Louis knows better than to try moving a stalled car by himself, but Tommy had been on the phone for an hour trying to track down some shocks for the Cascadia that’s been taking up space on the lot all week, and Louis swore the car was in neutral, but when he gave it a solid push, the car pushed back, and his left shoulder and his back have been bothering him ever since. He got through the rest of the day somehow, but now that he’s home, all he can focus on is the throb of his muscles. He’s always tired at the end of a long day, but right now he aches all the way down to his bones.
He heats up the meatloaf his mom had given him Tuesday night and eats in front of the tv, plate balanced on his knees. He wonders if Bebe will be by tonight. It’s another few hours until her shift ends, but she’s been over every night this week, and the week before, and most of the month, really. But sometimes she helps his mom out with the kids, and once a month they both stay up late doing the inventory, and sometimes she’s just exhausted and stays in. But most nights, she’s over here, so he leaves the door unlocked just in case before he shuffles up the stairs. He wonders if he could get another key made for her. He wonders if they’re ready for that.
He wonders if he’s ready for that.
He swallows an Advil dry, then shrugs to himself and takes another one. He sits down on the bed so he can take his boots off, and the next thing he knows, Bebe’s shaking his shoulder as he blearily blinks up at her. He must have fallen asleep somehow.
“Are you okay?” she asks. She sits next to him on the bed and focuses her big, concerned eyes on him.
“Fucked up my back,” he mumbles. “Sorry.”
“What are you sorry for?”
“Don’t think I’ll be very good company.” He leans forward to unlace his boots, wincing as he feels something in his back pull.
“Stop,” she says, placing her hand on his elbow. “You don’t have to be good company. Just let me take care of you.”
“You don’t have to do that,” he says with a sigh. He’s been the man of the house pretty much since the day he was born, and now he’s a dad, and he doesn’t much like being taken care of.
But Bebe touches her index finger to his lips and gently kisses his cheek, and then she sinks down to her knees and fusses over the knots in his bootlaces with a small frown. And he looks down at the blonde top of her head, sees the places her roots are coming in darker, and he watches the way her fingers tease open the knots so she can slide his feet out, and the feelings in his chest that he’s been trying to push down just expand, punching against his ribcage. He likes her so much that it’s terrifying.
When she’s got his boots and socks off, she squeezes his knee and then stands up. She walks into the bathroom, and a minute later, he hears the water running. When she walks back into the bedroom, she’s pulling her hair up into a ponytail.
“Get naked,” she says, the words only slightly muffled by the hairtie between her teeth.
“Yes, ma’am,” he says, unbuttoning his shirt, not taking his eyes off of her. He watches her secure her ponytail, efficiently grabbing half of it in each hand and pulling it snug against her scalp. There’s a gracefulness to how she moves, walking through his home like she belongs there.
Three years ago, Louis had a baby with the prettiest girl who lived in their whole town. And he’d tried to make it work with her. They’d both tried, but they mostly wanted different things, and the only thing they could both agree on was that they didn’t want to get married to each other. And it’s okay. He loves his Freddie, his funny little son, and he does love Briana in his own way, and she’s part of his family now. But when things didn’t work out between them, and when it became obvious that he was never, ever getting out of Mineola so long as his son lived there, Louis figured that was it for him. For Christ’s sake, he’s related to almost every girl in town under the age of forty. Louis made peace with it ages ago. He wouldn’t have traded being Freddie’s dad for anything, and he likes the little life he's made here, even if it wasn’t what he’d been counting on when he was a kid.
But then Bebe swept into town when he wasn’t even looking. He drove Lottie out to college, and when he came back, the whole world was different. And he’s just been trying to catch up ever since.
“Bath’s ready,” Bebe says softly, and he blinks at her. He’s most of the way out of his shirt, but he still has his jeans on. Must’ve dozed off again. He stands up, and the two of them finish undressing him. She’s down to just her underthings, and he’s sorry he missed watching her undress. He loves that tease as she reveals herself to him. But he likes this, too, all her skin on display, the tilt of her hips, the wobble of her thighs as she bends over to pick up his clothing and throw it in the hamper. She’s gorgeous. She’s gorgeous.
