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What I Do For A Living

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“Oh dear, I hope we haven’t interrupted.”

 

The man in the doorway is holding a cigarette between his fingers, taking a puff and blowing the smoke into the restaurant. Not another soul has spoken since he has. Instead, nearly the entire family had moved their hands to their belts, hiding various weapons. Precautionary, of course.

 

The curly-haired man chuckles as he watches the family reach for their weapons, holding up his hands in defense, cigarette still breathing between his long fingers.

 

“Relax, relax, not here to cause any trouble, now, can’t a man just get a bite to eat?” He asks to nobody, innocently, moving the cancer stick back between his lips and letting it rest there.

 

Louis is stunned by the man in the doorway. It’s him, it’s one of the Styles. From church, one of the men he couldn’t help but stare at. The others are behind him as well, Louis assumes they are his coworkers. Behind the line of men are people who look like Harry, similar porcelain skin with light eyes and chestnut hair. Nico mistakes this awe for fear and sets down his glass violently, sloshing the red liquid onto the ivory tablecloth.

 

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing here, Styles, ain’t nobody welcome here but us, you ingrate.” Nico spits at him, his pistol pointed right at the young bloke’s head. Louis squirms uncomfortably in his chair, hoping and praying that Nico wouldn’t dare pull the trigger.

 

The beautiful man takes off his flat cap, revealing a mess of curls that seemed anything but professional. Louis was all the more intrigued. The mysterious man chuckles again under his breath, seeming unnerved by the fact that the barrel of a gun was pointed right at his cranium. He puts the cigarette out against a plant by the door, leaving it there to die.

 

“Nico, dear, would you put the weapon down? You’re scaring your boy over there,” the man takes a glance at Louis, looking at him for a bit longer than he should have. It was his first time getting a proper look at him. Nico loved to shack the boy up, hiding him away from everyone.

 

“Don’t fucking look at him, you prick. And it’s fucking Don de la Costa to you.” Nico’s skin is glowing red with anger. How dare this bastard step foot in this restaurant, his fucking restaurant on the Holy day. Some fucking nerve.

 

“You seem to have forgotten that I’m married, dear Nico, I’m not here to steal your husband away” the green-eyed man states, holding his hand up to reveal a golden wedding band on his hand. It glimmers in the light. “And I thought you would have learned by now I will never show you that kind of respect. I am not of your heritage, nor do I care so much as to give a damn about what they call you in Italia, so I’ll call you by your name, thank you very much.” He smirks matter-of-factly.

 

Louis can’t believe Nico hasn’t blown his fucking head off yet.

 

The man takes a step forward while the rest of his crew stays back, hands in their waistcoats. Louis guesses that they too are armed, though he can’t imagine why all of these people would need guns in the streets of Manchester.

 

“I thought we could all share a meal together today, Costa,” he pulls out another cigarette, setting it aglow between his lips. “Can’t we eat side by side, be civil, we’re so well behaved in the chapel, why don’t we carry that over to this lovely restaurant, ah?” the man proposes to Nico, walking closer to him with that shit-eating smile on his face. Nico has yet to put the weapon down, nor has the rest of the family. Louis and Suzanna just look to each other, fear in the poor boy’s eyes. He just doesn’t want anyone to get hurt.  “Wouldn’t want to cause a scene, now, would we?”

 

Nico knows that the Styles family is bigger than his own. If a gun war were to break out in this restaurant right now, they would all be shot dead. The Italian man slowly puts his gun away, as does the rest of the company. At that moment, the rest of the Styles clan enters the restaurant, intermingling with the Costas as they tried to find seats.

 

The curly-haired man pulls up a chair in between Louis and Suzanna. His husband growls beside him, roughly snatching Louis’s hand into his own.  The pale man laughs, ignoring Nico for the time being.

 

“Is it alright if I sit here… Louis, is it? Right, yes, well, if you would like me to sit somewhere else, I will happily oblige.” The young man smiles at the younger boy, “Nico, I won’t remind you again, I simply want to properly meet your lovely boy.”

 

Louis glances at his husband, who takes the time to lean in and whisper into his ear.

 

“If he so much as touches you in any way that you don’t like, you let me know, I’ll blow his fucking brains out, baby.” Nico grunts into his ear before letting him turn back to the nice man. He spoke so kindly to him and they had never even met. He didn’t understand why Nico despised him so much.

