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Brasswood Boys

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Harry was already lying in bed wide awake when his 8:30 a.m. alarm went off. He shifts under his comforter and reaches out to his phone to silence the high-pitched ringtone.

Looking at the empty room around him was a far cry from his usual cluttered floor and shelves, but he was excited to get back to school.

It was senior year at Brasswood University and despite being 22, he was all about that dorm life. Technically he had no choice, the small liberal arts school was unlike others and required everyone to live on campus for all four years in order to build camaraderie and create “lifelong friendships.”

Thankfully, the senior housing was incredible and looked nothing like disgusting state university dorm rooms. Unlike most schools, Brasswood’s crew teams were the star athletes and people came far and wide to cheer them on—which meant even more money to spend on lavish living quarters for the 8,000 students.

Whoever built the school had a kink for cobblestone so Harry always feels like he’s going to see Thomas Jefferson stumbling out of a dorm building with his pants around his ankles one of these days—sadly, it hasn't happened yet. The school’s only claim to fame is that the main office is the oldest cobblestone building in North America after being built in 1834—he only remembers that because it was on his entrance exam and the only question he didn’t guess on.

High society millionaires owned the buildings before the entire family succumbed to Typhoid Fever and the land was given away and turned it into a private university. And now Harry was paying $75,000 a year to study creative writing only to probably end up working in a bookstore or writing 40 quizzes a day about what type of cheese people related to based on their zodiac sign.

The four-hour drive to Upstate New York was never the worst because he made a tradition of creating yearly playlists that are exactly 240 minutes long. This year, though, he was joined by his friend, and former roommate, Liam who has somehow managed to make it to his senior year despite having sex in the school’s fountain. Harry has a hunch a sociology building is going to be named in his parents’ honor.

Harry was excited and inspired going into his last year. He felt like he's found his voice as a writer and honestly believes it has to do with his grandpa's dark green hand-me-down typewriter. For some reason, words just look better and flowed out of him easier than using a laptop. Writing on a typewriter made Harry really concentrate on his writing because all parts of the typewriter had to work so hard just to produce one single piece of work. The clinking of each key, the ding of the carriage return, even the soft swoosh of the paper moving was not only cathartic, it felt like his words were that much more valuable because of what went into making them tangible. He even had a small following on Instagram after spending the summer uploading photos of his short poems and rambles.

It was sort of a running joke that Harry not only adopted his grandpa's typewriter but quite possibly his style too. He wouldn’t really classify himself as a “hipster” but he had a habit of wearing too-old T-shirts with things on the front like “Brant Lake Camp Summer 1976” paired with his favorite pair of corduroy pants and tattered white Converse. In his defense, Harry will tell everyone he’s dressed like this forever and pull out the adolescent photos to prove it. Thankfully, being a liberal arts school, Harry didn’t have the weirdest style—some people absolutely refuse to wear shoes.

For his first day, he went a bit ironic and wore a blue button up short-sleeved shirt and flamingo-printed bow tie because during his first year, the school tried to implement a dress code and it failed spectacularly. More guys than girls came to class in gowns and even one or two professors wore their wedding dress or tux. The rule was quickly abolished and everyone went back to wearing whatever the hell they classified as clothing.

+++

Harry quietly settles into his seat in the small auditorium and talks a bit with the familiar faces around him despite secretly hating all of them since they’d be his competition in the “real world” as they all fight for a spot on a Barnes & Noble bookcase.

“May I sit here?” Harry looks up to where the non-American accent is coming from and sees an unfamiliar face looking down at him with a smile.

“Uh, yeah sure,” Harry takes his messenger bag off of the seat to his right so the stranger can sit. There were quite a few empty seats scattered across the classroom but Harry wasn’t going to start his last first week off by being a dick.

Being such a small university, Harry pretty much knows every single person or has seen every student at least once in the past four years but he’s never seen this guy before.

“Are you new?” Harry asks the guy while he’s pulling a Macbook out of a leather bag.

“Yeah, kinda a study abroad thing,” he replies. Harry is guessing by the accent—and his what appears to be love for linen clothes (that don’t seem ironic)—that he’s Italian but can’t quite place it. It also seems weird to study abroad senior year but it’s none of his business.

Before Harry can inquire further, their professor asks for everyone to quiet down for the lesson to begin.

Harry is usually a pretty attentive student but he can’t help but to peek a few glances at the stranger next to him. It may have to do with the honey/tobacco scent he keeps getting whiffs of or the way the new guy keeps brushing his bangs off his forehead that Harry is watching from his peripheral.

Either way, he’s definitely not giving his full attention to his professor so when he hears his name said three times Harry knows he’s fucked.

“Um, sorry, can you repeat the question,” Harry asks sheepishly and the classroom giggles at his misfortune.

“Please pay attention, I know it’s a morning class but I expect more from you Mr. Styles, can someone help him out?”

A student a few rows back raises her voice to answer the question while the mysterious stranger mutters “it happens to the best of us” about his zoning out.

Harry knew it was so cliche, but after that first day of class, he starts seeing the mysterious foreign student all over campus. Random benches started to be occupied by his small frame and magazine-worthy outfits, hallways would make Harry's heart jump just a little when he caught a whiff of that now familiar cologne, and even the school's bookstore was no longer a safe haven as Harry would drift into a daydream while staring at the back of the stranger's head.

