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How Much My Heart Depends

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Louis listened to the alpha New Yorker on the other line spit out more excuses as to why he couldn’t verify the possibly fraudulent charges on his business account at the moment. Louis tried to keep his patience and all annoyance out of his voice by bouncing a small rubber ball on the floor in front of him, but he wasn’t sure it was working.

“Yes, I understand, sir,” Louis tried to say but the alpha just talked right over him. Louis muted his phone and laid his head down on his desk. Two hours in and already he was ready to go home. Why were so many alphas annoying as shit? Louis took it as his duty to be an exceptional alpha, just because working this job made him realize how many fucking awful ones there really were out in the world. Louis felt bad for omegas that drew their attention simply because of their gender.

Louis allowed himself a soft growl of frustration, cleared his throat, and unmuted his microphone. Apparently the male omega, Harry, that Louis shared a wall with found it at least a little amusing because Louis could hear his giggle. The sound made Louis smile in response.

The alpha finally stopped talking so Louis opened his mouth to explain the options he had to rectify the situation when the dial tone sounded.

“He hung up on me,” Louis said to himself in surprise. “At least give me the pleasure of hanging up on you after listening to you complain for…” Louis checked the number still flashing on his screen, “seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds.”

Louis typed his notes from the call into the system and closed out of it before turning around and tossing the rubber ball into his team lead’s cube.

“Tommo, why can’t you just message me like everyone else? Why do you have to throw shit at me?”

Louis tsked before saying, “You’re the Team Lead now, Niall. You shouldn’t be using language like that.”

“Fuck off, I hate you,” Niall shot back.

Louis started to cackle as the blue and green marbled ball came flying back across the aisle. It hit the desk with such force it immediately bounced to the wall, and then over the adjoining wall making poor Harry gasp in surprise.

“God, I’m sorry!” Louis called over the wall. “That was Niall’s fault.”

“Shut up, Louis or I’m changing your break so you have to wait until twenty minutes before lunch.”

Louis squawked in surprise. “You would not! That’s just cruel!”

Harry chuckled and soon Louis heard his deep voice rumble. Louis couldn’t help but get chills whenever the omega spoke.

“It’s okay,” Harry said before tossing the ball back.

Louis caught the ball and noticed there was a whiff of Harry on it. Louis wished he knew more about him, but he kept quiet and didn’t speak much unless a coworker had a question for him or he was leading a conference call. Louis often forgot he was there unless he could smell him. Like now on his damn rubber ball.

Louis was about to yell a thank you when another call came in. Back to work, then.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Harry sat and continued to knit while he listened to the call he was scoring. He’d been working in quality control for long enough that he knew the points he was listening for and whenever one came up he paused his knitting to make a note of the point, then picked his needles up again.

Harry finished one of his calls and checked the time. It was nearing the end of his shift and he didn’t really want to listen to another call. He closed out of his windows and put away his earbuds before opening up his outline for the conference call he was supposed to run in a couple of days with the Debit Card Fraud Prevention team.

As soon as he’d removed his sound canceling earbuds, he could hear Louis’ voice. He was speaking sternly, which Harry didn’t hear often, so he immediately froze and listened to him.

“Sir, I am asking you one last time to not use that kind of language with me or I will be disconnecting this call.”

Oh shit. Harry could tell he was barely holding himself together and he could only imagine how Louis was being spoken to in order to warrant such a threat. Louis was always patient, even when frustrated or annoyed, so this call must be particularly bad.

Actually, now that Harry was paying attention, he could smell the stress coming off of Louis in droves. What was usually a soft, sweet smell was now slightly sour, causing discomfort to rise in Harry’s belly.

“Okay, well since you did not heed my warnings I am now going to disconnect this call. Thank you for calling Chase Bank.”

Harry listened as Louis slammed a button on his phone and threw his headset down before growling a little. Usually when Louis growled it caused Harry to laugh because it was annoyed but not too much so, and it caused a light chill to race down Harry’s back. This one though caused his every hair to stand on end in fear of the angry alpha.

