PART THREE: Unused
Harry strides over to the closet in the guest room of his best friend’s house and lays out the clothing he’s chosen by committee to wear tonight. He quickly shuts the closet door, hoping he won’t lose his shit and start rummaging through it for something better. He wishes Annie wasn’t out of town for work, but he can’t call her yet. He’s reserving that for the last minute when he needs a pep talk.
He heads into the shower and starts mentally preparing himself for a date with the absolute most gorgeous man he’s ever seen. And that’s saying something considering he’s been a successful actor for nearly a decade. As he washes shampoo out of his hair, he laughs a bit to himself at what eighteen year old Harry would have thought of finally being out and going on a date with a world famous professional athlete. Eighteen year old Harry had been terrified of being outed back when he was known as a teen heartthrob.
He has another moment of gratitude for what Dunkirk had given him, a passion project and the courage to let go of the image that had been created for him. He frowns though as he soaps up his body. It hadn’t really changed everything though, just what he felt about himself. If he’s being honest, he still feels pigeon holed into roles he doesn’t love, which explains why he’s holed up in Malibu and not answering calls from his agent.
He rinses himself clean with these thoughts still on his mind. At least Malibu has brought him time with his best friend, which has been severely lacking the last few years, and it’s unexpectedly brought Louis Tomlinson across his path.
He turns off the water, but his mind has wandered back to Louis. And with that, the memory of Louis’ lips pressed to his own and the way Louis’ body felt against him. Louis’ fingers caressing his face. Fuck. He better just take care of this before the date.
He lets his fingers grip himself, relieving some of the pressure that has built up without him really realizing it. He slides his grasp up and down quickly letting his mind flit through fantasies of getting on his knees for him. He wants to watch Louis’ face as he takes him in his mouth. Fuck, he wants a taste. It doesn’t take long before he’s coming into his hand with Louis’ name echoing a bit against the tiles.
He turns the shower back on to clean himself up, a bit chagrined, but really it was probably a good idea to get off before he goes on the date. He’s glad for the moment that Annie isn’t here to hear him jerking off and calling out Louis’ name.
He towels off and walks out into the bedroom to finish getting ready when he hears a guitar. It oddly sounds close enough to be coming from inside the house, which is a little unnerving. Did Niall break in? He quickly wraps a towel around his bottom half and walks into the open living area, but no one is in there that he can tell. He can still hear a guitar though, and then he spots him out on Annie’s deck, playing his guitar and looking out at the Malibu beach before him.
What the fuck. Harry slides open Annie’s door. “Niall, what the fuck are you doing?”
Niall glances up as though Harry’s disturbing him. “Just playing a tune I’m working on. What are you doing?”
“You do realize you’re not on your own deck, right?”
Niall snorts. “Of course, I’m not. Can’t get shite done over there. My cousins keep taking photos of me half dressed and selling them to fans on twitter.”
Harry’s mouth hangs open. “They’re what?”
“I just said, mate. They’re selling photos of me on twitter. Don’t worry, my manager says it’s great and apparently I’m trending right now. Hashtag take-your-shirt-off-Niall.” Niall shrugs. “But I better ship them home before they start selling off everything in my house. They keep telling me to touch things to make them more valuable.”
Harry flops down into a chair opposite him. “Yeah, I think it’s time you sent them home.”
“Yep. In the meantime I’m gonna just play my guitar out on your deck if you don’t mind.” Niall suddenly gives him a knowing look. “I’d like to hear what you think of this one actually. It’s new.”
Niall croons softly as he plays the song, glancing up occasionally to gauge his reaction. Harry leans back and just listens. He’s not catching every word of it yet, but it’s very hopeful and catchy and stirs something deep in his gut that he hasn’t felt in quite some time.