It starts to annoy him so much that Harry finally caves and walks up to the guy while he was sitting at a picnic table reading a Principles of Economics textbook and had an open pink highlighter between his teeth. He’s wearing a short-sleeve blue and white striped shirt with the first 2 buttons undone and camel-colored shorts that gave Harry the impression he wasn’t a fan of bathing suits judging by the absence of tan lines.

“Hey,” Harry says waving his hand in front of the guy’s face when he doesn’t realize Harry had sat down across from him.

“Oh, hey,” he says a little startled spitting out the highlighter and putting the book down. Harry watches him take his earbuds out that were covered by his hair.

“Sorry to bother you, just realized you were the kid who sits next to me in my writing class...I’m Harry,” he explains. “Wanted to see how you were acclimating to Brasswood.”

“Oh, yeah, ‘Mr. Styles,’” he laughs with air quotes. “I’m Louis, by the way, I don’t think I had a chance to introduce myself before stealing your bag’s seat.”

No you did not Harry thought to himself while shaking his hand. Now that he had a chance to look at him face-to-face Harry’s chest tightened a little and he could feel a touch of blush creep up his neck. Louis was quite frankly fucking stunning with a constellation of freckles spread across his nose and cheeks and the bluest eyes he’s ever seen.

“I’m acclimating pretty well...I hope,” Louis says and Harry realizes he’s still shaking his hand. He pulls back and quickly puts his hands in his lap and can suddenly feel just how hot the sun is beating down on his black T-shirt.

“What are you doing in a writing class if you’re studying econ?” Harry asks. “Little late for non-major stuff, no?”

“Oh, I couldn’t get a spot in a class and writing was the only one with an opening, so I guess I’m pretty lucky,” he smiles at Harry. “I’m not really familiar with the poems we’re studying if you, like, wanna get together and study?”

Harry looks down at his jeans and smiles before lifting his head wondering if Louis meant he was lucky to get a spot in the class or lucky to have met him. “Yeah, definitely. Monroe is pretty obscure and if English isn’t your first language it’s probably hard to understand some of the colloquialism.”

This time Louis averts his eyes and seems to blush a little while Harry suppresses a laugh when Louis admits he thought “shoot the breeze” literally meant firing a gun into the wind.

Chapter Text

Two weeks later, Harry is scrambling to pick up the mess of clothes and papers with half-finished poems scattered across his floor before Louis comes over to study with him on a Friday night. He completely forgot they had made plans and it wasn’t until Louis had texted him he was downstairs.

Harry felt stupid that for some reason it made him nervous to have Louis in his room. He wasn’t about to develop a crush on someone who he’d probably never see again once he went back to the far away land he came from. But it was hard when Louis would sit so close to him their knees bumped and he’d laugh at something stupid Harry would say or laugh even harder when Harry didn’t understand his accent.

While no one really studies their last year in Harry's major and mainly uses any free time to write their Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the dorm was pretty quiet when Harry ran downstairs to get Louis. Harry wanted to make the executive decision that they'd study in the common area so that he'd would not look like he had any ulterior motives for their study session—although, he must say, Louis has been quite flirtatious every session they've had but he still can't quite read him. But when he opened the door to see Louis with a book perched under his arm and a six-pack in the other, off to his room it was.

They were studying some Robert Frost poems and it wasn't until 30 minutes into their discussion that Harry realizes Louis is confusing the poet with the animated character of the personification of winter (hopefully the Rise of the Guardians versions because he could get it). If Harry had been studying with someone else he’d truthfully get annoyed but he gave Louis the benefit of the doubt since he was A) ridiculously good looking, B) not from The States, and C) see points A & B.

“So, where do you call home?” Harry asks Louis while they lay on his floor taking turns throwing a ball into the basket on the back of Harry’s door. After two hours they decided to break from all things school and act like normal college students and drink beer and smoke a couple bowls.

“I’m from this little island country called Rozâlia near France and Italy, there are maybe 400,000 residents in the whole place,” Louis replies. “It’s nice to be away it can get stuffy...are you from here?”

The way the name of his country rolled off Louis’ tongue made Harry’s stomach feel like the bubbles in champagne. “Not here here but New York state, yeah. Not all that exciting,” Harry says sheepishly. He can’t even compare his small hometown to a foreign country that’s probably dope as fuck.

“I didn’t realize how far from the city this place was when I chose it. I saw New York and just assumed I’d be surrounded by skyscrapers,” Louis reveals.

Harry snorts out a laugh as he catches the ball after it bounces off of the door frame. “You’re only off the mark by oh...four hours,” he smiles at Louis and nudges him with his shoulder.

It’s probably his fuzzy head but Harry wants to ask Louis all sorts of questions about his life, his family, why he choose Brasswood, and so much more—like, maybe, possibly kissing him. He has no idea why he is so obsessed with him all of a sudden (okay, a small idea) but he’s glad to have a new friend.

But before he can make any sort of move, an unfamiliar ringtone is echoing in the room and Louis is excusing himself from the room.