Sitting stock still so as not to let off any hint that Harry was entirely focused on Louis, Harry remained facing towards the wall where Louis was now typing madly. Soon enough he heard Louis call out to someone that he was going to go for a smoke.

As soon as Louis had left his cubicle, Harry began digging around. There had to be something he had that could help cheer the man up. He’d had a rough day to begin with. From the moment he came in he’d had customers fighting him and it looked like the alpha’s day was only getting worse. Harry wanted to show Louis that at least someone appreciated him.

Unfortunately, Harry didn’t have a single thing in his desk except for an Almond Joy. He didn’t want to give him a chocolate bar like that, it was too dicey. What if Louis was allergic to nuts? Hated coconut? Preferred dark chocolate? No, that wouldn’t work, but maybe…

Harry dug into his jacket pocket and found what he was looking for: two crinkled dollar bills. He smoothed one out and folded it so it would easily be able to be slipped into a pocket or something on Lous’ desk.

Harry glanced around and everyone around him were busy at their desks, so he stood up and walked to the end of his aisle, around the end, and began going down the row of cubicles that belonged to Fraud Hotline. He counted until he was four cubicles down and looked to make sure he was at the right one. There were two names on the tall cubicle walls, but one of them was Louis (Louis Tomlinson, Harry noted), so Harry knew he had the right desk.

As he looked around, he wondered how Louis was one of the lucky ones with tall walls all the way around. Harry envied him. He only had one tall wall and the rest were short, giving him little to no privacy. Harry stepped in and began to worry. What if he put the dollar into the pocket of a jacket that belonged to the other person who used the cubicle when Louis wasn’t here?

Harry glanced over his shoulder and was grateful no one was able to look straight into the cubicle, so he took a quick sniff of the jacket. It released the notes of brown sugar and figs he was used to wafting through the cubicle walls, so Harry knew it definitely belonged to Louis. Feeling more assured of that but nervous that Louis would catch him snooping, Harry quickly shoved the dollar into the pocket and scuttled back to his cubicle.

It was time for Harry to pack up and go home, but he hoped that small deed would help Louis smile and feel a little better.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Louis whined. He did enjoy working the evenings because things calmed down a bit by the end of his shift, but it also meant that he had to wait to have dinner until after nine unless he was going to eat two meals at work (to that he said a resounding fuck no), and by eight he was starving. Today he was starving and exhausted from the seven hours worth of rude customers he’d dealt with. He really needed something to eat.

“Does anyone have snacks of any kind they’d like to share with a poor, starving alpha?” Louis called down the aisle. Jesy threw a middle finger out the entrance to her cube at him and Jade just waved her hand at him. Rude. See if he ever let them have a cigarette when they’ve forgotten theirs again.

“I’ve got some jerky,” Liam offered. He brought out his massive tub and Louis’ eyes widened.

“Holy shit, Liam.” Louis looked up at the kind beta.

When Liam had started with the department several months ago, Louis thought it would chew him up and spit him right out again. The guy just seemed too nice. Apparently that kindness was able to translate to his phone voice, and he had an incredible knack for taking rough calls and turning them around. Because of that, he was already a member of the escalation line. Louis certainly didn’t envy him that, but it did make him wonder why people didn’t respond to his voice in the same way.

“That’s a huge thing of just...dried meat. Can you really eat that all by yourself?”

“Sure,” Liam said with a shrug. “I’ll finish this one over the course of a month or so. Want some?”

Louis looked down and saw it was pepper and teriyaki. That didn’t sound appealing at all. “You know, I think I’m going to pass, but thank you so much for the offer.”

Liam’s eyes almost squinted shut as he gave Louis a big smile, but then he rushed back to his desk at the sound of his phone ringing.

Louis shivered and finally resorted to throwing on his jacket. He always got so cold when they turned the temperatures down at night. Once he’d zipped it up, he shoved his hands into the pocket in the hopes it would warm him up, but his right hand felt something there. If June had been borrowing his jacket again and left something in the pocket, he was seriously going to have to leave her another note. He’d told her he didn’t mind her using his jacket if she got cold, but she really should bring one of her own.

