Harry's grin grows wider and Louis huffs, throwing a towel at Harry's face before stalking out of the bathroom, tying his own around his waist.

"Aw, Lou!" he hears Harry call from the bathroom, laughter in his voice. Louis rolls his eyes but smiles despite himself, traipsing into the bedroom to put back on the clothes he'd been wearing before he'd decided to go down to the pool. 

He drops his towel and hears a low whistle from the doorway, pulling his pants on before turning around. Harry's eyes are dark as they look him up and down, bottom lip between his teeth. "Do we really have to go out to lunch?" Harry asks, fingers toying where his own towel is knotted at his waist.

"Lunch was your idea, you numpty," Louis says, grabbing his shirt and throwing it over his shoulders. "So go pick up your clothes from wherever you tossed them and get dressed so we can go."

"Bossy," Harry says, blowing Louis a kiss before slinking out of the bedroom, dropping his towel as he does so. Louis rolls his eyes. 

Thankfully, Harry's dressed by the time Louis exits the bathroom, hands running through his wet hair to try to stop it from drying in a flop against his forehead. Harry's curls are still pushed up in a quiff instead of setting softly in a mop just above his eyebrows. Harry looks about twenty-five with his clothes and his hair like that and, for some reason, Louis finds it  disconcerting rather than liking it.

"Ready to go?" Harry asks, holding out a hand as an offering. Louis takes it, linking their fingers together. 

"Ready." Louis confirms, giving a small grin back when Harry smiles widely at him. 

"You're going to love it," Harry says, tugging Louis forward to the door. "The food is fantastic. Dani and I go all the time. Josh and I, too, when our sets run late and we're craving some comfort food."

"Comfort food?" Louis muses, letting himself be tugged along as Harry opens the door and takes them out into the hallway. Harry doesn't speak again until they've reached the lift, one of Harry's spindly fingers reaching out to tap the down arrow. 

"Yeah, like chips and chicken and pasta," Harry says. "It's all really, really good. I can never decide on one thing, so every time I'm there I end up getting like, four different entrees."

"Fatty," Louis snorts. Harry makes an indignant squawking noise.

"I don't mean to!" He cries, tugging Louis into the lift when the doors slide open. "I just can't resist."

"Seems like that's something that happens a lot with you," Louis snickers. Harry shoves Louis playfully, flushing a bit.

The lift dings, signaling it's arrival to the lobby. "Come on," Harry grabs Louis' hand, leading him out. "The restaurant is only five minutes away by taxi."

"Good, because I'm starved," Louis says, following Harry out of the wide doors of the Riu lobby around to where the cabs wait, idling by the curb. Harry tugs him into the nearest one, telling the driver their destination before settling into the plush leather back seat, his fingers still intertwined with Louis'.

The taxi rolls out onto the street, Louis watching as the Riu's brilliant facade disappears as they turn a corner. 

"You're not going to try to order for me or something, are you?" Louis asks, nudging playfully against Harry's side. "Because I don't think I can handle eating four different entrees at once. I don't have the capacity for it."

Harry snorts. "You would if you could store food in your arse," he snickers.

Louis makes a noise of false offense, pushing Harry's shoulder so he knocks against the cab's door. Harry squawks. "Don't dare make nasty comments about my arse, Harry Styles, or you'll never get to touch it again."

"I said it with love, I swear!" Harry lifts his hands, palm up, a huge grin threatening to crack his face. "You've got a fantastic arse."

"That's what I thought," Louis says smugly. The cab turns another corner and slows to a stop, Harry's eyes lighting up when he sees they've reached their destination. 

"Come on," he says, reaching into his pocket to pull out his wallet, pulling out the required amount of money and tossing the bills to the driver. He grabs Louis' hand again and tugs him out the cab's open door, out onto the side of the street.

The restaurant really looks more like a cafe, small and quaint with a little outdoor patio, called Blue City. There's a few scattered patrons here and there - a couple laughing as they share a basket of chips, two teenage girls on cell phones each with a glass of lemon water in front of them, a mother watching her son as he dips his chicken fingers into ketchup before shoveling them into his mouth.

"We're gonna sit inside," Harry tells him as he opens the door, ushering Louis inside and completely blowing off the hostess. She doesn't seem miffed, though, just smiles and waves, marking down something in her book as he and Harry pass by, still hand in hand. 

It's strange, Louis thinks, to be the one who's being wooed and doted on instead of the other way around, how it was with him and Eleanor. It's different, weird, but it's nice. 

Harry waves to a few people as they make their way over to one of the small, chocolate brown colored booths in the restaurant's corner, Harry grinning as their waiter - a bloke with a mess of white-blonde hair and bright blue eyes - stops at their table, passing them their menus. "Niall!" Harry cheers, standing up to give the guy a quick hug. "Didn't know you were working today, mate."

"Wasn't supposed to be," the waiter - Niall - says, Irish accent thick, clapping Harry on the shoulder. "Taylor called in sick and I had to take her shift."

"Unreliable, that girl," Harry says shaking his head. Niall chuckles.

"So who's your friend?" Niall asks, politely inquisitive.

"Oh!" Harry chirps. "This is Louis. Met him last night at the hotel."

"And you're already taking him out on a lunch date?" Niall smirks, directing his next words to Louis, "Harry's quite the charmer, innit?"

"That he is," Louis agrees, nudging Harry's foot with his under the table.

Niall laughs, light and easy, pulling a note pad and pen out from the pocket of his apron. "Might as well take your orders while I'm over here. What's to drink?"

"I'll take a tea, two sugars," Harry says. 

"And you, Louis?"

"Erm, same," Louis says, grabbing his menu and opening it up. 

"Be right back with those then," Niall says, stuffing his note pad and pen back into his apron.

Niall turns on his heel and walks back the way he came, leaving Harry and Louis to themselves again. Harry's caught up in his menu and Louis takes a second to just look at him, admire the furrow of his brow, the slope of his nose, the curve of his ridiculous lips. He's right fit, Harry is. Right fit to the point where Louis can't figure out why Harry would ever want him, but he's not going to question it if the higher power controlling his life deems it that he should get to enjoy this boy while he can. Lord knows when he goes back to London he's not going to have anything that comes close to Harry if he even gets any again at all.

"Stop staring," Harry murmurs, humor in his voice. 

"You stare at me all the time," Louis counters. Harry flushes behind his menu. "I'm just polite and don't call you out on it."

"I don't stare, I admire," Harry says, closing his menu and setting it down on the table. "Have you decided what you want?

"Haven't even looked at the menu yet," Louis admits sheepishly. "What are you getting?" 

 

 

"The fish and chips," Harry says. "Going with a classic."

"I'll have that, too, then," Louis says, setting his own menu down as well. It's right then that Niall comes back with their tea, setting the cups down in front of them. "Alright Harry, what's it gonna be today?"

"Fish and chips, for the both of us," Harry says. Niall nods.

"A classic," he says. "Be back with that in a mo'," he says, picking up their menu and traipsing away.

The food comes to them in record time, Harry lighting up like a child on Christmas when his plate is set in front of him. It smells delicious and Louis bets it's going to taste just as delicious if the orgasm face Harry makes when he takes his first bite is anything to go by. 

It is delicious, flaky and moist just how Louis likes it. The chips are fantastic, too, seasoned with something that gives them a tropical taste, odd as it seems. But it works. Really works.

"This is amazing," Louis says, shoving another forkful of fish into his mouth.

"Told you," Harry says, grinning proudly. "If there's one thing I know really well, it's awesome food joints."

They eat in relative silence, comfortable in a way Louis normally isn't ever when it comes to sitting in silence with another person. Harry will slip on a comment or short, bumbling anecdote every so often and Louis will nod and laugh where needed, content to gorge himself on the phenomenal food he's got in front of him. He's never tasted fish and chips so good, not even back in England, and that's saying something.

Louis opens his mouth to ask Harry if he can pass him the salt right quick but he's interrupted by a long, gangly arm being swung around Harry's shoulders and a loud, obnoxious drawl of "Harold! What in God's green Earth are you doing here?

Louis struggles with everything he has not to roll his eyes so hard they pop from their sockets when Nick Grimshaw leans down to plant a wet, sloppy kiss on Harry's cheek. Harry pushes him off but has a soft grin on his lips. "Flying a plane. What's it look like I'm doing here?"

Nick laughs, the sound of it too sharp and tinny to Louis' ears. He feels like he needs to flinch. "Looks like you're eating lunch with that handsome bloke you brought to the party last night," Nick says, grabbing a chair from one of the empty cafe-style tables, sidling up to the side of Harry and Louis' booth, turning to face Louis. "Lewis, right?"

"Louis," Louis corrects, a sharp bite to his tone. Nick raises an eyebrow.

"A snarky one, aren't you?" Nick jeers, a look on his face that makes Louis' skin burn. 

"Why are you here?" Louis barks, no longer trying to hide his displeasure at Nick's sudden appearance. 

Nick's face darkens, his eyes flashing with mirth. "Am I not allowed to say hello to a friend when I run into him in a public place?"

"Nick -" Harry pleads, sensing immediately that the conversation is about to take a turn for the bad. 

"No, Harry, let a man speak," Nick sneers, a wicked twist to his lips that reminds Louis of the Cheshire cat, if the cat were completely deranged. "So, Louis, am I allowed?"

Louis' blood is boiling, face hot from being treated like a petulant child by a man who's not only younger than him, but a complete and utter cock, hair piled too high on his head, eyes too beady, smirk too much of a sneer on his pale, thin lips. 

Louis grits his teeth, talking himself down from simply launching himself over the table and punching Nick in the mouth. Instead he sets a forced, fake smile on his lips and says, "No. No, I don't think you are." Nick's quirked eyebrow arches up even higher, like he didn't expect Louis to say such a thing.

"And why not?" He presses.

"Because," Louis says, slow and deliberately, "You're a self-centered arsehole and I really don't want to spend even a millisecond of my lunch with Harry looking at your pinched face and God awful mountain of a disaster that you call your hair."

And with that Louis gets up, throwing a look to Harry that he hopes conveys "I'll be waiting outside," before slipping out of the booth and walking - with just enough petulance that it edges on a stomp but doesn't go all the way - back out the way he and Harry came in.

x

Louis' only left waiting out on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant for a short five minutes before Harry's walking out, an apologetic look on his face and a to-go box in his hand. "Had to get Ni to box the food up for us before I left," he says, a sheepish quality to his voice like he expects Louis to start scolding him, or something.

"Glad you did. It'd be a right shame to waste it," Louis says, watching as Harry's eyes brighten when he realizes that Louis isn't angered with him. "Let's head back to the hotel so we can finish eating in peace, shall we?"

Harry nods eagerly, hailing the next cab that drives towards them. Harry opens Louis' door for him and Louis fondly rolls his eyes, yanking Harry in behind him. 

The cab starts moving before Harry speaks again, grabbing Louis' hand and mindlessly playing with Louis' fingers. "I'm sorry about that, back there," he says. "Nick can really be a dick, sometimes."

"I've come to see that, yes," Louis agrees. "I'm hoping we don't run into him again while I'm here."

Harry snickers, pulling Louis' hand up to kiss the back of it. "Sorry that the lunch date was a bust," he apologizes, "There's a party tonight, though, if you want to go. Let me make up for it."

Louis purses his lips, considering. "It's a staff party," Harry inserts quickly, "Just people from the hotel. Nick won't be there, though, I promise."

Louis nods. "Seems like it'd be a good time," he shrugs. "I'm in."

When they arrive back at the hotel they head up to Louis' suite, Harry stopping to chat with a girl with severe cheekbones and thick eyebrows, whom he introduces to Louis as Cara. "Louis' coming to the party tonight," Harry tells her like it's big news. Cara chuckles lightly. "I'll see both of you later, then," she says, ushering them away when she's needed by another guest.

"She seems cool," Louis comments as he and Harry slide into the lift. 

"Yeah, she is," Harry agrees. "Don't know why she works here, though. I keep telling her she should go be a model, or something."

 

 

Something pangs in Louis' chest and suddenly he's bombarded with thoughts of Eleanor from out of nowhere, the first thoughts of her he's had since he started seeing Harry. (Only a day ago, he reminds himself, because it's hard to wrap his head around.) He doesn't want to think of her, not with Harry standing next to him, chattering away, but he can't help himself. She's all he's thought about for the past six months - a pattern of work, El, work, work, work, El, El - to the point where he'd drive himself mad over it. 

He feels stupid, foolish, embarrassed, and when the lift dings and they exit into the hallway, he turns to Harry and tells him not to come back to his room.

"What, why? Is everything okay?" Harry asks, the concern blatant on his features. 

"No, no, everything's fine," Louis assures him, though he's not quite sure himself. He feels odd, thrown off, but he figures all he needs is a quick soak in the bathtub and a cold beer and he'll be just fine. "I'm just gonna need some time to get ready for the party and I don't want you to be distracting me like you did before lunch today," Louis says and Harry smirking.

"Of course not," Harry agrees, voice sounding like he really would enjoy sticking around and distracting Louis all over again. "I'll be at your door at ten, alright?" Louis nods. Harry ducks down to peck Louis quickly on the lips. Louis pushes him off, rolling his eyes. There's a smile on Louis' lips; Harry's grinning. "See you tonight, then," he says, reaching back to press the down button on the lift. 

"See you," Louis says, turning on his heel and strutting down the hall to his room, knowing Harry's staring as he goes.

As he turns down the hall he hears the lift ding and Harry curse, laughing to himself because he knows Harry just missed it. 

It feels good to have somebody interested in him to the point where they're so entranced by watching them that they forget about something right in front of them. It feels good, and by the time Louis' sliding his key card into the lock on his room door all of his thoughts of Eleanor have cleared, and instead of desperately chasing them to get them back like he would have if he was still home, he's glad to see them go.

x

Harry's at Louis' door right at ten just like he said, dressed in black jeans with holes ripped in the knees, a red plaid shirt unbuttoned down far enough that the two swallows on Harry's chest and the ridiculous butterfly on his stomach peek through, and the old, beat up brown suede boots that seem to never leave Harry's feet.

"You look nice," Louis says, sticking his key card into his pocket, slipping out of his room and closing the door behind him. Harry hums his thanks, giving Louis a long once-over.

"You look intoxicating," Harry breathes, looping an arm around Louis' waist and pulling him close as they walk towards the lift. "Those jeans do wonders for you."

 

 

Louis rolls his eyes, unable to help the way he flushes. "Thanks," he says. 

"So the party's down in the staff apartments," Harry tells him once they've entered the lift, "so it's not that far away. Like a two minute walk to the hotel's other end."

"Wonderful," Louis says, glad to know he's not going to be placed completely out of his element, that he can leave and find his way back to his room easily if need be. Or if he gets so pissed he can barely walk he's not going to have to trek miles to get back to a safe haven. "Is it going to be big, then? The party?"

"Quite small, actually," Harry guesses. "Eight, ten people, maybe? Definitely no larger than ten. Just my group of friends, mainly, like Dani and Cara and Josh."

"No more of your awkward decade-plus-older-than-you mates?" Louis jokes. Harry snickers.

"You'll be the only one, promise."

Louis frowns, shoving Harry into the wall of the lift. Harry snort-laughs, the sound gross and ridiculous and stupidly endearing all at the same time. "Rude," Louis scolds playfully, unable to keep from smiling when Harry's beaming at him from the other side of the lift, so pleased with himself and the joke he's made. Louis can tell Harry doesn't make good jokes much and lets him have his moment.

The lift dings, doors sliding open to reveal the bright lobby. "Shall we?" Harry offers a hand, still snickering the tiniest bit.

"We shall," Louis says, ignoring Harry's hand because he can and traipsing out of the lift while Harry makes an offended noise behind him. 

"That was rude," Harry huffs, catching up to Louis in two strides because he has tarantula legs. 

"That was nothing of the sort. You're just overly sensitive."

Harry makes another disgruntled noise, putting his arm around Louis' waist and pulling him close again. "You're so mean to me," Harry says, pressing his face into Louis' hair. 

"I'm nothing of the sort," Louis disagrees. "I think I've actually been quite tender to you. Seeing as I've already let you get into my pants after knowing you only a day. No! Not even a day. One quarter of a day," Louis reaches up to pat a hand against Harry's curls, liking the way Harry can't help but give a little purr of happiness. "I'd say I'm nothing but nice to you."

"You might be right," Harry says, hand sliding from Louis' waist to rest against the top of his bum. It feels oddly possessive and Louis' not so sure why it makes him feel suddenly hot all over.

"So the party's in the staff apartments, you said?" Louis asks, changing the subject. 

"Yeah," Harry says, leading Louis through the lobby doors to the outside. "They're on the very top floor of that building, there," Harry says, pointing to the big white facade on the other side of the massive pool area slash courtyard. "The building's mostly all dining halls and such so it's not like we interfere with guest housing."

"Do you have to pay to stay there?" Louis asks. 

"Nah," Harry says. "Living at the hotel sometimes is part of the job description. We actually get paid to stay there, if you think about it."

"Do you have a flat of your own?" Louis asks, eyes drifting over to the massive turquoise pool, wishing it weren't closed so he and Harry could take a dip. 

"A tiny one," Harry says. "Josh and I share it and it's more like a makeshift studio that we sleep in sometimes than an actual apartment."

"Sounds like it's lovely," Louis jeers. Harry shakes his head and laughs.

"It works for what it's needed," Harry shrugs.

They bypass the main doors of the other building when they reach it, Harry taking Louis around to the far side to a door Louis wouldn't have realized was there if Harry hadn't pulled out a key and opened it. It turns out to open into a small corridor with three other door on the right and a lift straight to the back, which Harry leads Louis into. "This lift is just for the staff," Harry informs him as the doors close, pressing the single floor button the lift possesses. "It goes straight from the apartments to this floor, and those three doors all lead into different kitchens."

"Stealthy," Louis says.

The ride in the lift is short, the doors opening silently when it reaches its destination. Louis can already hear the thumping of music.

"Sounds like the party's already in full gear," he says. 

"Probably not, actually," Harry says, taking Louis' hand. "Perrie just likes to play the music loud all the time."

"I see," Louis says, sudden feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment bubbling up in his chest. He knows it's the little voice in the back of his head that's been giving him shit since he met Harry again, the one saying they're all going to judge you and they're going to think you're old and weird and don't make a fool of yourself by doing this.

"Hey," Harry says, stopping his walk and turning to face Louis. "What are you thinking about?"

Louis shakes his head. "Nothing to concern you, young Harold." He says, trying to joke it off.

"They're all going to like you, you know," Harry says, mind-reader he is. "They're not going to give a shit about your age, wouldn't of you were fifteen instead of thirty-five."

"If I was fifteen then you'd be a statutory rapist," Louis says, his moment of crippling uncertainty passing as quickly as it'd come on. 

"And they still wouldn't care." Harry concedes. "Now come on. I want to get in before Josh and Pez eat all of the chicken wing dip Danielle made."

Louis snorts a laugh, following again as Harry walks him down another corridor until they reach the door where the music's pumping through, Harry knocking three times before the door opens and a lad with big brown puppy eyes greets them, a dopey grin on his full lips. "Harry!" He exclaims, pulling Harry into a hug. "Hazza's here!" the boy calls, turning head over shoulder so the rest of the people in the room hear. "And he brought a friend!"

"His name's Louis!" A female voice pops up and that's Cara from the front desk coming up behind the bloke, two unopened beers in her hands. "And he's thirty-five," she says. 

"Ooh," says the puppy boy, thick eyebrows shooting upwards. "Scandalous."

"Shut it, Liam," Harry rolls his eyes. Louis chuckles. "You're crushing on Danielle, and she's older than you."

The boy - Liam - flushes a scarlet red. "Speaking of Danielle," Cara cuts it, "She sent me to get her another beer but I got some for Louis and Harry instead." Liam's looking at Cara with a lost look in his puppy eyes and Cara sighs. "Go get Danielle a beer, Liam." She says, exasperated. Liam gives a small, "Oh!" and scampers away, presumably to where the beer is being kept.

"Come in, then!" Cara orders, stepping back from the doorway so Harry and Louis can come in. "And take these," she hands them the beers. "Food's everywhere, beer's in the kitchen, you know how it goes."

Harry nods like he does, pulling Cara into a quick hug before grabbing Louis and pulling him off in another direction, over to the small sitting room where a bloke Louis identifies as Josh is playing beer pong on the coffee table with a girl with hair so platinum it's nearly white. Josh sinks a cup and the girl curses, chugging quickly before she aims to take her own shot. 

"Josh, Perrie!" Harry calls just as Perrie throws, making her botch the shot and flick Harry off with both hands. Harry cackles. "Thought you had better aim than that, P."

"Fuck off," Perrie spits but her expression is fond. "Josh is cheating, anyway."

 "I am not!" Josh protests. "I made one bounce shot when she wasn't paying attention and now she's accusing me of rigging the game. How in the fuck do you rig beer pong?"

"You'd find a way," Perrie says. Josh throws his hands up in the air, exasperated. 

"Just pissed you're losing," he says, picking up one of the pong cups and downing what's inside.

"Eat me," Perrie taunts. "So," she says, pushing a piece of her blondeblondeblonde hair behind her ear. She nudges Harry with a bony elbow. "Thirty-five, huh?"

Harry rolls his eyes and Louis blanches for a second before he gets himself together. "I don't look it though, do I?" He asks. Perrie grins.

"I'd think you were fresh off your mum's tit if I didn't know better, love," she says and, for some odd reason, Louis is flattered.

"I wouldn't go that far, Pez," Harry chuckles. "He looks young, yeah, but not infantile. Probably wouldn't be attracted to him if he did."

"Ah, yes," Perrie says, smirking like she knows something nobody else does. She focuses back on Louis and says, "Harry here has a bit of a thing for older lovers. First Caroline, then Ni-"

"Perrie." Harry cuts her off, throwing her a sharp look. She crooks an eyebrow at him and Harry shakes his head. Louis wonders what that's about.

"Anyway," Perrie begins again, "We've got a good pong tourney going on. You guys in to play?"

Harry opens his mouth to confirm or deny but turns to Louis, hesitant. Louis nods. "Was ace at pong in uni," Louis says.

"Awesome," Perrie chirps. "Alright, Joshua, you and I versus Harry and Louis, here. Winner goes against Cara and Liam."

"That's hardly fair," Cara says from behind them, skinny frame sprawled out in an armchair. "Liam is shit at pong."

"I resent that notion!" Liam calls from where he's curled like a limpet around Danielle who's talking to a skinny brunette with tattoos on her pale arms on her other side, beer in his hand.

"It's the truth and you know it," Cara counters, tossing her hair over her shoulder.

"Nobody cares," Perrie says, pushing her hair behind her ears and moving in place on her end of the beer pong table. Louis pushes Harry to get him to move to the other side, taking his own spot next to her.

Louis gets a weird sense of vertigo, standing at the edge of a beer pong table. He hasn't played this since he was a student in uni struggling to get by but still found time to get pissed on the weekends, and he suddenly feels very old in a way he hasn't for quite a time.

He's out of his league with these people, this party, with Harry, out of his element. Thirty-five and hanging out with twenty-somethings while he's a vacation that was supposed to be for him to get his mind off his divorce and get his shit together, not start a fling with a gangly too-charming-for-his-own-good eighteen year old kid.

Something must show on his face because Harry's calling gently "Louis," his expression one that Louis can read as don't start to think, don't freak out, this is fine and Louis doesn't know whether there are butterflies in his stomach because Harry can read him so well or steel nails because he's come to needing to be calmed like a child by somebody who's nearly half his age.

Everything's fucked, he thinks. Everything is so fucked. But fucked seems to be Louis' life lately, and he's kind of gotten used to it.

Fuck it, he thinks, grabbing the ball from the wash cup, twirling it in his fingers. Leave it be, he tells himself, and tosses the ball. It sinks, first try. Perrie curses, startling Louis as he'd forgotten for a bit she was right there.

"Look's like Louis' a force to be reckoned with," Harry says, grinning at Louis, a sparkle in his green eyes.

"Seems so," Josh agrees, grabbing the ball out of the cup and tossing back the beer inside. He throws the ball into the wash cup before sending it back Louis' way. "Beer pong king, right here."

He and Harry end up winning by a landslide, only having to drink twice each. Louis sunk nearly every shot he took and Harry looked at him like he was God after each one.

"I had no clue," Harry says when they make their way into the kitchen to fetch beers, those Cara had given having been used to fill the cups for the game, "that you were a beer pong guru."

"Said I used to play in uni," Louis grins. "Just didn't care to mention how good I was."

"Glad you didn't," Harry says, opening the fridge and pulling out two beers. "The look on Perrie's face when you sunk that first shot was priceless."

"Bet it was," Louis agrees. "Didn't think the old man had any skill."

Harry chuckles. "Y'not an old man, though," he says.

Louis shrugs, cracking open the beer can. "Irrelevant, young Harold," he says. Harry rolls his eyes, a small smile gracing his lips. "Come on, now. It's time to go make Liam and Cara cry with my amazing pong skills."

x

Two hours, six rounds of beer pong and four shots later, Louis is royally pissed. Everything is a bit fuzzy and his limbs feel slow like molasses. He's wobbly on his feet, using Harry more or less as a crutch even though Harry's just as wobbly as Louis is. They nearly fall into the same end table a dozen times, each time coming a bit closer to disaster than the last. Louis' sure he's got a bruise the size of Australia on his arse cheek from the last confrontation.

The whole party has fallen into a state of drunken easiness, everybody laying over everybody passing a bottle of Jägermeister and a spliff between them.

The air is thick with the smell of good weed and, for Louis who's got his face buried in them, Harry's apple-scented curls. Louis feels like he did when he was eighteen and finding himself, drifting along in a sea of booze and weed and people, striking land with a pretty girl or boy, anchoring himself on them, hoping they wouldn't be offended and send him off sailing again.

Those nights ended in a lot of dirty, messy one-night-stands that made Louis hate himself in the morning, but his cycle continued on and on until he met Eleanor, and she saved him from his drifting.

That's Harry, now - Harry's strong shoulders and apple curls are his island, saving him from going too far out into sea that he can't make it back. He's too drunk to care that it should be the other way around, too drunk to be worried he's reverting back to his old ways in a desperate attempt to feel young, feel like he actually deserves to have somebody like Harry holding him down.

Fear of reversion aside, Harry's a strong, solid warmth at Louis' side, talking loudly to Danielle and the brunette girl with the tattoos from the party on the beach, called Cher, Louis remembers. Whatever they're talking about Louis' not really paying attention, content to sip his beer and lean on Harry's shoulder, watching the sloppy people around him try to find enough coordination within themselves to stand up or form sentences. It's actually a bit mesmerizing.

Harry nudges him and Louis sits up, frowning at being disturbed. "Have to piss," Harry explains, and Louis nods, "Ah."

Harry wobbles as he stands up, long, gangly legs even more uncoordinated that they are when he's sober. Louis' surprised he can even walk.

Danielle and Cher snicker at Harry as he goes, and once he's out of sight, they turn to Louis. He suddenly gets the sinking feeling he's about to be interrogated.

"So," Danielle starts. "What are your intentions with our lovely little Hazza?"

Louis can't help but snort a laugh because of course Dani would start with that line. He composes himself after he sees the look on Dani's face that she's not fooling. Cher's sort of glaring at him, too, and if Louis' honest, Cher frightens him a bit.

"I honestly can't say what my intentions are," Louis admits. "Because I have none. I'm - going with the flow?"

"Going with the flow," Danielle hums, pursing her lips. "You remember what I told you at the restaurant, remember?"

"Of course," Louis says.

"Well, it still applies," Danielle says. "Harry falls very easily. He's got a huge heart and he's had it broken and stepped on and cracked to pieces more than anybody should ever have to."

"I don't plan on breaking his heart -"

"But you're going to, aren't you?" Cher cuts in. "You won't be here forever."

"I'm not - I'm not just going to leave and tell Harry to fuck off and not speak to me again," Louis defends, getting a bit peeved now. He's thirty-five for fuck's sake; he doesn't need to be talked down to. He knows what he's getting into, doesn't need these girls to make him feel like shit for something he has no control over. "And besides, who says there's actually going to be anything with Harry to try to preserve when I leave? He's probably going to decide I'm a waste of time and -"

"That's not what Harry does," Danielle cuts in. "He doesn't have flings. He started whatever this is with you because he saw something in you that made him think you were worth trying to pursue a relationship with, not just fuck and leave."

"But why?!" Louis shouts, going hot when a few others turn to look at him with raised eyebrows. "What the hell kind of relationship did he expect to get? He obviously knew I was a guest at the fucking hotel seeing as he met me at the hotel."

Danielle sighs. "Harry's confusing," she says. "But he's genuine. Just - if you don't want what he wants, let him know? He'll get over it quicker if you just tell him flat out instead of leading him on."

"I'm not leading him on," Louis protests. "I know it's odd, a thirty-five year old man with and eighteen-year-old, but - I don't know, okay? It's odd and I probably shouldn't be doing it, but I know that there's something about Harry that draws me into him, and I want it. I'm not sure what it is, yet, but I'm not just fucking around with him." Louis stops, checking Cher's and Danielle's faces and hoping he's at least making some sort of sense. 

The girls exchange a look and Danielle sighs, again. "Just be careful, alright?"

"Because if we find out you hurt him, you're dead," Cher says and Louis finds it quite disconcerting that he can't tell if she's joking or not.

"Promise," Louis says, as genuinely as he can manage while his speech is still a bit slurred.

Harry wanders back in, then, a cheery smile on his flushed face, completely oblivious to the conversation that just went on. "Beer's gone," he says and Cher curses, muttering something under her breath as she gets up, trudging towards the kitchen. Harry sits back down on the floor next to Louis and Louis falls into him again. He doesn't say anything, but he can feel Harry staring, probably with pursed lips and a furrowed brow in that way he does.

"Looks like Louis thinks it's about time to go," Cara snickers, from across the room.

"Old man needs to get to bed," Perrie adds and Louis flips her off. 

"Do you want to leave?" Harry asks, voice low, only meant for Louis to hear. 

"A bit, yeah," Louis murmurs. "We can hang out in my room for a bit longer, if you'd like."

"Yeah, I'd like," Harry says. He lifts his head from where he's leaned in close to Louis, turning to Dani. "We're going to be on our way," he says. "See you at work tomorrow, yeah?"

"Bye, Haz," Danielle says. A few more goodbyes are called from the others as Harry and Louis get to their feet, a partner effort as they tug on each other until they find their balance. 

"Glad it's a short walk back," Harry says once they've made it out the door and start their way over to the lift.

Louis snickers. "Cheers to that," he agrees. "I used to be a great drunk-walker but it's all gone to shit in my old age."

"You're not even old," Harry rolls his eyes, sliding his hand down Louis' arm and linking their fingers. "Stop saying that."

"I'm older than you, little Harold," Louis says.

"Stop calling me Harold," Harry groans. "That's not even my name."

They climb into the lift when it opens, Harry and his giraffe-legs stumbling over the slight step up. "How am I supposed to know that?" Louis muses. "You never told me your full name wasn't Harold Styles."

"It's just Harry," Harry says. "Harry Edward Styles."

"Edward?" Louis snickers. "And I thought William was bad."

"Your middle name is William?" 

"No, it's Geraldo, but I like to say it's William."

"Ha ha," Harry gripes. "Louis William Tomlinson," he says it slowly, taking his time to taste the words, let them roll around in his mouth. "I like it. It fits you."

"Thanks," Louis says, squeezing Harry's hand. "Your approval does wonders for my self-esteem."

"Don't be a dick," Harry says but he's smiling, dimple a crater in his cheek.

"I would never," Louis says just as the lift dings and the doors slide open, revealing that little secret hallway from earlier.

The rest of the walk back to Louis' room goes by quickly, with only a bit of stumbling on Harry's part and an almost-collision with a pool chair on Louis'. Harry flops down onto the small sofa when they get inside, Louis rolling his eyes as he pulls his shoes off. 

"D'you want something to eat?" Louis asks, snatching up the room service menu and flipping into the dinners section.

"No, I'm alright," Harry says. "I'd like you to come cuddle with me, though."

Louis rolls his eyes. "That sofa is barely big enough to fit you, let alone fit both of us."

"We'll move to the bed, then," Harry offers, sitting up and grabbing Louis' hand.

"Harry -" Louis tries but Harry cuts him off with a noise.