+++

The last thing Harry remembers hearing is Louis’ muffled voice outside his door talking in an unknown language and not much after that. It’s not until sunlight is marching through his eyes like soldiers does he feel the cramp in his back and neck. He totally passed the fuck out on the floor at some point and it was now Saturday morning.

While he tries wetting his dry mouth with spit, Harry registers the Post-It note stuck to his forehead.

Sleep tight...had to run out anyway...see you ‘later’

-L

“I’m a fucking idiot,” Harry tells himself as he crumples the note and tosses it into the trash. While going over notes for class he had taught Louis some popular American sayings and he took a liking to “later” and could not stop saying it in his version of an American accent which for some reason was a mix between a Valley Girl and surfer.

Despite it being so early, Harry quickly sends an apologetic text to Louis about falling asleep. Miraculously, he gets a reply back almost instantly regarding Harry’s current availability for coffee.

After a quick shower and too much time picking an outfit—cut off denim shorts and a tank top —he made his way to one of the school’s coffee shops.

He spots Louis sitting at one of the small tables glasses perched on his nose and a newspaper in his hand. Harry honestly looks for cameras because Louis looks like he’s in the middle of a photo shoot. He suddenly feels massively under-dressed after seeing Louis in dark blue dress pants and a button-up with rolled sleeves—seriously someone get him a modeling contract.

As if he knew he was being watched, Louis looks up and a smile sweeps across his face and he waves Harry over.

“You look dapper,” Harry smiles as he gestures to Louis’ outfit. “Big plans today?”

“Oh, no…is it too much?” Louis looks down and Harry feels like he offended him. “I forget the cultural differences sometimes.”

“No, you look amazing...I like the glasses. More people should dress like that,” Harry smiles again to reassure him. “You look like a model.”

Harry doesn’t miss the blush despite Louis’ tan face and his stomach does a flip knowing he made it happen.

“D’you want coffee or something?” Harry says trying to break his own staring. “On me for being the worst host ever.”

Louis gives him his order and Harry walks to the counter. He quickly peeks behind him to see Louis still staring, his paper forgotten in his lap.

Harry uses the few minutes at the counter to regain composure and take a few deep breaths.

“Kinda early for a first date, no?” the girl behind the counter says.

Harry looks up and grabs the cup from her. “Oh, no...just uh...classmates,” he grabs the other cup and turns before she says anything else.

“Sorry again for passing out. Weed does that to me,” Harry says placing Louis’ espresso cup in front of him.

“It’s uh…’cool dude’ I had some stuff to take care of,” Louis replies before sipping his drink. “Cheers.” Louis tilts his small cup toward Harry with a smile.

“Your English is really good, is that stupid to say...sorry,” Harry says before slapping his forehead.

Louis laughs and pats Harry’s hand to say it’s alright. Harry wishes Louis didn't pull his hand away so quickly and he revels in the warmth of Louis' palm caused by the head of his cup.

“I was taught at a very young age and I use English a lot back home so it’s easy to keep up but there are still words I don’t know—mostly slang since my family isn’t big on slang. Took me ages to secretly learn your curse words.”

Harry is officially enamored despite only knowing Louis for less than a month and has decided he wants to spend every waking moment in his presence (maybe the hours in between too) and hopes he feels the same.

Harry keeps thinking about the barista assuming they were on a date and he doesn't quite mind the confusion. Harry found himself more and more relieved when they'd hang out in the absence of books and note taking. It was mornings like this that he got ahead of himself and found himself wanting to get used to.

"Do you want to see a few photos from home?" Louis asks typing his passcode into his phone. Harry nods enthusiastically and scoots his chair closer to Louis.

Louis brings up a gorgeous seaside photo that makes Harry's jaw drop and he can't even stop himself before he's saying "the water is the color of your eyes." Louis huffs out a giggle and playfully hits Harry's shoulder with his own but doesn't move it away after. Harry settles into the touch and Louis continues to scroll. There's photos of brightly-colored houses staggered on a cliff and Harry is starting to believe Louis lives in paradise.

"Why would you ever leave there to come here?" Harry asks as his eyes follow each passing photo. Louis puts his phone down and rubs a hand over his eyebrow and sighs.

"It gets...what was the word I used the other day?" he bites his lip and looks up his brows furrowing as he thinks "stuffy. It gets stuffy there. So small and everyone knows everyone," Louis answers.

Harry nods completely understanding. That's why he decided on a school hours and hours from his hometown but it does come with its own annoyances. "Well, you chose one of the smallest private schools where everyone is up in everybody's business so I don't know if it's any better."

"But I am anonymous here," Louis says matter-of-factly and Harry can't fight him on that one.

+++

The morning somehow turned into mid-afternoon and the pair of them moved from the coffee shop to a hilly grassy area on campus where they could watch people playing Frisbee or tanning in the late summer sun. Louis acted like he was wearing sweatpants as he plopped right onto the grass without a care for any dirt that could get on his very expensive looking pants. Harry is definitely caught red-handed as he watches Louis unbutton the majority of his shirt and exposes his chest to the sunlight.

"Yes?" Louis asks with a smirk. Harry doesn't even realize he's biting on his bottom lip until he goes to mirror the swipe of Louis' tongue on his lower lip.