He pulled out what he assumed would be a wrapper or scrap piece of paper with a grocery list on it, but instead it was a dollar bill.

Huh. Louis definitely didn’t put it there, so it probably was June’s. Well, maybe he could use it and pay her back. He’d leave a note for her about it in case it was hers. It would be perfect for grabbing him a package of Combos to tide him over until the end of his shift.

Louis threw his phone into aux and practically skipped down to the vending machine. It was supposed to be able to take cards, but someone had jacked up the card reader within a week of it being installed, so Louis usually had to do without. He could never remember to get cash for the snacks, and really he probably shouldn’t have been spending his money on snacks here anyway. The pepperoni pizza flavored pretzels came out and he immediately opened them and began to snack on his way back to his desk.

Wherever that dollar had come from, it was the best gift he could have gotten on a shit day like this had been.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Harry scrubbed at his eyes. He hadn’t slept well last night, it was getting closer to his heat and he was always restless leading up to it. All he had to do was make it through the rest of his shift today and tomorrow and then he would be off for a week and everything would be fine.

Yeah, off a week for his heat. Always fun fucking himself with a dildo in an attempt to quench his body’s need to be knotted while he didn’t have a partner. Fabulous. Thanks biology.

Harry rolled his eyes at his own inner commentary. He usually didn’t care much either way, but he was obviously tired and hormonal if he was complaining about his own damn heat.

He chose a new call to listen to and grade and tried to soothe himself with his knitting. He had just gotten into the zone when suddenly he heard Louis’ voice above his noise-canceling earbuds and the phone call. What was going on over there?

“Can you hear me now, ma’am?” Louis shouted again. That must have been what Harry had heard before he could pause the call he was working on.

“Ma’am, I’m already talking louder than I should in an attempt for you to hear and understand me,” Louis continued.

Harry turned in confusion towards the shared cubicle wall. It sounded almost like Louis was shouting underneath his desk. Why would he be doing that?

“There is a way to turn up the volume on your phone, ma’am.” Louis had slowed his voice down and was over-enunciating now in addition to yelling and Harry had to physically cover his mouth so he didn’t let out one of his loud, honking laughs. “Yes, on the side of your phone. Or you could try walking somewhere a little more quiet.”

Harry’s shoulders were bouncing as he did his best to withhold his laughter now. Louis seriously got the most ridiculous calls. Harry wished he actually knew the guy so they could laugh about it together.

“Of course you can’t,” Harry heard Louis mutter before immediately yelling, “I said it might be best for you to call us back, Mrs. Martin.”

Harry couldn’t hold his laughter back anymore. A loud cackle burst from him and he was so surprised he folded himself in half to smother his face in his knees and he continued to giggle and gasp for air. Oh my God. He wished he could make these situations and calls up, but there was no way he could do it on his own. And somehow Louis had the luck to get every one of them. It was just too much.

“I hear you over there,” Louis called. Mrs. Martin must have finally given up, because Louis’ voice was coming from above the desk again instead of below. “Don’t think I’m ignoring the fact you’re laughing at my pain.”

Harry erupted into laughter again, but allowed himself to sit up, which did make breathing a bit easier.

“I really am sorry. Were you yelling beneath your desk?”

Harry heard what sounded like Louis blowing a raspberry or something of the sort. That just made Harry chuckle once more.

“Yes, I was. Was trying to be polite. Thought it might stop the sound from traveling quite so far. It probably didn’t work, but it’s the thought that counts.”

Harry hummed in agreement before putting one of his earbuds back in. “Well, thanks for the laugh. I really needed it. And good luck with the rest of your calls today.”

Louis snorted in response before giving a quiet, “Yeah, thanks.”

They remained quiet again after that, so Harry put the other earbud back in and got back to work.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Louis pulled open the overhead storage in his cubicle to grab a packet of tea. He needed something to try to soothe him after the calls he kept getting. He was longing for Mrs. Martin and her lack of a hearing aid after the last few calls he’d taken. What was with people the last few days? Was there a full moon coming or something? It was like everyone had gone a bit crazy and were taking it out on Louis.