"We're drunk-cuddling, come on."

Harry pulls him until they flop onto the bed, Harry on the duvet and Louis on top of Harry. "Don't let me crush you," Louis jokes.

"I like you on top," Harry says and Louis goes to laugh until he sees Harry is completely serious, face smooth and eyes dark.

"Harry," Louis breathes, tongue sliding over his bottom lip.

"I don't know how you're doing this to me," Harry murmurs, one of his hands slithering onto Louis' lower back.

"Doing what?" Louis asks, voice a whisper.

"Making me feel this way," Harry clarifies. The hand on Louis' back tenses into a fist. "You're - you're making me crazy. Making me want you so bad when I've only known you for two days." Harry's other hand comes up to cup Louis' cheek and Louis' own hands curl up against Harry's chest. "I feel like I'm falling so hard for you already, yet I barely know who you are."

"Does it matter?" Louis asks, not sure he wants to know the answer.

"No," Harry whispers fiercely, pressing down on Louis' back to get him closer. "It doesn't. Not right now." And then Louis' being kissed, the press of mouths hot and hard with Harry close against him.

The kiss goes from zero to sixty in what feels like only seconds, Harry rolling over and pressing Louis into the mattress, Harry's long body a heavy, solid weight on top of him. It should feel suffocating but it's not, acting instead as a way for Louis to ground himself and a lovely source of friction for his cock, already nearly half-mast in his trousers.

"God," Louis gasps when Harry breaks from his mouth to kiss down his neck, sucking and biting at the skin. Harry nips roughly against the hollow at the base of Louis' throat, hard enough that Louis knows he'll leave a mark. The thought sends a flood of heat through his body and he has to arch up again, grind his cock against the thigh Harry's shoved between his.

After Harry's left a huge, shining love bite on Louis' skin he sits up, yanking his shirt over his head, nevermind the buttons. Louis' mouth goes dry at the sight of him, long and lean and muscled, the black lines of his tattoos luminescent against his skin.

Harry tosses his shirt off to the side, ducking back down to kiss up the underside of Louis' jaw, a short detour before he claims his mouth again. Louis reaches up to tangle his fingers in Harry's sweat-damp curls, opening his mouth to Harry's tongue. Harry tastes like beer and cheap vodka, but Louis doesn't care, knows he probably tastes the same way, too.

Louis gives a harsh tug on Harry's curls when Harry's hands slip under his shirt, wanting Harry to take it off.

Harry breaks from the kiss and the shirt comes off, flung across the room. He's up for a split second after Louis' shirt comes off before ducking down to suckle Louis' nipple, running his thumb over the other until it pebbles under his touch.

Louis shudders, more sensitive that he though he'd be. Eleanor wasn't one to explore his nipples and it never did anything for him when he tried it himself. The new sensation is a pleasant surprise.

"C'n I take your shorts off, Lou?" Harry asks from against Louis' chest, peering up through thick lashes. "Wanna suck you."

"God, yeah," Louis groans, hips bucking up unconsciously at the thought of Harry's ridiculous lips wrapped tight around his cock. "You can take them off, babe, yeah."

Harry smooshes his face against Louis' belly as he pops the button on Louis' shorts, kissing just below his bellybutton as the shorts slide down Louis' legs. Louis kicks them off when they hit to his knees.

His pants are still on but Harry makes quick work of those, shoving the waistband down below his balls. Louis' cock bounces out, lazily half hard despite how desperately aroused Louis is. Harry's brow creases and Louis soothes it out with his thumb, not wanting Harry to think that he's not really fucking turned on, because he is. "Just takes a bit for my body to catch up to my mind,'s'all."

Harry hums his understanding and wraps a solid hand around Louis' cock, tugging upwards. Louis chokes on a groan, bucking into Harry's fist.

God, he feels sixteen all over again - his first time with somebody else's hand on his cock, hot and horny and wanting. It's been so long since he's been touched by someone other than himself, and even then it's been awhile. He rarely has time for a casual jerk with how much he works, always having something more important to tend to than his prick.

It only takes Louis another couple seconds to get fully erect, Harry darting down to lick up the first burble of precome that oozes over his cockhead. "Fuck, fuck yeah," Louis curses, lifting up his head to watch Harry part his lips and swallow him half way in one smooth movement. Harry gags a little before he starts to bob, wasting no time in taking what he wants. Harry's stupid dimple is still a visible crater in his cheeks as he sucks on Louis' cock and Louis can't help but lay his thumb into it, pressing down to feel himself fucking into Harry's mouth. "So good at this," Louis praises, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back onto the mattress.

Louis' not usually one to dirty talk during sex, opting instead to speak with his body, but Harry looks so fucking good with Louis' cock in his mouth that Louis just can't help himself. "Knew your stupid mouth was put on you for a reason," he grunts, tangling a hand in Harry's hair to get the leverage he needs to fuck into Harry's mouth. Harry gags again but keeps going, drooling like an animal around Louis' dick.

The slick sound of Harry's mouth on Louis' prick is met with the sound of Harry jerking his own cock, hand crammed inside his jeans in a desperate attempt to relieve the building pressure. Louis' balls start to draw up in a bid to come, and he, with all the strength he has to do so, uses the hand in Harry's curls to tug Harry off his cock.

"Don' wanna come," Louis explains, breath unsteady. "Want you to fuck me."

Harry's eyes widen comically, indecision  written on his face. "Lou, are you -" Harry questions, fumbling with his words and his hands, unsure where to put them. Louis grabs them, trapping them up in his own. "Y'sure?"

"C'mere," Louis beckons, opening his legs. His chest swelling with affection when Harry lays against him , nuzzling up under his neck like a needy kitten. "'M sure," Louis murmurs, petting his fingers through Harry's nest of knotted curls. "Wouldn't tell you to if I wasn't."

"Y'wanna bottom, though?" Harry asks, peeking up at Louis through his eyelashes. He looks so coy, innocent like a child, all big green eyes and rosy cheeks, like a porcelain doll Louis shouldn't be allowed to touch but touches all over anyways.

"This time, yeah," Louis nods. He gives Harry's scalp a little scratch and Harry nearly purrs, eyes slipping closed.

"This time?" Harry muses, voice low, husky. "Meaning there's gonna be another?"

Louis shrugs best he can with Harry on top of him. "Suppose so, yeah."

Harry hums, seemingly content with Louis' answer. "Need lube," Harry murmurs after a moment, rubbing his hard cock against Louis' hip. No more indecision then, alright.

"There's massage oils in the bathroom," Louis says, pushing up against Harry when Harry ruts down.

Harry presses a chaste kiss to Louis cheeks, a rushed, "Be right back," before sliding off of Louis and the bed, pressing his cock to his hip to keep it from bouncing as he strides off into the bathroom.

Louis' got a fist around his cock, lazily stroking himself when Harry comes back in, small vile of oil in his big hand, other still holding his dick to his hip. He lets go when he sees Louis and Louis gives a small snort, unable to stop himself.

Harry knees his way back onto the bed, positioning himself half on top of and half beside Louis, popping the cap on the oil. He pours it over three fingers, making Louis gasp when he yanks Louis' leg up to prop it over his hip, slick fingers delving down between his arsecheeks.

"Shit," Louis grunts when Harry pushes his middle finger inside, clenching around it to get used to the feeling. He hasn't bottomed for anyone in a long while, not since that one time he and Eleanor decided to give pegging a try.

This is nothing like that, though; so much more compared to the sting of Eleanor's manicured nails inside him. Harry's fingers are smart, filthily clever, and calloused in all the right places; Louis doesn't even flinch when Harry slides a second in.

Harry makes quick work of the prep, making sure to get Louis as ready as he can, brushing his prostate every so often to keep Louis' cock interested. Louis' breath hitches when Harry drops his leg and his fingers slide out, the boy shifting so his lithe body is once again a solid weight on top of Louis'.

"Y'good?" Harry asks, trying to assure Louis even though Louis' pretty sure Harry's the one who needs assurance, if the way his eyes are wide and blown out like a frightened child are anything to go by.

"Yeah," Louis says. "Are you?"

Harry bites his lip, eyes shifting downward. "I'm - yeah," he says. "Just don't wanna fuck this up."

"You won't," Louis assures him. "Promise."

"Promise," Harry echoes quietly, nodding more to himself than to Louis. "'S'gonna be good."

Seeming to have gotten his confidence back, Harry shifts so he can press the head of his cock to Louis' hole. Louis breathes in, waiting for the first push inside, but Harry freezes up before it comes. "Lou, Lou we don't have a condom."

"Are you clean, Harry?" Louis asks. Harry nods. "So am I. As long as you don't come in my arse, we'll be fine. Now come on and fuck me."

Harry nods and finally, finally cants his hips forward to press inside. Louis gasps as he stretches around the thick head of Harry's cock, crying out when Harry pushes in passed the crown.

"Fuck, fuck," Louis groans as Harry forges inside, not stopping until he's balls deep.

"God, you're tight," Harry gasps. "Y'don't usually do this, do you?"

Louis shakes his head, mind to jumbled full of hot and full and cock and Harry to be able to form a coherent sentence. All he can to is relax his body, wrap his legs around Harry's waist, and take it when Harry starts to fuck him.

"Oh, hell," Harry curses as he pulls out then pushes back in. His rhythm is slow and relaxed like he knows Louis still needs a moment or two to adjust. Louis wonders how many times Harry's done this before and the jealous burning he feels in his chest at the thought scares him a bit, scares him to think he already feels so much for Harry after only two days that he's jealous over thoughts of Harry with somebody else.

"You can - harder," Louis says, angling his hips up to get the angle he wants.

Harry grunts, pulls out and fucks in with more force. It punches a gasp out Louis, pleasure tingling from the ends of his hair to the tips of his toes. God, he forgot how good it could feel getting fucked when he was getting fucked by a real-live man - boy? - with a real-live cock that throbbed and twitched inside him when he'd had nothing but silicon inside him for years.

Harry's got a steady rhythm going, a constant slap of skin on skin, hips to arse that has Louis sliding up the bed, his sweaty back chafing on the sheets. He mewls when Harry grabs his thighs and tugs him upward so far his hips come off the bed, his cockhead nudging up against Louis' prostate.

"I always -" Harry starts, cutting off with a grunt, "- always liked this angle myself," he says and Louis' chest burns again, squeezing his eyes shut against the thought of Harry like this, of Harry being held up by another person, fucked by another person that's not Louis. "Feels so good, yeah?"

"Yeah," Louis says, strangled. His whole body buzzes every time Harry fucks in and his stomach is already starting to feel coiled, his orgasm working its way up to exploding. "Feels fucking amazing. M'gonna - m'gonna come soon."

"Fuck," Harry gasps, dropping Louis' legs to brace his hands next to Louis' head so he can thrust in harder, faster. So hard its nearly painful and so fast Louis can hardly breath, settling for quick gasps and strangled moans, embarrassed at how utterly wanton he sounds. He hasn't been fucked this thoroughly since he was sixteen and hooking up with his best mate Stan in the dead of night because they didn't want to acknowledge what was going on between them, even though it was pretty damn obvious with how far Stan had his cock shoved up Louis' arse.

"Harry," Louis grunts, arching up to try to rub his aching cock against Harry's abdomen. "Y'gotta - y'gotta touch me, I -"

"Got you," Harry murmurs, dropping down onto an elbow so he can shove a hand in between his and Louis' bodies to grab Louis' cock, thumbing around the head before gripping him in a tight fist and jerking roughly upwards.

"Yeah, Harry, fuck, fuck, please, 'm'gonna come -" Louis begs, cutting off with a gasp.

"Come for me, yeah," Harry urges, hand flying on Louis' cock. "Wanna see you let go, come on, want you to come before me -"

Louis' orgasm hits him like a freight train, exploding through him. His whole body shakes with it, trembles with pleasure more intense than he's felt in a long, long while. He shoots all over himself and Harry, gasping with oversensitivity when Harry pulls out of him in a quick jerk, only able to strip his cock once or twice before he's coming, too, all over Louis' cock and lower abdomen.

Harry rolls off him and flops down next to him on the bed, chest heaving as he tries to catch his breath. Louis' in a similar - perhaps stickier - state, lungs aching as he attempts to get enough air into them to breath normally.

"Fucking wow," Harry says once he's recovered. "Haven't had a fuck that great in ages."

"Ages?" Louis asks, quirking an eyebrow. "You're eighteen. You haven't even lived ages yet."

"You're killing my buzz," Harry frowns. Louis snorts.

"All of the come drying on me is killing mine, so," Louis snuffs, squalling when the bed jerks, Harry rolling off of it.

"Getting you a flannel," Harry explains as he totters into the en suite, coming back a few seconds later with the flannel in hand. "Would you like me to do it?" He asks and Louis very nearly snaps something snarky at him before he sees that the expression on Harry's face is earnest, not joking in the least.

"Yeah," Louis murmurs, goosebumps rising on his skin when Harry touches the chilly flannel to his skin. He cleans Louis quickly, mindful of his still-sensitive cock, before turning to clean his own stomach off, tossing the flannel onto the bedside table.

Harry climbs back onto the bed, pulling the duvet down before spooning up behind Louis, tossing the covers over them. "Bed time," he murmurs, voice already drowsily slurred.

"Mhm," Louis agrees, snuggling into the sheets and into Harry, not even minding that they're both still starkers. Harry's solid and warm behind him and the bed seems softer tonight that it did last, and Louis finds himself drifting off.

He's already feeling sore and he knows he'll feel it in the morning, but he doesn't actually care. It'll be a nice reminder that tonight really did happen, that he didn't just imagine it, even though he's got Harry cuddled up behind him. A confirmation it'll be, he supposes, if it ends up that he and Harry are too drunk tonight to remember tomorrow.

He's warm and he's sore and the bed is soft. Harry's snoring into the back of his neck and he has no idea what time it is, but he's fine with not knowing. It feels good to not have to worry, and he's happy.

He's content.

x

Louis wakes up alone in his bed with a sore twinge in his back and bum, pulled harshly into consciousness by the sound of metal clanging to the floor and somebody cursing loudly. It takes his sleep-addled mind to make the connection of memory to current events and he figures the noise must be Harry, struggling about with something or other.

Louis cracks open an eye and immediately bursts out laughing at what he sees - Harry, sprawled out on the floor in only his briefs, covered in the what looks like a full English. "Harry, what are you doing?" Louis asks between chuckles and hears Harry groan from his place on the floor. A quick glance at the clock on his bedside table tells him it's nine in the morning.

"You weren't supposed to see this," Harry says, sounding dejected. "Was supposed to be a surprise."

"What, you flat on your arse covered in breakfast?"

"No," Harry protests. "Breakfast was supposed to be the surprise, and then I tripped."

Louis breaks out in stifled giggles, trying to muffle them with his hand. He sits up against the pillows, relieved to see that most of the mess is on the tile and not the carpet, and that there's another plate sitting undisturbed on the coffee table in front of the sofa. "Looks like you salvaged one plate, at least," he says. "How you bring it to bed and we'll share?"

Harry nods, sitting up and catching the bits of egg that fall from his naked chest. "Alright," he says. "Give me a second to clean up, yeah?"

"'Course," Louis says, shifting back down under the duvet and wincing when a shock of pain shoots up his spine. He's more sore than he'd thought he'd be last night, but a nice, long soak in the jacuzzi bathtub should more than take care of it.

"Y'okay?" Harry asks, getting to his feet.

"Bit sore," Louis explains and Harry's expression turns sheepish.

"Sorry," he apologizes. Louis shakes his head.

"Don't be," he says. "Was worth it."

Harry flushes a soft red and Louis grins. "Go get cleaned up," he orders. "I'm hungry and if you're not back in a minute I'm going to start eating without you."

"Bossy," Harry snorts, picking what looks to be a diced green pepper out of his hair. "Must be an old-age thing."

Louis' eyes narrow. "Go," he snaps, pointing to the en suite.

"Yeah, yeah," Harry says, grinning smugly even though his chest still covered in egg bits and his cheeks are still cherry red with embarrassment. "Be right back."

By the time Harry gets out of the bathroom, Louis has slipped on his briefs and his stomach is growling loudly. "Was that quick enough, your majesty?"

"Suppose so," Louis sniffs. "You missed a spot, though. Got some bacon in your hair."

Harry makes a face, trotting over to the coffee table and picking up the plate. "Liar," he says as he hands the plate over to Louis and crawls into bed. "I double checked."

"Just wanted to give you a hard time, love," Louis murmurs, picking up a slice of bacon, taking a bite. It's a bit cold but still delicious and his stomach growls again, wanting more.

"I've got to leave in a bit," Harry says, plucking a triangle of toast off the plate, shoving the whole thing in his gigantic mouth in one bite.

"Work?" Louis asks, trying not to sound too bummed.

"Yeah," Harry nods. "I'll be out by ten, though."

"Coming back here, after?" Louis asks, picking up another slice of bacon.

"Think we could go on a date," Harry says.

"At ten at night?"

"Yeah," Harry says. "I've got something planned and it needs to be late or it won't work out."

"Alright," Louis agrees warily.

"It'll be good, I promise," Harry assure him. Louis sighs, leaning against Harry's broad shoulder as he eats.

The plate is finished quickly - inhaled, really - and Harry only stays around for ten minutes or so before he has to get out of bed and get dressed to leave. "I should be back around half-ten," he says, slipping on his decrepit brown boots. "Wear something you won't mind getting wet, alright?"

"Oh no," Louis says, weary again.

Harry rolls his eyes, leaning against the bed to place a chaste kiss on Louis' lips. "Trust me," he insists and, for some unfathomable reason, Louis does.

"Get to work," Louis says, grabbing the back of Harry's neck to kiss him longer. "Don't want you getting fired."

"Stop kissing me, then," Harry says as he dives in for yet another, licking hotly over Louis' bottom lip.

"Sorry," Louis murmurs against Harry's mouth, fingers knotted in Harry's curls. "I'm a terrible influence."

"You are, indeed," Harry says. "Terrible," a kiss, "horrible," and another, "no good."

"Sorry," Louis says again. It takes more willpower than he thought to untangle his fingers from Harry's hair and let his hand drop to the sheets. "But you do need to get going."

Harry sighs. "Right you are," he says. "I'll just have to think of tonight to get through the day, won't I?"

Louis snorts. "Are all teenagers that sappy, or is it just you?"

"Just me, I think," Harry smiles. "You make me sappy."

"Don't know if I should take that as a compliment," Louis muses.

"Definitely is," Harry confirms.

"Are you working room service today?" Louis asks and Harry nods. "Well then, perhaps I'll order something up and you can bring it to me. Maybe slip a blowjob in there, too."

Harry grins hugely, eyes bright. "Promise?"

"We'll see," Louis smirks. "You've actually got to go to work if you want it, though."

"'M goin'," Harry mutters, ducking in for one more kiss. Louis blocks it with a hand and a quirked eyebrow. Harry frowns.

"More tonight," Louis says. "Now go."

Harry's still pouting as he makes his way out of the room, giving a sweet little wave as he opens the door and walks out. Louis lets out a long breath, putting the empty plate on the bedside table before yanking the duvet off himself. Time for that bath, he thinks, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed and padding naked into the bathroom.

It takes him a second to figure out the bath's faucet, the tub filling quickly when he finally does. He gets the jets on and slips off his pants, wincing as he slides into the tub. The hot water feels like heaven on his sore bits, and he can't help sinking in up to his chin.

He stays in long enough for the water to get uncomfortably cold, making him shiver. His toes and fingers are pruned and he's pretty sure his bits are, too.

It doesn't hurt to climb out of the tub like it had to climb in, and he's able to bend down to grab a towel without flinching. He shuts off the jets and pulls the plug to drain the tub, walking with wet feet to his suitcase, where he pulls out his swim shorts. It's already blistering and it's only just passed ten, so Louis figures a day at the pool is in order.

Louis hums as he makes his way out of the room to the lift and down to the pool, throwing one of the complementary beach towels over one of the pool chairs, settling in with his book, planning to lay the day away.

x

Louis stays at the pool for well over three hours before he can't take it anymore, wishing desperately that he'd thought to pack waterproof sunscreen. He'd sweat right through the stuff and now he's burned a deep, cherry red all over his chest and back, down his arms and from his thighs to his ankles. It'll tan out nicely, at least, but he really doesn't think a tan is worth the week spent looking like an over-cooked lobster.

He winces as he gets up off the beach chair, throwing the beach towel over his shoulders. He gets sympathetic looks from the other residents and he rolls his eyes. Sympathy won't do his red skin any good, now. What he needs now is aloe, and lots of it.

Thankfully, the front desk sells what looks like aloe by the gallon and Louis is quick to snatch some up, getting it on the house because Cher is working. "Thanks," he tells her and she smiles, says, "No problem," and sends him on his way.

Once in his room Louis strips naked and slathers himself in aloe where he can reach, dressing in a soft cotton tank top and sweat shorts, grateful for the coolness the aloe leaks onto his heated skin.

He takes a seat on the couch and grabs the room service menu, debating for a moment whether to actually call in an order and get that blowjob he mentioned this morning or leave Harry on edge all day, waiting for the phone to ring for an order to be sent to Louis' room. He decides to go with the latter, thinks Harry could use a whole day of desperate anticipation (and if Louis hopes that getting Harry worked up all day will end up with Harry taking it out on him in the best way, well, that's another time and place.)

He decides he's going to let Harry wait it out, snidely thinks Harry could use a little bit of Louis playing hard, if only for the fact that getting Louis in the first place had been so easy. Much to easy for Louis' ego, but, hey, he got a great fucking by a pretty boy with an even prettier cock, so. He can't really say he's complaining.

Louis supposes he'd be a little more bitter about giving it up to Harry so easily if Harry hadn't been such a sweetheart about it, sticking around the morning after and bringing him breakfast, cuddling Louis close and not letting him go until he absolutely had to. Louis' a sucker for good cuddling, has been since he was a young lad. Age hasn't changed that.

Louis sighs airily, tossing the room service menu back onto the table. He kicks his legs up onto the small sofa, resting back against the plush pillows laying on the arm. He grabs the remote of the coffee table and flicks on the telly, scanning the channels mindlessly until he settles on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, subtitled in Dutch, content to lie on the couch and watch Kim have an ugly-cry breakdown over something or another while her siblings watch on with barely-concealed annoyance and rolling eyes.

A quick glance to the clock tells him it's just after noon. He yawns widely, not realizing how tired he still was until his body had settled down into the couch, still hot from sunburn but cradled wonderfully in the plush cushions. He eyes fall shut and he yawns again, rolling around and settling in more until he's where he wants to be. Louis' developed a penchant for napping as he's gotten older, though his work schedule lately has made catching a little catnap quite difficult. Not here, he thinks, smiling a bit to himself. He's free to nap as much as he damn well pleases.

Louis stretches and settles once more, and he's asleep within minutes.

x

When Louis wakes up for the second time that day it's just about 2:00 in the afternoon. He takes a moment to stretch out the kinks in his muscles from being curled up so tightly on the small sofa, wishes he'd taken to his bed to nap instead. His nose feels stuffy, so he gets up, aiming to grab a tissue from the bathroom.

He knocks his knee on the table as he gets up and curses loudly, reminded for a moment of Zayn and how he's always falling asleep in awkward places and always ends up knocking himself on something when he uncurls himself from whatever contortion he's placed himself into to fall asleep.

The thought of Zayn makes Louis feel just a bit homesick. It's only been three days but he misses his flat, misses his own worn-in sofa and his big, fluffy duvet, his stained carpet and coffee table with the wobbly leg. His thoughts shift from his flat at home to the tiny notebook computer sitting on the desk in the far right corner of the room, and before he's even fully completed his thought, he's up and striding over to it.

Compliments of the staff of The Hotel Riu Aruba. We hope you enjoy your stay! reads the small tag glued down on the desk where the notebook lays. Louis plops down onto the chair and opens the notebook, the small thing firing up quite quickly. There's no password to enter and Louis goes right to the Internet, going to his email. He's only got one email - it's from Zayn, coincidentally enough - and he can't say he's not surprised because he'd expected his email to be loaded from work.

You're on vacation, though, a voice in his head reminds him snarkily, nobody from work is going to bother you.

He opens the email from Zayn, not surprised to see it's short and sweet. Just a louis, mate! hows it going in paradise so far? aha xx that's so like Zayn Louis can't help but crack a grin. He quicks reply and types out his own message, sending it once it's finished.

going better than I expected ill admit that. i met somebody, actually. you're going to have to tell me how you paid for this when i get back !! x

After he sends it he takes a second to clear out the old emails from his inbox, surprised when he gets a reply back from Zayn just as he's about to log out.

met someone ?? give me details, tommo ! and i'll never tell xx

Louis snorts and hits reply, hesitating a moment before he starts to type. Zayn knows he likes blokes, yeah, but he's not sure how Zayn would react to his bloke being eighteen, but Louis supposes Zayn has no right to judge. He's the one who sent Louis here, told him to let go and live a little, and if Louis' 'living a little' is fucking around with a teenage boy then so be it.

met a guy. He types. names harry and he works at the hotel........hes eighteen.

Zayn's next reply comes quicker than his last one has and Louis takes a deep breath before he opens it.

eighteen ?! damn lou u cradlerobber ! have u fucked him yet

Louis can't help the giggle that bursts out from between his lips at Zayn's question. He knows Zayn'd been hoping Louis would come to Aruba and get laid, seeing as the last time he'd had something other than his hand had been when he and Eleanor were still together. He knows Zayn's asking in a joking manner and he's not sure if he wants to tell Zayn that yes, he has.

He's worried that telling Zayn he and Harry had sex will lead into telling Zayn how he's started to fall for Harry in the span of only three days and Zayn will tell him he needs to break it off because he can't be falling for an eighteen-year-old hotel worker who lives in Aruba when Louis' a thirty-five year old tax accountant who lives in London.

Louis knows it's a bad idea to get attached but he doesn't want to know that Zayn think it, too. He can deal with his own doubts because they're his, but not with Zayn's.

um yea well he fucked me last night. he said he was falling for me zayn idk what to do.

Louis holds his breath all the way from when he sends the message to when he receives one back, stomach in knots as he opens it. It's simple, short, but it doesn't do anything to halt the way his stomach is constricting.

r u falling for him ?

i dont know, Louis types, its only been two full days zayn and im already getting jealous because of him. when we had sex i felt something (not just his dick so dont say anything) and it was like what i felt when i was with el. i dont know what to do z

He hits send with less trepidation, tummy still in twists as he waits for Zayn to reply, to give him some insight. Louis opens the reply the second it pops into his inbox, only a bit surprised at what he finds.

all i can say is dont get too attached lou. if u want to b with harry then do it just dont let urself get hurt. i dont want to see my best mate get his heart broken again

i dont think i can just leave him be zayn, Louis replies honestly.

then don't, says Zayn back, straightforward to his point. if u want him then take him. just dont let it destroy u when u have to leave him.

Louis signs out of his email and closes the Internet window without replying, his thought buzzing like angry hornets through his head. Talking to Zayn unnerved him as much as it reassured him, and half of his heart is telling him to leave Harry alone and the other is screaming at him to let Harry stay.

He wants Harry, wants him so bad (wants his gangly limbs and stupid, giant mouth, his bright green eyes and his ridiculous head of curls) but he doesn't want to have to let him go when his two weeks in Aruba are up. Can't have your cake and eat it, too, says a nagging voice in the back of his head, and Louis knows. He knows.

He may not be able to have his cake and eat it, too, but he's going to damn well savor it while he has the chance.

x

Louis kills the rest of his day and night watching the Riu's complementary on-demand movie selections (he watches The Avengers twice, just because). He orders room service - tells them not to send Harry - and stuffs himself to P.S., I Love You until he feels bloated, his age and then some.

He gets dressed when ten o'clock rolls around, yawning as he stuffs his arse into and old pair of swaet shorts and a 'The Killers' t-shirt he's had since sixth form. Harry's advice to 'wear something you wouldn't mind getting wet' has Louis a bit on edge, but as far as outfits he doesn't really care if they get ruined, this one is a-plus. He stuffs his room key into his pocket and hopes there'll be a dry place for him to leave it because magnetic rooms keys probably don't do well with water.

Louis gets a knock on his door right at half-ten, and he thinks a compliment to Harry on his punctuality. He shares a laugh with himself at the idea that perhaps Harry had been standing outside his door, waiting until exactly half-ten before he raised his hand and knocked.

Louis opens to door to Harry in a pair of basketball shorts and a white tee that's big even on Harry's broad frame, on his feet a pair of old leather-thong flip-flops that accentuate Harry's large feet and how horribly pigeon-toed he is. Louis wonders for a second how Harry can even walk in a straight line with feet as crooked as that.

"You're a menace," is the first thing out of Harry's mouth Louis opens the door.

"I'm thiry-five, Harold," Louis says haughtily, ushering Harry inside. "I haven't been a menace for twenty years."

"You know what I mean," Harry gripes, coming inside only to lean against the wall right next to the door. He crosses his arms over his chest, sulking like the eighteen-year-old child he is. "Very rude of you to promise me a midday blowjob and then not go through with it."

Louis rolls his eyes, walking over to his suitcase to grab his pair of athletic slides.

"I don't know why you're pouting," Louis says, closing his suitcase. "I didn't promise anything, if you don't recall. I specifically remember telling you 'maybe,' not 'definitely.'"

"Same thing," mutters Harry, pushing off the wall when Louis walks passed him to open the door.

"Shush," Louis waves Harry off, waiting for Harry to walk of out the room before he lets the door click shut. He reaches for Harry's hand as they walk to the lift, grinning when he catches the smile that spreads over Harry's face.

"Menace," Harry mutters again, rubbing his thumb over the back of Louis' hand because Harry's hands are fucking gigantic and his thumb is long enough to do that.

"Child," Louis snaps back.

The lift ride down to the lobby is taken in comfortable silence, with Harry still petting Louis' hand and making both of theirs swing slightly between them.

"Any clues on where we're going?" Louis asks.

"Nope," Harry says.

"Can I know if we're leaving the hotel grounds, at least?"

"Nope."

"Nope as in 'no, you can't know' or nope as in 'no, we're not leaving the grounds'?" questions Louis. Harry snorts.

"Nope as in 'no, we're not leaving the grounds,'" Harry replies. "Where would we go at half-ten at night, anyways?"

"Clubbing? I don't know," Louis gripes. "I'm putting my trust in an eighteen-year-old. I could end up at the top of a tower for a bungee jumping excursion for all I know. Kids do stupid shit at night nowadays."

"We're not going clubbing or - or bungee jumping, did you say?" Harry says, snickering a bit. "Promise."

"Keep mocking me and we won't be doing anything tonight," Louis snuffs. Harry makes a noise of protest, pulling Louis tight to him as they walk through the lobby and out the set of double doors on the other side. There's nobody at the front desk and Louis gets the weary feeling that he and Harry aren't supposed to be going where they are.

The double doors lead them down a narrow hallway, lit only by a dull blue light from the end of the hallway. The hallway smells of something Louis knows he's smelled before but can't quite put his finger on, and it makes his nose crinkle.

"This date isn't going to get you fired or anything, is it?" Louis asks and Harry shakes his head.

"No, we'll be good," Harry pledges. "It'd only be a problem if I wasn't an employee here."

"Taking me to a secret hideout spots for employees only then, hmm?" Louis muses.

"Not really, no," Harry says. "Only employees are allowed here after eight, though."

They reach the end of the hallway and come to a door, where the bluish light is flooding through. Harry pushes the door open and Louis knows exactly what the smell that made his nose crinkle up was.

Chlorine. Because Harry's taken him to the Riu's indoor pool.

The Riu's indoor pool which is glowing a light blue from the underwater lights and has a small rowboat floating in the middle of it, attached to one of the side ladders by a thick rope. In the boat sits an acoustic guitar.

"Surprise," Harry says softly. "D'you like it?"

"I do," Louis says. "Though I'm not exactly sure what you've done here."

Harry laughs, airy and only the slightest bit self-conscious. "To be honest, I really don't either," he admits. "All I knew this morning when I woke up was that I wanted to take you out again tonight and when I left to go get breakfast I heard a couple talking about going on a rowboat excursion today and this just came to me."

"Where in the hell did you get a rowboat, though?" Louis asks.