Harry just laughs and shakes out his hair hoping it erases his complete embarrassment. By the time he pushes his hair out of his face, he sees Louis is sprawled out on the grass with his hands behind his head and his eyes are closed. A fake montage runs through his mind that involves straddling Louis in broad daylight and shoving his tongue down his throat but Harry's life is not a rom-com so he settles on laying down next to Louis and nudging his heel with his toes.

"Hi."

"Hey. Beautiful day."

"Sure is," Harry says kicking off his slip-ons and digging his toes into the cool grass.

They don't speak for a bit but it's not awkward. Harry just listens to Louis' breathing and the distant laughter and talking from other students. He probably dozes off a couple times but never forgets exactly where he is.

"What are you thinking about?" Louis asks squinting in Harry's direction.

"Honestly?"

Louis nods.

"You."

A smile so big sweeps across Louis' face that Harry thinks his cheeks are going to split. "Yeah? What about me?"

Harry's heart is thumping and he's deciding if he declares his one-month long crush or not but Louis moving his arm from under his own head to sliding it under Harry's neck sort of makes that decision for him.

"I think I sorta kinda like you maybe," Harry confesses as he scoots closer to Louis and rests his head on Louis' arm.

"I think I sorta kinda like you maybe too," Louis reiterates Harry's words back to him.

Chapter Text

“So...you and the import…”

Harry and Liam are sitting on a bench in front of the lake where the rowers are tirelessly pumping their arms back and forth in their skinny boats; their synchronized groans and movements are so oddly transfixing that Harry takes a beat to register Liam’s words.

“What are you on about?” Harry bit back. “Also he does have a name.”

Harry rolls his eyes and fixes his hair like a nervous tick. He’s known Liam long enough that there’s an unnecessary speech coming his way that he absolutely does not want to hear.

“I mean you’re spending an awful lot of time together and it is our last semester and he is going back home in a couple months and you do latch on to people when you should be more like me.”

“Like Liam” roughly translates to never having a meaningful relationship and instead fucking anyone with a pulse and usually it’s with someone promoting an absurd item on Instagram. Harry was in no way like Liam. He was, in fact, the complete opposite despite Liam spending literal years trying to break Harry. And Harry didn’t judge Liam or consider him a bad person for it. Liam could do whatever (and whoever) he wanted but he was more of a “settle down” sort of guy and that wasn’t going to change—which is why he just doesn’t date.

Sighing, Harry nodded at his friend’s words. “It’s nothing serious. Just having fun and being nice helping him study and overcome some language barriers.”

Liam lets out the world’s most dramatic exhale and Harry is sure he’s rolling his eyes but he’s too busy concentrating on the rowers’ oars dipping in and out of the water. He’s glad the men’s team is out on the water right now because he’d be concentrating on Liam even less if there were men in skin-tight spandex with bulging biceps (and other things ) standing in front of him.

“All I’m saying is I think you need to let loose instead of obsessing over one person. This is our last hurrah, the final countdown, party like it’s 1999 for once young Harry, I beg of you. Leave behind a legacy like me. He’s nice and all, don’t get me wrong, but what is the point of getting feelings for someone you’re legitimately never going to see again? Because let’s get real...you’re never going to see him again unless you hop on a plane and I know you and planes.”

Liam is very much like the golden retriever Harry has back home. He is loyal, funny, never mean on purpose, but sometimes he inserts himself in places he should not be. And Harry is not talking about all of the places on campus Liam has been caught having sex. While he completely accepts his concern, Harry is his own man and as the kids say “I do what I want!” but he does understand his friend’s concern since his heart is basically made out of paper and will break at the slightest tug.

“I understand where you are coming from and I hear ya but I’m not like attached (Liam, Harry, the rowers 20 yards away, the duck to his right, and the sun all know this is a lie). I’ll figure out what to do when the end of term comes but right now I’m happy and I’m having fun,” Harry shifts his weight on the bench and puts his left leg under his other thigh.” Louis is just...he's a great person to just sit and admire what he's like. He’s not like anyone else I’ve ever dated and I really like him so I’m going to be with him as much as possible before he moves thousands of miles away from me. Is that okay?”

Harry ends his own speech with a bite to his words and almost feels like a teen talking to his parents (cue The Little Mermaid “ but daddy, I love him”) . He looks over at his friend and is surprised to see a smile on Liam’s face instead of his eyes rolling into the back of his head—which he probably did five seconds before Harry looked over.

Satisfied with their talk, Liam scoots closer to Harry and throws his arm over his shoulder and gives a light squeeze. Harry’s not sure either “won” the conversation but that’s usually how their talks ends up.

Resolving to let their “fling” play out, Liam invites Harry and Louis to his stand-up gig that night because apparently he is a comic now and Harry had no idea what his best friend has been up to the past few months.

+++

The stand-up performance is not like a real thing but part of the school’s very, very small theater department and Harry has no clue how Liam weaseled his way into this one considering it’s not even his major; but that’s how Liam lives his life and sometimes Harry is truly impressed.

Harry grabs a table up front but off to the side and picks at his fingernails while he waits for Louis to show up. After their PG confession on the grass a week back, Harry’s stomach doesn’t stop doing flips every time Louis texts or calls him. While he’s obviously had a crush on Louis for some time now, Harry pays particular attention to everything he says and wears in hopes that he’s not embarrassing himself.