Louis grabbed the box of tea and a piece of paper went fluttering down. Louis bent over to pick it up and saw his own wretched handwriting asking June if she’d left the dollar in his pocket. She must have left it by his tea knowing he couldn’t go a shift without making at least one cup.

He flipped the paper over and saw her sprawling cursive. “Not my money, I’ve been doing better with bringing my own jacket! Must be a good samaritan.”

Louis pulled up the team chat that was usually used for when someone had a question about policy and procedures or for planning group orders for meals.

Louis W Tomlinson: Hey, did anyone leave a dollar in my jacket pocket recently?

The few that responded were either quick and simple no’s or asking if they could have someone leave them money as well. Louis was about to shoot back a quick thank you when Niall jumped in.

Niall J Horan: That’s hilarious, Tommo.
Niall J Horan: To think you believe someone around here likes you enough to leave money in your pocket is beyond hysterical

Louis huffed a laugh and left an index finger emoji, knowing that Niall would understand it for the sentiment it was. Soon enough Louis heard Niall’s infections laughter and couldn’t help but smile.

“Ni, I hopped on aux real fast to make my tea,” Louis called as he rushed to the break room. He poured the hot water into his favorite rainbows and puppies mug his younger siblings had painted for him a few years ago then scuttled back to his desk.

Louis set the mug down and got settled in his chair when he noticed his cubicle didn’t smell quite right. It smelled like warm chocolate and something a little spicy, just like Harry. Louis shook his head and put his headset back on. He’d noticed that Harry’s scent was stronger today and little different from what it usually was: heavier on the spices and less like a creamy chocolate mint. It probably meant he was getting close to his heat, and with his scent ramping up, Louis’ cube likely just smelled more like him because of the proximity.

Louis took himself off aux and got back to work. The calls, thankfully, toned down enough that he wasn’t getting anyone yelling at him, though he did continue to get hung up on and cussed at.

“Just another day,” Louis mumbled.

He was freezing, and had been ever since he got back from his lunch break, just like he was every day. He understood the temperature lowered at night, but why was it that it didn’t seem to bother him until he’d eaten something more than a snack?

Louis shrugged on his jacket and was thankful the calls had slowed down again. He zipped it up and went to make himself his last cup of tea for the night. Louis filled the mug with water and bounced on the balls of his feet to try to keep warm. The movement just wasn’t doing enough to help while he waited for the tea to steep, so he stuck his hands in his pockets.

He stopped bouncing immediately, because once again there was something in his pocket. Louis pulled his hand out and found just what he’d suspected: a slightly crinkled one dollar bill. Louis looked at it, confused. Who was leaving him these little gifts?

Louis went ahead and tossed the tea bag into the trash and walked back to his desk, still contemplating who could have given him the money and why. Everyone he knew wouldn’t try to do it secretly, and if they did they would have admitted to it when he asked earlier, but here there was another dollar in his pocket.

He set his tea down and put his headset back on. Louis pulled the dollar bill out and unfolded it to contemplate it a little further. As he did, he caught a slight whiff of a scent he hadn’t caught much of since Harry had gone home a couple of hours ago.

Peeking over his shoulder first to make sure no one was watching, Louis brought the bill up to his nose and took a sniff. He easily detected the rich chocolate notes with a side of the heavy spices that Harry’s scent had been filled with today. Louis could even smell some of the cool mint Harry’s scent often had. That explained why Louis’ cube suddenly smelled stronger of Harry earlier. He must have snuck over and dropped the bill in his pocket at that time.

Why would Harry have given him the money, though? They’d never spoken, not more than the small pieces of communication through their shared cubicle wall. Could he have…? No. Louis physically shook his head in an attempt to shake the possibility from his mind. That would be ridiculous. Right? There was no way Harry’s inner omega would feel compelled to take care of Louis just because he’d had a bad few days.

