Darkness shadowed over the sleeping city, the only light coming from the dimly lit street lamps. Harsh winds blew between buildings, nipping at the noses belonging to the nightlife of London. Though most of the city was sleeping, there were still people lurking in the back alleys. Most people were afraid to go anywhere near them.
Those people thrived in the night time, knowing that during the day they had shadows, however when it came to nightlife, they themselves were the shadows. Shadowing someone else wasn't hard, Louis knew, he'd been doing it all his life. He himself was a night lurker, fitting in perfectly with the nighttime community.
A cigarette hung between his chapped lips as he walked down an empty alleyway, seeing a stray cat eating out of a bin. Sometimes he felt as though his life was a movie, seeing the cliches that fit with everything he did.
However, he remembered that those movies have a happy ending and honestly, as much as he hated to think about it, the possibility of him being gifted a somewhat satisfying ending was about as likely as pigs flying.
So instead, he let out an exasperated puff of smoke, the grey cloud traveling through the cold, night air before easing its way up a man’s nose. Sensing a new presence, the man snapped his head sideways, a frightened look appearing on his worn out, wrinkled face.
Just looking at him you could tell he was a drug addict, from the bloodshot eyes to the quivering lips, the ragged breathing and overall look of exhaustion. Desperation radiated off him, hitting Louis with a wave of panic and restlessness.
Smirking, Louis cleared his throat before simply saying, “Styles.” The name rolled off his tongue smoothly as if he'd rehearsed everything he'd say to the man to make every cog in his mind turn the completely wrong way.
It was such a simple thing to say but it had the man swallowing the growing lump in his throat anyway, knowing he had to keep his calm as much as he could but it was nearly impossible when he was desperate for the one thing he needed badly.
“Where is it? I-I need it.” Though it was a question, it came out as more of a statement, a demand almost and immediately Louis felt the beginning stages of anger bubbling in his stomach. Des watched as Louis took the smoke out of his mouth, letting it go.
After the cigarette, he was smoking fell to the ground, the younger man stomped on it with his foot, the crushing sound bouncing off the walls on either side of them. With a harsh gaze directed straight at Des, Louis rubbed his fingers together.
“I need my money, Styles. Money first,” He took a step closer, and he half expected Des to take a step back but he didn't, he stood his ground. Admittedly he appreciated the courage he had, but still, Louis had the power. “You know how this works.”
“I-I don't have it. I'm broke but… but I can get it soon I know I can, please just… just give it to me,” Des begged, stuttering and struggling to get his words out.
Calloused hands grabbed Louis’ crisp, white shirt desperately and with a roll of his blue eyes, he signaled his two bodyguards to take Des away from him. Tutting, he brushed his shirt down lightly with his hands, not wanting a trace of the man on his clothes because the shirt alone probably cost more than the addict’s house.
“Wallet,” Louis commanded casually, knowing his men would do whatever he pleased.
A loud groan could be heard from the ground where the guards had thrown Des and once again, he rolled his eyes. The street light near them flickered momentarily before completely going out, leaving them in almost complete darkness. That only made Des more afraid. Even grown men were afraid of the dark. What lurked in the shadows What hid behind buildings and frightened by what lived only to hunt down sad, helpless people like himself.
The smaller guard (Louis always failed to remember their names) pulled the black wallet from Des’ pocket. It was tattered and worn out, just like its owner. A look of disgust appeared on his stone cold features. He caught the wallet with no problem, opening it with ease since the button that once held it shut was no longer there and instead, in its place, was a hole.
What he was looking for wasn't inside the wallet. The man was well and truly broke, at least he wasn't a liar. He was still a desperate loser, but no liar. What he was looking for was money, which unfortunately for him wasn't there, but instead he found something better, possibly priceless.
Probably worth more to Des than money could buy.
Carefully, he took out the picture from the wallet, carelessly dropping the wallet on the floor afterward and Des watched as it landed on the ground with a thud. He wanted to cry when he saw what Louis was holding, and he did. He did cry because he was helpless and desperate and angry at himself because that was the worst and last thing Des wanted Louis to find in his wallet.