As if he has some sort of psychic ability, Harry looks up at the door the second Louis walks in. He sees his eyes scanning the groups of people in the crowd so Harry jumps up so quickly he nearly knocks the tea candle onto the tablecloth setting the entire place ablaze.

He quickly recovers and Louis seems none-the-wiser. “Hey, thanks for coming on such short notice!”

Harry reaches out to hug Louis and not-so-subtly breathes him in as his nose nuzzles into Louis’ hair. They surprisingly have spent the last few days apart after Louis came down with a cold and Harry feels like it’s been months since he last laid eyes on him.

“Of course! I feel honored I was invited by Liam<” Louis says putting a hand to his chest. “This will be fun I’ve never seen stand-up before!”

Harry grabs them drinks while they wait for the show to start and truthfully wishes they were sitting further back so they could talk through everyone who wasn’t Liam. But they get in a couple of quick sentences here and there and Harry scoots closer to Louis; who doesn’t pull away when Harry rests his free hand on his thigh and mindlessly draws shapes on his black jeans.

Louis is surprisingly dressed down this evening, which is funny given the fact Harry dressed up to the best of his ability to mirror Louis’ usual dapper style.

When Liam’s name is announced as next up, Harry and Louis hoot and holler for him (as do quite a few girls behind them). Harry truly thinks he’s part of the X-Men because he perfectly focuses half of his attention on Liam’s jokes and half on Louis’ reactions to them. He knows Liam can be a tad crude and he is pushing the limit on stage for the sake of jokes but Louis laughs at all the punchlines and Harry’s heart does somersaults in his chest that both seem to approve of the other.

Liam and a group of students Harry pretends to know come up to their table after all of the comics have done their bit while everyone is lingering before last call. Liam saves Harry the embarrassment and does a short round of “you remember…” introductions and Harry vaguely recalls interacting with said group at one time or another over the past four years.

“That was brilliant!” Louis yells to Liam over the voices and slaps him on the shoulder. A huge smile sweeps across Liam’s face and he thanks Louis for tagging along with Harry as if it wasn’t a favor to Harry for Liam to suggest Louis came to the gig.

“I think we’re gonna head to McCann’s if you wanna join?” Liam says. “But I know you hate the music they play.”

Harry is convinced this is Liam’s way of letting him off the hook so he and Louis could spend time together which means he is not a heartless bastard and accepts the fact that Harry will not now or ever hook up with someone in bar.

Louis looks to Harry to see if they’ll be going along and Harry can’t really tell if Louis wants to go or not but when he feels Louis subtly tugging on a belt loop Harry’s mind is made up.

“I think I’m gonna pass...is that okay?”

Harry’s question is first directed to Louis who does not hide his eager nod and then Harry looks at Liam who is shaking his head and swatting the air in front of Harry’s face as if to tell him to get lost.

+++

“You didn’t actually wanna go to the bar did you? We can still...”

They’re sitting on the floor with their backs against the drawer under Louis’ bed and Harry realizes this is the first time he’s been in Louis room.Their abandoned Chinese takeout is the messiest thing in the room and the small stain on the carpet Harry had made five minutes earlier when he took a too-big gulp from the bottle of wine they were drinking straight out of.

It’s pretty sparse except for a school pendant on the wall and Louis' clothes that are neatly hung by color in the exposed closet. There are no knick-knacks, framed photos, or anything else on his desk but a laptop, some pens, and the clock every room has. It looks like Louis took a class in minimalism and he’s impressed to say the least. Harry is only slightly embarrassed by the wreck that is his own dorm—he has more shit than he knows what to do with. He would legitimately think Louis escaped home with whatever he could fit in the forest green knapsack and matching duffel bag at the base of the closet and fled to New York.

“No. I mean not to be rude to Liam, but kinda just wanted to hang out with you.” Louis pops the last word and maneuvers his body to sit in front of Harry so their knees knock together.

“Okay, phew. So...whatcha wanna do then?”

Harry doesn’t think and reaches out and grabs Louis’ hands intertwining their fingers as he flutters his knees as if they were butterfly wings. Louis shyly shrugs and traces the spot between Harry’s thumb and first finger with his own thumbs. Harry relaxes into the touch and overjoyed that Louis didn't pull away.

“Twenty questions? Never have I ever? Truth or dare?” Harry half-jokingly suggests with a laugh.

“All of the above?” Louis suggests back. “Favorite fruit?”

“Boysenberry.”

“The hell is a boysenberry?”

“Fucking delicious that’s all you need to know! Truth or dare?”

“Dare.”

“Send the second newest photo in your camera roll to the last person you texted.”

Louis detaches his right hand from Harry’s and reaches behind him for his phone. Harry uses the time to watch Louis’ shirt hike up to expose beautifully soft skin he’s dying to touch.

“Done. Guilty pleasure?”

“Nothing is a guilty pleasure if you don’t give a shit what people think. Never have I ever...had a best-selling novel.”

“That is so boring...me either...but I bet you will, Styles. Truth or dare?”