Louis started thinking back further, though. He sipped at his tea and considered how stroppy he’d been a few days ago because he’d had a fight with his mum and how his scent likely showed how distressed he was. And then he thought about all of the ridiculous and overly difficult calls he’d had the past several days as well. Harry had heard several and responded audibly.

Louis also considered something he hadn’t before. Those calls usually would have had his hands shaking with anger due to how he was being treated, but every time Harry was there snorting in laughter at Louis’ obvious frustration or giggling because Louis was yelling under his desk, he had felt more at ease. Harry had already helped him more than he probably knew, and now, here he was, trying to help Louis smile again.

Louis licked his lips and cleared his throat to answer another call. He couldn’t do anything about it tonight, anyway. Harry was already home. But Louis had to come up with a plan of some sort to say thank you. After all, the tea might have warmed him physically, but knowing Harry was thinking of him enough to give him these small gifts warmed him in a way his tea couldn’t begin to.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Harry put a little smiley face in green marker onto the post-it note and stuck it to the dollar bill. Today he had the foresight to put the money in Louis’ pocket before his shift started so he wouldn’t have to worry about sneaking around without getting caught. As it was, though, their weekly team meeting had run long and he was going to have to rush to get it into Louis’ jacket before he got to work.

Harry didn’t even know why he felt like he needed to keep doing it. Maybe it was because even if Louis didn’t have a bad day, Harry still wanted him to know someone was thinking of him and wishing him well. Maybe it was just because he felt like it was something small he could do to help Louis smile.

Then again, Harry didn’t really know if it was actually helping Louis at all. He hadn’t said anything that Harry had heard regarding the money and Harry assumed Louis hadn’t even found them until after Harry had left for the day, but all the same. At this point he felt like he should do something for Louis, and as of now this was all he could think of.

Harry stood up and rushed over to the next aisle, but stopped at Louis’ cubicle confused. His jacket wasn’t hanging there. What should Harry do instead? Harry looked around and didn’t know what was Louis’, so he just flattened the bill out again and set it down, nudged slightly beneath his keyboard, with the smiley face showing. That would have to do.

Harry was heading back to his cubicle when he saw Nick standing there, arms folded and foot tapping, exuding omega sass. Shit.

“Harry, finally! Where have you been?”

Harry looked at Nick, unimpressed. “You act as if I’ve been gone for longer than a few seconds.”

Nick touched his hair to make sure it was still exactly where he left it. Harry could guarantee it was, but that wouldn’t stop Nick from worrying over it.

“Long enough. Now, you have yet to tell me whether you’re joining us tonight for Logan’s birthday party. I know you are, so who’s your date going to be?”

Harry scoffed and shoved past Nick into his cubicle. “What if I don’t want to go? It is awfully close to my heat, Nick, and who would I bring as my date anyway?”

Nick waved his hand around. “Oh, please. Harry, I know you using your heat as an excuse just means you don’t have anything better. I also know your heat schedule, good friend that I am, and you’ll be plenty safe going out tonight. I think the real reason you’re begging off is because you don’t have a date.”

Nick tilted his head with a knowing look on his face. He always could read Harry better than Harry liked.

“Honestly, Nick. I wouldn’t mind going, but why is a date required?”

“Because I deem it so! It’s been far too long since you’ve gone out, young Styles.”

Harry leaned against his desk and pouted before realizing what all this meant for Nick. “Wait. Who’s your date, then?”

“Pixie, naturally.”

“Pixie?!” Harry asked, louder than he should have considering all the people trying to work in close proximity. “You don’t even like girls!”

“Don’t let Pixie hear that!” Nick cried, smacking Harry in the arm. “And I love Pixie. How very dare you.”

Harry rolled his eyes. “Yeah, sure. Invite me to your wedding.”

“Seriously, Harry,” Nick said. He was getting slightly annoyed with Harry’s strong stance and his scent was showing it. It was getting stronger as he seemed to pulse with the wish that Harry would just agree with him and do as he asked. “Do like the rest of us, and ask the first sexy alpha you run into. It doesn’t need to be someone you’re serious with. It’s Logan. He’ll be so pissed after an hour that he won’t remember anything anyway.”