Harry grins. "Rentals," he says. He tugs Louis forward, towards the ladder where the boat is tied. He drops Louis' hand to grab the rope and pull the boat to them, getting it close enough that they'll be able to step in without trouble. He gestures of Louis to get it, holding the boat still as Louis steps inside. Once Louis' settled on the small bench, he grabs the ladder to steady the boat for Harry to step in. Harry has a bit more trouble and nearly topples the boat as he tries to settle his gangly limbs inside, grinning crookedly once he's finally sitting secure.

Harry leans over and grabs the small oar beneath their feet, pushing off from the side of the pool until they're back to floating in the middle. He sets the oar down and grabs the guitar, still grinning dopily as he begins to strum.

"A private concert?" Louis feigns a swoon. "Why, I'll be."

"Shut up," Harry murmurs, fingers strumming a low tune that Louis doesn't recognize. He doesn't snap anything back, just sits and watches Harry's fingers pluck at the strings, slightly swaying to the rhythm. "Tell me something about you that I don't know," Harry says after a moment and Louis' snapped out of his, eyes flicking up to Harry's face, basked in the bluish light. It makes him look almost ethereal, makes the line of his jaw and the cut of his cheeks look harder, aged. He looks like he could melt away into the water at any second, flood right through the boards of the boat, and Louis' fingers ache to hold onto him.

"Where should I start?" Louis asks, voice quiet. "There's so much."

Harry shrugs. "Start from the beginning, then? Just like, tidbits about yourself. I want to get to know you."

"Well," Louis begins, "I was born in Doncaster, father left and my mum remarried. I've got four sisters, no brothers. Played football in uni, though I wasn't very good at it. Was an average student, studied to become a college English teacher."

"You're a teacher?" Harry asks, eyebrows lifting to his hairline.

"No," Louis sighs. "When I graduated, job outlooks for teachers weren't very bright, so I took a job as a tax accountant for a company in London."

"A tax accountant?" Harry snuff. "Sounds like a bore."

"It keeps a roof above my head," Louis shrugs.

"Seems to do a bit more than that," Harry says. Louis' brow creases with confusion.

"How do you mean?" he asks.

"You've obviously got cash to spare," Harry says. "I mean, a room like you've got at the Riu is six-fifty a night and you've got it for what, two weeks? Not even mentioning the room service package."

Louis blanches. "Six-fifty a night?" He feels like he might throw up.

"Um, yeah," Harry says, his face taking on a weary expression. "I hope you knew that before you booked this vacation -"

"I didn't book it," Louis cuts him off. "My mate Zayn did. Booked it, paid for it, everything."

"Guy must be bloody rich, then," Harry concludes. "Any reason why he decided to send you on an eleven-thousand pound vacation?"

"Eleven-thousand pou - Zayn I swear to god -" Louis chokes. He shakes his head, trying to fight off the mental image of his hands wrapped around Zayn's throat. "I uh," he says once he's no longer legitimately considering murdering his best mate, "I'm here because Zayn thought I needed a break from work and, uh, from myself, I guess."

"From yourself?" Harry frowns. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Louis shrugs. "He thought I was driving myself bonkers. Thought I was burying myself in my work to get away from the fact that I wasn't over my divorce."

Harry's eyes go wide as saucers the second the word 'divorce' comes out of Louis mouth, as expected. "You were married?"

"For thirteen years, yeah," Louis says. "Even though the last five were complete shit, and two of those were spent with my ex-wife having an affair. An affair with Zayn, actually."

"Your wife cheated on you with your best mate?" Harry asks incredulously. "And you're still friends with him?"

"It wasn't like that," Louis explains. "Zayn and I weren't mates before Eleanor started fucking him. We sort of bonded over the fact that we'd each been mutually screwed over by the same woman, and it was nice to have somebody to vent to. He hadn't known she was married, swore he'd never do it if he had. He was in love with her, and so was I. We both needed somebody to get drunk and talk shit with." Louis laughs, remembering the way he and Zayn had gotten so utterly pissed that night in Zayn's flat. "It was nice to have somebody who felt the exact same way I did. Our friendship came really fast."

"I can understand that, I suppose," Harry murmurs.

Louis nods but doesn't go on. Harry keeps strumming his guitar, the unfamiliar melody morphing into something Louis vaguely recognizes.

"D'you still love her?" Harry asks, breaking the silence with his soft voice, almost meek in it's uncertainty.

"I honestly don't know," Louis replies. "I thought I did, but now? Now I'm starting to think I really don't. Not anymore."

Harry's eyes soften and an easy smile falls over his lips. "Not anymore," he echoes quietly. His fingers start to strum harder and he begins to hum.

"Are you going to sing me something, or no?" Louis asks. Harry sticks his tongue out at him.

"Hush," Harry chastises. "I'm getting there." He strums a few more times, getting into his rhythm before his lips part and he starts to sing.

"My head is stuck in the clouds, he begs me to come down, says 'Boy, quit foolin' around,'" Harry sings, eyes on his fingers as he plays. Louis watches with half lidded eyes and a fond smile.

Harry doesn't look up from his guitar even as he goes into the chorus - and we may only have tonight, but till the morning sun, you're mine, all mine - and Louis reaches out to tap his knee, gets Harry to look into his eyes as he goes into the next verse.

"He's got blue eyes deep like the sea that roll back when he's laughin' at me," Louis flushes when Harry meets his eyes full-on and grins, teeth glowing against the blue lighting on his face. Louis swallows, desire twisting low in his stomach. "He rises up like the tides the moment his lips meet mine."

Harry licks his lips and the coil in Louis' belly explodes. He launches across the tiny area of the row boat, knocking Harry's guitar out of his hands, to the boat's floor.

He shoves a fist to the back of Harry's head, knotting his fingers into Harry's curls and smashing their mouths together, climbing unceremoniously into Harry's lap.

Harry gasps against Louis' mouth, his giant hands coming around to cup Louis' arse, pulling him tighter to his body. "What -"

"Shh," Louis hisses, kissing Harry harder.

The kiss turns into a heated snog in only seconds, with Louis grinding down onto Harry's lap. Harry's cock is a hard, insistent pressure against his arse and Louis groans into Harry's mouth. He ruts down harder, rocking the boat more than is probably safe with both his and Harry's weight throwing the boat off balance, but Louis doesn't care.

The only thing he cares about is getting Harry's cock out of his shorts and into his arse. Sue him. He reaches down to palm Harry's cock, and Harry tosses his head back, choking on a moan.

It all happens very quickly, then.

Harry's reaction throws off the balance in the boat and the whole thing rocks severely. Louis flails, knocking he and Harry sideways, tipping the boat just enough to dump them headfirst into the pool before the boat rights itself again.

Louis shouts as they tumble out, getting a mouthful of water for his troubles. They're both spluttering as they come up, spitting out water. Harry's absolutely cackling, his wet curls pasted to his forehead.

"Swim to the edge, come on," Harry urges once he's stopped laughing. "There's extra towels in the filter room we can dry off with."

Harry's still snickering as they swim to the edge, Louis hauling himself up onto the tiles first. Harry comes up a moment later, flopping half on top of Louis, making the air rush out of Louis' lungs in a whoosh. "That was ridiculous," Harry says, eyes bright and lips cherry red. Louis wants to kiss him again.

"Yeah," breathes Louis, dragging his thumb across Harry's wet, slightly swollen, cherry red bottom lip. Harry's eyes darken as they lock with Louis', tongue peeking out like it wants to follow Louis' thumb as it trails down from Harry's lip to his chin.

The atmosphere around them shifts, from light-hearted and sweet to tense and loaded, electric with building tension.

Harry shifts, leaning more on his side as his knuckles come up to drag over Louis' cheek. "How'd I get so lucky?" he murmurs, like he's asking himself more than he's asking Louis. Louis flushes, hot with need, with want for Harry to touch him all over.

"Harry," Louis says on a shaky breath, Harry's hand opening to cup his jaw.

Louis' whole body ripples with arousal as Harry moves to loom over him, ducking down to run the cold tip of his nose over Louis' cheek. His lips brush the path after and Louis makes a petulant noise, all of the patience he's built up over his life draining out of him and out onto the tiles of the pool below him. "Needy," Harry teases, inching closer and closer to Louis' mouth but not pressing in like Louis wants him to. "Ask me."

"You're a dick," Louis hisses, trying to turn into Harry and fucking take the kiss he wants, but Harry's hand on his jaw keeps him still.

"Ask," Harry says again, voice low to the point it almost sounds dangerous. "Just ask."

Louis groans, closing his eyes. He hates to admit it, but he's aroused to have the confident, cocky, arsehole-ish Harry back. Not that he didn't enjoy sweet, considerate, caring Harry from last night. Because he did. He really did.

"Kiss me," Louis breathes, eyes falling shut. "Harry, will you -"

Louis' cut off by Harry's lips pressing headily against his own, the kiss slippery from the water still resting on their skin. Louis bites at Harry's bottom lip and Harry groans, pressing down against Louis' body.

Harry's chest is broad and firm where it rests on Louis', cock hard in his shorts. Louis can feel the heat of it on his thigh where his sweats have rucked up through the thin material of Harry's flimsy shorts, the wet material sticking to it in an obscene way that makes Louis groan when Harry pulls out of the kiss and he has a chance to see it.

"So fast," Louis gasps when Harry ruts down on him and starts to suckle at Louis' neck. "Y'got hard so fast."

"You make me," Harry says, lips brushing Louis' skin. He's sucking harder, right next to Louis' Adam's apple, intent on making a lovebite, big and dark, right where Louis would have no chance of covering it.

"Can you -" Louis starts, pressing his hips up into Harry's, his cock only half-hard in his wet sweats.

"Yeah," Harry says, licking over the lovebite as his hand trails down Louis' body, tucking under his sweats. His long fingers wrap around Louis' length and Louis lets out an embarrassing mewl, covering his eyes with his face as Harry's hand jacks his cock.

"Gotta have you fuck me with this some time," Harry says almost casually, thumb running over Louis' tip. He's nearly completely hard now. "So thick. Bet it'd feel so good stretching me open."

"God, fuck -" Louis gasps, hips twitching up, pushing his cock through Harry's fist.

"Not tonight, though," Harry continues, letting go of Louis' cock and slipping his hand out of Louis' sweats. Louis makes a sound of protest and Harry shushes him with a quick kiss. "Not tonight, because tonight I'm fucking you. Fucking you right here on this pool deck, yeah?"

"Y-yeah," Louis agrees shakily, trying to keep his breathing under control as he starts to picture it. Him and Harry, naked skin shining with drops of water, Harry's long body poised over Louis' as his cock slides in and out of Louis' hole, Louis biting down on Harry's shoulder to keep himself quiet because We don't want to get caught, Louis, do we? Don't want somebody to walk in here and see you like this, wanton and begging for cock. "Oh God, yeah."

Harry kisses him again, hands roaming over Louis' body, tugging and pulling at his wet clothes. They're both naked in minutes, wet skin sliding against skin and against the tiles of the pool deck. Louis gasps when Harry flips him over, shuddering violently as his heated cock is pushed against the cool tiles. It feels too much and too little at the same time; Louis can't help but push his hips down, rutting into it.

Louis scoffs when Harry rifles through the pocket of his shorts and comes up with lube and a condom. "Were you planning this?" he snickers.

"Not planning," says Harry, "but hoping."

Harry parts Louis' cheeks and teases his hole with lube slick fingers with the other, pressing two inside as Louis buries his gasp-groan into the flesh of his arm. Harry preps him quickly, going from once finger to two, three, then four, letting the tips rub harshly over Louis' prostate before he slides them out of Louis' body. The quick work ahces a bit but Louis' not complaining, sort of likes the way it feels.

Louis bites his lip when the blunt head of Harry's cock presses against his entrance, one of Harry's hands holding him open while the other one fastens tight on his hip.

Harry fucks him hard and fast, grunting into Louis' ear as he pounds Louis' arse, giving it to Louis in a way Louis had forgotten he loved. It's rough to the point of uncaring, feels like Louis' going to tear, but he knows that Harry would never hurt him, knows how to give it to him to the point of it being too much without it actually being too much.

Louis comes with a strangled groan, Harry reaching under and stripping his cock at the same speed his hips are hammering into Louis, come splattering all over the pristine tiles. Harry comes barely a moment later, biting down hard on Louis shoulder, giving a few stuttering thrusts before he pulls out, kissing Louis' back when Louis makes a hurt noise.

"Shit," Harry says simply, flopping down with an oompf on the tiles next to Louis.

"Yeah," Louis agrees, taking slow, deep breaths as he tries to get himself together.

"Can't say I was expecting that," Harry chuckles. He scoots closer and throws an arm around Louis' back, tugging him close. "Thought we'd go back to the room and fuck in a nice bed. But hey, pool edge works for me, too."

"Shut up," Louis groans, swatting at Harry's chest. He shivers a bit, curling into Harry's chest. "We should go back," he says.

"Yeah," Harry nods, curls flopping wetly. "S'getting a bit cold, innit?"

"Bit," Louis says, shivering again. "My old bones can't take it."

Harry snorts, pulling his arms from Louis' body. He pulls his wet shorts back up over his arse, giving Louis' a smack before getting to his feet.

"Can check this one off my bucket list, now," Louis says dryly as he yanks his own bottoms up, grabbing the hand Harry offers, yanking him up to stand.

"You've got 'fuck on a pool edge' on your bucket list?" Harry asks incredulously.

"Not specifically, no," Louis says. "More along the lines of 'fuck in a place where people don't normally fuck.' Oh, and 'fuck with clothes on.'"

"Does it count if they were wet?" Harry muses, a slight smirk on his trouty lips.

"Mhm," Louis says, grabbing Harry's hand and twining their fingers together. "Definitely counts. Wanna get out of them, though. 'M starting to freeze."

"You'll be better once we get into the lobby," Harry assures him, letting go of his hand. "Let me get my guitar back before we leave, though."

"Oh yeah, guitar," Louis says. "Forgot about that."

Harry snickers. "How can you forget it when it was my prowess on the guitar that got you all hot and bothered in the first place?"

Louis rolls his eyes. "It did not get me hot and bothered," he gripes. "I just wanted a fuck."

Harry's grinning dopily as he crouches at the ladder to pull the boat in, grabbing his guitar once it's close enough. "Sure," he teases, dragging out the u sound.

"Don't patronize me, you child," Louis snaps, but he still takes Harry's hand when Harry offers it again.

"Wouldn't dare," Harry says. Louis' lips twitch, fighting a smile.

"Just take me back to the bloody room," Louis mutters.

"Yes, your highness," Harry grins, throwing his guitar strap over his shoulder. "Really glad this thing didn't fall in the water. I don't really have enough money to get a new one right now."

Louis' eyes widen and his face flushes, feeling a mix of embarrassment and shame. "Shit, Harry, I didn't even think -"

"'S'not your fault, babe, don't worry," Harry says, squeezing his hand. "I was the one who caused the boat to tip, actually, I'm quite sure."

"Only because I couldn't wait till we were on solid ground to start grabbing your dick," Louis says petulantly and Harry bursts out laughing - a cute, loud, ugly cackle of sorts. "What?"

"You," Harry says fondly. "You're just - you're cute. Not at all like I'd expect a thirty-five year-old to be."

"How so?" Louis asks. Harry shrugs, pushing the door to the pool open with his free hand, pulling Louis into the hallway.

"You still act like a teenager," Harry elaborates. "You've been through a divorce and you work your ass off but you're not, like, bitter about it. It's refreshing. Gives me hope that when I'm your age I won't be a grumpy old hermit."

Louis snorts, bumping Harry's shoulder with his. "You make me sound like I'm thirty years older than I actually am. I don't know anybody in their thirties who can be described as a 'grumpy old hermit.'"

"You know what I mean," Harry says as they get to the door that leads to the lobby. Louis' skin breaks out in gooseflesh at the temperature change, the lobby feeling a whole ten degrees warmer than the pool room. He feels like it should be the opposite, but he's not questioning. "You're just - refreshing."

"Refreshing," Louis says, mulling it over in his mind. "Refreshing is good?"

"Very good," Harry agrees, pulling Louis into the lift when it opens.

"Too bad my ex-wife didn't think so," Louis says as the doors slide close. Harry frowns, brows pushing together. "Kidding," Louis says quickly. "I'm kidding."

"Better be," Harry murmurs, darkly possessive. It sends a thrill through Louis, from the ends of his hair to the tips of his toes.

The lift dings and Harry and Louis step out, padding down the hall until they get to the room. Louis hesitates to open the door, fingering his key in his wet pocket. "It'll still work," Harry says, like that's Louis' reason for hesitation.

"D'you," Louis starts, but pauses. "D'you have to work tomorrow?"

"No," Harry says. Louis sucks his bottom lip into his mouth.

"D'you wanna stay over, then?"

"Already planning on it," Harry says, grinning slyly. "Open the door, then."

Louis rolls his eyes, cheeks red as he slips the room key into the slot. The little light turns green and Louis presses down on the door handle, the door swinging open with nary a sound.

Louis heads right to his suitcase, pulling out a pair of dry sweatpants. Harry clears his throat behind him.

"If you haven't got anything that'll fit me, I'm alright with just sleeping naked," he smirks foxily, pulling his guitar off his shoulder, propping it against the wall.

"You can borrow some boxers," Louis says, grabbing a clean, basic black pair and tossing them to Harry. He gawks when Harry strips down right where he stands, shameless in his nudity, watching Louis with dark eyes as he pulls the boxers up his legs and tucks his cock inside.

"My mum told me it's rude to stare," Harry murmurs. Louis flushes. "I don't mind, though."

Louis drops his eyes, peeling off his own wet clothes and foregoing boxers of his own, slipping the sweats on. Harry makes a noise and Louis looks back to him. Harry's bottom lip is between his teeth and he looks flushed, dusty pink from his cheeks to his chest. "What?" Louis asks.

"You're really not going to wear underwear?" Harry asks, sounds a bit like he's choking. "How am I supposed to sleep knowing that all I have to do to get you naked is pull down your pants?"

Louis sucks in a breath, feels his cheeks getting hot. "It's no different than if I was in boxers," he mutters, meeting Harry's gaze. Harry shakes his head.

"'S'different," he says. "Don't know why, but it is."

"You'll just need to keep your mind off it, then," Louis says, walking around Harry and over to the bed. He plucks the extra pillows off and folds the duvet down so he can slip inside, flicking off the light with the switch above the nightstand as he goes.

"You're impossible," Harry mutters, coming around to the other side of the bed and getting in beside Louis.

"You can put aside your teenage horniness for one night," Louis says. "I'm tired and I want to sleep without the threat of getting woken up by your fingers up my arse. You already wore me out enough."

"You've just gone and made it worse," Harry whines. "Can I spoon you, at least?"

"Will I have to deal with your erection digging into my back?" Louis teases.

"I can't guarantee you won't," Harry admits. "I can't control what my dick wants when I'm asleep."

"Fair enough," Louis says, rolling over so Harry can press up behind him.

"I've dreamed about you every night since we met, you know," Harry murmurs, lips against the back of Louis' neck.

"It's only been two nights, love," Louis points out.

"So?" Harry questions. "I've still dreamed about you. Both of them were dirty."

"Oh?" Louis says, losing interest as his eyelids start to droop.

"Yeah," Harry says. "Last night's was the better of the two. Had you on your back with your legs on my shoulders, moaning and begging me to fuck you harder -"

"That's lovely, Harry, it really is," Louis cuts him off, knows Harry's gawking even if he can't see it. "But I'd really like to get to sleep now."

"Jesus," Harry mutters. "I'll be right back."

Louis snorts, listening to Harry get out of bed and trudge into the bathroom, not at all trying to hide the sounds he makes as he wanks himself off with Louis in the next room.

"Have a good jerk, love?" Louis asks groggily when Harry finally comes back to bed.

"Wish it could have been your mouth instead of my hand," Harry says and he sounds sleepy, too.

"Tomorrow," Louis promises, snuggling back into Harry's chest.

"Tomorrow is good," Harry agrees, pulling Louis tight to him.

Tomorrow is good.

x

For the second morning in a row, Louis' means of waking up are brought upon by Harry. But this time, instead of the sounds of Harry crashing and burning in the middle of his suite, Louis' awoken by the sound of Harry strumming on his guitar, singing lightly a tune that Louis' sleep-addled brain vaguely recognizes.

"You tell all the boys 'no.' Makes you feel good, yeah?" Harry sings softly, staring at his fingers as they play over the strings of the guitar. Louis doesn't think Harry's notices he's awake yet, so he focuses on keeping his breathing even and his eyes half lidded in case he has to close them quickly to keep up his facade of sleep. He wants to hear the whole song, wants to see the raw, open way Harry sings it when he thinks nobody's watching. "I know you're out of my league, but that won't scare me away, oh no."

Louis' heart jumps in his chest and he gets the feeling that Harry's singing about him, in some subliminal message-y way that Louis isn't sure he's supposed to hear or not. Louis gives up his facade of sleep as Harry flows into the bridge - you've carried on so long you couldn't stop if you tried it. You've built your wall so high that no one could climb it, but I'm gonna try - choosing rather to watch the way Harry's own eyes slip closed and his lips form around the lyrics.

Harry doesn't miss a beat as he moves into the chorus, eyes closed with fingers that never falter. This is where Harry meant to be, Louis realizes. Strumming his guitar and singing like nobody's watching, singing just because it's what he loves to do and what makes him happy. Louis feels like he's intruding on an intimate moment that he's not supposed to see, but he can't stop himself from watching anyways. It's intoxicating to him, really, to see Harry so at home in his bed, so comfortable and so open, and for a moment, Louis forgets that Harry's only eighteen.

Louis jumps slightly when Harry abruptly stops singing. He still strums lightly, enough to fill the silence, and he says, "How long are you gonna keep staring before you say good morning?"

Louis flushes, clearing his throat. "Am I not allowed to admire you for a little while before I break the moment?"

Harry finally stops playing at turns to look at him, quirking an eyebrow. "There was a moment?"

"Yes, young Harold, there was a moment," Louis says. "And it's well ruined now, so."

Harry chuckles, setting his guitar down next to the bed before he ruffles his curls with one hand, flopping down from his sitting position and scooting closer to Louis, holding out an arm.

Louis tucks himself against Harry's chest, not quite fully used to be the cuddlee instead of the cuddler. "Liked the song, too, by the way," says Louis, resting his head against Harry's shoulder.

"Yeah?" Harry asks and Louis nods. "Good, because it was for you."

"Were you trying to tell me something then?" Louis muses. "Tell me to let you see beneath my beautiful?"

Harry chuckles again, sheepish this time. "Yes, but not in the way you think."

"How so, then?"

Harry shrugs. "Guess I just mean it like I want to get to know you more. Still." Harry says and Louis can't help but laugh at how jumbled he sounds. "Shut up," Harry grumbles.

"You're cute," Louis snickers. "All tongue-tied teenager and such."

"You make me tongue tied," Harry admits. "You make me feel so much at one time. It's hard to get the words out."

"Got them out pretty well just now," Louis murmurs, heart thudding, itching to reach out and pull Harry into it, hold him inside his chest cavity so he can't ever leave and Louis' heart can never stop jumping.

"You make me feel so much," Harry repeats. "And I have no fucking clue how you've managed to burrow so deep in such little time."

"It's a talent of mine," Louis says, trying to ease the thickness that's settled in the air around them. "Zayn calls me a bot fly."

It does the trick - Harry bursts out laughing and the atmosphere thins. There's still a remnant of something serious, something that needs to be thoroughly discussed in a sit-down setting but Louis figures it can wait for another time.

"Still don't know how you did it, though," Harry says. "Bot fly tendencies or not."

Louis goes to reply but his stomach chooses that same time to growl loudly, announcing it's desire for food now, please. "Wanna figure it out over pancakes?" Louis proposes and Harry nods enthusiastically, reaching out for the phone on the nightstand beside him.

Harry gets the piss taken out of him when he calls for room service and Josh picks up the phone, spending a good ten minutes convincing Josh that no, he and Louis did not just get done with a fuck and were now looking for something to get their energy back up so they could fuck again.

Once Josh is finally convinced and their order is taken, Harry hangs up the phone. "Bunch of tossers," Harry says, no venom behind it at all. "Don't know why I'm friends with any of them."

"Any of them?" Louis asks. "Thought it was just Josh taking the piss?"

"Was at first," says Harry, rolling his eyes. "And then Liam figured out it was me on the phone and then he told Cara and Cara told Danielle and, well, you know how that goes."

"Do all of your friends work in room service, or?" Louis asks.

"We rotate," Harry explains. "We all work something different every couple days. Keeps the employees from getting bored and if we're not bored we don't slack off and start fucking in the cupboards."

"Has that happened before?" Louis asks, eyebrows raising.

"Once, as far as I know," Harry says. "Was when I first started working here. Two blokes Ashton and Michael were working front desk and it was off season so we didn't have many guests to deal with so they thought it'd be okay if they slagged off for a bit to fuck in the cupboard where we keep all the extra keys. Needless to say, they got caught when one of the few guests came down to complain about housekeeping or something not giving them enough towels and reported hearing 'noises of a sexual nature' coming from behind the reception area. Both were fired on the spot after they finally stumbled out the cupboard with sex hair and shirts half-tucked."

"How scandalous," Louis says.

"Very much so," Harry agrees. "So the big bosses figured a job rotation would be best to keep us all on our toes and out of each other's pants."

"Too bad it's done nothing to stop their employees from fucking the guests," Louis says.

Harry blanches, breaking out into giggles. "Even if it did, it wouldn't stop me. I've become much too fond of the guest I'm fucking."

"Such a romantic, you are," Louis snorts. "But I've become much too fond of the employee I'm fucking as well."

Harry grins widely, cupping Louis' cheek and pulling him into a kiss. They snog lazily until there's a knock on the door, Harry breaking from Louis' lips to yell for whoever to come in.

"You're a dirty liar, Styles," says Josh as the comes inside, pulling the room service tray behind him. "You said you hadn't fucked."

"We didn't," Louis says, pulling away from Harry's body and sitting up. "Not this morning, at least."

Josh's eyebrows shoot up to his hairline, a grin splitting his face as he whoops. "Styles, you fox! Bedding a thirty-five year old! New record, yeah?"

Harry rolls his eyes, making an exasperated noise as the throws the duvet off his legs, getting out of bed to go grab the food from the tray. "Don't you have other places to be, Josh?" Harry questions, the slightest bit of venom seeping into his tone.

Josh raises both hands up in a noncommittal gesture. "Wasn't trying to be offensive, mate."

Harry sighs. "I know, I know," he says. "'M'not offended, it's okay."

Josh nods. "I'll get going now, though," he says, pulling Harry in for a quick one-armed hug before turning to Louis. "It was nice to see you again, Louis. Even under the, uh, awkward circumstance, yeah?"

"Yeah," Louis agrees. "It was nice to see you again, too."

Josh gives one last nod and sheepish smile before he's ducking out, leaving Harry and Louis alone once more.

"New record, huh?" Louis says and Harry groans out loud, scrubbing a hand over his face.

"I'm not a slut, or anything, if that's what you're assuming," Harry says, taking the silver covers off his and Louis' plate, grabbing a couple packs of butter, the silverware, and the syrup. Louis balks just a little but at his ability to hold it all at one time.

"I wasn't assuming anything," Louis says, taking his plate from Harry's hand when Harry offers it.

"I've just dated older people, is all," Harry says as he climbs into bed, setting everything in his hands on the nightstand so he can flick the duvet back over himself. He passes some of the butter over to Louis and Louis takes it with thanks. "Caroline was the oldest at thirty-two and you've got her by three years, obviously. That's all he meant."

"I'm not judging you, Harry," Louis says, taking the syrup when Harry offers that. "I'm a thirty-five year old divorcee who spent the last six months or so of his life living like a hermit and abandoning his friends for his job. You should be the one judging me, love."

"Why're you so self-depreciating?" Harry asks, shoveling a forkful of pancake into his mouth.

Louis shrugs. "It's part of my nature, I suppose. Louis Tomlinson, the self-depreciating bot fly."

Harry snorts, a bit of pancake sticking to his bottom lip. He licks it off a moment later and Louis has to avert his eyes, cutting off a bit of his own short stack and stuffing it into his mouth.

"You're hilarious, you," Harry says, eyes going squinty with how largely he's grinning.

"I know, I know. No need to tell me," Louis says.

"Modest, too."

"I know."

The rest of their breakfast is spent it relative silence with the occasional comment or playful jab, and by the time their plates are empty, they're both sated and full with hands and faces covered in syrup from that one snogging session that happened when Harry used his mouth to clean off a blob of syrup that had fallen onto Louis' chin.

"Let's go take a shower, yeah?" Harry suggests.

"You're not going to molest me this time, are you?" Louis teases. Harry makes an affronted sound.

"Why, I'd never!" Harry gasps. "I'm offended you'd even have to ask that."

Louis sets his plate on the nightstand, rolling his eyes as he pushes the duvet off and swings his legs over the side of the bed. He takes a second to stretch once his feet are planted on the ground, playfully flicking Harry off when he whistles lowly from behind him.

"Let's go, then," Louis says, padding off towards the en suite. He hears Harry stumble along behind him, like a baby deer who's just starting to find his legs.

Harry doesn’t molest Louis in the shower, but Louis does give Harry a blowjob, under the pretense that he’s making up for the way he’d teased him yesterday. Harry’s just happy to get his dick sucked.

They don’t even both getting dressed passed their boxers, flopping down in a mess of limbs on the sofa. Louis flicks on and there’s some silly romcom on that he and Harry don’t pay one bit of attention to, more interested in the slick slide of their lips as they snog heatedly, Louis laying against Harry’s chest, with one of Harry’s big hands down the back of Louis’ pants, fingers dimpling the flesh of his arse.

Harry uses the hand on Louis’ bum as leverage as he grinds his hips up, hard beneath the thin fabric of his pants. “Fuck,” Louis breathes, a shock of heat flooding his whole body, intoxicated by the thick line of Harry’s cock pressed against his.

“You’re so fucking hot,” Harry groans, pressing his face into Louis’ neck as he grinds up harder, almost desperate in the way his hips twitch.

“I haven’t said this yet, but –“ Louis breaks off to let out a mewl of pleasure, dick twitching and blurting out a huge drop of precome and Louis flushes, because he’s hasn’t gotten wet like that since he was a thirteen and just discovering the mystical world of wanking. “But I really like your fucking cock.”

“Yeah?” Harry asks. It’s probably meant to sound cocky, but the way his voice shakes makes it nothing but endearing. Louis nods, grinding down harder. “G-good. Because my cock really fucking likes you too.”

“Just your cock?” Louis asks, gasping when Harry’s other hand makes its way into his briefs and cups his other arse cheek, Harry’s fingers just barely dipping into his crack and brushing over his hole.

“All of me,” Harry says. He’s breathing heavy now, sweat on his brow, lips swollen and red with how hard he’s been biting at them. Louis imagines he looks quite the same. “But my cock likes you best.”

“Your cock is a gem,” Louis says breathily, losing himself in the way Harry’s cock presses firmly against his, long and hot and hard as it pushes him closer to his orgasm.

“Mhm,” grunts Harry. He readjusts his grip on Louis’ arse and pulls him closer. His fingertips are pressing firm against Louis’ hole, and when Harry presses a bit more and the dry tip of one forges inside, Louis comes.

He shakes and moans, groaning his completion into Harry’s chest. His come floods his pants, the wet spreading out all over. He knows Harry can feel it, and it’s his ego that tell him that’s the reason Harry comes only a moment later, biting down on Louis’ shoulder as his hips twitch uncontrollably.

“Fuck,” is the first thing Harry says when his breathing gets back to normal.

“Yeah,” Louis agrees, fidgeting as the come in his briefs starts to turn cold and tacky. “We should go clean up, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Harry nods. Louis clambers off his chest and to his feet, making a face when his pants stick to his cock. Harry snorts.

“Shut the fuck up,” Louis snaps when Harry stands up in a similar state. “Yours looks even worse.”

Harry shrugs. “Comes with the territory,” he says simply. “I’ll grab a flannel while you grab clean pants?”

“Deal,” Louis agrees, bustling over to his suitcase while Harry traipses into the en suite. Louis grabs out two clean pairs of briefs and two shirts he’d already worn.

“Shirts?” Harry questions when he comes out with the wet flannel and Louis hands him the clothes.