“Dare of course, psh, what do I look like?”

“I dare you to knock on a random door and demand they hand over alcohol.”

Harry jumps up and doesn’t even put shoes on before going into the hall scanning random doors and choosing one to knock on. Moments later, he comes back into the room carrying a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck and does a curtsy in front of Louis while presenting the bottle to him.

“I’m very charming I’ll have you know.”

“Oh, I know.”

Louis grabs the bottle and corkscrew and Harry hears the lovely popping sound after about 30 seconds. Harry takes a gulp and ponders a question.

“Never have I ever had sex in a public space.”

Louis reaches for the bottle and chugs while Harry is sitting there with his mouth open because he did not take Louis as that kind of guy. Louis giggles and shrugs and taps his chin.

“I see we’re warmed up now. Last thing you masturbated to?”

Harry chokes a little on wine but doesn’t hesitate.

“Definitely Prince Harry at that water polo match...did you see that bulge?” Harry closes his eyes and smiles at the image in his head. “But it’s weird since we have the same name. Truth or dare?”

Louis rolls his eyes at Harry’s answer and either he’s not a fan of Prince Harry or his answer was far too boring and PG. What did he want him to admit? That he was watching some hardcore porn or something? He wasn’t...this time.

“Hmmm….truth this time I think.”

Harry lets out a slightly maniacal laugh before speaking.

“Is it true you picture me naked every time you see me?”

Harry shimmies his upper half in Louis direction then playfully lifts up his shirt to flash Louis.

“Absolutely.”

Louis deadpans and Harry was at least expecting something more playful that didn't cause a blush to rush up his neck and cheeks. There’s silence between them for a hot second before Louis speaks again.

“Can I kiss you?”

“Is this part of the game?”

“It’s a question so yes, I suppose.”

Harry nods so quickly he thinks he gives himself whiplash. Louis giggles and wiggles his fingers from Harry’s grasp and climbs into his lap. Harry’s hands find themselves on Louis’ waist and he looks up at Louis with a shy smile. He’s wanted to kiss Louis since the first day they met and can’t believe they’ve gone this long without it.

Louis leans his head forward; Harry meeting him in the middle and both of them smile into the kiss.

“Hi,” Harry mumbles against his lips, his hold around Louis’ waist gets firmer when Louis opens his mouth more.

“Hello...now shut up please.”

Louis wraps his arms around Harry’s neck to steady himself as the kissing gets urgent and sloppy. Harry feels Louis’ fingers at the nape of his neck switching between running his fingers through his hair to wrapping around strands and tugging slightly. Harry quietly moans into Louis’ mouth at the feeling paired with their tongues finding each other.

Harry’s hands are moving at their own accord now. He reaches under Louis’ shirt and drags the little bits of nails he has down Louis’ skin; which makes Louis press forward into Harry’s chest. God , he wants Louis’ tongue everywhere. Louis slides his body flat against Harry’s the best way he can despite straddling him and Harry has no shame taking hold of his ass and pulling Louis even closer. Louis whines at the action and responds with another firm tug of hair.

Teeth clank and lips wetly slide across cheeks but Harry doesn’t even care how messy their makeout is. He never wants to stop kissing Louis and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon so he hopes Louis can hold his breath.

“Shit...Harry,” Louis gasps after they didn’t come up for air in who knows how long. “Don’t wanna stop kissing you.”

Harry feels like a teenager again. He hadn’t made out that passionately and furiously with someone in years and his heart is pounding with excitement.

Harry pecks Louis’ jaw and Louis lobs his head to the side so Harry can drag his lips and tongue down his neck. Harry playfully nips at the skin on Louis’ neck and covers half of the skin with his mouth as he gently sucks and he feels Louis’ whole body shudder and slack into his grasp. He forcefully pulls Louis closer to him just by his ass; eliciting another groan from Louis that Harry feels very proud of.

They keep making out and Harry travels Louis’ back with his fingertips and Louis shoves his hands up the front of Harry’s shirt—no doubt feeling just how quickly he’s making Harry’s heart beat.

A deep, loud moan flutters out of Harry’s throat into the thick atmosphere of the room when Louis rolls their hips together. Whether the action was on purpose or a reflex, Harry sees literal stars behind his eyelids when he feels Louis against him.

They were both clearly very hard but neither one of them made a move to do anything more and Harry was completely fine with knowing Louis was turned on—and better yet that Louis definitely wanted him to know it. If anything he knew where the bathroom was if this ended as just the hottest makeout session he’s had in a long fucking time.

Harry can feel the room getting warmer and the sweat starting to make his shirt stick to his back. He tugs on Louis’ shirt to test where he stands on the matter of the room temperature and Louis grabs the bottom with his right hand and tries to wiggle out of it.

Breaking from the kiss for a moment to remove at least the top half of their clothes, Harry uses the time to trace his fingers over Louis’ chest and rest his hands on his hips.

“Been waiting forever for that to happen,” Louis smiles.

Harry laughs in agreement and the smirk he was trying to seduce Louis with is wiped off his face by Louis’ lips back on his.

Harry doesn’t even know how long they makeout for but it stays just as passionate as the first moment it happened. His mind begins to go even fuzzier thanks to a combination of the kissing, the wine, and Louis’ hips slowly circling above him.