“Sure, Nick. So I should just walk to the break room, find the first alpha that doesn’t scent as bonded and tell him he’s my date for tonight?”

Suddenly a familiar voice sounded from just outside his cubicle. “I mean, I’d rather you not scent me like that, quite rude, isn’t it? But sure. I’ll be your date tonight.”

Harry stood up and knocked over his essential oil diffuser he used to help him focus. What was Louis doing outside his cubicle? Harry’s eyes darted to where it had to be Louis standing. He was shorter than Harry had envisioned, cheeks still flushed from the cold air outside and a soft fringe peeking out from beneath his beanie. He smelled of fresh pine and sandalwood and winter berries. Harry’s knees might give out at actually seeing him.

“Hi,” Louis said, holding his hand out to Harry. “Nice to meet you officially. I’m Louis, from the other side of our shared wall.”

Harry blinked and held out his hand as well. “I’m Harry.”

“Yes, grand!” Nick said, clapping his hands together and backing away. “So Louis will be joining us then? Great, I’ll let Logan know. See you later, Lewis.”

Harry turned to look at Nick in shock. Why was he leaving? He had gotten Harry into this mess, and he wasn’t sticking around to help Harry out of it? As Harry’s eyes met Nick’s, though, he knew Nick would be of no help. His eyes were gleaming in smug satisfaction of getting his way.

Only then did Harry realize he still had a strong grip on Louis’ hand. He dropped it quickly and wiped his sweaty hand against his jeans. He hoped Louis couldn’t smell his nerves, but he knew with his heat being so close that Louis could probably smell every emotion Harry was going through.

“Do you really need a date tonight? I was mostly joking, but I really am willing if you don’t mind waiting until my shift ends at nine.”

Harry blinked. “You’d do that for me? You’ve never even met me before.” Harry flushed. “I mean, other than chatting through the wall.”

Louis gave Harry a soft smile, and his self assuredness soothed Harry instantly. How was he able to do that? Most alphas couldn’t help omegas calm down unless they were family or bonded.

“See, I keep finding these small gifts,” Louis said as he pulled the dollar bill Harry had just left on his desk from his pocket. “And I’m not really sure how you knew I needed the kindness or why you left me the cash in the first place, but finding them the past couple of days did help me smile. I’d really like to return the favor, if I could.”

Harry could feel himself blushing. “Well. As long as you don’t mind Nick being his interfering self-”

“I resent that!” Nick called from a few cubicles down.

“-then I would love to have you be my date tonight.”

Louis pursed, but Harry could still detect a small smile. His inner omega was practically purring at having an alpha’s attention on him like this. Not just any alpha, but Louis specifically. Louis, who was always so patient and kind, doing his best to take care of every caller. Louis, who had a great laugh, an emotive voice, and smelled amazing. Louis, whose natural alpha stance paired with his bright blue eyes had Harry feeling like maybe his heat could start a little early. God, Harry could already tell he was going to have a great time tonight.

“It’s a date, then.” Louis’ eyes darted to the side where Harry knew his nameplate was. “Well, Harry Styles, may I have your number?”

Louis held his phone out and Harry took it happily.

There was no way Harry was going to be able to focus on work for the rest of his shift.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Louis stood in front of Harry’s apartment door and looked over his outfit one more time. He’d decided to go with his tightest jeans, and a striped sweater that showed off his collarbones paired with a leather jacket. It was only the second time he was actually meeting Harry, and as much as he felt like they got alone, he did want to impress Harry.

He flipped his fringe and sniffed at his wrist. He hoped he wasn’t giving off too many pheromones. He didn’t want Harry to think he was a completely possessive alpha or anything, but he was quite excited for the date.

Louis finally squared his shoulders and raised his hand to knock when Harry opened the door.

“What had you waiting so long?” Harry asked, folding his arms and popping his hip. “I kept waiting for you to knock, but you just stared at the door and messed with your outfit.”