By the end of the song, he’s humming along, and his fingers drum on his thighs. When Niall comes to a stop, they stare at each other for a beat too long. Niall’s probably just curious for his thoughts or looking for a bit of praise because surely he knows how special the song is, but Harry feels a part of himself that has stayed dormant for years push to the surface. He has a strange moment of wonder that he brought his guitar with him to Annie’s when he left basically everything else he owns back at his house in Beverly Hills. It’s strange really that he brought something he hasn’t played in years, and yet here he is listening to Niall’s new song and yearning to go grab it and play along.
“Great, ain’t it? Got me a new songwriter helping out. He’s my secret weapon.”
“Well, it’s lovely really. Makes me want to play again.”
Niall sits bolt upright in the lounge chair. “You been holding out on me, mate? Whatcha play?”
Harry feels the heat rise in his cheeks. “Just guitar. A bit. Haven’t played in a while. But your song--it’s really inspiring.”
“Well, we’ll have to play together sometime! But for now you should probably get dressed. I told Annie I’d come keep you from a nervous breakdown.”
Harry opens his mouth to protest, but then realizes it’s probably for the best that he not have too much time to think about his date. He wanders into the guest room, which has begun to simply feel like his room after living in it for weeks now and picks up the black tuxedo pants he’s laid out on the bed. He buttons up a white dress shirt and shrugs on a mint green jacket. He runs some product through his hair and spritzes a bit of cologne before brushing his teeth. He gives himself a thorough look over before he heads back out to the kitchen to find Niall watching Friends on Annie’s television and eating Pringles out of the can. Harry didn’t even realize they had Pringles.
Niall turns to see him and lets out a wolf whistle. “Very nice, Harry! Definitely trying to pull, aren’t you? Bringing out the movie star thing full force.”
“Just going on a date.”
“Sure you are. Just a date.” Niall waggles his eyebrows. “That’s why you dressed up like you’re going to a premiere and have an enormous flower arrangement on the kitchen table and have reservations at Olivier’s.”
“Oh, shut up.”
“Annie says you showed up there yourself to make the reservations because you didn’t want to call anyone to do it for you.”
“Bit much is all. For just a date, anyway.” Niall stands up, brushing the Pringles crumbs off of himself. “Anyway, you got five minutes now, so hopefully, you’ll be good until it’s time to go. Already had a wank, I hope?”
“That’s what I thought. Good that you thought of it earlier. Best of luck, mate!”
Harry watches him go and hopes that he’s not going as overboard as Niall just implied. Too late now.
When Louis opens the door, he tries to reign in his reaction to Harry looking like a movie star on his doorstep. He supposes that makes sense, seeing as how Harry is in fact a movie star. He’s going on a date with a movie star. California is really fucking weird.
He smiles, takes the enormous white flower arrangement, and swings the door wider to let Harry in, but he seems frozen in place. His mouth actually hangs open a bit. He would wave his hand in front of Harry’s face if that wasn’t rude. Harry seems to snap to at that moment, and then a sheepish look crosses his face.
“Sorry, it’s just--I didn’t mean to--” Harry falters, running a hand through his hair before he clears his throat. “You look amazing, Louis.”
Louis honestly had had no idea where Harry was going with that, so he’s rather pleased it ended in a compliment for him. He glances down at his tight jeans and suede jacket and feels a bit underdressed.
“We didn’t say where we were going. Feel like I might be dressed a bit down for wherever you’re taking me,” he says as he sets the flowers on a side table. “Thanks for the flowers. Don’t think anyone’s ever brought me flowers, and now you’ve brought them twice.”
Harry’s still staring at him. Louis isn’t even sure he’s blinked.
“What? No! Don’t change. If anything, I’m too dressed up. We’re going to Olivier’s. It’s not that far from here, right on the water. Great views. It’s nice--but please, please don’t change--anything. You look--” Harry suddenly cuts himself off and bites his lower lip as he steps into the house and closes the door behind him. “Sorry, just was rambling a bit. I already said you look beautiful, didn’t I?”
Louis pretends to think about it. “Pretty sure you said I looked amazing, but I’ll take beautiful as well. Not used to people saying that really.”