“Yes, shirts,” Louis says. “I doubt we’ll be able to do anything but fuck today if we’re only in pants all day, and I’d actually quite like if we could do something productive.”

“Fucking is productive,” Harry argues, tossing Louis the flannel when he’s done with it himself. Nonetheless, he slips the shirt over his head, stripping out of the soiled pants when Louis passes the flannel back to him.

“Not productive in the way I want to be, love, sorry,” Louis says. Harry huffs, dropping the flannel onto the nightstand.

“We still haven’t got trousers on, though,” Harry states as they make their way back over to the sofa. They sit down a little more gracefully than last time: still flopping, but on opposite ends.

“That’s because none of mine will fit you, and yours are probably still damp,” Louis states. 

“Pish posh,” Harry grumbles.

“You’re such a child,” Louis teases.

“Shut it, old man,” Harry snaps but there’s a grin teasing at his lips. 

“Old man?” Louis raises his eyebrows in a mockingly incredulous manner. “You can get out of my room right now, if you’re going to be like that.”

“Oh, no!” Harry wails, launching himself over Louis’ lap. “I didn’t mean it, I swear!”

“Of course you didn’t,” Louis grins sweetly. “You’re much too soft-hearted to have meant it.”

“Hey,” Harry whines. “’M not soft-hearted.”

“You’re definitely soft-hearted,” Louis says, twining his fingers into Harry’s curls, petting at his scalp. Harry starts to practically purr. “See? You’re nearly purring like a kitten right now. If that’s not soft-hearted, I’m not sure what is.”

“I just like my hair petted,” Harry huffs. “Besides, you weren’t thinking I was soft-hearted when you were begging me to fuck you against the pool edge last night.”

Louis blanches, fingers pausing in Harry’s hair. Harry makes a displeased noise, trying to get them to keep on with their scratching. “We will not speak of that, Harold,” Louis says, picking the movement of his fingers up again.

“Mad cause I’m right,” Harry murmurs. “I really liked it, though, if that’s any consolation.”

Louis shrugs. “A bit, yeah.”

Harry beams. “So you wanna watch a movie, or something? I can call Pez and see if she’ll bring one from the staff stash for us, if you want.”

“Sure,” Louis agrees. “I’m feeling a comedy. Got anything good?”

“Oh, definitely,” Harry says. “Grab the phone for me, would you?”

Louis grabs the phone off the coffee table, handing it to Harry. He dials a number quickly and it picks up on the second ring, the tinny sound of a female voice coming through the speakers. “Hey, Perrie, you busy? Okay, well can you do me a huge favor and send somebody up to drop me and Lou off a movie? A comedy, yeah. Thank you, Pezza, love you!”

Harry hangs up the phone, handing it back to Louis who’s looking at him with raised eyebrows. “You’re quite the charmer, you,” Louis says. “Got the whole hotel staff wrapped around your spindly fingers.”

“It’s a talent,” Harry shrugs, expression morphing into a dirty smirk. “And besides, I know for a fact that you quite like being wrapped around my fingers.”

“Shush. Right now,” Louis snaps. “Can’t we have five minutes where you’re not talking about us fucking?”

Harry shrugs again. “I’m eighteen, Lou, what do you expect? Sex is ninety percent of what I think about.”

“Teenagers,” Louis grumbles, but there’s no weight behind it. “At least keep the sex talk to a minimum until after the movie, alright? By then I might even be back on board with it and we can actually have a fuck instead of talking about previous ones, yeah?”

“Yeah, definitely,” Harry says, eyes lighting up. Louis scoffs, rolling his.

“Teenagers,” he mutters again.

The movie they end up getting is 21 Jump Street – one of Louis’ personal favorites – and Harry sets it up in the DVD player right away. (Louis didn’t even know he had a DVD player.)

They cuddle the whole time, laughing at the funny parts and snogging during others, Harry going off about how fit he thinks Dave Franco is every so often. Louis nods in agreement, then adds a tidbit about how he really wouldn’t mind sucking Channing Tatum’s cock.

(“You’re a harlot,” Harry says. Louis smacks him in the back of the head.

“Shut up,” Louis gripes.)

The movie ends and Harry gets to his feet to stretch, giving a pleased groan as his back and shoulders pop. His shirt – Louis’ shirt – rides up his long torso, revealing a toned and tanned strip of his belly. Louis swallows.

“Y’wanna go get something to eat?” Harry asks, dropping his arms and turning to Louis. Louis clears his throat and gets up himself, nodding.

“Definitely,” Louis says. “I’m starved.”

“We can go down to the cabanas?” Harry offers.

“If I get a stir fry, will it be cold this time?” Louis asks, narrowing his eyes.

Harry shrugs noncommittally. “Your stir fry might have been cold because I may or may not have been thinking about how I was going to get you to come home with me before I brought it to you.”

“You’re a dick,” Louis says. “It was the stir fry that made me decide to go to that party with you, though.”

“Really?” Harry asks, surprised grin on his face.

“Really,” says Louis. “I told myself if the stir fry was still hot, I’d stay in. If it was cold, I’d go to the party. And it was cold.”

“What luck I’ve got then, huh?” Harry says, beaming.

“Much luck,” Louis muses.

“I’m really glad it was cold,” Harry admits, bright grin turning a bit sheepish.

Louis smiles softy, grabbing Harry’s arm and tugging him close. He tilts his head up and Harry tilts his down, their lips meeting in a chaste kiss. “Me, too,” Louis says.

Harry kisses him again, quick like he just can’t resist it, before pulling back and taking Louis’ hand. “Destiny determined by stir fry,” Harry says. “Interesting.”

Louis snorts. “Come on, Confucius, let’s go put some pants on. I’m hungry.”

“Confucius?” Harry questions, tugged along to bed by Louis so he can rifle through his suitcase, throwing Harry a pair of jean shorts that should fit.

Louis makes an affronted sound, grabbing out a pair of light blue shorts for himself. “Are you really telling me you don’t know who Confucius is? Confucius, the man who founded his own religion in China? The famous philosopher? Didn’t they teach you this in school?”

Harry shrugs, embarrassed. “Was never that good at school, to be honest. I’m surprised I even graduated. I’m not the brightest.”

Harry’s face is red with shame and Louis immediately feels bad. “Hey now,” Louis says, squeezing Harry’s hand. “Who even needs Chinese history?”

Harry cracks a small smile, nodding. “Besides,” Louis adds, “You’re probably going to get signed and be a rock star, anyways.”

Harry’s smile gets bigger, and he squeezes Louis’ hand as they walk up to the door to get their shoes on. “You think so?” he asks, slipping his feet into his flip flops.

“I don’t see how it couldn’t happen,” Louis says, tucking his feet into his old ratty black Toms. “You sing, play guitar, and you’re quite lovely to look at. Golden trio right there, if I do say so myself.”

Harry snorts a laugh. “Thanks,” he says.

The walk down to the cabanas is short and when they get there, they get seated right away. Cara’s playing hostess and she gives them a sly look when she drops them their menus.

“Why do all of your friends assume that every time we go out for food, it’s because we’ve got the munchies after fucking?” Louis asks, staring Cara down as she makes obscene hand gestures from the hostess podium.

“Don’t ask me,” Harry murmurs, scanning the menu even though Louis’ sure he knows everything that’s on it. “They’re all nutters.”

“Y’know,” Louis starts, “I never did ask you how you ended up in Aruba, being a fellow Brit, and all.”

Harry laughs. “Yeah, s’a bit weird, yeah? Out of like, all the people I could have met here, I met the other British guy.”

“Were you born here, then?” Louis asks, setting his menu down, having decided on just getting the stir fry again.

“No, no,” Harry shakes his head. “My mum and dad are marine biologists. We moved from Holmes Chapel when I was seven because they got assigned to this ten-year sea turtle rehabilitation project through the aquarium they work at. They moved back to the village when it was over.”

“And you didn’t go?” Louis asks.

“Nah,” Harry says. “I fell in love with it here. I had friends and I knew Liam outside of this place and he said he could get me a job once I graduated and he let me crash at his place until then. I made a little cash on the side playing weekend gigs with Josh, and like, it just worked out, you know?”

“Yeah,” Louis nods. “You and your parents, though. You’re not like, estranged, or anything?”

“Oh, no!” Harry says. “Not at all. Me mum calls me all the time, when she’s not busy. Hers and Dad’s schedules have been packed lately, ‘cause the aquarium’s getting sea lions.”

“Good, good,” Louis nods. “Do you ever plan on moving back?”

“Maybe someday, if it feels right,” Harry says. “I just don’t want to go back now. I feel like I’m on the break of something big and I don’t want to leave and miss an opportunity, y’know?”

“Yeah, definitely,” Louis says.

Their waitress pops up at their table just as Harry’s about to reply, and whatever he was going to say turns into an excited hello and a tight hug to the waitress he calls Alexa.

“Louis, this is Alexa,” Harry introduces. “Louis, Alexa. Alexa, Louis.”

“Nice to meet you,” Alexa says warmly, offering a thin hand. She doesn’t seem shocked to see Harry having lunch with somebody so much older than him, and Louis guesses that she’s already been informed of what Harry’s been getting up to with him.

“Likewise,” Louis says. Alexa’s brows raise.

“You found an Englishman!” she chirps. “How weird of a coincidence.”

“Isn’t it?” Harry tells her. “We were literally just talking about that.”

“Freaky,” Alexa says. “Anyways, you two know what you want? Entrees and drinks?”

“Yeah, I’ll have the seared salmon with the crab risotto on the side,” Harry says, “And water with lemon, please.”

“Always so polite,” Alexa hums, scratching the order down with her pencil. “And for you, Louis?”

“Um, I’ll have the shrimp stir fry. And lemon water as well.”

Alexa jots his order down as well, stuffing the pencil down into the pocket of her apron. “That’ll be out as soon as possible, and I’ll bring you two your waters in just a moment.”

“Take your time, love,” Harry says. Alexa blows him a kiss before she walks off, presumably to the kitchen to drop off their orders and get their drinks.

“She’s very nice,” Louis says once he’s sure she’s out of earshot.

“Alexa?” Harry asks, as if he’s forgotten in the span of thirty seconds. “Yeah, she’s great. Took me under her wing when I first started working here.”

“And how old is she?” Louis asks, honestly curious. Harry chuckles.

“She’s thirty,” Harry says. “Used to be a model. Isn’t that cool?”

“She used to be a model and now she works at a hotel?”

Harry nods. “Said she got tired of the fast life. This job pays well and we get to live in this grand hotel on a gorgeous beach. I’d say it’s quite the good trade.”

Louis hums. “Seems so,” he agrees.

Alexa comes back with their waters, setting them down in front of their respective owner. “Food’ll be ready in just a bit,” she says, turning on her heel and leaving Harry and Louis to themselves again.

Louis grabs his glass and takes a sip of the water, shivering a bit at how cold it is. “I should quit my job and work here instead.”

Harry coughs, losing the mouthful of water he’d taken up. “I’m sorry, what -?”

“I’m, uh, I’m kidding,” Louis says, feeling sheepish. “I couldn’t. My job has pensions and all that jazz; it’d be a hassle to leave it.”

“Oh,” Harry says, nodding slowly. He brings his straw back to his lips and takes another sip.

“Sorry,” Louis apologizes. “Sorry, I’m a dick.”

“No, no,” Harry says, pushing his cup away. “I just didn’t expect you to say that. It surprised me, is all. I couldn’t ask you to leave your family and your friends so you can live here. I’m not capable of being that selfish.”

“I’ll come visit, yeah?” Louis promises. “I make quite good money. I can afford a trip down here every so often.” Louis says. “Maybe not staying at the Riu,” he adds as an afterthought.

Harry’s eyes brighten, green glowing like emeralds. “Yeah? I’d really love that.”

“Yeah, I think I could swing it.”

Harry’s grin stays plastered to his face from the time their food arrives until their plates are empty. Louis sort of wants to ask him if his face hurts. 

The stir fry is piping hot this time and quite delicious, Louis burning his tongue in his haste to eat when he discovers it. Harry snorts a laugh and nudges Louis’ water over to him, Louis giving a grateful nod as he grabs the glass and takes a large gulp to cool the burning.

“Fuckin’ hot,” he says, lisping a bit with the way he’s holding his tongue in order to avoid irritating the burn. “Really good, though.”

“Yeah, the stir fries are the best,” Harry agrees. “Sorry you didn’t get to fully experience it the first time, with it being cold, and all.”

“Though we already established that we’re both glad it was cold?” Louis muses.

“We did,” Harry nods. “But I’ve got this horrid tendency to apologize multiple times for the same thing even when it’s been established that there’s no offense anymore.”

“I see,” Louis says. “We’ll have to break you of that before I leave, then, because it is quite horrid.”

“Please,” Harry says.

The rest of their lunch in relative silence, commenting every so often on how good the food is or on other guests in the restaurant, like the businessman sitting two tables over who’s dressed in a full-on three-piece suit and sweating like that’s his business.

“Like, you’re vacationing in Aruba. Why in the hell would you wear three-piece suits outside? It’s fucking blistering out here,” Louis gripes. Harry giggles into his palm.

“You wouldn’t believe the kinds of people we see here on a daily basis. Like, the other day I was working and there was this couple sitting right over there –“  he points to the far right-hand corner of the myriad of tables – “and at first I thought they were father and daughter because the guy was balding and looked to be about fifty, while the girl looked like she was twenty, max. I was serving their section that night and when I get over there to take their order, the guy is all red-faced and doesn’t say a word, while the girl’s got this shit-eating grin on her face. She orders for them, just salads, and when I get back with their orders,” he pauses, as if to create suspense, “she pulls her hand up from under the table and she’s got jizz on the back of it.”

“Oh, God,” Louis says, making a disgusted face. “She wasn’t actually his daughter, right?!”

“Oh, no,” Harry says, snorting a laugh. “No, no. Just his sugar baby.”

“Girl had some balls,” Louis comments.

“Yeah, in her hand,” Harry says and Louis breaks out in a loud, obnoxious laugh, earning some dirty looks from the other restaurant-goers around him.

“You’re impossible,” Louis says.

“I’m lovely,” Harry retorts.

They finish eating, taking a bit of time to digest before getting up and heading on their way, waving goodbye to Cara as they leave. They head back to Louis’ suite and Harry’s stripping out of his shorts the second he gets inside, flopping down onto the sofa and scratching obnoxiously at his crotch.

“I pray that you’ve got nothing going on down there that you need to scratch at,” Louis curls his lip, tugging his own shorts off and joining Harry on the sofa.

“Just because my balls itch doesn’t mean I’ve got a disease, love,” Harry says. “And besides, if I had something, you’d have it too, with all the dick to dick contact we’ve had lately.”

“You’re so eloquent, you,” Louis says, pushing Harry’s knees apart so he can crawl between them and lie on Harry’s chest.

“So I’ve been told,” Harry lies, placing an arm over Louis’ lower back. Louis grabs the telly remote and flicks the television on, scanning channels and perking up when he finds an English movie channel that’s playing some silly Adam Sandler movie that Louis thinks he’s already seen three or four times.

“Adam Sandler is a genius,” Harry comments, tapping his fingers up and down Louis’ spine. “Love his movies.”

“Mhm,” Louis hums, feeling suddenly sleepy. He could definitely use a nap, old man that he is.

“You tired?” Harry asks, catching on to the lax set of Louis’ body and the laziness of his reply.

“A bit, yeah,” Louis admits.

“Take a nap, then,” Harry says. “I might go that route, too, actually.”

Louis just nods, burrowing into Harry’s chest. He hasn’t cuddled and napped like this with somebody – held my strong arms against an equally strong chest – since he was seventeen and had his first boyfriend. It feels oddly soothing in a way, and Louis finds himself dozing off much quicker than he’d originally planned.

x

He wakes up about an hour later, stretching wildly before he remembers where he’d fallen asleep, pulling his arms back in quickly, accidentally knocking a sleeping Harry in the nose as he does so.

“Ow, fuck,” Harry groans, cracking open a sleep-fogged green eye. “Such a pleasant was to wake me up, Lou.”

“It was an accident,” Louis says sheepishly. “Sorry, love.”

Harry tries not to smile but fails, his big lips curling up at the corners. “You’re forgiven.” He leans down to press a quick kiss at the line of Louis’ mussed fringe, on his forehead.

“What time is it?” Louis asks, too lazy at the moment to sit up and turn to check the clock on the wall when Harry can see it fine from where he’s lying.

“Three-oh-eight,” says Harry.

“Hmm,” Louis hums, contemplating. “Help me with the decision, Harry.”

“What decision?”

“The decision of whether we should have a lie in for the rest of the day or put some trousers on and be proper adults instead.”

“I’m all for the lie in option,” Harry says. “I offered that option this morning.”

“I think I’m for that option now, too,” Louis admits. “I’ve gotten lazy in my old age and I really don’t want to get up right now. Probably won’t want to for another couple hours actually.”

“We can order room service for dinner,” Harry offers. “That was we don’t have to leave the room to have supper. Or put on proper bottoms.”

“You’re a genius,” Louis says.

They spend the rest of the afternoon and well into the evening on the sofa together, watching movies on the channel Louis found and ordering room service when their stomachs start to growl too loud to be ignored. They order chicken and macaroni and Louis eats until he feels like he can’t move.

Harry’s got to work in the morning but he spends the night with Louis again anyways, promising to dip out on time without waking Louis up, because a Louis woken up before he’s ready to be is not a pleasant Louis at all. He’d probably take the clock on the nightstand and throw it at Harry’s stupid curly head, to be honest.

Harry takes up his role as big spoon again when he and Louis head to bed, pulling Louis close and burying his face into the soft hairs at the back of Louis’ neck, pressing wet, open mouthed kisses there. Louis can’t help but get hard when he feels Harry’s half-hard cock against the top of his bum, gaining a reach-around handjob from Harry for his troubles. He goes to return the favor, but Harry just shushes him with a kiss and jerks his cock himself, spilling over his fingers and wiping it on the far end of the duvet where neither he nor Louis will have to deal with it.

The handjob leaves Louis satisfyingly lethargic, and he falls asleep quicker than he had for his nap. He thinks he hears Harry murmur something before he conks out too, but he can’t quite be sure.

He was probably just dreaming it, anyways.

X

The next three days of Louis’ vacation seem to go by at a pace slower than molasses on a sidewalk. Harry’s got to work most of them, so Louis only gets to see him when he gets off his shift late at night. They make the most of it, though, Harry spending his nights in Louis’ bed instead of going back to the staff apartments where he probably should be.

They fuck more in those three days than Louis thinks he’s fucked in the past six months, Harry pinning him down everywhere from against the doorframe to the floor a meter away from the bed, yanking his and Louis’ shorts down and fucking Louis like he’s starved for it, even though Louis’ arse is still sore from the last time Harry had his cock inside him.

Harry gets off work early the first night and the second Louis opens the door to let Harry in, Harry asks Louis to fuck him. It takes Louis a second before he’s nodding, grabbing Harry’s arm and yanking him inside, making Harry trip over himself in his haste.

They’re stripped to their pants before they even get to the bed, Harry crawling on first and lying down on his back with his head cushioned against the pillows, beckoning Louis to him with an arch of his brow.

Louis takes his sweet time, peeling Harry’s boxers off like they’re precious. He opens Harry up like Harry’s glass, fingers unwavering in their gentleness even when Harry whines and begs Louis to go faster. Harry whines even louder when Louis pushes his cock inside, still slow and steady, mewling and gasping, saying, “Louis, Lou, fuck, please, faster – I need it.”

Once he’s buried to the hilt, Louis takes pity on Harry and fucks him like he wants it. He grabs Harry’s thighs and throws them over his shoulders, propping Harry’s arse up on his own thighs. The angle makes Harry moan like a whore and Louis begins to sweat, having forgot what it felt like to be completely and utterly in control of somebody else’s pleasure like this.

By the time Louis comes, Harry’s already gotten his own nut, sweating and mewling with sensitivity. Louis pulls out gently and Harry gives one last whine, curling up into Louis’ chest, paying no mind to the come smeared on his chest. “Wow,” Harry breathes.

“Yeah,” Louis agrees.

The second night, Harry doesn’t get off work until three in the morning and by the time he gets to Louis’ he’s dead on his feet. Louis calls room service up in the middle of the day and requests the most obnoxious thing on the menu, telling them directly to send Harry up with his meal. Thankfully, whoever answers the phone doesn’t seem to find suspicion in the request, and twenty minutes later, Harry’s knocking on Louis’ door with Louis’ ordered oyster shooters on the tray in his hand.

Louis takes the shooters and sets them on the table before dropping to his knees, making quick work of the button on Harry’s black trousers and yanking them down Harry’s thighs. Harry’s already half hard and Louis smirks, pulling his pants down to meet his trousers, taking Harry’s cock in his hand and giving it a few quick jerks until Harry’s fully hard and throbbing in his hand.

They’ve only got a few minutes until Harry’s supervisor gets suspicious, so Louis wastes no time in swallowing Harry down. He sucks Harry off like his life depends on it, and Harry’s coming in a matter of minutes. Louis feels extremely smug.

Louis sends Harry on his way with rumpled trousers and a happy, blissed out smile.

On the third night, Harry gets off early again, only because he’s playing his gig at the cabanas again. He asks Louis to come and Louis accepts immediately, going a little early to ensure that he gets a good seat, right up front where he can watch Harry from the best angle.

The cabanas fill slowly but steadily, and the whole place falls silent when Harry and Josh take stage. Harry says a quick hello into the mic before he starts strumming. The tune is unfamiliar but it doesn’t stop the butterflies from breaking out in Louis’ stomach, the sweet tenor of Harry’s voice making Louis’ whole body tingle.

Harry’s whole set goes by quicker than Louis would have liked, but Louis could sit and listen to Harry play for hours on end. Though, when Louis thinks Harry’s about to thank the audience and pack up, he leans into the microphone and tells them that he’s got one more song to sing that goes out to a special someone who’s sitting in the audience tonight.

His eyes flit over to Louis when he finishes, grinning at a few wolf whistles that comes from the direction of the waiters’ station. His fingers start to pluck at the strings of his guitar and Louis knows the song immediately, his face flushing hot as Harry starts to sing the same song he sang that night they flipped the rowboat in the private pool and had sex on the pool edge.

Louis feels flayed out and exposed, like everybody in the cabanas knows exactly what this song means to him and Harry, even though he and Harry are the only two who could possibly know about what happened that night. Louis has to swallow hard to get down the lump that’s just lodged itself in his throat, biting his lips to keep from screaming out at Harry to stop singing, because it just feels wrong.

He doesn’t know if it’s wrong because he feels like Harry’s broadcasting something so utterly private that happened between the two of them to everybody who’s listening to him play or if it’s because Louis suddenly beginning to realize how deep he’s getting himself in with this and he only has a week left. Probably a mixture of both, he thinks, if the way his throat is beginning to get thick with panic and his hands start to shake is anything to go by.

The second Harry hits the last note Louis’ up and out of his seat, ignoring the grumbles of the people around him. He doesn’t look back to see Harry’s face or up to see the way Harry’s friends are most likely watching him go with concern, just keeps his eyes on his feet as he walks as quick as he can without it turning into a jog back into the hotel.

He slams the door when he gets into his room, not even caring if he’s disturbing the people in the rooms next to his as he digs through the piles of clothes on the floor, not even sure what is his and what is Harry’s as he shoves the articles into his suitcase.

He doesn’t know what he’s expecting as he crams in clothes and tries to zip is suitcase up – it’s not like he can just catch a taxi to the airport and buy a new ticket for an earlier flight home. He doesn’t have the money for that, but stuffing his suitcase and pretending he’s going to get up and leave makes him feel a little less panicked. Practice, he tells himself. Practice for when I really do have to leave.

There’s a knock on Louis’ door and Louis drops his head into his hands, still sitting atop his suitcase. One part of him wants to open the door and let Harry pull him into his arms and kiss him until the panic goes away, but another part of him wants to shout and tell Harry to leave him alone because we can’t do this anymore, Harry. We can’t.

The first part of Louis’ brain wins out because Louis’ a glutton for punishment, and so Louis gets up off the suitcase and goes to the door, opening it just enough to see Harry’s hurt face on the other side.

“Louis, let me in?” Harry asks.

“I can’t,” Louis says, shaking his head.

“Why not, Louis?” Harry demands.

“I just can’t, okay?”

“What the fuck is happening right now, Louis?” Harry asks, starting to sound angry. “We were perfectly fine these last three days and now you start to freak out? What the fuck did I do?”

“You sang it!” Louis bellows, throwing the door all the way open and shoving at Harry’s chest. “You fucking sang that song and you dedicated it to me and I’ve only got a week left, Harry! A week!”

“That’s what this is about?” Harry asks. “You’re all up in arms because I sang a song for you?”

“Not just a song. The song you sang on our date. The one you sang before he had sex on the pool edge and you told me you were falling for me,” Louis explains. “You sang it and I’ve only got a week left.”

“Louis,” Harry coos, pulling Louis close to him and walking them back into the suit, closing the door.

“Don’t,” Louis protests, shoving Harry away from him. “I’m not going to let you talk me back in, okay? We can’t do this anymore, Harry. We can’t.”

“You’re just giving up, then?” Harry asks, face starting to go red. “You know, when we met, I didn’t think you’d be this huge of a fucking coward.”

Louis starts, eyes going wide. Anger bubbles in his chest and he grits his teeth. “A coward?” he hisses through them, “Fuck you, Harry. Get out of my room.”

“No,” Harry firmly stands his ground. “I’m not leave until you realize how irrational you’re being.”

“Don’t speak to me like I’m a fucking child!” Louis shouts.

“Well then stop fucking acting like one!”

Louis sees red, then, lashing out and hitting Harry in the jaw. Harry recoils, stumbling back a little bit. Louis’ anger subsides in a split second once he realizes what he’s done, but he doesn’t have a chance to apologize before Harry’s surging forward, grabbing Louis’ face in a painful embrace as he smashes their lips together.

All of the anger and frustration comes flooding back as Harry kisses him, Louis fighting him every step Harry takes closer to the bed. He tears at Harry’s curls and punches his chest, biting down hard on Harry’s lip when nothing else works.

Harry rears back with a pained cry, shoving Louis back. His knees hit the bed and he falls down onto it, scrambling up to the pillows when Harry gets on, looking like an animal stalking its prey as he knee-walks closer.

“Harry, don’t –“ Louis’ protest is cut off when Harry kisses him hard again, the taste of Harry’s blood from his opened lip spreading between their mouths. Louis struggles but Harry’s bigger body has him pinned, unable to get away.

Louis manages to get a hand out from under Harry and uses it to shove Harry’s face away. “Fucking stop, Harry. I don’t –“

Harry ignores him, swatting his hand away. He pins it down to the bed with one hand while the other comes up to cup Louis’ cheek. “Please,” Harry says, and just like that, all of the rage floods out of Louis’ system. “Please, please don’t let me go like this.”

Louis swallows hard and squeezes his eyes shut. Harry leans in for another kiss and Louis doesn’t stop him. Harry passes his tongue over Louis’ lips and Louis opens up for him, even running his own tongue over Harry’s bitten lip as an apology, an I’m sorry for hurting you like this

"Don't push me away," Harry breathes, breaking from Louis' lips to press kisses against his jaw and neck.

"Don't you get it?" Louis asks, fingers twining into Harry's curls, but this time it's to pull him closer instead of yank him away. "I push everybody away."

"Not me," Harry says, hands running down Louis' sides, stopping at the hem of Louis' shirt. 

"Take it off," Louis says and Harry does, drawing the cotton up until it's under Louis' armpits, Louis yanking it off the rest of the way. Harry takes the moment to pull his shirt off as well, tossing it to the side of the bed before popping the button on his jeans.

Harry strips Louis the rest of the way and Louis' reminded of the very first time he bottomed with a guy - he was so young and so nervous but his boy had been so gracious, undressing him and kissing every inch of skin he exposed, and by the time he was done, Louis was panting and ready and wanton.

Louis grabs the lube and a condom from the nightstand as Harry peels his jeans off, his cock slapping wet and hard against his tummy. He takes the lube from Louis' hand and sets it aside, lying down between Louis' thighs instead.

"Wanna lick you out," Harry murmurs and Louis groans, fingers tangling in Harry's curls again. "Can I?"

"Yes, yes," Louis says, spreading his legs to let Harry get closer.

Big hands spread Louis' cheeks and a kiss is pressed to the junction between Louis' arse and thigh before a tongue presses against Louis' hole. Louis stifles a groan against the meat of his biceps, hips twitching as Harry licks broad, wet stripes over his entrance.

By the time Harry's done eating him out, Louis' wet and open and Louis thinks he should feel ashamed, so spread and wanton like he is for a teenager, but Harry makes him feel something he hasn't for years - young and impulsive and reckless, run by nothing but the lust he holds inside of him.

There's a small snicking noise as Harry pops the cap on the lube, spreading a dollop over his fingers. He crawls back in between Louis' legs, pressing a wet kiss to Louis' lips as two fingers sink inside. 

Louis can't help but clench down on the intrusion, the spread of Harry's fingers burning a bit as they press inside. Harry shifts so he's lying just to the side of Louis, so he can grab Louis' cock and jerk him off while he fingers him open.

Harry stretches Louis open quickly, using three fingers dripping with lube by the time he's done. Louis' teetering right on the precipice of his orgasm, grateful when Harry's hand leaves his cock to push on Louis' hip to get Louis to roll onto his side, taking the moment to tear open the condom and roll it on with shaky fingers. 

Harry grabs Louis' thigh and props it over his hip, spreading Louis obscenely. He presses himself close to Louis like he needs to feel every inch of Louis' body against his, and Louis thinks that, under the circumstances, that's exactly what Harry needs.

A wet, open-mouthed kiss is pressed to Louis' shoulder as the blunt head of Harry's cock forges inside. The stretch burns just right and Louis' eyes slip closed. He can feel Harry's breath, hot and quick on the back of his neck, like Harry's panting.

Harry fucks him slow, almost reverently, like he can't get enough of Louis like this, like he's scared he's never going to get to experience Louis like this again. He presses kisses to every part of Louis his mouth can reach - his shoulders, back, neck, upper arms, everywhere - and murmurs sweet nothings into Louis' ear, begs Louis not to leave because I can't take it, Lou. I can't take you just walking away.

"I won't," Louis promises and he feels a few wet drops fall onto his shoulder, listens to Harry take a shaky breath, feels him press his hot face into the back of Louis neck, but Louis doesn't say a word about it.

Harry comes with a stifled cry muffled against Louis' skin, pulling out once his hips have stopped twitching. He rolls Louis onto his back and kisses an apology to his lips as he wraps his hand around Louis' cock. They snog heatedly until Louis' coming, Harry swallowing the moan Louis spills into his mouth. Harry keeps jacking him until the sensitivity is too much and Louis physically has to knock Harry’s hand away, quaking with the aftershocks.

They fall away from each other, lying side to side, touching from shoulder to fingertips. They don’t speak, only breathing harshly until they’re able to catch their breath and think in more than just fragments again.

“I’m sorry,” Harry says first, knocking his knuckles against the back of Louis’ hand. Louis twines their fingers together. “I shouldn’t have just, like, thrown that song out there.”

“Don’t be,” Louis says. “I overreacted.”

“No, you didn’t,” Harry protests. “I just – I shouldn’t have surprised you like that. I knew exactly what that song would remind you of and I sang it anyways, not thinking that you might be uncomfortable with it.”

“It wasn’t that I was uncomfortable, though,” Louis explains, “but that it reminded me I’ve only got a week left. I’ve got a week left and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with these feelings when it comes time for me to leave you.”

Harry sighs, resting his head on Louis’ shoulder. “We’ll figure it out.” Harry says. “We’ve got phones, and Skype, and who knows? Maybe one day I’ll find that my passion for music would be better pursued in London.”

Louis echoes Harry’s sigh, unable to help the small smile that curves the sides of his lips. “Don’t go getting my hopes up,” he says.

“I’m not trying to,” Harry says. “I don’t plan on letting you down.”

Louis hums, letting go of Harry’s hand and petting it through Harry’s curls. “We should clean up,” Louis says.

“Yeah,” Harry agrees, pulling a face. “I’ve still got the condom on.”

Louis snorts, rolling out of Harry’s embrace. “You teenagers are so unhygienic.”