On the flimsy piece of paper was a photograph of what looked to be two teenagers. The right side showed a girl, with brown hair and mossy green eyes that emitted happiness and love. Her smile was warm and a deep dimple created a dent in her cheek. Though she was beautiful, it was the boy that captured his attention. He had the same smile and same deep dimples, but his eyes were like emeralds, they were greener and brighter and more enticing. Louis could've stared into them all night.
Curly, brown locks framed his face like it was a piece of art, a masterpiece painted by Van Gogh himself and they fell to his broad shoulders that Louis could imagine himself kissing, creating bruises that would last for days.
Then, Louis’ blue eyes fell to the boy’s lips. Oh, how plump and pink they were, how swollen he could see them getting after they kissed over, and over, and over again because of this boy… This precious boy was irresistible.
Subconsciously, he licked his frostbitten lips.
“Who's the angel?” Louis asked, failing to take his eyes away from the photograph.
“That's my daughter—”
“No,” Louis paused, brushing his fingers over the boy in the picture, “No, I mean the boy.”
“That's… that’s my son,” Des replied with caution, but you could hear it in his voice: the care, the fondness, the love . It was there and it was something that Louis assumed Des was incapable of feeling because his life was a mess, a complete disaster. This boy… his beautiful son, was most likely the only source of happiness he had in his life. To think Des had a family was absurd, but Louis didn't like it. Why should this failure have a family? It wasn't fair.
“What's his name?” Louis questioned though he meant it as a demand, needing the information almost as desperately as Des needed the drugs. He and his children were close or, at least, they used to be before he became a fuck up. It was inevitable that his addiction would cause them to grow apart but he loved them more than anything.
However, Louis just couldn't believe that Des was the father of this boy that didn't look human, he liked handcrafted by the gods and Louis wasn't religious but he thanked the lord for creating such a beautiful, gorgeous boy. Des answered then, interrupting Louis’ wandering thoughts, “Harry.”
“Throw him out,” Louis ordered and watched as the man was lifted from the ground, the grip on him tight and probably painful. Something told him to feel pity for Des but honestly, all he felt was pity for his family because they had that pathetic excuse of a father, “And don't come back, Des, you have nothing left anyway.”
“W-What about my drugs?” He meekly asked.
Louis rolled his eyes, “I have better things to think about.” Like Harry. Then, he walked away back into the darkness, into the shadows where he thrived, where he lurked and where he would think of Harry Styles, someone he so desperately wanted.
“Order two-three-four,” Harry read aloud to the quiet, quaint cafe. He smiled when a woman came to the counter to collect her coffee, her blonde hair tied neatly into a bun and a grin also gracing her lips which were coated with a thin layer of shiny gloss. After she paid for her drink, she left with a small wave and Harry tapped his fingers on the desk to the rhythm of the song playing quietly in the background.
Hearing the bell ring, Harry’s eyes darted towards the door and saw a petite man stroll into the cafe, yet he was clearly older than Harry by a few years. He was greeted with kind, soft-eyed and a kind, soft smile that made Harry want to be extra kind and soft in return.
Crinkles formed around his eyes when his lips curved upwards and suddenly Harry's heartbeat was becoming fast and he didn't know why, “Um, hi,” he sent a shy smile towards the man, “what can I get you?” He asked routinely.
The gorgeous man hums gently as he looks at the menu above Harry's head. Louis couldn't help but notice how much more beautiful the boy was in person. He couldn't help but think about wanting to run his fingers through his unruly, but still perfect loose mahogany brown ringlets and wanting to kiss his pink lips and wanting to push him against the counter and—
“Uh, can I get a Yorkshire tea and a hot chocolate for you?” Harry laughed quietly at Louis’ request, a faint blush appearing on his cheeks, accentuating his cherubic features that Louis adored.
“No, you can have a Yorkshire tea and can I get your name? I know it's not Starbucks but my boss thinks it'll attract more sales,” Harry explained sheepishly.
Louis uncontrollably grinned as he replied.