Harry looks a bit incredulous at this. “Are you joking? Well, you stay in California and you’ll grow used to hearing it. What’s wrong with British people that they aren’t all telling you how gorgeous you are? And why aren’t people bringing you flowers?”
Louis’ eyebrow quirks up. “Gorgeous now, too?”
Harry’s eyes finally drop to the floor. “My mouth to brain filter seems to be nonexistent when you’re in the room.”
“Can’t say I really mind your lack of filter when it’s all in my favour like this. But back home, I’m mostly known for my skills.”
Harry’s eyes jump back up to his own, open wide. “Skills?”
Louis lets a laugh bubble up. “Football skills. Keep your mind out of the gutter, Styles.”
Harry slaps a hand across his mouth as though to keep anything else from coming out of it. “Maybe we should go before I can put my foot any further into my mouth.”
Louis grabs his wallet and stuffs it into his back pocket before leading Harry back out of the house and towards a shiny, black Range Rover that’s currently parked in front of his garage. He hears an odd, strangled noise behind him and calls out over his shoulder, “Stop checking out my bum.”
“No--I wasn’t--er--that is--it’s not what--” Harry splutters as he climbs into the driver’s side of the SUV.
Louis gives him a look.
“Fine. I totally was.”
“It’s fine. I didn’t wear tight trousers for nothing.”
Harry lets out a loud bark. “Well, I’ll happily look my fill tonight then.”
“So tell me about this Olivier’s place. I assume you haven’t fooled me into going to eat sushi.”
Harry smiles. “No, not sushi. But I’ll remember not to take you out for sushi now. There’s a lot of seafood on the menu, but also some steaks and other dishes, too. I’m quite partial to the scallops myself.”
Louis crinkles his nose. “No thanks.”
When they arrive at the restaurant, the valet takes the Range Rover, and Louis instinctively places his hand at the small of Harry’s back as they walk into the restaurant. He feels Harry relax a bit, his body sinking back into his touch, and Louis can’t help but note how responsive Harry is to him.
As soon as the staff catch sight of Harry, they’re whisked away to their seat out on a long balcony over the ocean. The light has grown dim and small candles have been lit on the tables. It’s clearly meant to be a romantic spot. Harry’s staring at him again, so he offers a smile that only makes Harry’s eyes widen.
The conversation flows over them in gentle waves. Topics bloom on the surface and meander forward like the tides. And then he asks Harry about his career, and for the first time all night, tension appears on his handsome face. Louis is instantly sorry he brought it up.
“We don’t have to talk about--”
Harry waves his hand around. “No, it’s okay. I’ve been hiding out a bit from it is all, which I suppose is obvious at this point, what with you living next door to Annie. I’m clearly not working right now.”
“Ehm--yeah, I noticed,” Louis says with a small smile.
Harry stares out over the darkened sky for a moment as though gathering his thoughts. “I don’t love the way my career has been going lately, which I know seems weird since everyone else thinks it’s going fantastic. Making everyone money after all. My face plastered all over billboards and magazines and Instagram.”
“Well, I think you can probably blame Niall’s cousins for Instagram.”
Harry’s eyes sparkle a bit in the candlelight as he turns a breathtaking sideways smile at him. Louis gulps a bit at as the look on his face sends a zip of sensation down his spine.
“Yeah, I could probably blame them for that. Did you know they’ve been selling half naked photos of Niall on twitter?”
They both laugh for a moment before a more serious look comes over Harry’s face.
“I just want to do something I’m passionate about again. And not just whatever will keep me famous and making money. I don’t really need more of either of those things,” Harry says and then a look of irritation crosses his face. “Right on cue.”
“Someone is taking our picture.” Harry shrugs and looks down at what’s left of his food. “I shouldn’t have brought you here.”
He can feel Harry shuttering closed before his eyes. He wants to reach out and take back the open Harry he’s been getting to know. He turns to look and sees a younger woman only barely pretending she isn’t taking photos of them. Something suddenly occurs to him.