Harry makes an affronted noise and Louis chuckles, traipsing into the en suite to fetch a flannel to clean the come off his stomach. Once he’s jizz-free he heads back to where Harry’s curled under the duvet, eyes sleep-heavy. It’s only ten o’clock but Louis’ knackered as well, and he takes no time in crawling under the duvet in front of Harry, pausing when Harry whines. “Let me be little spoon tonight?” he asks.

Louis nods, a fond smile on his face as he gets out of bed and rounds to the other side, crawling in behind Harry, tucking an arm around his waist.

“Night, Harry,” Louis hums, tugging Harry closer to him.

“Night, Lou,” Harry murmurs, snuffling cutely. He pushes his legs between Louis’ to get them even closer, Louis hissing at the touch of his cold toes. He’s asleep in minutes, his light snoring picking up like it does every night.

The last thought Louis has before he falls asleep is if he’s ever going to be able to fall asleep when he’s home again without the sweet rumble of Harry’s snores to break the silence he knows is going to be overwhelming.

x

The sun in streaming into Louis’ eyes through half-closed curtains when he wakes up, and the first thing he realizes is that Harry’s not in bed with him. There is a note on his pillow, though, scrawled in messy handwriting that says, had to go down to the cabanas to get my guitar. Gonna pick up breakfast on my way back. xxH

Louis smiles to himself, tucking the note up and setting it on the bedside table. He rolls out of bed and shivers at the chilled morning air on his naked skin, wandering over to his suitcase to fetch a pair of sweats to cover himself.

Once he’s no longer naked, Louis makes his way out into the living area of the suit. He catches sight of the computer from the corner of his eye and decides he ought to check if Zayn’s tried to email him again, seeing as Louis’ been pretty AWOL for the last three days or so. He traipses over to the desk and plops his arse down onto the chair, pressing the power on button and waiting for the computer to boot up.

Louis goes straight to his email once everything’s loaded, signing in. He’s got five unread emails and four of them are spam, and the other is from Zayn, just from last night. The subject is a keysmash of letters and Louis snorts at Zayn’s complete and utter laziness to type a proper subject.

He opens the email and it’s a quick question of does ur comp have skype?? x. Louis’ not sure so he takes a moment to search and sure enough, the Skype icon is sitting right on the taskbar, pinned right next to the shortcut for Google Chrome. He hits reply on Zayn’s email and types a quick ya it does do u want to?? and then hits send.

The ding for a new email sounds at the same time Louis’ suite door opens and Harry walks in, what looks like a takeout box or two carried in his huge mitts. “You’re up,” Harry grins, closing the door with his foot. He sets the boxes down on the coffee table before he comes over to Louis, peering over his shoulder to see what he’s up to.

“Do you mind, Harold?” Louis snuffs, lifting an eyebrow. “Didn’t your parents teach you it’s improper manners to spy on somebody else’s private business?”

Harry shrugs, standing up straight. “Yes, they did. But they also taught me it’s improper to go and stick my tongue in somebody’s arsehole, but I went and blew that one to bits last night and you weren’t protesting.”

“Oh God,” Louis says, flushing from the ends of his hair down to his chest. “Go eat your breakfast and let me do my business, you insufferable child.”

Harry snorts but leaves Louis on his own, sauntering over to the coffee table and grabbing the food before he flops down on his arse on the sofa. “Is it Zayn?” he asks.

“Yeah,” says Louis, opening the email. Sign in now im on, it says. Louis writes back a simple ok.

He opens Skype and tries to remember his login info, not having to physically log himself in since he made the account in Uni. It takes him three tries but he gets it, and he clicks on Zayn’s username and ‘start video chat.’ It takes a while for the connection to hold but after a couple minutes, Louis’ greeted with Zayn’s stubbled face on the screen.

“Loueh!” Zayn greets, a grin on his face. “You look well, mate. Nice and tan.”

Louis chuckles. “Thanks, Z. How’s London?”

“It’s shit,” Zayn says. “Hasn’t stopped raining for four days straight.”

“Bet you’re wishing you’d sent yourself on this vacation rather than me, huh?” Louis teases. Zayn shakes his head.

“Nah,” he says, “You needed it way more than I did. You were in desperate need or a change of scenery.” Zayn’s face changes for a moment, looking a bit contemplative before he asks, “So how’s that boy you met? Harry, was it?”

Louis sees Harry perk up in his peripheral vision at the mention of his name, pausing mid-bite on a piece of bacon. “He’s good,” Louis says, flushing a bit. “He’s, uh, sitting on my sofa right now, actually.”

“Oh?” Zayn perks up, eyes brightening. “Am I allowed to meet him?”

“Uh, sure,” Louis says. He turns in his chair and beckons Harry over, mouthing Zayn wants to meet you when confusion flits over Harry’s features.

Zayn’s face melts into a smirk when he Harry comes into view. “You sure he’s eighteen?” Zayn asks and Louis rolls his eyes. “Boy’s got a baby face.”

“I get that a lot,” Harry says, sitting himself down in Louis’ lap, ignoring Louis’ grumble of protest. “People tell me it adds to my sex appeal.”

“I’d say all the sex appeal comes from the curls, actually,” Zayn muses. Harry grins.

“Curls get the girls,” he says. “Or the guys, I suppose.”

“Got a funnyman here, huh Lou?” Zayn comments. Louis just shrugs.

“He’s rarely ever actually funny.” Louis says. “Chock full of bad knock-knock jokes, this one.”

“Heeey,” Harry whines. “My jokes are great.”

“Give me a sample, then,” Zayn says. “Promise I’ll be truthful.”

“Alright,” Harry says, tapping his chin as he thinks. “’Kay, I’ve got one. What do you get when you cross a rabbit with a kilt?”

“I don’t know, mate. What do you get?”

“A hopscotch!”

There’s a moment of silence before Zayn bursts out laughing and Louis rolls his eyes. “Seriously? You thought that was funny?”

“Oh come on, Louis,” Zayn says exasperatedly. “You’ve got to admit that was a pretty good one.”

“It’s alright,” Harry says. “At least I know now that Louis’ just humoredly stunted, or something.”

“I am not stunted,” Louis protests. “I just don’t appreciate a stupid joke like Zayn here does.”

“I think you’re stunted,” says Zayn.

“You shut up,” Louis hisses. “You’re supposed to be on my side.”

Zayn shrugs. “I’m on the side of the one I think is right. And that so happens to be Harry, this time.”

“Thank you, Zayn,” Harry says, grinning widely.

It feels quite strange, having Harry and Zayn talk to each other like they’re old friends. It feels weird, but it gives Louis a shred of hope that perhaps, since Harry seems to mesh so well with Zayn, he’ll mesh well with the other aspects of Louis’ life in London.

“Real talk, though,” Zayn says, “I wanted to meet Harry for a reason. Mind if he and I talk privately for a moment?”

Louis’ skeptical for a moment, but nods nonetheless. “Yeah, sure. I’ll just go make the bed and see what Haz brought me for breakfast.”

Harry slips off Louis’ lap and Louis gets up, scowling at the way his knees pop. Harry takes his place in the chair, a slightly frightened look on his face, as if it’s prom night and he’s meeting Louis’ mum and dad for the first time and has to tell them that he plans to deflower their son that night.

Louis wanders over to the bed, pulling at the crumpled pillows to try to fluff them up. Housekeeping doesn’t come today, the workers on an every-other-day floor rotation so they don’t have to try to complete the impossible task of getting to every room in the Riu in one day, so Louis’ left to make the bed on his own. It’s not so bad, he thinks. Just a fluff to the pillows and a run of his hands over the duvet to smooth it down, and it’s good as new. He doesn’t see why it has to be perfect – it’s just going to get slept it again tonight, anyways.

He makes his way back out into the living area, and his nosy side can’t help but try to listen in on Harry and Zayn’s conversation. Harry’s got earphones in, though – where the fuck did he get those? – so Louis can’t hear what Zayn’s saying. He can watch Harry’s face though, watch the crease of Harry’s brow as Zayn says something that can’t be that positive, simply nodding along and typing on the keyboard instead of replying out loud. Sneaky little bugger.

Louis flops down onto the sofa and grabs the other Styrofoam to-go box, opening it up. There’s an omelet with all the fixings along with hash browns and bacon inside. Louis’ stomach grumbles loudly.

Louis’ so distracted with how good the food is that he’s startled when Harry drops down onto the sofa next to him, a flat expression on his face.

“How’d it go?” Louis asks. Harry just shrugs.

“As expected, I guess,” Harry says. “Just told me to be careful, you know? Like, not to get in too deep because I’m too young to be saddled with trying to keep up a long distance relationship with a guy who’s as busy as you are. Asked me if I knew who Eleanor was and when I said yes he told me that you’ve still got a lot of baggage there and it might not be as easy as I think it will be to keep us going when you go back to London.”

“Hope you told him that that advice would’ve been much more effective a week ago,” Louis says. “Because I think we’ve already gotten in too deep. We’re bound to fuck ourselves either way we do this, so we might as well give it our best go and not worry about if we’re going to get hurt  or not.”

“Exactly,” Harry says.

The rest of their morning is spent finishing breakfast and showering together, Harry having to leave at 11:30 for work. He promises Louis dinner, though, says he’ll be out by seven because it’s an early day. Louis suggests the cabanas and Harry agrees, pressing a lingering kiss to Louis’ cheek before he’s off.

X

Harry slips into Louis’ room at 7:39, Louis having given him the extra room key a couple nights ago. Louis doesn’t hear him come in, busy getting himself ready in the en suite. He jumps when Harry calls out his name, dropping his toothbrush and splattering toothpaste all over the tiles floor. “Fuck,” he grumbles, grabbing a wad of tissues from the box beside the sink to clean it up.

“Y’okay?” Harry asks, much closer now. Louis jumps again, knocking himself against the side of the sink where he’s kneeled down to clean the toothpaste.

“Fuck! Stop doing that!” Louis gripes, rubbing the side of his head.

“Doing what?” Harry asks and Louis doesn’t have to see his face to know that his face is creased with confusion. “Talking?”

“Sneaking up on me!” Louis says, standing and turning around to face Harry once he’s gotten most of the toothpaste off the floor.

“Sorry,” Harry says. Louis sighs.

“Guess I’m just not brushing my teeth now,” Louis says.

“Why would you anyways? We’re going to dinner.”

Louis narrows his eyes. “The toothpaste was a palate cleanser,” Louis explains. “I ordered spaghetti for lunch and I still can’t get the taste of garlic out of my mouth, if you really need to know.”

“Oh,” Harry says. “Makes sense. Sorry for making you drop your toothbrush.”

“It’s fine, Harry,” Louis sighs, tossing the used tissues into the rubbish bin. “Shall we go now?”

“Yeah,” Harry nods. “Dani reserved us a table and she can only hold it until eight.”

“We best get going, then,” Louis says. He flicks off the bathroom light, and Harry offers him his arm like a proper gentleman.

Louis weaves his arm in with Harry’s. “Onward, my good lad,” he says and Harry grins.

“To the foyer for your shoes, good sir?” Harry says with a mock air of haughtiness.

“Yes, thank you,” Louis agrees. They make the short walk from the en suite to the small foyer and Louis slips on his gray Toms, arm still entwined with Harry’s. “We may go now.”

Danielle greets them when they make it to the cabanas, raising an eyebrow at their connected arms. She doesn’t comment, though, just tells them to follow her as she seats them at one of the tables in the far back corner of the restaurant. It’s packed tonight, every table filled.

“Perrie’ll be waiting on you two tonight,” Danielle says, handing them their menus after they take their seats.

“Thanks, Dani,” Harry says and she nods, before turning on her heel and strutting off.

“Is she alright?” Louis asks, a bit disconcerted with Danielle’s chilly demeanor.

“She’s just stressed because it’s quite busy tonight and some people we get here are real dicks.” Harry explains.

“I see,” Louis says, cracking open the menu. “Think I’m going to order myself a margarita.”

“Hmm,” Harry hums, opening his own menu. “I think I’ll get one, too.”

“Are you even old enough to drink here?” Louis asks.

“The drinking age in Aruba is sixteen, Lou,” Harry says.

Louis lets out a low whistle. “Sweet sixteens in Aruba must be quite the bash, then.”

Harry chuckles. “Yeah, they are. Mine was, at least.”

“How smashed did you get, then?”

“So smashed I can barely remember the night,” Harry says. “All I remember is getting to the bar and then everything’s black until I wake up in a dress the next morning on the hood of Liam’s car.”

Louis lets out a snorting laugh, covering his mouth when the people at the table next to him throw him an affronted look. “I would pay to see pictures from that night.”

“I’ve got some on my phone, actually,” Harry says, closing his menu. “Do you know what you want, yet?”

“What I want is to see those pictures,” Louis says. “But I think the baked salmon in grapefruit sauce will suffice for now.”

“The salmon here is ace, good choice,” Harry says.

Perrie wanders over to their table a few minutes after they’ve folded their menus and placed them on the edge of the table. “You two ready to order?” she asks, tucking a piece of her hair that’s fallen out of her chignon (the ends of it are pink, now) behind her ear.

“Yeah,” Harry says. “I’ll have the halibut with the garlic risotto and the Cadillac margarita.”

Perrie scribbles the order down before she turns to Louis. “And for you, Louis?”

“Erm, I’ll have the baked salmon in grapefruit sauce and the Cadillac margarita, as well.”

Perrie jots his order down, tucking her pen into her apron when she’s done. “The wait for the food might be a little longer tonight because we’re so packed, but I’ll get your drinks out to in just a moment,” she says, glancing around to make sure nobody’s going to hear what she says next. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work tonight, Haz. Danielle’s being a giant bitch.”

“You know how she gets when we’re packed like this,” Harry says. “She stresses herself out and takes it out on the wait staff.”

Perrie rolls her eyes. “She’s still being a bitch. Which means I should probably go before she threatens to throw the reservations book at me again.”

With that, Perrie grabs their menus and gives a small wave as she leaves in a rush, more hair falling from the graceful twist of the chignon against her neck.

“Why’s it so busy tonight, anyways?” Louis asks, toying with the wrap on his silverware.

“It’s trivia night,” Harry says. “It’s not normally this busy, but tonight’s jackpot night.”

“Jackpot night?”

“Yeah,” Harry says. “The winners of the trivia game get fifteen-hundred florin,” Harry says. “Which is probably like, 500 pounds?”

“Damn,” Louis says. “Are we allowed to play?”

Harry laughs, but shakes his head. “No, because I work here. I know all the answers already.”

“Well shit,” Louis grumbles.

“You could just play on your own, if you wanted,” Harry offers.

“I can’t be trusted to not offer you sexual favors in exchange for the right answers, though,” Louis says, shrugging.

“Oh well,” Harry says. Their drinks are set on the table, just then, and Louis looks up to see Perrie smirking knowingly.

“I heard that,” she says. “And no, you two can’t play.”

“Figured,” Harry says, grabbing his drink and taking a sip. Louis takes his and does the same.

“Wow,” he brings the drink to his lips again, “This is really good.”

“The Cadillac margaritas are a favorite around here,” Perrie says. “Harry’s favorite, too. He’s gotten pissed off his face on multiple occasions off ‘em.”

“Did he put on a dress on those occasions?” Louis asks and Perrie bursts out laughing.

“A few times, yeah,” she says, despite the death glare Harry is sending in her direction. “Our Harry here likes to feel pretty sometimes.”

“I hate you,” Harry scowls.

“You could never,” Perrie coos, ruffling Harry’s curls. “You know you still owe me a new PVC skirt for the one you ripped last month.”

“Dresses and skirts?” Louis gasps mockingly. “My, my, you’re quite the fashionista.”

Harry sighs, scowl melting into something less threatening. “I can’t be blamed for the person I am when I’m drunk.”

“Never would have pegged you as a cross dresser, though,” Louis murmurs, taking another sip of his margarita.

“God,” Harry drops his head into his hand. “I have terrible friends.”

“Hush,” Perrie scolds. “You have wonderful friends.”

“Friends who should be going to see if our food is ready instead of standing here embarrassing me in front of my date,” Harry grumbles, Perrie rolls her kohl-lined eyes.

“You’re such a little shit,” Perrie huffs. “But I’ll go check again, Mr. Bossy Pants.”

Perrie saunters off and Harry sighs, running a hand over his face exasperatedly. “My friends suck,” he groans.

“So you like to cross dress when you’re drunk, big deal.” Louis says. “I’m more concerned with the fact that you called me your ‘date.’” Louis says, even throwing up the air quotes.

“Should I not have?” Harry asks, brow creasing. “I thought –“

“No, no, you’re fine,” Louis assures him. “I just wasn’t expecting it. Because we haven’t really put labels on what we are and I know that calling me your date really isn’t a label, but it just made me think.”

“Thank what? That you want labels?”

“Not necessarily, no,” Louis admits. “Just some sort of definition, I suppose.”

Harry hums, tapping his chin. “Definition,” he muses. “Would it be crude of me to define us as two guys who like to fuck each other but don’t want to put labels on the relationship because one of them is going to be forty-seven hundred miles away again at the end of this week?”

Louis purses his lips. “Crude, yes, but true,” he says. “4700 miles, though? Did you look that up, or?”

Harry flushes, countenance turning sheepish. “Maybe?” he says, shrugging his shoulders. “I just wanted to know how far away you’d really be.”

Louis’ face softens, a fond, crooked smile lifting the side of his mouth. “You’re too sweet for your own good.”

Harry flushes again. “I, um, I’ve got to go to the toilet. I’ll be back in a sec, okay?”

Louis nods. “Sure, Haz. Hopefully the food will be here when you get back.”

Harry gives a small smile as he pushes his seat back and gets up, weaving through the tables of people to get to wherever the restrooms are.

Louis’ eyes drop down to his hands when Harry’s no longer in his sight, fiddling again with the wrapping on his silverware. His attention is drawn back up when somebody slides into Harry’s seat, and he opens his mouth to ask Harry how he pissed so quickly, but his words get caught in his throat when he sees it’s Danielle sitting across from him, not Harry.

“Dani, hi,” Louis says.

“I’ve only got a few minutes so I’m going to make this quick,” Danielle says, face stony. “I know we’ve had this conversation already, but I feel like I really need to remind you again.”

Louis swallows, feeling intimidated. For being all big curls, sweet face, and soft, slender body, Danielle can be intimidating as fuck when she wants to be. “Go on,” he says, voice quiet.

“Listen, Louis,” she starts, “I’m not trying to sound like a giant bitch right now, but the fact of the matter is that Harry is like a little brother to me, and I’d hate to see him get hurt again.” Louis opens his mouth to protest, but Danielle waves him off. “I don’t want you to think I’ve got something against you, alright? Because I don’t. You seem like a top-notch guy, but the fact of the matter is that you’re going to be gone in what, a week? I just think you and Harry could use some time apart to lessen the blow when you’ve finally got to leave.”

Louis sighs, eyes falling back to his hands. “I wish it were that easy, Dani,” he says. “I wish I could leave him alone, but I can’t. I’m a thirty-five year old man and he makes me feel like I’m eighteen again. It’s the most addicting thing I’ve ever felt, and as hard as I try to tell myself I’m getting in too deep, I always end up falling back in deeper.”

Danielle echoes Louis' sigh, tucking her curls behind her ear. “I guess I can’t do anything to stop this, then,” she says. “But I can tell you that you do need to be careful. Harry loves too easily for his own good. He falls completely even when he knows it’s not healthy. He just can’t help it, really. All I ask is that when you leave, don’t make him petty promises that you know you won’t be able to keep.”

Louis purses his lips, clenching his jaw. “At this point, Harry’s not the only one who’s going to get hurt. You might know how Harry falls, but you don’t know how I do. We’re both going to get hurt when I have to leave, and we’ve already had that conversation. And we decided that we’re just going to have to make the most of the time we’ve got left while we have it, and figure the rest out when it comes time to.”

Danielle nods, slow and collected. “Well then,” she says, getting up from the chair. “I wish you two the best of luck with that.”

She turns and stalks away before Louis can figure out if she was being sarcastic or sincere, but with Perrie’s interpretation of the mood Danielle’s in at the moment, Louis’ going with sarcastic.

“Was that Danielle?” Louis jumps when Perrie’s voice sounds from behind him. He shrugs, stomach grumbling when he catches a whiff of the food Perrie’s carrying with her.

“Yeah,” he says. “Is this ours?”

“Sure is,” Perrie says, setting both plates down on the table. “Why was she over here?”

“To scold me about Harry again,” Louis says, laughing wryly. “She seems to think that once I leave here I’m not going to give a single fuck about Harry anymore.”

Perrie sighs, brushing a hand through Louis’ fringe like Louis’ mum used to do when he was stressed or upset. “Harry’s like Dani’s little brother. She took him under her wing when he started working here and they’ve really bonded a lot. She’s just looking out for him.”

“I know, I know,” Louis says. “I just hate getting chastised like I’m a child. I’m thirty-five years old. I’m perfectly capable of understanding the consequences of my actions.”

“Of course you are, honey,” Perrie says, patting Louis’ cheek. “And there’s Hazza now, so I’m going to go. Flag me down if you need anything!” She kisses Louis’ cheek and then disappears back into the melee of people just as Harry slides back into his seat.

“Food’s here! Awesome,” Harry says, grabbing his silverware and freeing it from the wrap.

“Long line at the toilet?” Louis asks, unwrapping his own fork and knife.

“Yes, actually,” Harry says. “Seems like I had to get up to piss at exactly the same time that every other guy in this restaurant had to as well.”

“Tough,” Louis says, cutting off a piece of his salmon and popping it into his mouth, moaning at the taste. “This is delicious,” he praises.

“Everything  here is delicious,” Harry says, like it’s obvious. He digs into his own food, scooping up the risotto with his spoon and shoving a huge amount into his gob.

“It’s like I’m eating with a barn animal, I swear,” Louis mutters.

Harry makes an indignant noise. “Rude,” he grumbles, swallowing his bite and drawing up a much smaller one.

“Just don’t choke,” Louis warns, “Because I don’t know the Heimlich.”

Their dinner is eaten in a mix of small talk and banter, Louis making fun of the way Harry eats and Harry tossing spoonfuls of risotto at Louis in retaliation. They receive multiple disgusted looks from the patrons around them but they pay them no mind, too caught up in the small world of their table to really give a shit if they’re offending the people around them.

Trivia starts just as they get up to leave, Harry having to remind Louis that they’re not actually allowed to play as a team so it wouldn’t be worth their time. Louis sighs, accepting it, twining his fingers with Harry’s as they make their way back into the hotel and up to Louis’ room.

Louis slips his keycard into the slot and opens the door when the light turns green. Harry kicks his shoes off obnoxiously and flops right down onto the sofa, grabbing the remote and flicking the telly on. Louis rolls his eyes, toeing his own shoes off and sitting down on the sofa with a bit more grace.

“So,” Louis says once Harry’s settled on some sort of foreign soap opera, kicking his feet up and propping them up on Harry’s thighs. “Danielle came over tonight to give me a bit of a talk.”

Harry’s attention switches immediately from trying to figure out what the actor on the telly are saying to what Louis’ saying, face hard. “What’d she say now?”

Louis lets out a huff of breath, scratching at the stubble on his chin. He really needs a shave. “She just said that she think I’m going to hurt you and that it’d really benefit us if we spent some time apart.”

“And what’d you say to her?”

“I told her it’s not worth it now, trying to spend time apart,” says Louis. “I told her we’ve both already gotten in too deep and decided we might as well make the most of the time we’ve got while we’ve got it.”

“She’s really starting to piss me off,” Harry says, grabbing one of Louis’ feet and digging his thumbs into the arches, massaging them. “Every time she sees me working, she throws me these stupid, sympathetic looks like I’m some puppy that can’t find its way home.”

“She’s worried about you,” Louis says, the defense feeling odd on his tongue. “She might be doing it a little overbearingly, but she’s just trying to look out for your best interests.”

Harry sighs. “I don’t need it, though,” he mutters, working circles into Louis’ foot, making Louis moan with pleasure. “I might be eighteen, but I’m not a child. I can make my own decisions.”

“Of course you can.” Louis agrees. “Anyways, I’m pretty sure she won’t be saying anything else anymore, because I sort of told her off. She seemed quite pissed when she got up and left.”

“Good,” Harry says, dropping Louis’ foot to grab the other. “I mean, I love her, and all, but I don’t need her mothering me.”

“She just thinks we won’t be able to keep this up long distance,” Louis says.

“We will,” Harry says fervently. “We’ve got Skype and iMessage and emails. We’ll make it work.”

“And phone sex,” Louis adds. “Definitely phone sex. Because I can’t go from having sex nearly every day to getting nothing at all.”

Harry bursts out in a snorting laugh. “Yes, of course,” he agrees. “And I’ll need you to fuck me again soon because one time isn’t enough for me to remember what your dick feels like.”

Louis snorts. “Sure, love, whatever you want.”

“I want that, then,” Harry says. He drops Louis’ second foot and moves to the calve on the first, pushing and circling and it feels like ecstasy.

 “Who taught you how to give massages like this?” Louis asks, groaning at how good it feels.

“Learned on my own,” Harry says. “Used to get really bad growing pains in my legs so I looked up massage techniques, and now here we are.”

“You’re wonderful,” Louis says, head lolling back on the arm of the couch. He’s always been a sucker for a good massage. “I should pack you up in my suitcase and take you home with me.”

“Wish you could,” Harry admits, “but I don’t quite think I’d fit.”

Louis shrugs. “I’d make it work.”

“I really do wish I could just drop everything and move to London,” says Harry and Louis suddenly feels very sobered. “Not to be like, overbearing or anything.”

“You’re not being overbearing, Haz,” Louis assures him. “But you can’t just drop everything and move to London. You’ve got a life here that you can’t just abandon. Maybe in a year or two you could move back to England, but not right now, you know?”

“I know,” Harry sighs, face downtrodden. “I know I’ve got all those things I can’t just abandon, but it just sucks. ‘Cause I’ll have those things but I won’t have you.”

“You’ll have me,” Louis says fervently, sitting up and pulling his leg from Harry’s grasp as his own fingers grab Harry’s chin, making Harry meet his eyes. “You might not have me physically right in front of you, but you’ll have me. I promise.”

“Pinky promise?” Harry asks, a small smile stretching his lips. Louis can’t help but mirror it.

Louis holds out his pinky finger, chuckling a bit when Harry wraps his own pinky around it. “Pinky promise,” Louis says.

“Pinky promises are unbreakable, you know,” Harry murmurs, pulling his finger away.

“Good,” Louis says. “Because I don’t plan on breaking it.”

X

Harry spends the night, free of work the next day. He gets Louis to sleep in until noon, convincing him to stay more or less by slinking down in between Louis’ legs and sucking him off like’s he’s hungry for it. By the time he’s done, Louis’ sexed-out and lethargic, and it only takes one look from Harry for Louis to agree to stay in bed.

They do get out of bed when their stomachs start to grumble, but only long enough to order room service and take it from the tray when it’s delivered. They eat in bed, feeding each other bits of toast and bacon from greasy fingers.

“I think the thing I’m going to miss most about this place is the food,” Louis says, grunting as he flops down onto the pillows, belly full.

“Not me?” Harry pouts, lying down next to Louis. “Just the food?”

“Maybe you, too,” Louis says. “But you can’t satisfy me the way this food can.”

“Now that’s a damn lie,” Harry snorts. “Because, if I do recall correctly, not an hour ago did I give you a completely mind-blowing orgasm that had you so satisfied you couldn’t leave the bed.”

“I couldn’t leave the bed because I’m old,” Louis snuffs, wanting to give Harry a hard time, just for the hell of it. “The orgasm had nothing to do with it.”

“You’re such a bad liar,” Harry says. “Or maybe your old age is fucking with your memory. Shall I blow you again to refresh your memory?”

“I think perhaps you should,” Louis says.

Harry smirks, rolling over to drape himself over Louis’ body, kissing over Louis’ bare chest as he makes his way down, pausing to lick teasingly over the skin on Louis’ tummy just above the waistband of his pants. He stays down there a bit too long for Louis’ liking, Louis grumbling and grabbing a handful of Harry’s hair to get him down to where he wants him.

Harry chuckles airily, slinking down further and taking Louis’ pants with him. Once they’re off, he tosses them aside, wrapping a hand around Louis’ half hard prick, kissing the insides of Louis’ thighs as he jerks him fully erect. “On with it,” Louis says, tugging Harry’s curls again.

Plump, pink lips wrap around the tip of Louis’ cock and he groans, head falling back onto the pillow as Harry wastes no time in sucking him down. Harry gags a little, trying to take Louis too far too quickly, but he recovers, pulling off to breathe deep before opening up and swallowing Louis down again.

The thing about Harry is that he’s good, so fucking good at sucking cock. Not only good but he loves it, loves getting his mouth stuffed and his throat fucked and Louis’ more than happy to oblige him because Harry’s mouth is literal heaven.

“Fuck, you’re good,” Louis says and Harry hums, the vibrations doing wonderful things on Louis’ dick.

Harry pulls off, wanking Louis in his fist, licking his red, swollen lips. “Y’wanna fuck my mouth?”

Louis groans, nodding jerkily. “God yes,” he says, voice a bit strangled. “Yes, I want to.”

“Go on then,” Harry says, sliding his mouth down the length of Louis’ cock, stopping half way and dropping his hand, resting it on Louis’ inner thigh.

Louis bucks up, tentatively at first, fingers still wound in Harry’s curls. Harry moans around him and Louis thrusts harder, loving the way Harry gags gently when Louis’ cock head nudges his throat. He adjusts his grip on Harry’s hair and his own scalp throbs in sympathy, but Harry likes his hair pulled when he’s sucking cock, and he likes it pulled hard.

When Louis comes, it’s with his cock shoved in Harry’s mouth as deep as he dares without choking Harry on his come, and Harry, like the comeslut he his, swallows it all. He pulls off with an obscene pop and he’s got come on his lips, wiping it off with his thumb before licking it away.

“You’re obscene,” Louis says, panting a little as he comes down from his orgasm.

“You love it,” Harry smirks, sticking a hand down his briefs to start jerking himself off.

“I do, I do love it,” Louis agrees. “Want me to do that?”

“No, it’s –“ Harry starts, cutting off with a groan as he comes in his pants, a wet spot spreading out over the gray material, darkening it. “It’s good. I’m good.”

“I see that,” Louis says. “Good thing you’ve decided to start storing extra clothes in here because I don’t think I can spare letting you borrow another pair of my pants.”

Harry snorts, pulling his hand from his shorts, frowning when he doesn’t find tissues on the nightstand.

“They’re all out, remember?” Louis reminds him.

“Damn,” Harry mutters, a glint in his eye as he offers Louis his hand. “Lick it off?”

Louis gives him an affronted look. “I only do that when I’m in the mood, Harold. And you missed my mood, so go to the sink.”

Harry sighs dramatically, rolling off the bed and trekking to the en suite. The faucet runs and shuts off, and when Harry comes out, he’s starkers.

“Too lazy for pants,” Harry says as he climbs back into bed.

“Teenagers,” Louis grumbles but curls into Harry’s chest nonetheless.

X

Being the lazy shits they are, they end up taking another nap, staying curled around each other until around two. Louis’ the one who demands they get out of bed, needing to stretch his joints before they get so still he’d need Harry to carry him out.

They only go as far as to move from the bed to the sofa, curling up together again. Louis demanded Harry put pants on, if anything, and Harry grudgingly obliged, slipping into a pair of tight black briefs, smirking at Louis as he slipped them up his slender legs. “You’re a bloody nuisance,” Louis said, unable to tear his eyes away from the way the briefs outlined Harry’s cock, tucked safe and soft inside.

“Your mouth say one thing, but your eyes say another,” Harry mused, offering his hand. Louis took it grudgingly and let Harry lead him to the sofa.

They fall onto the sofa and into each other, Harry drawing Louis on top of him effortlessly. “You make me feel like a ragdoll,” Louis grumbles, chagrined.

“I like that you’re smaller than me,” Harry says. “You’ve got me beat in age but I’ve got you in size. Makes me happy.”

“I hope that wasn’t a shot at my dick,” Louis says, frowning.

Harry giggles. “Absolutely not,” he says. “I quite like your dick.”

“I know,” Louis says. “You had it in your mouth twice in the span of a few hours just this morning.”

“Harry Styles, self-professed cockslut,” Harry murmurs and Louis bursts out laughing.