 

“I-It’s alright, yeah, of course, have a seat.” He responds quietly, smiling up into his emerald orbs. My God, he was even prettier up close. Louis suddenly felt inferior, what with this gentleman’s pearly whites, beautiful skin, and such wonderful manners. His hair was longer than most women he knew, but it suited him so well.

 

“Louis, so wonderful to finally meet you. Congratulations on your marriage,” he sits down in the chair he has pulled beside Louis, pausing to glance at Nico who is already preoccupied with his brothers once again, “So wonderful, really, seeing two people who love each other tie the knot.” he grins, helping himself to the wine on the table. Louis senses sarcasm in his statement, but brushes it aside. Everyone else around them stiffens at the man’s apparent comfort. “I’m Harold, by the way, you can call me Harry though, love.”

 

Louis smiles sweetly at him. He finally has a name to the face. Harry. It fit him well, he thought. His voice was a breath of warm, fresh air, light and sweet and filled with excitement on every syllable. It had been what felt like decades since he had last heard his own accent spoken back to him, what with Nico being from the States.

 

“Harry, lovely to meet you,” he replies quietly, blushing when Harry picks up his hand, placing the tanned one between his own porcelain ones. Louis feels his heart pick up pace and the room is suddenly ten degrees hotter. Why he’s getting so nervous, Louis doesn’t know but he can’t stop his reactions. He notes the golden wedding band again. “Congratulations t-to you as well on your, y-you know, your marriage as well. Quite lovely.”

 

Harry chuckles, amused with the cute boy. He reminded Harry of a small child, unsure of himself and what to do in certain social situations. It only seemed fair, since this was one of the few times he had gotten the chance to interact with Nico’s husband. “Thank you, love, four years strong.” He leans in just a tad closer to Louis, Louis’s eyes widening slightly. “No need to be afraid of me, dear, I don’t bite much.”

 

Louis stares back at the beautiful man, unsure of what to say next. He was easily intimidated, and, from the look of his outfit and his bejeweled fingers, Harry must be important. Maybe he was the boss of his company, too.

 

“So, um, where is your wife, if you don’t mind me asking?”

 

Harry bursts into hysterical laughter, silencing the other conversations occurring around them. He eventually calms down, wiping the tears from his eyes. Louis is startled, trying to figure out if he said something funny.

 

“My wife? Oh Louis, darling, I haven’t been with a woman since I was maybe twelve!” he starts to laugh loudly again, nearly falling out of his chair before finding his composure again. When he sees that Louis doesn’t understand what he’s saying, he gives him that same stupid grin as he lowers his voice. He adjusts his tie, crossing one leg over the other. “I’m gay, love, as gay as they come. My husband is away on business in Birmingham. Small Heath, doing some negotiations, if you will.”

 

“Oh, um, I’m sorry, I-I didn’t mean any disrespect, sir-“

 

SIR?!” Harry falls into another laughing fit, this time reaching for his wine glass and taking a large gulp on his laughing has subsided. “Love, please, I don’t think anything of it. You didn’t know, and please, for the love of Our Lord, just call me Harry!” he assures him, this time placing a loving hand on his knee. In the short time Harry has spoken to the boy, he is growing increasingly fond of him.

 

Nico has been watching their encounter quietly, rage flaring inside him when he sees that Styles is still holding his husband’s hand and is being seemingly flirtatious with his boy. Once his hand touches his knee, the older man decides that he’s had enough.

 

“C’mon, Louis, we’re going.” Nico snaps, grabbing Louis by the arm and practically ripping him out of his seat.

 

“Nico, dear, we were just having a nice conversation, what’s the rush-“

 

“Cut the shit, Styles, find somewhere else for lunch next time or I’ll smear your brains all over this goddamn place.”

 

Harry sighs, running a hand through his locks, unbothered by his death threat. “I’m sure you won’t, love, but I’ll take note. Louis, it was lovely meeting you, we should do it again sometime.” He sends a wink Louis’s way to purposely piss of Nico, the other man’s head about to damn near burst.

 

Louis shakes under his husband’s grip, watching the scene unfold between Nico and Harry. He doesn’t understand why Nico has to speak like that to Harry when the other is so composed.

 

He can feel the bruise already forming from the pressure of his husband’s fingers. The couple scurries into their black Buick, back to their home. For the rest of the day, Louis is unable to rid his mind of the chestnut curls and emerald eyes.