“Is it okay that you’re here with me?” Should Harry be caught out on a date with a man? He can’t remember ever hearing about Harry linked to a man before, although he’d seen the headlines a few years back about him coming out as bi.
“It’s fine,” Harry says quietly. “Don’t you know that I’m dating every woman I’m seen near? It’s almost like I never came out for how hard everyone works to pretend I’m only interested in women.”
“Ehm--just wanted to make sure--”
“I wouldn’t have brought you here if I was trying to hide, Louis,” Harry says, and Louis can hear a tinge of bitterness in his voice. “I’m just annoyed about the lack of privacy. Although maybe I should be hiding, so you don’t end up deleting my phone number after this.”
This time he does reach across the table for Harry’s hand. “I wouldn’t.”
“It’s been a while since I’ve been on a real date.” Harry must read something on his face that seems doubtful. “The reports of my sexual exploits are greatly exaggerated, I’m afraid. Annie is always on me about dating someone, but I just--haven’t. It never feels like there’s enough time for anything real, you know? And that’s what I want--something real. I’ve been working non-stop since I was seventeen, so ten years now.”
“I know how that goes. The only relationship I’ve had that’s lasted is with football, and I guess even that one has ended--wait.” Louis pauses, doing the maths. “You’re twenty-seven?”
“Uh, yeah. How old did you think I was?”
“I dunno. I didn’t think about it.” Fuck. He’s eight years older than Harry. “Ehm, just so you know, I’m thirty-five. If that changes anything I understand--”
Harry snorts. “I know how old you are, Louis. As if the first thing I did when I learned your name wasn’t googling you.”
“I just meant--it’s a bit of an age difference.”
“Does that bother you?” Harry frowns, and Louis doesn’t like knowing he put that look on his face. “Because it doesn’t bother me. I know we’re years apart in age, but it feels like we’re somehow in the same place, doesn’t it? And I don’t just mean Malibu.”
“It does, yeah. Bit of a transition going on for both of us. Of course, you’ll eventually go back to it, won’t you? That’s not really a choice for me.”
Harry stares into his eyes for a long moment. “Can I tell you something, Louis?”
“I don’t think I’m going back.”
As they drive back from the restaurant in the darkness, they listen to the radio and don’t say much. In fact, the only thing Harry says is that Annie is out of town. As Ariana Grande’s voice fills the space between them, Louis thinks about all that Harry’s said tonight, his lack of passion for acting, his need for more privacy in his life, his decision not to return to the only world he’s ever known as an adult.
It takes a minute to realise they’ve parked in Annie’s garage and he’s being led into Annie’s house. The implication of Annie being out of town finally registers with him when Harry asks, “Would you like to see my bedroom?”
Okay, so this is definitely going where he just suspected. He clears his throat. “Yes! Please, yes.”
Harry’s smile turns to more of a smirk as he takes Louis’ hand in his and starts tugging him through the house. Louis decides to stop thinking and just go forward with whatever Harry wants.
As they walk into the bedroom, Harry shrugs off his jacket and tosses it to the floor. Then, he closes the door behind him and leans against it. God, he looks fit as fuck. Louis is about to crowd him against the door when something in the corner of the room catches his eye. He turns more fully to see the guitar case leaned against the wall.
“Do you play the guitar?”
“What?” Harry looks bewildered for a moment before following Louis’ line of sight. “Oh, I do. A little. Haven’t for a while, but thought I might get back into it.”
“Sick. You know I--”
Harry pushes himself off the door and steps closer to Louis. Harry leans in, letting his lips brush against Louis’ ear as he whispers, “I want you.”
All thoughts about anything but Harry’s body evaporate quickly, and he remembers his earlier train of thought. He moves forward until Harry’s back is against the door and presses their bodies together as he captures Harry’s lips in a kiss.
It’s just a kiss, and yet Louis’ body responds at such a rapid pace that it surprises him. He feels on the same page as him in multiple ways though, and his body seems to know it. Harry moans as he thrusts against him a bit, but their clothing is making an intolerable barrier between them. Louis’ fingers fumble with the zipper and button on Harry’s trousers, but he manages to get them down and pushes them roughly enough that they fall to the floor in a pool of fabric at Harry’s ankles.