“Brilliant,” Louis says.

Harry grins and squeezes Louis’ bum. “Grab me the remote, will you?”

Louis rolls his eyes but throws his arm out nonetheless, handing Harry the remote once he’s got in in his hand. Harry flicks the telly on, scrolling through the channels with a pinched expression, tongue between his teeth.

“There’s nothing on,” Harry says, looking up at Louis with the expression of a jilted child, eyes wide and lips pouted.

And really, that’s the whole reason Louis ends up bent over the arm of the sofa with Harry standing behind him, balls deep inside while Louis holds a hand over his cock to stop it from rubbing uncomfortably on the sofa as Harry fucks him languidly.

“Oh god,” Harry says, mashing his face into Louis’ shoulder blades as his hips start to lose their rhythm, going more and more erratic the closer Harry gets to his orgasm. Louis’ gone from covering his cock to jerking it off, stroking quickly to chase his orgasm, wanting to achieve it while Harry’s still fucking him because it feels best that way. “I’m gonna come,” Harry grunts, hips stuttering.

“Not yet, not yet,” Louis pants, arm starting to ache with how hard he’s stripping his prick, thumb rolling over the head on every upstroke. “Not – not till I come, okay? Can you wait for me, Harry?”

“I don’t –“ Harry breaks off on a keen, panting against Louis’ skin.

“You can,” Louis says. His orgasm is so close, so close he can feel it behind his teeth, just out of his reach. “Be a good boy for me, okay? Don’t come, Harry, not before me.”

Harry lets out a strangled groan, slamming in hard as he comes, and Louis is extremely confused, to say the least. He comes with a muffled groan into his own forearm, catching his come in his fist as not to streak the sofa. Harry’s panting against Louis’ back, hips still twitching as he comes down from his orgasm.

“Harry?” Louis murmurs, shifting his hips when Harry’s cock inside him starts to get uncomfortable. Not to mention Harry came before he could pull out, and now Louis’ got to deal with getting Harry’s come out of his arse before it dries and leaves him with a horrid itch up his bum hole. “Harry, love, you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m –“ Harry says, voice strained.

“Good enough to pull out?” Louis asks, wincing slightly when Harry’s cock slides out of him. He rolls over, perching his sore arse on the sofa arm, looks up to see Harry standing in front of him, face flushed and eyes glazed, lips bitten and red from trying to stave off his orgasm. “Are you okay, Harry? Really? Did I say something?”

Harry flushes deeper, eyes going downcast. “You – you called me a good boy,” Harry says almost inaudibly. Louis ahhs in understanding.

“You like that, then?” Louis asks, standing up and stepping closer to Harry, ignoring the way the come is starting to drip down his thighs. He taps under Harry’s chin to get Harry to look up and meet his eyes. “You like being told you’re a good boy?”

Harry shrugs. “Not – not all the time?” He says, unsure of himself. “Like, I don’t like it every time, but sometimes, like, it just hits me? I don’t know, I sound dumb –“

“No, no, Harry, I get it,” Louis says, cupping Harry’s cheek and kissing him lightly. “It hit you like that ‘cause I was telling you you couldn’t come, right?”

Harry nods, biting his lip. Louis kisses him again and smiles when they pull apart, taking Harry’s hand in his. “Let’s go shower, yeah? I’ve got to clean your come out of my arse.”

Harry flushes again, a deep cherry red, and follows as Louis leads him.

The shower is piping hot when Louis gets in, leading Harry in behind him. Harry flinches at the temperature so Louis switches spots with him, letting Harry stand in front of him while the water washes fully over Louis’ body. It feels good, hot in all the right places, soothing the kinks in his muscles and the slight soreness starting in his bum.

“You look so gorgeous when you’re wet,” Harry says.

Louis rolls his eyes. “Over your embarrassment now, I see?”

Harry shrugs, stepping closer to get under the spray now that he’s adjusted to the temperature. “Was only embarrassed because I thought you wouldn’t get it,” Harry explains. “But you do, so.”

“Just don’t start calling me daddy, or something,” Louis says, closing his eyes as he tips his head under the spray, soaking his fringe completely.

“Wasn’t planning on it,” Harry says. He grabs Louis’ naked hips, leaning in to press kisses to Louis’ collarbones. Louis makes a noise of protest, pushing him away.

“We literally just had sex five minutes ago. I’ve still got your come in my arse. Give me a few hours,” Louis grumbles, turning his back to Harry. “I’d ask you to help me clean up, but I’m a bit worried you’ll take advantage.”

“I won’t,” Harry says and he sounds appalled at the very idea that Louis would worry such a thing. “You could fuck me, though.”

Louis smiles, shrugs. “As much as I’d love to, I’m not sure if I can get it up that fast.”

Harry licks his lips, seemingly mulling Louis’ words over. “How about I give you some time, then?” Harry proposes. “I’ll finger myself open while you clean up, and by the time we’re done, the refractory period should be like, nothing, right?”

Huffing a breath, Louis thinks it over for a moment before he nods, saying, “You’re that desperate to get a cock in you right now?”

Harry shrugs. “Not just a cock,” he says, “your cock.”

“Go fetch the lube, then,” Louis says and Harry hops out of the shower so quickly it’s almost comical, slipping on the wet tiles before he catches himself on the sink, grinning stupidly.

“Be right back,” he says, trotting out of the bathroom.

Louis sighs, shaking his head in fond exasperation. He steps out of the spray a bit so it hits his arse, reaching behind himself to coax Harry’s spunk out of his body with gentle fingers. He’s never really likes having somebody come inside him – for the few times somebody actually did – not finding the feeling of it worth the annoying clean up after.

Harry steps back into the shower just as Louis’ finishing up, pulling his fingers out and grabbing the body wash, squeezing a dollop out onto his fingers. He starts soaping up his chest as Harry pops the cap on the lube, raising an eyebrow when Harry hesitates.

“What’s wrong?” Louis asks, stepping back into the spray to let the water wash the suds off his skin.

“I just,” Harry starts, biting his lip. “I just – you finished, so can you do it? Finger me, I mean?”

One side of Louis’ mouth pulls up in a crooked smile, and he nods. “Gimme the lube, then, and turn around.”

Harry braces himself against the back wall of the shower as Louis slicks up his fingers, Harry’s breath hitching when the tips of two fingers press insistently at his hole. “Can you take two?” Louis asks, rubbing over the furl of Harry’s entrance.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll be good,” Harry says, reaching up to brush his damp curls out of his face.

“Be a good boy,” Louis murmurs as he presses his two fingers in. Harry gasps, shaky and loud, hanging his head between his shoulders.

Louis fingers Harry quickly, kissing up between his shoulder blades as Harry tries to muffle his noises against the meat of his biceps. 

He crooks his fingers to rub against Harry’s prostate a few times before he slips his fingers out, brushing his thumb over Harry’s perineum before reaching for the lube again. “You didn’t grab condoms, did you?” He asks, popping the cap.

“No, no ‘s’okay,” Harry slurs, head still hanging. “You can just – inside.”

“You sure?” Louis asks, nonetheless slicking the lube over his bare cock.

“Y-yeah,” Harry confirms shakily. His curls have fallen all over his face again, and Louis uses his lube-free hand to tuck them behind Harry’s pretty little ears (the only little part of him, really). “I like it, it’s okay.”

“Dirty,” Louis murmurs, settling one hand on Harry’s hip while the other grips the base of his cock, lining it up with Harry’s puckered hole. “Good?”

“Good,” Harry says, sucking in a gasping breath as Louis presses forward, the blunt tip of his cock pressing inside.

Louis sinks in in one smooth movement, dropping his head to Harry’s shoulder once he’s balls deep. Harry’s breathing has gone ragged and his whole body’s taken on a sweet, strawberry flush. He looks so good like this, bent over and wanting it, rocking shallowly against Louis’ hips to show Louis he’s ready, because he can’t find enough of his voice to say it out loud.

“Look so good like this,” Louis says, pulling out slowly. “Gorgeous boy.”

Harry keens when Louis slides back in, shoulders shaking. “Tell me – tell me, please,” Harry begs, voice wrecked already.

“Tell you what, love?” Louis asks sweetly, thrusting faster, harder. The shower drowns out the sounds of their skin slapping together, but Louis’ sure Harry’s noises will more than make up for the lack.

“You know,” Harry’s voice cracks and he shudders. “You know, Lou, please.”

“You want me to tell you you’re a good boy, yeah?” Louis asks. He changes his angle so the head of his cock slides over Harry’s prostate and Harry mewls out loud, and heat floods through Louis’ body. For as cocky as Harry is when he’s topping, he’s ten times as slutty and needy when he’s bottoming, Louis’ found. It’s a wonderful balance, really. “Have you earned it, though?”

Harry makes a desperate sound. “I don’t –“ Harry gasps, rutting back when Louis hits a spot that feels especially good.

“Shh, shh,” Louis shushes, kissing a freckled shoulder. “You have, darling. Such a good boy for me, yeah? Letting me fuck you like this, without a condom and everything. Aren’t you lovely?”

“Yes, yes,” Harry keens. “I’m good, I’m good.”

“The best,” Louis murmurs, sliding one hand from Harry’s hip to press on his lower back. “Can you be even better and come untouched?”

“I don’t – know, Louis, I’ve never,” Harry says, biting his plush bottom lip as he struggles with how to answer.

“It’s okay,” Louis comforts, patting just above Harry’s bum. His fingers drift down to feel where he’s sliding in and out of Harry’s heated body, groaning and thrusting faster to feel it against his fingertips. Harry’s begun gasping like he’s struggling for air, and the shower stream has started to go cold.

Louis bites his lips and starts to fuck in harder, reaching a hand around and under to grasp Harry’s leaking cock. “Gonna come for me, good boy?” Louis asks breathily.

Harry nods, a quick, jerk of the head, whining long and unbroken. “I’m gonna, I’m – fuck!”

Harry’s whole body locks as he comes, shooting strings of white over Louis’ fists, the water washing them away once they hit the shower floor. Louis’ own orgasm is a bit further off, but the way Harry’s clenching and unclenching in a spastic rhythm is pulling it closer and closer, and soon enough it’s right there, and Louis only manages a few more thrusts before he’s coming, hot and wet inside Harry’s quivering body.

Louis pulls out once his knees have solidified back from the jelly they turned into when he came, patting Harry’s bum when Harry makes a sad noise of loss.

“Y’alright?” Louis asks when Harry turns around, face flushed red and eyes wild, but satisfied.

“I’m – yeah,” he says, grinning dopily. “That was really, really good.”

“Thanks for the ego boost, love,” Louis says, reaching around and grabbing the back of Harry’s neck to pull him down for a kiss. “You clean up right quick and come out when you’re done, alright? I’m going to get out before I freeze.”

“It’s not that cold,” Harry mutters, but he still grabs for the faucet handle and cranks it to the left.

“Quiet, you,” Louis says. He taps Harry’s bum once more before he steps out of the shower, gooseflesh breaking out over his skin. He quickly grabs a towel and wraps it around his waist, not bothering to dry off before he exits the en suite, traipsing back into the living area.

He dries off before grabbing his discarded pants from beside the sofa and slipping them on, tossing the towel over the back of the sofa. He flops down and grabs the remote, flicking on the telly. Love, Actually is playing on that one English move channel so Louis leaves that one, settling into the cushions.

Harry comes out a few minutes later, naked and dripping. “You couldn’t grab a towel?” Louis snuffs.

“Nah,” Harry singsongs, grabbing the towel over the back of the sofa, using it to dry himself off. “Are my pants down there?”

“Yeah,” Louis sends, bending down to pluck them off the floor and hand them over.

“Thanks,” Harry says, cuddling up to Louis once he settles on the sofa. “What’s on the telly?”

“Love, Actually,” Louis says and Harry’s face lights up.

“No joke?” He chirps. “’S my favorite movie.”

“Harry Styles’ favorite movie is a romcom,” Louis says, chuckling. “Who would have guessed?”

“Shut it,” Harry grumbles, nuzzling his cold nose over Louis’ shoulder.

They cuddle together through the whole movie, only getting up during the commercial break when the movie switched from Love, Actually to the first Iron Man. The movie channel seems to have quite the diverse taste.

(“Zayn loves these movies,” Louis comments.

“Liam does, too,” Harry says.

“Maybe we should hook them up,” Louis muses. Harry grins wickedly.)

By the time Iron Man is over, both Harry and Louis are desperate for something to eat. They order two entrees and a chocolate lava cake for desert, opting to share. (“It’s romantic,” Harry pushes. “You’re a sap,” Louis says.) The food comes quickly, delivered by Josh again. He doesn’t say anything cheeky this time, just winks as he wheels in the cart.

The food is delicious, as always, and they disregard the silverware in lieu of just feeding each other from their fingers. It’s a little tricky with the rice, but they manage, perhaps with more finger-sucking than is strictly necessary. The chocolate cake is an absolute disaster and Louis ends up with fudge on his chest and Harry gets cake in his curls. Harry volunteers to lick the fudge off Louis’ chest but Louis doesn’t allow it, with the excuse that his body can’t handle having another orgasm yet, because they both know that’s what it’d lead to.

They laze around for the rest of the evening, tucking up into the bed and taking the remote with them, because they can still see the telly from the bed if they both lay on the right side. An indie movie called Little Birds comes on after Iron Man and it nearly puts Louis to sleep, paired with his day-long sex-induced lethargy. They end up falling asleep around nine with the telly still on, curled around each other with Harry’s head pillowed on Louis’ chest.

The simplicity of the night makes Louis’ heart physically hurt, like it’s yearning with all its might to keep things this way as long as it possibly can. Louis struggles to stay awake for as long as he can just to watch Harry sleep, watch the way his lashes kiss like angels against his cheeks and his nose twitches a bit as snores, murmuring nonsense into Louis’ pectoral.

Louis fights sleep as long as he can, wanting to observe every bit of Harry he can before the heaviness of his eyelids wins out. He wants the puff of Harry’s steady breathing, the feather-light kiss of his lips against Louis’ chest, wants the yearning way Harry reaches out for him even in his sleep, wants the way he seems to snuggle impossibly closer with every breath he takes, terrified to fall to far from Louis’ body.

But most of all, despite all the little things he’s desperate for, the thing Louis wants most is to be able to keep him. 

x

Louis cracks an eye open at 11:34 in the morning, and Harry’s gone from the bed and the room. Louis finds a note for him scribbled quickly onto what looks like hotel stationary, Harry explaining that he had the early shift today, but he should be done by four o’clock. Louis pities Harry today because it’s absolutely gorgeous out, high eighties and low humidity, and poor Harry’s stuck trotting around the hotel doing whatever the hell he’s scheduled to do today instead of being able to go out to the beach and enjoy the weather. Comes with the territory, Louis supposes, working at a grand hotel in Aruba, after all.

Louis gets out of bed, stretching his body with a crack and a grunt, and decides quickly that today’s going to be his day he spends on the beach. The front desk gives out towels and he packed his swim shorts and Ray-Bans, and there’s no way in hell he’s going to miss out on a day like today when he can sit in the sand and enjoy the bathwater ocean and pretend like he hasn’t a worry in the world.

He orders himself a quick breakfast and tells whomever is on the other line that they can just knock on the door and leave the cart outside it, because he doesn’t really want to deal with whichever one of Harry’s friends ends up delivering his food. No offense to them, he’s just not in the mood.

Ten minutes later and there’s a knock on his door. He calls out to make sure it’s known that he heard the knock, but waits a minute or two before he actually gets up off the sofa and opens the door, pulling the cart inside. The food smells wonderful and Louis’ stomach growls, and he burns his finger a bit in his haste to get the food off the cart and onto the table, forgetting that the plates are quite hot when the food is still piping.

Louis sticks his burned finger in his mouth and grabs the plate again – on the edge, this time – and sets it down on the table. He snatches the silverware from the cart as well, settling in onto the sofa and plucking the silver dome lid off the plate. He ordered a simple breakfast – eggs, bacon, sausage, and some shredded potatoes with orange juice on the side – not quite feeling like gorging himself and getting bloated before he goes down to the beach.

He ends up only eating half the meal before he puts the lid back on, belching loudly. A quick glance at the clock shows him it’s half-noon, and he decides that half-noon is plenty good a time to head down to the beach. He’d rather go down before it gets too crowded so he can find a decent spot to lay his towel, anyways.  He fetches his swim shorts from his suitcase and strips down right there, slipping them on and grabbing a t-shirt he’s already warn and throwing it over his head. He plucks his sunglasses from the case he keeps them in and slides them into his hair, not wanting to look like a cock, wearing his sunglasses inside.

Louis decides on his slides, slipping them on and tucking his room key into his pocket. Beach day, here he comes.

X

There’s a few people scattered on the beach when Louis gets there, but few enough that Louis has no problem finding a nice spot to lay his towel (green and blue striped and more like a blanket than a towel really), propping up the little beach umbrella that was given to him by Cher at the front desk, with the excuse that she’d hate to see Louis all ‘red-up and too sore to get some love on with Harry tonight.’ Louis had nearly choked on his tongue and Cher had just laughed, passing the umbrella over the counter.

It’s quite nice, Louis thinks, with the umbrella and the huge towel and the hot sand, just sitting and watching the waves crash against the shoreline. He supposes he should go collect some shells, a little trinket or two he can take home with him and put on his small little desk at work lest he not forget any aspect of this trip when he gets home.

Later, he tells himself, content to sit on his towel and people watch, for now. There’s a few families among the people on the beach, but mostly just, Louis guesses, honeymooning couples who are so enamored with each other that they don’t even realize that parents are shielding their children’s eyes from the groping and snogging going on around them. To be in love, Louis muses, thinking for a moment that he and Harry have kind of been acting like those couples lately, all snuggles and snogs and sex, no worries about who they’re offending around them.

Louis stays on his towel for about a half hour, watching as the beach begins to fill as people realize what a perfect day it is, and scamper down to the beach in speedos and string bikinis, a lot of them looking artificially tan, like they’d gotten it sprayed on for the sole purpose of not being pale on their vacation. He spots a few bottle blondes with their sugar daddy boyfriends – nearly fifty and greying, wearing long board shorts because they don’t quite have the body for speedos anymore – and can’t help the grimace that contorts his face.

When he finally can’t stand sitting on his towel any longer (a family of five has just settled a few feet away from him and the three screaming children keep kicking up sand into his space and he’s just about ready to snap at them because he’s really not got any patience for rowdy children) he decides that he ought to go hunting for shells, now. He grabs his slides and puts them on, standing up and stretching. He pushes his sunglasses higher up on his nose and sets off, going in the opposite direction of where most of the people have settled.

He’s heard somewhere that the best shells get caught right on the high tide line, so that’s where he heads, and he ends up finding quite the grand conch shell in the first few minutes of searching. It looks fresh, a soft gray and just barely bleached by the sun, cracked a few places and missing bits, but it’s still the best thing Louis’ ever found on a beach. He holds it close and keeps on his search, not having much luck after his first pretty conch.

He ends up finding a few little glittering shells that he thinks Harry will appreciate before he starts to head back. He watches his feet as he walks as not to step on anything sharp and cut his foot – he’s extremely cautious ever since he was eighteen and his family went on vacation in France and he stepped on a sea urchin – or into a water-logged part of the sand that looks solid but isn’t quite so.

Louis gets so absorbed in making sure he doesn’t injure himself on his walk back that he doesn’t even see that there’s somebody walking towards him, and runs straight into them. He stumbles back and starts to utter an apology, but the apology dies on his tongue when he looks up and sees that he’s just run straight into Nick Grimshaw.

“Well, if it isn’t Louis from the beach party!” Nick snickers.

“Hello,” Louis says stiffly. “If you’d excuse me, please –“

“Not even going to acknowledge that you remember who I am?” Nick asks, mock offended. “Quite rude, if you ask me.”

“You were nothing but rude when we met,” Louis snaps, eyes narrowing. “Why in the hell would I be polite to you now?”

“Snappy,” Nick says, lips curving into a nasty kind of scowl-smile.

“What the fuck is your issue?” Louis hisses. “Because frankly, I haven’t done a damn thing that would constitute how massive of a dick you’re being.”

Nick just laughs, hard and humorless. “Why don’t you ask our lovely Hazza? I’m sure he’d love to tell you all about it.”

“You fuck off about Harry,” Louis snaps. “Just because you’ve got some fucking weird obsession with him –“

“I think you’ve mixed yourself up, doll,” Nick says condescendingly. “Because, as we are now, Harry and I are just friends. You, on the other hand, are the thirty-something who happens to be fucking him.”

“Which is none of your fucking business,” Louis snarls, up to his neck with frustration. He’s never met somebody who can irk him the way Nick can, and he’s only had two proper conversations with the bloke, both of which were argumentative.

“Tell yourself what you need to,” Nick singsongs. “I’ve got to be going, anyways. I’m meeting a friend and I’d like to be on time, if you’ll let me.”

“You can fuck right off, then,” Louis spits, shoving passed Nick, trudging in the direction of where his towel is laid.

“Remember to ask Hazza!” Nick calls from behind him and Louis flips him off. His whole mood is proper ruined, and when he gets back to his towel, he rolls it up, not feeling a beach day anymore at all.

He closes the umbrella and tucks it, along with the towel, under his arm, scowling all the while.

His bad mood weans a bit once he gets back into the hotel, Cher asking him what’s wrong when he drops the towel and umbrella off at the front desk.

“You know Nick Grimshaw?” Louis asks and Cher nods, making a knowing sound. “Well, let’s just say he is the most unpleasant person in the world to run into on the beach.”

“Nick’s got that way about him,” Cher says. “He tends to tick people off quite a bit. That’s why nobody ever wants to work shifts with him.”

“Can’t blame them at all,” Louis says. “I’d better get going, though. Got to hop in the shower and wash all of the sand out of my crevices. See you.”

“See ya,” Cher chirps, waving a dainty hand as Louis walks away. He waves back, then presses the ‘up’ button on the lift, and the doors sliding open immediately.

He’s cooled off enough once he gets back into his room, stripping down and making his way to the en suite. He starts the shower and hops in, watching the sand run off his body and down the drain with a thoughtful expression. As much as he doesn’t want to take to heart anything Nick said, he can’t help but wonder why Nick didn’t tell him why he had a problem with Louis straight up. He didn’t seem to have a problem offending Louis to his face any other time, and Louis can’t help but wonder why this instance had been different.

Ask Hazza, Nick had said. Ask Hazza.

Louis sighs, turning off the shower and stepping out, grabbing a towel from the heating rack. He wraps his around his waist and wanders back over to his suitcase, grabbing a pair of jean shorts and a plain black v-neck, along with a clean pair of pants. He quickly pats himself dry and gets dressed, tossing the towel aside.

The clock on the wall reads 2:45, and Louis sighs. Harry will be off work in a little over an hour, and Louis won’t be able to concentrate on being with him until he asks him what the fuck Nick Grimshaw meant when he said “Ask Hazza.” He wants to ask so badly but he’d worried it’ll lead into a fight; he’s at war with himself, and he feels a bit helpless.

Just ask him, he orders himself. Ask him or it’s going to drive you mad.

Louis nods to himself, set in his decision as he settles into the sofa and flicks on the telly. There’s another indie movie on and the main actor looks a little like Nicholas Hoult, so Louis figures it’s worth watching, if only for the eye-candy.

A sinking weight settles in Louis’ chest and he takes a deep breath, trying to get the knot to dissipate. He sighs, closing his eyes. His only option is to just ask, and hope the answer isn’t as bad as he fears it’s going to be.

X

Harry comes bounding in at quarter past four, a bright grin on his face. Louis echoes it, still lying like a bump on the sofa. He opens his arms and Harry comes over and settles in. “How was work?” Louis asks, grabbing the bandana Harry uses to pull back his curls and pulling it out, running his fingers through Harry’s hair. “You’re a bit greasy,” Louis comments.

“Yeah, happens when I work the kitchen,” Harry says. “I’ll hop in the shower in a mo’.”

“Um,” Louis starts, swallowing. It’s not or never, because Louis knows if he doesn’t ask and lets Harry go off he’s going to talk himself out of it. “Before you go, um, can I ask you a question?”

Harry’s eyes go wary but he nods nonetheless. “Go ahead.”

“Well, erm, today when I was on the beach, I ran into Nick,” Harry’s eyes immediately get stormy and his mouth sets into a hard line. Louis doesn’t have good feelings. “And well, we got into a bit of a spat, and I asked him what his issue was with me. And he, uh, he said for me to ask you?”

Harry’s face softens, and he smiles, albeit a little irritated. “Nick’s a complicated case,” Harry says. “But I suppose the meat of it is that Nick’s pissed of that I’ve found somebody else that’s not him.”

“He’s got a thing for you?”

“We used to have a thing for each other,” Harry explains, and an unpleasant feeling runs down Louis’ spine. “It was when I first started working here. We just hooked up, I suppose. Went out on a few dates, nothing much. Just mostly fucked each other, really.” Harry pauses, tongue poking out to lick his dry lips. “And I thought we were a lot more exclusive than we actually were. And by that I mean I stayed monogamous to Nick while Nick was out fucking every boy with nice hair and a pretty smile.” Harry’s lips curve into a wry smile. “And now he’s pissed off because I’ve found somebody who doesn’t treat me like shit because he thinks I should still be waiting beck and call for him when he finally realizes that he’s nearly thirty and can’t be dicking around like a teenager anymore.”

Louis can’t help but let out a huge sigh of relief, and Harry throws him a confused look. “Sorry , I just,” Louis says, “I just thought that your answer might have been something worse than that.”

Harry’s brow furrows. “Like what?”

Louis shrugs, hugging Harry tight to him and kissing his greasy curls. “I don’t know,” Louis admits. “But I do know that I’m really glad it’s just a case of jealousy.”

Harry giggles, turning in Louis arms to peck him on the lips. “I’ve got to shower,” Harry says, freeing himself from Louis’s embrace. “You wanna go out for dinner tonight, or order in?”

“Order in,” Louis says. “I’m feeling cuddles with dinner, tonight.”

“Then cuddles with dinner tonight, it is,” Harry grins, leaning down to kiss Louis once more before skipping off to the en suite. The sound of the shower starts up soon after.

Louis sighs happily, finally able to fully relax now that he’s not fearing a fight. He feels foolish for thinking that Harry’s answer would hurt him, because Harry’s too much of a sweet little kitten of a boy to hurt a person like that. He pities Harry, really, and is sharply reminded of the warning Danielle gave him at the cabanas. Harry loves too easily for his own good. He falls completely even when he knows it’s not healthy, she’d said. He just can’t help it.

Louis just hopes he doesn’t end up hurting Harry the way Nick and the others before him had.

x

Louis and Harry spent the rest of their night sharing a simple dinner of grilled chicken paninis and mac and cheese, giggling like children as they threw noodles back and forth. The ended up ordering an ice cream sundae after they finished their dinner, feeding each other off their spoons, kissing away the bits of cream that stuck to each other’s lips.

They went to bed in a fit of cuddles, curling around each other like newborn kittens. Louis insisted on being big spoon again, all for the sake of holding Harry close in a protective embrace, but Harry demanded they compromise, tucking himself into Louis’ chest so he could cuddle Louis right back when Louis cuddled him. It was sweet, childlike, and Louis felt a twang of pity ache in his chest at the thought that Harry, sweet, sweet Harry, has been hurt in his life already more than any eighteen-year-old should have to. It makes every inch of Louis ache with sadness when he thinks he might be the one to hurt Harry next.

The first thing Louis realizes when he wakes up is that it’s not the eleventh day of his vacation, only three days left before he returns to London, returns to his mediocre job, his dull grey life. Harry’s still snoring steadily against Louis’ chest, curls a whirlwind in his face, lips parted and colored a sweet, candy pink. Louis leans down to kiss them and Harry stirs, cracking open an eyelid, grinning into the kiss.

“G’morning,” Harry mumbles, sleep heavy, nuzzling his nose against Harry’s cheek. “Time is it?”

“Just after nine,” Louis reports, after glancing quickly at the clock. “Have you got work today?”

“Mhm,” Harry murmurs. He rolls over onto his back and stretches, joints popping. “Noon to eight.”

“We’ve got some time to laze around, then,” Louis says. “Unless you want to get out of bed?”

“No way,” Harry snuffs, rolling back into his previous place against Louis’ chest. “Never wanna leave the bed.”

“Course not,” Louis agrees, petting Harry’s wild hair.

“Wanna make out?” Harry asks, grinning slyly. “Or whataya call it in England again? Snogging, is it?”

“Snogging, yeah,” Louis confirms.

“Sounds a bit unpleasant, don’t you think? Snogging,” Harry makes a face, lips puckered and nose pinched up. “Snogging.”

“Are you going to keep saying the word, or actually go through with it?” Louis asks. “Because if you’re not going to act, I’m going to get up and shower.”

“No, no,” Harry protests, reaching up to curl a hand around the back of Louis’ neck. “No showers unless you’re showering with me.”

Harry’s so close that his lips nearly touch Louis’ when he speaks, curls brushing against Louis’ forehead. “You showered last night without me,” Louis points out.

“But I wanked to to thoughts of you,” Harry informs him. Louis huffs a laugh.

“C’mere,” he says, leaning forward that tiny bit, pressing his lips to Harry’s. Harry throws himself into the kiss immediately, tightening his grip on the back of Louis’ head as he tilts his own, parting his lips to let Louis lick into his mouth.

They snog for a good hour, breaking away every so often to kiss jaws, bite collarbones, suck hickeys into necks. Louis’ cock is a steel rod in his shorts, and he can’t help but work his hips down into the mattress to get some friction.

“Want me to jerk you off?” Harry murmurs against the soft skin behind Louis’ ear, hand already drifting down Louis’ body to press against Louis’ cock.

“Yeah,” Louis says, bringing his own hand down to grip Harry through his briefs. Harry’s just as hard as he is, and makes a needy sound in the back of his throat when Louis teases his cock head through the fabric. “You do me, I’ll do you?”

“Y-yeah,” Harry stutters, dipping his hand beneath the waistband of Louis’ pants, long fingers wrapping firmly around Louis’ girth. Harry hisses and bucks his hips when Louis does the same to him, rubbing his thumb over the slit how he knows Harry likes.

Wanking each other quick and sloppy, snogging each other all the while, it doesn’t take long for them to come. Harry goes first, spilling over Louis’ fingers while he groans into Louis’ mouth, and Louis follows barely thirty seconds after, biting down on Harry’s lip to stifle his noise and he stripes his own tummy with spunk.

“God,” Harry says, pulling his hand from Louis’ pants. “Great way to start off a morning, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Louis agrees, wiping his hand off on the sheets, because they get changed today, anyways. “Except now I wanna take a nap.”

“No naps,” Harry says. “Not when I can’t nap with you.”

“You’re such a nuisance,” Louis grumbles. He glances at the clock, sees it’s almost eleven. “You’ve got to get going anyways, love,” he says. “We took up more time snogging than I thought we did.”

Harry looks behind Louis to glance at the clock, groaning when he sees the time. “Fuck, I do,” he grumbles. “Want me to come over again when I’m out?”

“Of course,” Louis says, pecking Harry on the lips. “Go clean yourself up in the bathroom. I’ll grab your pants.”

“Thanks,” Harry says, kissing Louis’ cheeks before rolling out of bed. He waddles into the bathroom, still half-hard and awkward. Louis giggles into his palm, throwing his legs over the side of the bed and getting up himself.

All of Harry’s clothes are collected and Louis’ got a pair of sweats on himself when Harry comes out of the bathroom, a dopey grin on his face. “You left a monster hickey on me, Lou,” he says and it’s only then that Louis notices it, big and reddish purple, right on the junction where Harry’s neck meets his shoulder. “Looks like I’ve been molested by a vampire.”

Louis shrugs. “Sorry, love,” he says, handing Harry his clothes.

“I don’t mind,” Harry says, pulling his shirt on. “I like when you mark me.”

“Yeah?” Louis murmurs, stepping up close to Harry, knocking Harry’s fingers away so he can do up the buttons. “You’re welcome, then.”

“Thanks,” Harry smiles, warm and wide and happy. “Got any plans for today while I’m gone?”

“Beach again, probably,” Louis says. “Seeing that my beach day yesterday was soiled by one Nick Grimshaw.”

“Sorry about him,” Harry sighs. “I’ll talk to him today?”

“You don’t have to,” Louis says.