Somehow both of them hold back from tearing the remainder of their clothes off and their kissing naturally slows down to small pecks and more giggles in necks than tongues in mouths.

“D’you wanna stay over? We can watch something? Hate for you to walk all the way across campus to go home—there’s bears ya know…”

Harry nuzzles into Louis’ body and nods in agreement because yes, he was terrified of the bears.

They finally break apart to get ready for bed seeing as it was around 2 a.m. and Harry was not one to stay up late. Louis lends him some clothes and even has a spare toothbrush. Harry shyly eases his erection while he’s getting ready in the bathroom but can’t imagine Louis didn’t do the same. Now he wishes Louis would ask the masturbating question again.

He cuddles into Louis like a lap dog and Louis ruffles his hair. They kiss some more and Harry’s heart skips a hundreds beats as they settle in bed and turn on a random episode of The Office . If this was as far as they got, if they made a habit of sleepovers and cuddling and just being held and kissed and touched Harry would be absolutely content.

Sprawled out on Louis’ bed next to him under the dimness of Louis’ very adult nightlight, Harry decides to use his finger as a pen to play connect the dots with Louis’ freckles. It was obviously a very dangerous game and he could hear Louis’ breath catch when Harry abandoned his arm for his neck and face.

They hadn’t said anything for what seemed like hours just the remnants of wine-drunk giggles here and there and Harry softly counting under his breath.

“Think this one is my favorite,” Harry whispers while pressing his middle finger to a freckle under Louis’ right ear. “Hope you wear sunscreen.”

“Al-always,” Louis stutters.

Harry gets the courage to move his finger down Louis’ neck to his chin and turns Louis’ face toward his own. He doesn’t waste time and moves forward and presses his lips to Louis’ with a slight groan.

Louis presses into the kiss and Harry smiles into it and scoots closer toward Louis. There’s a hand on his hip that’s moving under his shirt and down his back. Harry shudders at the touch and deepens the kiss by teasing Louis’ bottom lip with his tongue. They both open their mouths wider and Louis pushes Harry’s back so he moves closer to him so that their chests are touching. Harry snakes his leg between Louis’ and they kiss as slowly as a summer night lasts.

It’s not until a funny part of the show echoes in the room and their moment is broken by Louis’ complete inability to hold in laughter.

Harry can’t help but to laugh at the situation, “ya goof.”

Harry punches him in the stomach and rolls onto his back and pulls the laptop closer to them. By the middle of the next episode Louis is softly snoring next to Harry and he kisses his forehead before shutting the MacBook and placing it back on the desk.

He checks his phone for the time and sees a message from earlier in the night. He opens the text to see Louis sent a photo he managed to take of him from Liam’s event and Harry bites his lower lip thinking about the fact he was the last person Louis texted and that he had photos of him—photos he took saved on his phone.

Harry puts his phone under the pillow and scooches into Louis and wrap his arm around his waist and kisses his cheek and whispers to him.

“I am falling so hard for you.”

Louis murmurs in his sleep and Harry smiles before finally settling into slumber with the tiniest of ache in his chest.

Chapter Text

The next morning with Louis almost felt better than last night—especially when Harry was the first to rise. He could sit and stare and watch sunlight cast a yellow glow over Louis’ half-naked body. He wanted to have as many of these mornings as possible without feeling like a burden.

After the dreaminess of night turned into a sobering morning, the end of school came creeping up on Harry once again—the fantasy of all of this would be shattered before he knew it. He shoved the thought down as far as he could in his gut and reveled in the absolute present.

In his four years, Harry’s longest “relationship” was a two-month whatever with an art student who ended up with a pseudo alcohol addiction in sophomore year to make his perfect upper-class life seem more interesting. After that, Harry just focused on school and his writing.

Speaking of, he realizes it’s been awhile since he submitted articles to the school’s site or any of his freelance gigs and could definitely use the cash.

Louis’ rustling causes Harry to snap out of his bleak thoughts and look down at him. Louis’ hair was an absolute mess, his eyes barely open a centimeter but the smile on his face tells Harry he was more than awake.

Harry unlatches his hands from around his knees and settles back down next to Louis and pulls him closer by the waist. “G’morning.”

“Hey, baby. Ugh my head.” Harry’s stomach does a flip at the endearment and Louis’ scratchy voice. He places a kiss to Louis’ shoulder and nuzzles his head under his chin.
For not even having sex last night he feels like they had been so intimate and are definitely faltering on the “are we aren’t we dating” line.

“That’s cheapass wine for ya, those sulfates will get to your head,” Harry pulls away and scoots toward the end of the bed. “I’ll get some water.”

Louis is curled back into himself after Harry takes a short trip to the bathroom and comes back with a plastic cup filled with water and two Advils he found in the medicine cabinet. Harry places them on the desk next to the bed. Smiling softly at Louis, he brushes a stray strand of hair out of his face causing Louis to flutter his eyes open.

“Shit, sorry, I keep dozing back off.” Harry laughs and tucks the duvet over Louis’ torso.

“Go back to bed. I have to go write some stuff I’ve been neglecting. Text me when you’re feeling better.”