Harry whimpers a bit as Louis presses his hand against his cock, still with a brief pair of tight black boxers keeping him from complete contact. He can’t seem to stop kissing him, his mouth taking all Harry offers him. He slips his tongue into Harry’s mouth and tastes the wine from dinner and something else that makes his pulse quicken. He wants to taste more.
He slides his mouth across Harry’s jaw, and Harry instinctively turns his head to give him better access to his neck. He experiments with where to nose and suck and press to give him more of the exquisite noises coming from Harry’s lips. He finds a spot that makes Harry jerk forwards against him, and he uses it to his advantage until he has Harry panting his name in a plea for more.
All he can think about is to keep doing anything that has Harry sounding like this when he feels Harry’s frantic fingers dragging his jacket off him. He hadn’t even realised he still has all his clothes on. Harry undoes his jeans, but can’t seem to get them down his thighs. He must decide to make do because then he suddenly feels Harry’s fingers beneath his pants and clutching his arse.
“Been thinking about that, have you?” Louis asks as Harry squeezes.
“Since the moment I laid eyes on you.”
Louis chuckle turns to a moan as one of Harry’s hands reach around to grasp his cock. Harry stills for a moment. “Is your knee okay?”
“My knee?” He is not thinking about his fucking knee right now. “Fuck my knee, Harry.”
“I’d rather fuck your ass. Or you fuck mine. Either way, really.”
“Okay, smart arse,” Louis says as he pulls Harry away from the door and topples them onto the bed.
He looms over Harry, planted between Harry’s legs and his hands at either side of Harry’s shoulders. He looks his fill at his bitten lips and disheveled hair, clothed only in his pants and a white dress shirt. He lets one hand slowly unbutton Harry’s shirt as Harry just stares up at him. He spreads the shirt wide but doesn’t take it off him, just flicks his thumb against one nipple as Harry hisses. He quickly works off Harry’s pants as well.
“Louis, take off your fucking clothes.”
Louis laughs and slips his shirt off over his head. His jeans are still stuck, although nearly at his knees at this point. He has to get up a bit to tug them off. He tugs off his pants as well until he’s nude. He sits up on his heels at Harry’s feet, looking at Harry laid out before him. “Better?”
“Fuck me,” Harry says, his voice a wanton plea.
Louis’ eyes dart to a bedside table, in which he finds what he’s looking for. He situates himself between Harry’s legs again and strokes himself as he looks at Harry’s fit body before him. He unrolls a condom onto himself and then slicks himself up further before he pushes Harry’s knees up until he has a good view of his destination. He takes himself in hand and teases Harry’s hole with the tip, just rubbing across where he most wants to plunge in and lose himself. He keeps himself in check; Harry’s frantic begging gives him more pleasure than he ever thought possible.
He eases in slowly. He can feel a bead of sweat at his temple as he holds himself as still as possible, listening to Harry panting beneath him.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, love. Just gonna go slow. Don’t want to hurt you.”
Harry just whimpers a bit, his fists clutching at the duvet beneath him. Little by little, Louis eases himself inside. Sparks flare behind his eyes, and he thinks he might have been holding his breath. It just feels so fucking good to be inside him.
“Harry, you feel so good. So fucking fit, love. You look so beautiful spread out like this for me.”
Harry gasps and then clutches at Louis’ shoulders, eyes wide. Louis stares into their depths as he begins to move. His hands still slick, he slides his hand up and down the length of Harry in time to the rhythm of his thrusts. The build up has been enough to have Louis coming quickly and Harry following soon after as Louis strokes him through it.
When he pulls out and collapses next to Harry, he smiles as he feels Harry’s head on his chest. Just before he closes his eyes, they land on the guitar case in the corner of the room. He decides the question on his lips can wait until tomorrow.