“I insist.”

Louis sighs, nodding. “Go on then,” he says, patting Harry’s chest when his shirt’s done up. Harry grabs his trousers and slips them on, not bothering to tuck his shirt in after he does up the flies.

“See you around eight?” Harry asks, walking over to the door and slipping his shoes on.

“I’ll be waiting,” Louis says. He rises up to kiss Harry goodbye, smacking the back of Harry’s head when Harry grabs a handful of his arse. “Go,” he orders.

“I’m going,” Harry says, opening the door. He waves, a simple flick of the hand, and then he’s out the door, closing it behind him.

Louis sighs again, waiting for the door to click before he turns back, wandering over to where he’d thrown his swim shorts yesterday. He strips down and slips them on, grabbing a light blue v-neck and pulling it over his head. He doesn’t plan on going in the water today, would rather just go walk the beach, so he slips on his slides and grabs his keycard and sunglasses, propping them up on his head as he walks out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Perrie’s at front desk today and she beckons him over when he walks by. “Lou!” She greets, leaning over the counter to pull him into a hug. “How’re you?”

“Fine, thank you,” he says. “And yourself?”

“I’m lovely, thank,” she says. “How’s Harry?”

“Happy, sexually satisfied, bitter about work,” Louis says and Perrie snorts a laugh. “So pretty much same as he’s been for the past week.”

“Yeah, he came over to show me his massive hickey just a little bit ago,” Perrie giggles. “Quality work, love.”

“Thanks,” Louis says, flushing the slightest bit.

“Going to the beach?” Perrie asks, finally taking note of Louis’ attire.

“Yeah,” Louis says. “Figured I’d go exploring.”

“You should go to the cave!” Perrie chirps excitedly. “Me and Cher found it one night down on the south end of the beach. It’s right under this thicket of bushes and grasses, so you might not notice it at first. But it’s there, I promise.”

“How long of a walk, about?”

“Ten minutes, maybe?” Perrie estimates. “Maybe more, but no longer than twenty.”

“Alright,” Louis says. “Thanks, Pez.”

“You should take Harry out there tonight,” she suggests and Louis makes a noncommittal noise.

“Perhaps, if I can find it,” he says. “I’m going to get going, though. I’ll see you.”

“See ya,” Perrie says, waving a dainty hand as Louis heads off.

X

It doesn’t take Louis long at all to find the little cave once he gets on the beach and starts looking. It’s just where Perrie said it’d be, nestled in a cove of sand and grasses and what look like bushes, even though Louis’ pretty sure there aren’t supposed to be bushes on a beach.

It’s a lovely little thing, the cave, located far enough away from the main area of the beach that it’s almost like a whole other world in itself. It’s small, barely big enough for two people to fit inside, but it’s cozy. A perfect place for a beach date picnic, Louis thinks. He’s going to have to send Perrie a thank you basket, or something.

The floor of the cave is all sand, and the roof is just high enough that Louis thinks Harry will be able to fit just fine if he sits down. In front of the cave, there’s a small bluff that drops right to the ocean, the water beating up against the edge of the bluff with every wave that rolls in. It’s like a mini paradise within paradise, and Louis’ suddenly eager for it to be eight o’clock already, because he can’t wait to bring Harry down here and see what the cave looks like when the sun has fallen.

Louis doesn’t spend much time in the cave other than to observe and appreciate, shucking off his shirt and slides, pulling his keycard out of his pocket and laying it with his other belongings. He edges over to the cove and sits on his bum as he slides down it, feet landing with a splash in the warm water below.

He swims for a bit, floating on his back more than actually swimming, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. Quite relaxing, actually, the perfect way to get his mind off the fact that he’s only got three more full days with Harry before he has to leave. The thought leaves a sore, dull ache in the pit of Louis’ chest, right where he knows his heart lies. He hates the fact that he has to leave Harry behind to go back to the life he knows was complete shit, back to his flat that leaves him barren with all of the memories of he and Eleanor together when it used to be their flat. He wants to stay in Aruba, more than anything, and it kills him that he can’t.

The water starts to prune Louis’ fingers and toes but he doesn’t get out, not quite yet, content to float and imagine that this is his real life – beaches and warm water and a sweet, beautiful boy on his arm that he gets to keep for as long as the boy will have him. Not the dark, creeping shadow of three days, Louis that haunts him, following close behind him, and hiding in the deepest pits of Louis’ sadness, in the feelings Louis thought he’d escaped when he first touched Harry’s sweet skin.

A large wave knocks Louis off his back and he sputters as he’s knocked under water, coughing violently as some gets up his nose. He pushes his sopping hair out of his face and decides he’s had his fill of swimming for the day.

Climbing up the bluff is a little more tricky than going down it had been, and Louis’ got sand in places he really never wanted sand by the time he makes it back up to the entrance of the cave. He throws his shirt on and slips his feet into his slides, holding the key in his hand instead of sticking it back into the pocket of his wet shorts.

Perrie waves to him when he gets back into the hotel, giggling a bit. “You look like you fell down a sand dune, babe.”

“I found the cave and decided to go swimming. It was harder climbing back up the bluff than I thought it was going to be.”

Perrie giggles again and reaches out to brush some sand off Louis’ shoulder. “Be careful when you shower all of that off,” Perrie warns, “Because the sand could end up clogging the drain.”

“Noted,” Louis nods.

He says goodbye to Perrie and heads up to his room, throwing his slides off and stripping down before he even gets to the shower. He turns it on full blast and steps in, hissing at the searing heat at first, adjusting to it the longer he stands under the spray. He watches the sand grains wash down the drain, free of clogs, grabbing a luffa and body wash to get out the sand from his cracks and crevices that the stream of water can’t get by itself.

Once he’s sure he’s nice and sand-free, he shuts the shower off and gets out, letting himself drip dry for a moment before he grabs one of the towels off the rack and wraps it around his waist. He trudges back into the bedroom and picks out an outfit, settling for his jean shorts and his old, worn The Killers t-shirt that he stole from Zayn when they first met.

He towels off his hair once he’s dressed, throwing the towel into a random corner. Housekeeping has already made a visit, the bed made with crisp new sheets and Louis’ mess of room service trays and towels strewn about his room cleaned up. Those cleaners are gods, Louis thinks.

Louis’ stomach growls as he sits down on the sofa, so he grabs the phone and the room service menu, ordering some mozzarella sticks and a slice of island pizza (which he hopes is really pizza and not some kind of seafood concoction that they just call pizza) thanking the person on the other end of the line after he places his order.

There’s a knock on his door about fifteen minutes later and Louis jumps, having gotten quite absorbed in the foreign soap opera that was on the telly. It was subtitled, and quite dramatic. Louis didn’t know he was into soap drama, but hey, whatever works.

He opens the door and is greeted by Liam’s smiling face. “Hiya, Louis,” Liam greets.

“Hi, Liam,” Louis says.

“You remember my name,” Liam says, honestly shocked. “I didn’t think you would. Uh, no offense.”

“None taken,” Louis says, backing away from the door to let Liam push the cart inside. “I got pretty pissed the night we met, and frankly, I’m surprised I remember your name.”

Liam shrugs. “That was a great party.”

Louis grins, nodding. “That it was.”

Liam mirrors his grin and Louis can’t help but thinks he looks like a happy little puppy. “I’ve uh, I’ve got your food.”

“Ace,” Louis says. “Seeing as delivering my food is the reason you’re here, after all.”

Liam laughs sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah, duh,” he says, his chastising tone directed at himself. “I’ll get going then.”

“Have a nice rest of your day, Liam,” Louis says as Liam backs up to leave.

“Thanks,” Liam smiles. “See you around?”

“Yeah,” Louis agrees. “See you.”

Liam grins widely once more before opening the door and slipping out, leaving Louis alone again.

He grabs the plates off the cart and sets them down on the coffee table, careful to grab them by the edges so he doesn’t burn his fingers like he did last time. There’s no lid on the plates this time and Louis’ happy to see that his island pizza is indeed pizza, but pineapple and bits of what look like some kind of fish scattered over the cheese. The mozzarella sticks look delicious so he dives into them first, sputtering when he burns his tongue on the hot cheese.

Louis’ full, stated, and content when he finishes eating, eyes feeling a bit heavy as he sprawls over the sofa. A nap is in order, he thinks. Fine with that.

He continues watching the soap opera until his eyes get too heavy to keep open, and he falls into his nap quickly, comfy on the sofa with a full belly, his last conscious thought being whether or not he should order the mozzarella sticks again for the dinner in the cave he plans to take Harry on tonight.

x

Louis’ startled awake by a hand smacking down on his shoulder. He jumps and rears backwards, knocking into the person who shocked him awake and knocking them both to the floor. The person under him gives a hurt grunt, and Louis immediately who it is by the sound.

“Harry?” Louis says, confused, as he rolls off the body under him. Harry’s lying on the floor, still in his work uniform, curls pushed back by an obnoxiously large head scarf, a sheepish smile on his face.

“Hi,” he says. “Lovely greeting, thank you.”

“You scared me, you git!” Louis protests, punching Harry in the arm. “I thought you were a murderer.”

“A murderer who you gave your extra key card to,” Harry says, wincing as he sits up. “I think you broke my spine.”

“It’s your own fault,” Louis argues, getting up onto his feet, offering Harry a hand. Harry grabs it, hauling himself to his feet. “Why are you not working right now?”

Harry holds up his left hand, and Louis notices for the first time that it’s wrapped in a thick bandage. “Cut myself,” Harry explains. “So I got to get off early.”

Harry’s grinning stupidly and Louis can’t help the uneasy feeling that sinks into his stomach. “You didn’t cut yourself on purpose, did you? Like, to get more time?”

Harry’s grin falters, turning into something more melancholy. “No, I didn’t,” he says. “Of course I want more time, but I wouldn’t nearly cut my own little finger off to get it. I wouldn’t be that stupid.”

“I’d hope not,” Louis says, struggling to make his voice work, strangled with the tension that’s fallen over the room all of a sudden. Harry sighs, stepping close and pulling Louis into him.

“I wish we had more time,” he says earnestly. “I hate thinking that you’re leaving me in three days. I hate the feeling I get when I think about how I’m not going to be able to just take an lift up a couple floors to see you every day. I hate it, but I’ve accepted it. I don’t want to ruin the last days we’ve got here by thinking about how much it’s going to hurt when you leave and we have to make it work through phones and computers and video calls.”

Louis takes a shaky breath, nodding. He hates that, in this moment, he feels three feet tall, barely able to stand on his own two feet. “Let’s not, then,” Louis murmurs. “Let’s not think about it.”

“I can do that,” Harry says. He hugs Louis tight and then lets him go. Harry’s eyes are shining wet and Louis has to swallow hard to get the lump out of his throat.

“What time is it?” he asks, voice fragile, tinny.

“Just after four,” Harry says.

“I see,” Louis says, nodding. “Have you got to go back to the staff apartments to change?”

“I should, shouldn’t I?” Harry says. “I’m a bit of a slob, now.”

“You’ve got something green on your shirt, yeah,” Louis says, face cracking a small grin.

“Avocado paste, most likely,” Harry says, lips pursing as he pinches the fabric of his shirt, scraping at the green with a fingernail.

“Gross,” Louis chastises, pulling Harry’s hand back down. “Go change. I’ll still be here when you get back.”

“Best be,” Harry says.

Louis shakes his head, hoping his fondness for this dope of a boy isn’t as blatant on his face as it is in his feelings. “Go,” he orders softly, nudging Harry to the door.

“Yessir,” Harry murmurs, ducking down to steal Louis’ lips in a quick kiss. “Be back in a mo’,” he says, stuffing his big feet into his even bigger shoes. He blows Louis another kiss as he opens the door, grinning as the door closes behind him.

Louis sighs fondly, walking over to the sofa and curling up on the sofa. His toes are a bit cold, so he tucks his feet up under him, grabbing the telly remote, pressing the button for the channel guide. There’s a cooking show on what Louis figures is the cooking channel for Aruba. The chef is searing crab in a pan and Louis’ mouth waters.

Harry comes banging back into the room about ten minutes after he left, dressed in black skinny jeans with holes in the knees, and a blue and white striped tank top, hair still pulled back by the scarf.

“You look like a douche,” Louis says and Harry makes an offended noise.

“That was rude,” Harry says, clambering up on the couch next to Louis.

“You do,” Louis says. “You look like one of those assholes you always see in American  uni movies. Like, what are they called? Frat boys?”

“Hell if I know,” Harry shrugs. “What’re we watching?”

“Cooking show,” Louis says and Harry’s stomach grumbles, as if on cue.

“I’m hungry,” Harry says. “Want to order something?” Harry asks, though he’s already reaching for the phone.

“No, don’t,” Louis says, grabbing Harry’s wrist to stop him.

“Why not?”

“I, um,” Louis stammers, not really wanting to let out his plans for the date. “Erm, I’m taking you on a date tonight. And I don’t want you to spoil your dinner.”

“Can I get a snack, at least?” Harry asks. “I’m honestly starving.”

“Yeah, of course,” Louis nods, letting go of Harry’s wrist. Harry ends up ordering a fish tacos, assuring Louis that the plate only comes with two, so it won’t spoil his dinner.

“Better not,” Louis says.

“Promise it won’t,” Harry says, putting the phone back on its receiver and dropping his head down onto Louis’ shoulder.

Harry’s food arrives shortly after, Harry nearly leaping off the couch to answer the door when it’s knocked on. “You can just leave the tray, thanks,” he calls, and whoever’s behind the door makes a noise of understanding, the sounds of their footsteps just audible as they walk away. Harry waits a moment before he opens the door, grinning as he grabs the plate off the cart.

“Awesome,” Harry sets the plate on the table, flops back down onto the sofa. “These things are so good.”

“Give me a bite?” Louis asks.

“Sure,” Harry agrees, picking up one of the tacos and offering it to Louis. Louis takes a bite, humming with satisfactions. “Good, right?”

“Very good,” Louis agrees, letting Harry enjoy the rest of his food while he watches the chef on the show sauté some lentils to garnish his crab with.

“So where are you taking me on our date tonight?” Harry asks, mouth full of food.

“It’s a secret,” Louis says. “And swallow before you open your mouth, Harold. It’s unbecoming to talk with your face stuffed.”

“That totally could have been a reference to blow jobs,” Harry snickers, and Louis rolls his eyes, letting out an exasperated sigh.

“Sometimes I forget you’re only eighteen, but then you remind me in the most obvious way,” Louis sighs.

“You can’t even deny it, though,” Harry defends.

“Just eat your food and shut up,” Louis says.

“You’re snarky today,” Harry says, but doesn’t comment further, content to practically inhale the rest of his food.

Harry grunts when he’s finished, pushing his plate away. He curls up against Louis again, eyes drooping. They settle together, content to watch what seems like a marathon of the cooking show, until Harry starts to fidget against Louis’ side, like he’s lost his ability to get comfortable after sitting still for nearly an hour.

 “I shouldn’t have worn these jeans,” he says, making a face as he tries to adjust. “Too tight.”

“You think?” Louis says. “I can practically see the outline of your cock against your leg.”

“Yeah?” Harry perks up, face melding into something that Louis guesses is supposed to be seductive.

“That was not a ploy for sex, Harry,” Louis sniffs. “Just a simple comment.”

“You’re no fun tonight,” Harry grumbles, falling back against the sofa to sulk like a child.

“Hush,” Louis scolds. “Having sex with you right now would throw off my whole plan for tonight, so I can’t.”

“So you mean we’re going to have sex after our date?” Harry asks, gloomy expression replaced by a bright, hopeful one.

“Not necessarily, no,” Louis says and Harry’s face falls so fast again it’s comedic. “What I mean is if we had sex, I wouldn’t want to kick you out of my suite anymore, which would ruin my plan of coming to your apartment in staff housing to pick you up, like a proper date would.”

For a moment, Harry looks like he doesn’t know what to think, but once the words process, his face splits into a wide, warm grin. “Like a proper date, huh?” Harry preens, “I feel so honored.”

“Yes,” Louis says. He catches the time on the clock by accident, sees it’s nearly half five. “You can leave now, actually. Get out of those pants. Maybe put some swim shorts on.”

“Swim shorts?” Harry’s brow furrows. “Are we going in the water?”

“No more hints,” Louis says. “But really, I need you to go. I’ve got to prepare.”

“Alright, alright,” Harry grunts as he gets up off the sofa. He stretches, long and lean, and Louis’ mouth goes dry for a moment.

“I’ll be to yours by six,” Louis says. “What apartment is yours, again?”

“Three-oh-six,” Harry says. “I’ll be waiting.”

Harry leaves Louis again with a kiss to Louis’ cheek, flicking his hips as he walks out the door. Louis takes a deep breath, trying to cool the heat brewing inside him. Damn teenagers and their fucking tight bodies, he thinks, pressing a palm down onto his crotch.

Once he’s got his dick tamed he picks up the phone and dials room service. He orders grilled chicken with ceasar salad for him and Harry, and raspberry cheesecake for them to share for desert. He thanks the person who took his order and then hangs up, hurrying over to the little foyer to slip his Toms on.

He dashes quickly to the lift, apologizing to the people he bumps into as he nearly runs over to the front desk where, thankfully, Perrie still sits, picking idly at her nails.

“Pezza!” Louis calls, and Perrie looks up, startled, smiling softly when she sees it’s Louis who called her name.

“What’s up, love?” She asks. “In a rush?”

“A bit, yeah,” Louis admits. “Had to get down here before room service gets to my room and takes the liberty to come in on their own when I don’t answer.”

“Oh no,” Perrie says warily. “You haven’t got Harry tied up to the bed or something in there, have you?”

“No, no,” Louis says. “Promise I don’t.”

“It’s none of my business anyways if you did, I suppose,” she shrugs. “What can I help you with?”

“Have you got something I could use for a picnic basket? Like a tote, or summat?”

Perrie purses her lips. “Give me a second,” she says before disappearing behind the counter. “Aha!” she chirps in victory, and when she comes back up, she’s got a medium sized, blue flat-bottomed tote in her hand. “Will this work?”

“Yes, that’s perfect,” Louis says, taking it from her. “Why do you have this behind the desk, though?”

“It’s what we keep the first aid supplies in,” Perrie says and Louis blanches. “It’s okay, though!” She promises, “It’s mostly just plasters and such, it’s fine.”

“If you say so,” Louis says. “Thank you.”

“No problem,” she says. “Have fun on your date!”

“I will, thanks,” Louis says, blowing Perrie a kiss that she mimes catching and tucking into her pocket. Louis rushes back to the lift, thankfully free of people this time.

Room service isn’t there when Louis gets back to his room and he breathes a sigh of relief, sliding his key card into the slot and pushing the door open when it clicks. The food comes fifteen minutes or so later, and Louis thanks the girl who delivers it, her name tag reading ‘Jesy.’

He thanks her and she smiles sweetly, all red hair and dimples in her cheeks.

Once he grabs the food, he stares blankly at the tote and the covered plates, wondering how he should go about putting the food in the tote without it spilling everywhere. He should have asked Perrie if she had any plastic containers.

In the end he decides to just put everything on the same plate, and tucking the other under it, squishing it all together and hoping the cake doesn’t get all over the chicken, throwing a bit of kitchen roll over top it, tucking it between the two plates, to hopefully keep the food from sliding off. It’s a half-arsed disaster but it’s the best he’s got, so Harry’ll have to deal.

It’s ten-to-six when Louis finally finished preparing, slipping into his swim shorts and slides, grabbing the tote and hooking it over his arm. He grabs his key card and heads out, making his way down to the lift, whistling quietly as he goes.

It’s quiet in the lobby, no one at the front desk when Louis goes through, the only sound the flick of his slides against his heels as he walks.

The walk over to Harry’s is short and sweet, and he doesn’t trip over anything like he did last time, heading straight into the lift and riding up to the third floor. Three-oh-six, he reminds himself, stepping out of the lift when it comes to a stop and the doors slide open. His knees wobble a bit and her chastises himself for being so nervous, like he and Harry haven’t already seen every inch of each other in the most intimate way, and there’s actually a chance that Louis can fuck this date up. 

He takes a deep breath when he finally makes it to Harry’s door, knocking in a quick taptaptap, and the door swings open immediately, as if Harry was standing right behind it, just waiting for Louis to knock. And, knowing Harry, he probably was.

“Hey,” Harry breathes when he opens the door, and fuck, he looks bloody gorgeous. His hair is free of the product he uses to prop it up in that mess quiff, all soft curled fringe against his forehead, and he’s dressed in these ridiculous, tiny yellow shorts, a white tank top haphazardly thrown over his torso to complete the outfit. Louis feels his mouth go dry.

“Hi,” Louis says, clearing his throat when his voice comes out croaky. “Ready to go?”

“Yup,” Harry says, popping the ‘p.’ “Can I know where we’re going, yet?”

“Nope,” Louis says. “Just wear shoes you won’t mind getting sandy.”

“Are you taking me on a beach picnic?” Harry asks as he slips his feet into those old leather thonged flip flops, raising an eyebrow in sly question.

“Not on the beach, necessarily,” Louis says, “But not exactly on the beach.”

“Oh?” Harry muses, stepping out into the hallway and closing his door. “Let’s go, then. I want to see this mysterious spot on the beach that’s not exactly a spot on the beach.”

“Onward, then, my boy,” Louis says. He offers Harry his hand and Harry twines their fingers together, grinning brightly.

Harry asks him more questions as they make their way out of the hotel, trying to get Louis to give him more hints about where exactly they’re going to be having their quaint little picnic. Louis doesn’t budge, just shaking his head and telling Harry he’ll find out when they get there.

They end up pulling off their shoes, Harry carrying both pairs in his giant mitt of a hand. “It’s a bit of a walk,” Louis says and Harry nods, tells him to simply lead the way.

Louis had originally thought that Harry might catch on to where Louis was leading him, thinking that Perrie might have shared the secret of the cave with all her other work friends, but Harry stays blissfully unaware the whole time, right up until the little cave and the bluff come into view. His eyes light up and he grins like an excited child.

“A beach cave!” Harry chirps, leaving Louis alone as he dashes to the cave, hopping down and ducking inside, out of sight. “This is so cool,” he says once Louis’ caught up to him, sitting cross-legged, eyes filled with wonder as he stares passed the bluff and to the water below, where the sun is slowly starting to set over the turquoise blue, casting reds and oranges and deep pinks over the surface, reflecting onto Harry’s face.

He looks beautiful like this, with his features highlighted by the colors of the sunset, the slope of his nose, the curve of his lips, the sweet sharpness of his cheekbones. A boy so beautiful Louis doesn’t know how in the world he got lucky enough to catch his eye.

“You like it?” Louis asks as he sits down, opening up the tote and pulling the plate out.

“It’s gorgeous, Lou,” Harry says. “What’s for eats?”

“Grilled chicken with ceasar salad,” Louis says, “With raspberry cheesecake for dessert.”

“Awesome,” Harry grins. “Let’s dig in then, yeah? I’m starved.”

“Might be a bit cold, sorry,” Louis apologizes, reaching into the tote and pulling out the forks.

“It’s fine,” says Harry, taking the fork. Louis pulls out the food, passing Harry the plate from the bottom.

“I had to do a little improvising,” Louis explains when Harry quirks an eyebrow at the odd set up. Harry just hums in acknowledgement, holding out his plate to let Louis push his share of the chicken and salad onto it. The cheesecake stays on Louis’ plate so he can cut it in half, and he passes Harry his half when the cake is cut to Louis’ satisfaction.

Harry thanks him and they eat in relative silence, chit chatting about their days, and then Harry light up and says, “You’re never going to believe who’s staying at the hotel!”

“Who is it then?” Louis asks, munching on a bit of lettuce.

“Doug Morris!” Harry says, nearly squeaking with excitement. Louis must have a completely blank look on his face because Harry sighs exaggeratedly and says, “He’s the executive vice president of Sony Music,” Harry says. “Dani slipped one of our gig fliers that Josh and I use to get people to come to the cabanas on our gig nights under his door.”

“Do you think he’ll come watch you play?” Louis says. “Do you think this could be your big break?”

Harry shrugs. “I want to believe that this could be it for us,” he admits, “but I don’t want to get my hopes up and then be disappointed, you know?”

Louis shakes his head, setting his fork down. He reaches across the small space between him and Harry to wrap his hand around the back of Harry’s neck and pull him in for a kiss. “He’d be crazy not to come see you play,” Louis says. “You and Josh are amazing, and he’d be missing out on one huge talent for his company.”

Harry smiles, setting his plate down on the sand next to him. “Let’s go swimming,” he says, eyes bright.

“Now?” Louis frowns. “We haven’t even had dessert –“

“We’ll eat it when we’re done, come on,” Harry grabs Louis’ plate and sets it next to his, taking Louis hand and physically pulling him from the cave. Harry squawks as they slide down the bluff, splashing into the water in a fit of childish giggles. Harry turns to Louis with a mischievous glint in his eye, tearing his shirt off over his head and chucking it into the sand where it sticks, rolled up into a messy ball. Louis goes to copy him but blanches when Harry strips off his tiny yellow shorts. “Skinny dipping!” Harry bellows, throwing his shorts with his tank top, running clumsily out into deeper water, naked as the day he was born.

“Jesus,” Louis mutters, but nonetheless follows suit, stripping his shirt and shorts off and making sure they’re safe in the sand before he makes his way out – less dramatically – to deeper water to catch up with Harry.

The water’s all the way up to Louis’ shoulders by the time he reaches Harry, and Harry pulls him close once he gets there. “I love skinny dipping,” Harry says. “It’s liberating.”

“You’ll take any reason to be naked, won’t you?” Louis teases.

“You can’t even judge me when you’re naked, too,” Harry snuffs.

“I hope a fish bites you in the dick,” Louis says and then he pushes away from Harry, smacking his open palm into the water to send a small wave splashing up into Harry’s face.

“Jesu – Lou!” Harry squawks, sputtering when he gets an unexpected mouthful of water. Louis cackles maniacally, running away from Harry as fast as he can while in shoulder-deep water as not to face Harry’s splashes of retaliation. “Oh no you don’t!” Harry yells and makes chase. Louis cackles again, turning around and splashing Harry again.

“Come and get me, baby Tarzan!” Louis taunts, sticking his tongue out like he’s actually five years old. Harry’s expression – slightly covered by the sopping mop of his hair – turns malicious, and Louis only gets a moment to see it before Harry’s ducking under the water.

The angle of the sunset makes it difficult for Louis to make out anything below the water’s surface, so he simply stands still and hopes that Harry has to come up for air before he finds where Louis’ standing. A couple long seconds pass by and Louis thinks he’s outsmarted Harry, only to be proven wrong when a huge hand wraps around his ankle and yanks him under the surface.

He sputters and coughs when his head finally breaks out of the water, and Harry’s the one cackling now, mad with laughter. Harry’s got a hand around Louis’ lower back, pulling Louis close to him as he laughs, and Louis’ suddenly made very aware that Harry is very much wet and naked against him right now.

Harry seems to notice it right then, too, if the darkening of his eyes is anything to go by. “Harry –“ Louis starts but the press of Harry’s mouth against his cuts him off, his words turning to a moan when Harry shoves his tongue between Louis’ lips.

It’s almost comical how quickly Louis gets hard just snogging Harry in the water, the small waves doing wonders to bump him up against Harry’s abs in a steady rhythm. Harry grunts into Louis’ mouth and suddenly Louis’ behind hiked up, legs going around Harry’s waist, heels digging into the dimples in Harry’s lower back.

It’s unexpected when one of Harry’s hands drift down from Louis’ hips to tease in between his arse cheeks, tips of his fingers dry against Louis’ rim despite the fact that they’re submerged under water.

“Hold on to me,” Harry says and Louis does so, gasping into Harry’s wet shoulder when Harry’s other hand reaches into the minimal space between them and wraps around both their pricks, squeezing them together. The slide of his hand is rough but it works, presses them together just right, and Louis sort of wishes he’d taken Harry up on his offer of sex earlier because he feels like he’s going to come in an embarrassingly short amount of time.

“Fuck, Lou,” Harry gasps, twisting his hand on the upstroke in a way that makes both of them shudder. “R’member your first night here? How y’let me jerk you off in the water, just like this?”

“God,” Louis groans, fucking up into Harry’s fists. “Was so embarrassing.”

“No,” Harry growls, speeding up his hand on their cocks, and Louis feels a bit better about his own stamina when he feels Harry’s cock twitch almost violently against his, a sure-fire sign that Harry’s close. “Was so fucking hot, Lou, you don’t even realize.”

“Harry – fuck, Harry, I’m gonna come,” Louis pants into Harry’s shoulder. “Faster, Harry, please.”

“I got you,” Harry says, tightening his grip and focusing his attention on their cockheads. “Come for me, babe, I got you.”

Louis comes with a mewl bitten into Harry’s shoulder, riding it out against Harry’s fist and cock. Harry’s hips jerk and he lets out a strangled moan and comes, too, hand squeezing almost uncomfortably on the sensitive tip of Louis’ cock as he works himself through his own orgasm.

“God,” Louis breathes once they’ve both calmed down, lowering himself into the water with a wince at the stiffness of his joints. Fuck, he’s such an old man.

“Yeah,” Harry says, dimpling as he grins. His hair as started to dry a bit, curling lightly against his forehead in a way that makes Louis feel like he just violated a fourteen-year old. He sticks his hand into the water and uses the wet to slick Harry’s hair back from his forehead, kissing his cheek as he does so.

“Let’s get out before my dick prunes, yeah?” Louis suggests.

“Come on, then,” Harry says, grabbing Louis’ hand under the water and tugging him out of the water. Louis completely dropped the ball on the towel front, so they simply lay against the less-steep part of the bluff and let themselves air dry in the soft sand.

“How’d you find out about this place?” Harry asks him once they’ve thrown their clothes back on, settled in the cave once more, cuddled together as they share the cheesecake.

“Perrie told me about it,” Louis says. “Told her I was going exploring on the beach and she said I should check this out. Also said it’d be a good place to take you on a date.”

“Remind me to send her flowers,” Harry says.

“She’s a lovely girl,” Louis agrees.

The sun has set completely by the time they finish their cheesecake, and Louis suggests that they head back so they don’t end up getting eaten by whatever wild things roam the beaches at night. Harry rolls his eyes at him but helps Louis pack the tote nonetheless, carrying it for Louis on the walk back.

“Thank you for taking me out tonight,” Harry says later, when they’re wrapped up in bed together, naked except for their pants.

“It was my pleasure,” Louis says.

“Literally,” Harry giggles and Louis snorts.

“You’re such a child,” Louis says and Harry giggles again.

“You love me,” Harry says and Louis freezes for a split second before he plays it off with a: “Don’t go getting full of yourself, now, Styles.”

But then later, with Harry cuddled up against his back and snoring against his shoulder blades, Louis can’t help but think maybe I do. Maybe I do.

x

When Louis wakes up, Harry's already gone, but he's not surprised, seeing as he's woken up at an abnormal time of two in the afternoon. There's another little note written on the hotel stationary in Harry's handwriting, telling Louis he won't be back until late because he and Josh are playing the cabanas again tonight (there's some excited scribbles next to that statement and Louis figures that's supposed to represent the bubbles in Harry's stomach due to the anticipation of seeing if that record exec is going to show up or not) and that Louis' more than welcome to come if he'd like to.

Louis can't help the endearing that stretches his face as he throws his legs over the side of the bed, crumpling the note in his hand. He traipses into the living area and tosses the note into the rubbish bin, taking a seat at the computer desk, figuring he'll go online and see if Zayn's on Skype, or something. Louis needs to be caught up on what's been going on at work (Zayn's been getting updates from Louis' co-worker Leigh-Ann, a mutual friend of theirs whom Louis introduced Zayn to at a club one night, and who Zayn definitely hooked up with) and at home so he's not completely out of the loop when he finally has to go back to London.

The computer boots up quickly and Louis opens Skype up right away, delighted to see Zayn's name lit up on the 'online' list. He clicks it and selects 'start video chat,' and then waits for the call to connect.

Zayn's hair is disheveled and his eyes are sleepy when he answers, and Louis rolls his eyes. "You probably shouldn't keep your Skype online when you're napping, Z."

"Fuck off," Zayn grumbles, rubbing sleep from his eyes. "I was sketching a new design for this bakery and I fell asleep."

"Cupcakes make you lethargic?"