Louis’ eyes widened. He’d been caught and he was slightly humiliated. He could feel his cheeks warming as Harry gave him a once over.

Harry’s cheeks also pinkened when he added on, “You look quite nice, by the way.

“Thank you,” Louis finally spit out before he asked, “How did you know I was even here?”

Harry shuffled a little bit and ducked his head, a smile still staying enough to keep his dimples in sight. Louis was quickly finding he adored them and wanted them to always be present.

“I...may have been watching the parking lot.”

Louis raised his eyebrows in surprise before laughing. “Well, at least I know I’m not the only one excited for tonight. You ready to go?”

Harry nodded and grabbed a jacket that was hanging on the back of a chair before closing and locking the door behind him.

“Thanks again for doing this,” Harry said as they made their way to where Louis parked. “Nick wasn’t going to let up and I was preparing for a near brawl before you showed up.”

Louis took a deep breath and tried not to bask too long in Harry’s natural scent. It was just so all encompassing, Louis wanted to wrap Harry up and keep him all to himself so he could see what he would smell like when combined with Louis’ own scent.

Shit. Louis needed to stop that kind of thinking because it wasn’t right and it was crossing all kinds of boundaries. Scent marking was not something to think about on a first date.

Louis cleared his throat and opened the door for Harry. “I’m glad I showed up when I did. I was going to ask you out after confronting you about the money anyway, but this just helped push up the timing a little bit.”

Harry smiled and Louis smelled something in Harry’s scent he’d never caught before. It was more than just a happy and content omega, it was a pleased omega. God, tonight was going to be difficult and fantastic, all at the same time.

“Let’s get to the party. The sooner we can get there, the sooner we can leave,” Harry said.

Louis closed the door behind him and rushed around the car. If he could get Harry’s attention all to himself, he wanted it sooner rather than later.

 

*~~***~~*

 

Harry slowly woke up and immediately kicked his feet out from under the covers. He didn’t usually wake up hot, but it must be his heat coming on.

As soon as that thought passed through his head, Harry felt an arm tighten around his waist and a nose press into his neck.

Oh. Right.

Harry smiled a little and snuggled back into Louis’ embrace. Last night had been incredible. Louis was just as amazing as Harry had come to believe, always the gentleman and treating Harry with respect the entire night.

Well. Maybe not the entire night.

“You awake?”

Louis’ voice was rough, and Harry’s inner omega practically purred hearing it. His bed smelled of the both of them, and Harry knew there was no chance he would be able to get rid of Louis’ scent before his heat. Not that he wanted to, but that left only one option if Harry wanted to feel any relief in the coming days.

Harry rolled over so he was facing Louis and curled into his chest. Leaving a small kiss on Louis’ shoulder, Harry quietly asked the question he was hopeful yet afraid to ask.

“Will you help me through my heat?”

Louis’ breath hitched, but immediately his pheromones ramped up and Harry knew it would be a yes. He could feel the beginning waves of heat and discomfort roll through him, so he drew himself even closer to Louis and nuzzled into his neck, doing anything he possibly could to surround himself completely with Louis’ scent.

Louis tightened his arms around Harry as he said, “Are you sure? I mean, I’d love to, but I want to make sure you’re completely in control when you ask and that I’m not going to be taking advantage or anything-”

Harry cut him off with a quick nip to his neck and chuckled at Louis’ yelp of surprise. He pulled back and looked Louis in the eye as he said, “Did it seem like you were taking advantage of me last night?”

Louis blinked and said, “Well, no, but-”

“Louis, my heat is only just starting. I’m in completely control still, and I am asking if you’d like to stay with me.”

A wide grin spread across the alpha’s face. “Okay. Yeah, of course I will.”

Harry leaned in for a kiss and hummed in pleasure when Louis immediately deepened it, morning breath be damned.

If this was what Harry got for giving spare change to the kind alpha in the neighboring cubicle, Harry was going to have to make sure he always had money for a candy bar. And maybe a post-it note for a smiley face to include with it. He could already tell here was no way he wanted to lose Louis.