He lets her lead him into the bathroom. She tests the bathwater with her toe, then kisses his forehead and says, “Get in, babe.”
Louis settles down into the tub, hissing as the warm water enfolds him. He feels better almost instantly, and his eyes drift shut, before he remembers that Bebe is probably getting the rest of the way undressed, and then they snap back open. He lounges against the side of the tub and watches her from under hooded eyes, watches how she wriggles her hips to step out of her panties, watches how her chest pushes out when she reaches behind herself to fiddle with the clasp of her bra, watches the hypnotic sway of her tits as she bends over and squeezes his shoulder.
“Scooch forward,” she says, and he takes a deep breath, tries to clear his head. Being so close to her is dizzying. He keeps waiting to get used to it, he waits for her body to feel ordinary, he waits for her touch to feel normal, but it never happens.
He moves forward in the tub, and she slides in behind him, her bent knees bracketing his hips. She begins kneading his shoulders, and he moans without meaning to.
“Let me take care of you,” she whispers against his ear. “You just relax.”
“Okay,” he mumbles, and he closes his eyes as she works her hands over him, starting at his shoulders and slowly making her way down his back. Under her palms, all the tension drains from his body, and he doesn’t know what he ever did to deserve a girl like this, but he’s thankful he did it.
“All done,” she says eventually.
He groans appreciatively and lolls back against her, feeling boneless. He’s nestled comfortably against her chest, and he turns his head to press a lazy kiss to her collarbone.
“Thank you,” he says. “Needed that.”
Her hands are resting lightly on his hips, and she lets one float towards his lap, giving his dick a soft squeeze. He’s half-hard from being this close to her, from the knowing way her hands worked over him, from the way her pillowy breasts cushion his head.
“Do you want me to?” she asks, sliding her hand lower to cup his balls.
“You don’t have to,” he says. He might be too tired to come. He’s definitely too tired to make her come.
“I want to,” she says, kissing him behind his ear. “Get you all relaxed and put you to bed.”
“Okay,” he whispers helplessly. He feels like she can see inside him.
She works him firmly and steadily, good slippery tugs that make his toes curl. All he can hear is his harsh breathing and the gentle splashing of her hand moving back and forth, and it’s barely any time at all before he curses and comes in the bathwater.
“And that’s our cue to get the hell out of here,” she says, rinsing her hand off in a clean bit of water. “Up you go, babe.”
He stands up, and he’s so relaxed he barely feels steady enough to step out of the tub, so he lets Bebe go first, and then she helps him out. She takes his face in both her hands and kisses him sweet and soft, and then she wraps him up in a towel and dries him off. No one’s ever done anything like this for him, not since he was a little kid. He isn’t supposed to need anyone taking care of him. He doesn’t know what to do with the knowledge that maybe he’s allowed to let someone look after him, and maybe he’s allowed to like it.
He blearily stumbles into the bedroom with Bebe’s arm around his waist, and he steps into a clean pair of boxers and lets her lead him to the bed.
“I didn’t get you off,” he says as she tucks him in, yawning halfway through.
“That’s okay,” she says. “I just wanted to for you.”
“Thank you,” he mumbles, nuzzling down into his pillow.
“It was easy,” she says with a smirk. She leans over and kisses his forehead. “You’re an easy customer, Louis Tomlinson.”
“No, thanks for all of it,” he says. “Sorry I wasn’t very good company.”
“Don’t worry about that,” she says. “You just feel better.”
“Gimme a kiss,” he says, struggling to keep his eyes open. She smiles at him, and then she kisses his forehead, his lips, and then his eyelids once they finally shut.
“Sleep well, honey,” she whispers.
And he falls asleep, and he dreams about things he hasn’t let himself think about in a long, long time.