"Apparently so," Zayn shrugs. "How's Aruba?"

"Lovely," Louis says. "How's London?"

The second Louis utters the question, Zayn's face clouds up, expression foggy and unreadable, like an omniscient sky right before a storm is about to break.

"Um," Zayn says, eyes flicking down and focusing on where Zayn's started to pick his nails, something he only does when he's nervous.

"Did somebody die?" Louis asks.

"No, nobody died," Zayn says. He takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly, eyes drawing back up to the screen even slower. "El's back." He says, and Louis swears he almost swallows his tongue.

"What? Why?" Louis sputters. "I thought she was in the States?"

"She was, yeah," Zayn nods. "The modeling thing sort of fell through and so she moved back to London. Said she's trying to get a job at a fashion mag or something."

"You've talked to her?" Louis asks, brows drawing together. A weight has begun to settle in his stomach and he's starting to feel creeped up on, like there's something dark waiting in the corner to swallow him up alive the second he gets near it.

"She called me," Zayn explains. "She, um, was looking for you, actually. Called me when you didn't pick up your cell and I told her where you were." Zayn pauses, eyes darting off screen nervously. He starts to pick his nails again.

"And?" Louis pushes, hating the wait.

"She wants to meet up with you when you get back," Louis says. "Says it's of great importance that she talk to you."

"You don't think she -" Louis starts but Zayn cuts him off: "I don't think anything, mate, because I'd hate to make assumptions."

Louis bites his lip, trying to take deep breaths to calm the pounding of his heart. He has no idea why in the world Eleanor wants to meet up with him, seeing as the last time they'd spoken to each other had been when Louis found out about her affair, and he'd called her very unbecoming things in the argument that had ensued, and she had made it very clear that she wished to never speak to him again.

"You alright, mate?" Zayn asks, concern creasing his brow.

"Yeah, um," Louis says, pausing to take a breath. "I've just - I don't know."

"I'm gonna let you go then, Lou," Zayn says. "You seem like you've got some things to work out in your head on your own."

"Yeah," Louis mutters, nodding slowly. "Yeah, I have."

"See you when you get home, then," Zayn says, offering up a small wave that Louis halfheartedly returns before Zayn ends the call.

Louis sits for a moment in the computer chair, unable to gather his spewed thoughts long enough to make his brain cooperate and allow him to move his legs.

He has no idea whatsoever why Eleanor would want to talk to him, seeing as their divorce had been nothing short of a shit storm, and Louis knew Eleanor had no intention of reconnecting with the him when the divorce was finalized, even as friends. It was Louis who had held the hope that maybe they’d fix their relationship, never to be a couple again, but perhaps be friends because they had been inseparable as mates long before they had become an item.

And now, El’s back in London and asking for him, and Louis doesn’t know what to do.

One thing he does know is that he can’t sit and think in this hotel room and think about his relationship with his ex-wife when the room is stained with memories of he and Harry together.

Louis decides to go down to the pool, grabbing his key and his sunglasses, not bothering to change into his swim shorts because he doesn’t plan on actually swimming. He just needs a space to think, and he figures one of the beach chairs in the shady corner of the pool will be the perfect place.

The pool is its usual state of busyness when Louis makes his way down, but thankfully, most of the pool-goers are interested in the chairs in the sunniest spots, and most of the chairs in the shade are unoccupied. He wanders over to one and takes a seat, sighing as he gets comfortable.

Nobody at the pool pays him any mind, too busy within themselves to pay attention to the new guy sitting all alone, sunglasses on even though he’s sat in the shade. He’s grateful for their ignorance, knows he couldn’t sit and think clearly if he knew that everybody around him was watching and thinking he was some sort of pool-stalking creep who was mentally undressing everybody from behind the tint of his sunglasses.

Louis wonders what Harry’s up to, if he’s off toting around meals for room service or working with housekeeping, and his heart immediately sinks into his stomach. He feels so, so conflicted, hating the fact that one mention of Eleanor’s name and her desire to see him again has every part of Louis twisted into unsure knots.

“God,” Louis says aloud, taking a deep breath. Everything’s so fucked, he thinks. So fucked.

He knows he’s been foolish for the past week and a half, caught up in a whirlwind of Harry and sun and sex that he’d forgotten that his life isn’t like that. He’s Louis Tomlinson, thirty-five-year-old divorced tax accountant who was too absorbed in his job to realize that his wife had been having an affair for not one, but two years of their marriage. He’s not the man Harry thinks he is, not the fun, loud, outgoing personality he’s adopted while in Aruba, and he’ll never be, no matter how hard he wishes he could.

Eleanor’s request to see Louis again when he comes back made Louis realize two things:

One – he has no desire whatsoever to get back together with Eleanor, at all.

And two – he’s going to have to break Harry’s heart.

Thinking of Harry makes his own heart hurt, and he wishes his decision could be easier. He wishes he could break away without breaking Harry’s heart, without ruining every promise he made to Danielle and all of Harry’s other friends that he would never hurt Harry the way the guys before him had. But he knows, through all the self-hatred he feels for the fact that he’s going to have to hurt Harry, he knows it’s the best thing for him. Because, though he promised to try, he knew somewhere in the back of his mind that there was no way he and Harry were going to be able to make their relationship work when Louis was in London, and Harry was in Aruba.

As much as he wishes he could say fuck all and stay in Aruba, stay with Harry, he knows in his heart that he can’t. He can’t drop his whole life for an eighteen-year-old boy he’s known for a week and half, for a boy who’s probably going to be playing for a record exec tonight and get signed, just like he’s wanted his whole life, and Louis can’t be the weight that holds Harry back from his dream. He was the weight that held Eleanor back from hers, and it had ended up ruining their marriage. It was only when she and Louis divorced that she went for what she’d been dreaming of since she was a little girl, and Louis’ fault that she was probably considered too old for the modeling world and thus lost her chance when she did so.

Louis can’t do that to Harry. He won’t do that to Harry.

As much as it’s going to hurt, he’s going to have to break it off, and break it off in a way that Harry will know there’s no going back on. He’s going to have to tear Harry’s heart out and give it back to him, laughing while it struggles to beat against the crushing weight of the hurt that Harry will have no idea Louis feels, too.

Settled, then, Louis thinks, struggling to swallow passed the huge lump that’s lodged itself in his throat.

Now all he has to do is figure out what the fuck he’s going to say.

X

Louis spends the rest of the day locked up in his suite, jittering with nerves. He hates the fact that he has to sit in a room that he and Harry have practically shared for the whole duration of Louis’ vacation and think about the words he’s going to say in order to rip Harry’s heart out. For the best, he’s been telling himself. It’s for the best.

He just wishes he could fully believe it.

There’s a nagging in the back of his mind that keeps screaming selfishselfishselfish, keeps insisting that he’s doing it for himself, not for Harry. You just don’t want to put in the effort, it says. You just don’t want to take the time, and there’s a part of Louis that’s convinced it’s right.

He can’t seem to sit still, pacing back and forth, from the bedroom to the living area and back again. He fights the urge to sit down at the computer and open up Skype, call Zayn and make Zayn convince him he’s doing the wrong thing. He wants someone, anyone to come tell him he’s making a mistake, but for the hours he sits alone in his suite, nobody does.

X

It’s one thirty-four in the morning, and Louis’ heart falls into the pit of his stomach when the door to his suite opens and Harry bounds in, all bright eyes and flopping curls and wide smile, electric with the energy he’s radiating. Louis hates himself a little more.

“Louis! God, Louis, you’re not going to believe it!” He flops down onto the sofa next to where Louis’ finally taken a seat after he had stopped his pacing, a prickling ball of energy that has the hairs on the back of Louis’ neck standing on end. “God, Louis, I’m going insane!”

“For what reason, love?” Louis asks and he’s surprised he can keep his voice from cracking.

“He came, Lou! Doug Morris, he came!” Harry’s grinning so widely Louis’ worried his face is going to split, and Louis hates himself so, so much. “He came and he stayed for our whole set and then he found us after and he told us he wanted us to play something over webcam for the execs at Columbia in the States! The States, Lou! This could be it for us!”

Louis feels a physical darkness fall over him and knows his whole face has fallen, knows that the clean, demure posture he was trying to keep to stop Harry from noticing that Louis wasn’t okay right from the moment he came into the room has fallen away.

Harry notices the change immediately, grin faltering and brows drawing together in confusion. “Louis? Is everything okay?”

Louis squeezes his eyes shut, chest aching  as he thinks this is it. “No,” he says and he thinks he hears his heart screaming, echoing the word. “No, Harry, everything is not okay.”

“Why? What’s wrong?” Harry’s voice is so sweet, low and sincere, and when Louis opens his eyes again, he can’t bring himself to look at Harry’s face.

We are wrong, Harry. This is wrong. Us.” Louis says, eyes flicking up just long enough to see the confusion, the hurt, flash over Harry’s face.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean we’re not going to work, Harry!” Louis yells, finally meeting Harry’s eyes full on, and wishing he hadn’t. “We’ve been foolish this whole time thinking that we’re going to be able to make it when I go back home, because we’re not.”

“Yes we can,” Harry says, fiercely adamant. “We’ll make it work –“

“No! We won’t, okay? We can’t.” Louis protests, running a hand through his hair.

“And why not?” Harry asks, voice and eyes hard.

“Because we’re from two different worlds,” Louis says. “and we were never meant to cross. We’re bound for failure, Harry. The boring, thirty-five-year-old was never meant to get involved with the eighteen-year-old rising rock star.”

“Is that what you’re afraid of, then?” Harry asks. “That I’m going to get famous and leave you behind? Because I wouldn’t, okay?” Harry reaches out and grabs Louis’ hand, holding it tight before Louis can pull it away. “I wouldn’t do that, Louis. Because I lo-“

“No!” Louis booms, yanking his hand away with all the strength he has, so hard that he falls off the sofa, scrambling back up to his feet when Harry gets up to see if he’s okay. “Don’t say it. Don’t even think it, Harry.”

“Louis –“

No,” Louis presses. He scrubs a hand over his face in exasperation. “No. You don’t. I don’t. I never did and never will, and neither will you.”

“You’re lying,” Harry hisses and Louis can see the anger now, blatant on his face. It’s scary to see it, when, for the time Louis’ known him, Louis has never seen Harry look like this.

“I’m not.” Louis insists. “I don’t. I don’t, because I always knew in the back of my mind that we weren’t going to work. You and I, we weren’t meant to work.”

Harry laughs, hard and humorless. His eyes are glazed with unshed tears and Louis has to look away, has to swallow hard to choke down the lump in his throat. “So that’s it then? You’re just going to throw this away because you’re too insecure about yourself to make us work?”

“We never would have worked out anyways, Harry, even if we tried! What about that don’t you understand?” Louis’ beginning to feel shreds of anger himself, hating that he has to keep pushing and pushing and pushing because Harry just can’t get the memo that he’s ending it. “Relationships like this never fucking work! You were just a fling –“ Louis doesn’t miss the way Harry flinches when he says that, recoiling like he’s been smacked round the face – “okay? A fling I let get farther and more out of hand than I ever should have.”

“You don’t mean that.” Harry’s face is hard, stony. His voice is ice.

“I do,” Louis says, and it takes everything he has to make it sound like the truth.

“Fuck you.” Harry spits.

“You already have,” Louis says, for what reason, he doesn’t know.

Harry opens his mouth again but all that comes out is a choked, humorless chuckle. He shakes his head, lips curved in a wry smile. “They fucking warned me,” he says, and Louis very nearly deflates. He doesn’t, though, reminding himself for the best, for the best.

“You should have listened.”

Harry’s nostrils flare, fury twisting his sweet features into something Louis hopes nobody ever has to see again. Harry mashes his lips into a hard line and Louis’ fingers ache to pull them apart, to kiss them and tell Harry he needn’t be so rough with them.

But he doesn’t. What he does is stand still and watch Harry walk away, watch him yank Louis’ spare room key from his pocket and throw it, not caring where it lands as he rips open the door.

Harry slams the door as he storms out, and it leaves an air of finality to settle over the room. Louis thinks his heart has fallen into his stomach,a heavy weight settling inside, a feeling of suffocation beginning to sink into his chest.

He walks over to the door with numb legs, pressing his palm against it.

And for the first time since he made his decision to let Harry go, he sinks to his knees, forehead pressed next to his palm on the door, and he lets himself cry.

X

One year later

“I grabbed a whole handful of sugar packets because I wasn’t sure how much you wanted in your tea today, because quite frankly, you look like you’re about to fall into a catatonic state.”

Louis looks up from where he’s typing away on his phone to where Eleanor’s sliding back into her seat across from him at the table in the quaint little café they’ve begun to make a habit of coming to for lunch every Saturday. “Thanks, El,” Louis says, taking the sugar from her when she offers it to him.

“Tough week at school?” She asks and Louis nods, tearing into three sugar packets at once and pouring them into his tea.

“It’s been hellish,” Louis says.

Since coming back from Aruba, much in Louis’ life has changed. He’d spent the last two days of his vacation as a homebody in his room, cuddled up in the duvet from the bed on the floor because he couldn’t bear staying on the sofa or in his bed when every inch of both reminded him of Harry. He didn’t even call room service, too scared that Harry would answer the phone and Louis would go back on everything he’d told Harry that Friday night.

Staying curled up on the floor in his duvet in a nest of pillows for two days gave Louis quite a lot of time to think. He did everything he could not to think about Harry, so he thought about himself. He thought about the life he’d have to go back to in London, and he made the decision right then and there that he was done, completely done, with working as a tax accountant who got shit on constantly even though he did more work for the company than some of the execs did. He decided he was going to go out and do what he went to uni for, and that was to be a drama teacher.

The job market for secondary school teachers in London hadn’t been too bright for Louis when he’d graduated and that’s why he’s taken the job as a tax accountant, qualified for the job because of the accounting classes he’d been forced to take in his first two years at uni. His job was complete shit and he knew it, but it was the security and the pay that made him keep it, as unhappy and overworked as he was.

He’d quit his job as soon as he’d gotten back to London, giving his two weeks’ notice, and in that time he’d managed to find a job at a secondary school just outside of London in Dartford, luck on his side for the fact that he’d gone in for the interview just days after the last drama teacher had quit to start his retirement early, and apparently his degree in English qualified him to teach drama as well. He started up the next Monday after his two weeks was over, and he knew right after his very first class of the day that he was finally in the place he was supposed to be.

Along with quitting his job once he’d gotten to London, he’d also made the decision to meet up with Eleanor, despite his reservations about what she had to say to him. They’d met at the same café they’re at now, and seeing her again after everything was like seeing a ghost.

She was just as beautiful as he remembered her, but, unlike if he had been seeing her two weeks earlier, he was not overcome with the immense feeling to kiss her and hold her close and tell her he wanted her back, no matter how fucked over by her he still felt. He simply felt like he was seeing an old friend that he hadn’t left on great terms with – bittersweet, but with a hint of hope for reconciliation.

Eleanor had hugged him when they’d first met at the café, and Louis couldn’t help but think that her soft curves and tender edges felt all wrong in his arms.

“Louis,” she breathed, backing up from the embrace and looking him over from head to toe. “You look well.”

“Thank you,” Louis said. “You, too.”

“How have you been?” She asked as she slid into her seat, Louis copying her and sliding into his own.

“Good, thank you,” he said, wincing at how utterly awkward the conversation felt. Eleanor must have caught on because she sighed exasperatedly and said, “I know the last time we talked to each other was quite fucked up, but I’d really like to get over the awkwardness and talk to you about what I want to.”

“Please,” Louis said, laughing to break the tension. A smile spread across Eleanor’s face, and Louis had to admit that it was lovely to see on her again, as he hadn’t seen it in six months, and Eleanor looked radiant when she smiled.

The conversation had gone from awkward greetings to heartfelt apologies, with Eleanor talking with her eyes downcast (something she did when she was nervous) and saying how completely and utterly sorry she was about the way things between she and Louis had ended. “I fucked up,” she said. “Our relationship was starting to fall apart, and I panicked. I looked for comfort in the arms of somebody else instead of working things out with you, and I’m so, so sorry that I did it.”

They had sat in the café and talked for hours, with tearful admissions of guilt and regret, and by the end of it they were laughing and reminiscing, and for Louis, it was like part of his heart that he hadn’t realized was broken had healed. They were talking, laughing, and then Eleanor shocked Louis, completely out of the blue, when she asked, “You’re in love with somebody else, aren’t you?”

Louis flinched, eyes falling to his hands, folded atop the table. He didn’t know what to tell her so he told her everything, from the first night he met Harry to the last, when he watched Harry walk out the door, out of his life, and did absolutely nothing to stop him because it was for the best.

“For the best,” she said, and that was that.

Now, sitting with Eleanor in the same café he had almost a complete year ago, he finally feels like he’s healed. He still hurts when he thinks of Harry and he thinks of Harry all the time. He wonders if Harry and Josh have found the success they were on the precipice of when Louis had let Harry go, and he wonders with a twinge in his heart if Harry has found somebody else.

“You’re thinking about him again, aren’t you?” Eleanor asks and Louis’ shocked out of his reverie.

“How do you do that?” Louis asks.

“You’re like an open book to me, love,” El says. “You’ve never been able to hide anything from me.”

“True,” Louis agrees.

Louis and Eleanor make small talk as he sips his tea and she picks at her Panini. He talks about the three detentions he’s had to give out in the last week because he’s got a bunch of kids taking his class this year that think drama is a joke class they can fuck off in and still pass, and she tells him about this new column she’s writing for the fashion magazine she works for, about anorexia and fashion models or something of the like.

The song playing softly over the speakers in the café changes, soft piano intro, and Louis finds himself nodding along to it.

When the artist begins to sing, however, Louis nearly chokes on his mouthful of tea.

Because the person singing? It’s Harry.

“Lou?” El asks, thin brows pulling together in confusion. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine, I uh,” he pauses to clear his throat, setting his tea down on the tabletop. “I’ve got to go, though.”

“Already?” El pouts.

“I’m sorry,” Louis apologizes, getting up and grabbing his jacket. “I’ll make it up to you, promise,” he says, kissing Eleanor’s cheek.

“Call me,” Eleanor says and Louis nods, promising he will as he practically runs out of the café, unlocking his phone with shaking fingers and frantically dialing Zayn’s number.

Zayn,” Louis hisses when Zayn picks up on the first ring, answering with a drowsy “Hullo?

“What, Lou?” Zayn asks and Louis would bet his whole life savings that he’s sprawled out on his sofa with his sketch pad on his chest, charcoal all over his fingers and face.

Louis admires that about Zayn, how, as Louis found out the day he got back from Aruba and demanded to know how in the hell Zayn could afford to drop the money to send not himself, but his best friend on an all-expenses-paid trip to Aruba, Zayn still works to support himself even though he’s actually kind of loaded. Zayn had explained how, as an only child, he’d always been the light of his extremely-wealthy grandfather’s eye. “I was like the son he never had,” Zayn had said. And so, unbeknownst to Zayn, his grandfather had written him into his will and when his grandfather died, Zayn had inherited nearly half of his grandfather’s immense fortune.

“Harry,” Louis stammers, “I heard – in the café with El, there was this song, and I swear, Zee, it was him.”

Zayn’s silent for a moment, and then he says, firm and sure, “You need to come over right now.”

“Okay,” Louis says. “I’ll be over in a bit. Make sure your door is unlocked.”

Zayn’s flat, like Louis’, it located only a few blocks away from the café, and it only takes Louis about fifteen minutes to get there, yanking the door to Zayn’s building open and offering the grey-haired woman at the front desk – her name is Marie and she’s absolutely wonderful – a wave as he dashes into the stairwell, not having time to wait for the lift when Zayn only lives two floors up.  

Louis still knocks when he gets to the door of Zayn’s flat even though he’d told Zayn to have to door unlocked, and he pushes his way in once Zayn’s voice calls for him to come in.

Zayn’s sat on the sofa in a paint-covered white tee and black sweatpants, lips mashed into a thin line. Louis toes his shoes off and sits down onto the sofa next to Zayn, and runs a hand through his hair.

“Tell me about the song,” Zayn says when Louis sits down.

“It opened with piano chords,” Louis says and Zayn nods knowingly. “I didn’t really hear much of it, but I know it was him –“

“It was,” Zayn says. “I’ve heard the song before.”

Louis blanches, eyes widening. “And you didn’t think it’d be good to tell me?”

“No, I didn’t,” Zayn says flatly. “Because the last time we talked about Harry, you said you didn’t want to ever broach the subject of him again unless you absolutely had to. So when I heard the song, I didn’t bring it up.” Zayn licks his lips, eyes darting over to the desk in the corner of the room before falling back on Louis.

“What aren’t you telling me?” Louis demands, narrowing his eyes.

Zayn licks his lip again, takes a deep breath before he says, “Harry got in touch with me about a week after you left Aruba.”

What?” Louis hisses, physically having to take a step back.

“He didn’t call me, or anything. I didn’t actually physically speak to him,” Zayn says, silencing Louis with a raised hand when Louis goes to say something back. “Somehow he got my email and got to me through that. He asked for my mailing address. Told me he had something he really, really needed to send me.”

“And what was that?”

“He sent me letters,” Zayn says. “One for me, and one for you. He said to read the one for me first, so I did.”

“What’d the one for me say?” Louis asks, trying to swallow down the nerves that have replaced the brief fire of his anger, balling up in his chest and just sitting there, an uncomfortable weight that makes the tips of his fingers shake.

Zayn shrugs. “Don’t know,” he admits. “I never read it. My letter told me not to. Said I was only allowed to give you the letter at the right time, and right now’s the right time.”

“Such cryptic shit,” Louis mutters.

“Do you want the fucking letter or not?” Zayn says, an annoyed lilt to his voice.

“Yes,” Louis says, feeling sheepish for acting like such a git. “I want it.”

Zayn nods, getting up and walking over to the desk, pulling open the middle drawer and digging around a bit before he pulls out an envelope, ripped on one end. “Here,” he says, handing the letter to Louis. “Go home and read it.”

Louis nods, tucking the letter into his jacket. He gets up and pulls Zayn into a hug, whispers “Thank you,” in his ear then kisses his cheek.

“Go,” Zayn says, pushing Louis towards the door.

“I’ll call you,” Louis says and Zayn makes a noise of agreement, settling back down on his sofa. He tells Zayn goodbye and Zayn returns the sentiment, then Louis’ out the door. He nearly sprints the block back to his own flat, huffing and out of breath by the time he gets to his floor and rips his flat door open, kicking the door closed behind him as he takes the note from his jacket.

He sets the letter on the sofa next to it and just stares, a million thoughts running through his head. Should he open it? Should he throw it in the trash and never think of it again? What happens if the letter contains something he doesn’t want to read? What if it contains everything he’s ever wanted to hear since he left Aruba?

A small, white envelope has never seemed more menacing to Louis than this one does right now, and he wishes he wasn’t such a fucking pussy, wishes he would just grab the damn thing and open it, but he’s so worried that the second he reads what Harry’s written he’s going to be pulled right back into Harry’s whirlwind, and he’s finally, finally just managed to get out of it, albeit extremely scathed.

But you’ve got your life together now, says a tinny voice in the back of his head. You could do it, if you wanted. You could have him.

And he could. He’s finally happy with the life he lives and the job he has that he’d not be ashamed for Harry’s friends and family to know of him, and he just hopes that this letter is not a letter with Harry telling Louis that he’s finally realized that his and Louis’ fling was indeed a fluke, and he’s grateful that Louis ended it when he did, because Louis was right: Harry was just too good for him.

Louis grabs the envelope and tears it open, pulling out it’s contents.

To his surprise, when he opens the letter, a small sheet of paper falls out. He opens his eyes and sees that what he has in his hand is not a letter, but a crude, rushed-looking arrangement and lyrics for a song, and he knows immediately what he’s holding in his hand.

He used to play piano as a child and he easily identifies the opening bars, can hear them in his head just as clear as he heard them in the café. He can’t bring himself to read through the whole song, so he folds up the letter and sets it aside, picking up the smaller folded sheet.

When he opens that one it is an actual letter, and Louis’ stomach twists into a knot when he recognizes the Riu’s hotel stationary, so foreign yet so, so familiar. The scrawl of Harry’s handwriting is even more familiar, and Louis has to take a moment to look away and collect himself before he can actually start to read it.

He takes a deep breath, and starts reading.

I wrote this in a night after you left, sat in Josh's and my makeshift studio and wrote, just wrote and this is what I ended up with. Every line and lyric of it is for you. Every pore of this song leaks your essence, and I hope one day you get to hear it, whether it's on the radio or on YouTube or by somebody singing it on the street." There's scribbled out lines, like Harry wrote something and was either too scared to keep it, or just didn’t think it was relevant.

I think about you constantly, you know. It’s been a month since you left and I still see you everywhere. Dani says that means I’m in love with you, and I think she's right. I just wish I could have gotten the chance to tell you." More scribbled lines, and this time Louis tries to read what’s under them, but has no luck. His heart’s beating like a steam engine in his chest, barreling faster and faster, headed for a brick wall.

Josh and I got signed, you know. We're moving to NYC in a week to start recording, and we're going to record this song, the one you’re holding in your hand. I don’t know how long it’s going to take for you to hear it, but however long it takes, I know it’s still going to mean everything it did when I first wrote it, because no matter how long it takes you to get this letter, to read these lyrics, I'm still going to love you."

Louis’ fingers shake when he finishes the letter, but he can’t bring himself to set it down. I’m still going to love you, Harry wrote. It hurts Louis to think it, that Harry felt so strongly for him after just two weeks and it terrifies him to think that maybe, even though Harry said he wasn’t going to stop, Harry doesn’t actually love him anymore. Why would he?

The way Louis ended things was absolutely horrid, and sometimes when he’s asleep, he dreams about it, wakes up with the image of Harry’s devastated face burned behind his eyelids at the earliest hours of the morning, and he just can’t go back to sleep. It was the worst when Louis first started sleeping on his own again, bad to the point where he slept with Zayn in his bed for a month, just to have a warm body next to his to fill the huge, Harry-shaped void punched through his chest.

Louis’ still shaking as he delves into his pocket and pulls out his phone, searching to find Zayn’s contact, hitting ‘call’ with an unsteady thumb.

“You read it?” Zayn asks when he picks up. Louis nods, mentally smacking himself when he remembers Zayn can’t actually see him.

“Yeah,” he says, hears Zayn hum on the other end of the line.

“And?” Zayn presses.

“He wrote it for me,” Louis breathes, voice just barely audible. “He wrote it for me when I left, and not it’s on the radio. Zayn, I have to –“

“Give me a moment, okay?” Zayn cuts him off. “I’ve got what it is you need. Let me hang up and I’ll text you, alright?”

“Alright,” Louis says. Zayn tells him goodbye and then the dial tone sounds. Louis drops his phone next to him and looks at the note once more.

His phone vibrates next to him and he picks it up, opening the message from Zayn. It says nothing but ‘07745352515,’ and it takes Louis a moment to realize that a) he’s going to murder Zayn when he sees him again, and b) that’s Harry’s phone number.

Louis thought he’d finally gotten over the shakes but apparently not, because his fingers quiver violently against the screen of his phone as he taps Harry’s phone number, stares at the screen as it gives him the option to save as a contact or give the number a call.

He doesn’t know which to choose.

He wants to call Harry so bad, but frankly he’s fucking terrified. He terrified that Harry will pick up and realize it’s Louis calling him and tell him to fuck right off and hang up before Louis has a chance to even really talk. But then on the other hand, he’s terrified that Harry’s going to pick up and be ecstatic, and Louis will somehow say the wrong thing and ruin everything all over again.

It wouldn’t surprise him, really, if he ruined it again, seeing as he’s ace at fucking things up.   

Louis makes the decision right then, decides that if he’s going to fuck it up he might as well not stall it. So he presses call.

Harry answers on the third ring, and Louis nearly chokes to death on his own nerves. “Hello?” Harry answers, voice just as low and slow as Louis remembers it. “Hellooo?”

Harry,” Louis breathes, squeezes his eyes shut and hopes. A loud gasp sounds from the other end of the line, and Louis swears that, for a split second, his heart stops beating.

“Oh god,” Harry says and Louis knows he’s got a hand in his curls, bottom lip caught between his teeth. “Louis? God, Louis, is that you?”

“Yeah,” Louis says, clenching his phone tighter in his hand. “Yeah, Harry, it’s me.”

“I’ve missed you so fucking much,” Harry says, voice coming out strangled. He takes a heavy, shuddering breath, and asks, “Did you hear it?”

“I heard it,” Louis says. “I heard it, Haz, and it was so good.”

“It’s for you,” Harry says.

“I know,” Louis says. “I read the letter.”

“I’m going to need Zayn’s street address,” Harry says. “Because I really need to send him a thank you basket.” Harry chuckles nervously and Louis can’t help but smile.

“Quite the helpful lad, he is,” Louis agrees.

“How have you been?” Harry asks.

“Been good,” Louis says. “Quit my old job.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Louis says. “Teach drama at a secondary school in Dartford.”

“Really? Lou, that’s great,” Harry says.

“What about you?” Louis asks. “A proper rock star now, yeah? Got a song on the radio and everything.”

“Not a proper rock star yet,” Harry says. “But Josh and I like to think we’re getting there.”

“How’s New York City?” Louis questions.

“We’re, uh, we’re not in NYC anymore, actually,” Harry says. “We’re actually in an airport in Chicago right now.”

“Oh?” Louis murmurs. “Where are you off to, then?”

Harry’s quiet for a moment, and Louis gets quite a shock when he says, “London, actually.”

“London?” Louis muses. They’re both shirking like hell around the point but Louis knows they just can’t help it, fearing the reopening of old scars. “What are you doing in London?”

“Meeting with a record label,” Harry says. “Josh and I – we really want to relocate. We love New York, but it’s just not home, you know?”

“Harry,” Louis breathes. “Do you know what you’re doing to me?”

“I miss you so much,” Harry whispers, choked up, and Louis feels his own throat start to get thick. “I miss you and I love you.”

“Harry –“

“Did you really never love me?” Harry asks and Louis thinks he can hear Harry’s heart cracking, breaking from the sticky tape it’s been held together with over the past year plus.

No,” Louis says fervently. “No, Harry, I lied. I was scared to death, and I lied. I loved you.”

“When did you stop?” Harry’s voice breaks, breath catching on a hiccup. Louis has to squeeze his eyes shut to stop the stinging.

“I never stopped,” Louis says. “I swear to God, Harry, I never –“

“Why did you say it? Why did you say those things to me?” Harry demands, crying openly over the phone now. Louis wonders if he’s in an open area or not, if he’s curled up in a shitty airport chair, trying to cry as quietly as he can, as not to cause a scene.

“I was so scared, Harry,” Louis admits. “You were on the brink of making it, and I couldn’t bring myself to stay with you, when all I would do was hold you back. I didn’t want to end it, Harry. It killed me to say those things to you.”

“And now?” Harry asks, quieting to sniffles and small hiccups.

“Now,” Louis murmurs, “now, I just want to kiss you again.”

Harry laughs, thick and watery but still so beautiful. “I want you to kiss me. So bad.”

“I still think about it, all the time,” Louis admits. “I used to dream about you all the time. Still do, most nights.”

“I told my mum about you,” Harry says. Louis laughs, loud and nervous.

“I talked about you to my ex-wife,” Louis says.

“Your ex?” Harry says, the slightest tinge of jealously creeping into his tone.

“We’re friends,” Louis says. “Long story.”

“I’ll be in London tomorrow,” Harry says. “Tell it to me over lunch?”

“Lunch,” Louis echoes. “Lunch is good.”

He and Harry make small talk for a little while longer before Harry tells Louis he has to go catch his flight, and that he’s so excited to see Louis. Louis returns the sentiment and promises Harry that he’ll pick up when Harry calls again. Harry tells him he loves him before he hangs up the phone and Louis doesn’t hesitate to say it back because God, he really does.

And now, for the first time in the year-plus that Louis been back, he thinks about Aruba and the Riu and Harry, and he finally feels all the regret he’s held from it lift off his shoulders. He knows it’s going to take a lot for him and Harry to get back to where they were before Louis left, but Louis’ll be damned if he’s not going to try, with every fibre of his being. It’s going to take work and long conversations and a lot of angry, sad, happy tears.

But for now, Louis thinks, lunch is the best place to start.