Louis only replies by slightly lifting his chin up and puckering his lips. Harry leans down and kisses Louis before gathering his stuff and getting changed back into his own clothes.

+++

Harry stares at his blank computer screen for what seems like hours until he finally starts writing. He has two papers due on top of five articles for the school’s site and some freelance work—oh and his thesis that he keeps putting off. Now that the semester was in full swing, Harry had barely a moment to spare to hang out with Louis. Which also meant zero time for making out and cuddling during prime autumn weather and it made Harry cranky.

Although, Louis had been acting strangely the past month and Harry was determined to get to the bottom of it. It wasn’t like he was ghosting him or anything (it was far too hard anyway to do that in a school this small). They texted as much as they could, held hands at every chance and even managed to sneak in a couple kisses during their shared writing class. But Louis always seemed preoccupied with something else and he was constantly on his phone talking in Italian or whatever language Harry couldn’t decode and forgot to ever ask about.

Harry decides after he could write no more about the school’s annual fall showcase that he’d surprise Louis with a super romantic trip that would put his narcissistic ass back into the center of Louis’ world.

“Do you feel like skipping the next couple days of class and running away with me?” Harry asks looking over at where Louis was sitting.

They were on Louis’ bed and Harry was using his typewriter to write sonnets about Louis’ eyelashes while Louis studied econ and Harry would only show him poems about nature or some shit and hide away his proclamations of love for another time.

Louis’ head perks up and he looks at Harry quizzically. “Hmm...economics or spending time with a super hot guy...hmmm….”
Harry hits Louis with the closest pillow and abandons his typewriter to climb in Louis’ lap.

“We have a family cabin up by Lake George,” he whispers. “It is empty. I have the key.”

Harry pushes Louis’ back against the wall and peppers kisses all over his face and down his neck. Harry hears the thud of Louis’ textbook fall off the bed and he smiles to himself. Louis grabs him by the waist and finds his lips and Harry completely forgets what they’re even talking about when Louis’ tongue meets his.

“So is that a yes?”

“Of course,” Louis laughs. “I didn’t need to be persuaded but I wasn’t gonna stop you.”

+++

The drive is fairly short and Harry thinks Louis may be sick after all of the winding mountain roads. Roads that flood memories into Harry’s mind about his childhood and the love that absolutely filled the little yellow cabin on the lake.

Gone were the days of family gatherings and holidays parties once he and his sister got older and their parents divorced. The cabin he had spent so many weekends in had now become a safe haven for travelers or a party spot for college kids. Since Harry was in charge of the Airbnb listing, he blacked out the next couple of days and transferred whatever money they would have made into his dad’s bank account.

It was the slow season anyway. Most people rented the cabin in summer but autumn was Harry’s absolute favorite time of the year to visit.

The deep orange and red of the trees reflecting off of the lake made it look like the water was on fire and there was nothing like the crunch of leaves beneath your feet and the smell of fireplaces burning.

The sound Harry was envisioning echoed below them as the car pulls up to the smallest cabin on their side of the lake.

The yellow paint was chipping away and Harry made a mental note that he and his dad had to come back up to repaint it come springtime.

“Wow,” Louis says looking at the lake from the passenger’s seat.

Harry jumps at Louis’ voice and comes back to the present hoping Louis doesn’t notice he just spent the last five miles in la la land—thankfully he could drive these roads with his eyes closed.

Harry smiles and looks out the front windshield, “it is quite magnificent.”

Harry parks the car and squeezes Louis’ hand before jumping out and grabbing their bags. He lets Louis marvel at the scenery and goes to unlock the door to drop their stuff off. The cabin was only about 400 square feet but his family of four always managed to fit comfortably. He hadn’t been there since last spring when he helped Dad build the new deck—he mainly watched and put the wood stain on.

It didn’t smell the same as he remembers from his childhood but nothing rarely does stay the same. He switches out the sheets on the bed with an extra pair he brought along so he doesn’t have to go into town and wash them for the next set of real paying customers.

He feels Louis wrap his arms around his middle while bent over the bed trying to get the last corner of the sheet over the mattress. The position they’re in heats up Harry’s face and he’s glad it’s out of Louis’ view.

“This place is absolutely breathtaking, Harry. I never want to leave.”

Harry contemplates that for a minute. He wouldn’t mind saying fuck it to the last two months of school and just staying here forever. The owner of the next cabin over stays by the lake year-round and he seems like a happy dude. They could learn how to carve wood and sell the designs to tourists or somehow find a way to buy a thoroughbred horse and get rich off of racing it at Saratoga Race Course. Yeah, Harry would definitely never leave if Louis said the word.

“Harry? Ya in there?”

Harry straightens his posture and pushes his back into Louis’ chest with a sigh. “Sorry. I was planning out our imaginary lakeside life and got carried away. Please repeat yourself.”

“I asked what you wanted to do first,” Louis squeezes him. “Hungry? Wanna just hang out?”

Harry’s body sways like the waves in the ocean against Louis in the silence of the room while he thinks. He was a little hungry but that meant detaching from Louis and he wasn’t ready for that yet. Sadly, Harry’s mind was made up for them though when the doorbell rings. Harry groans when he feels Louis unhook his arms from around his waist and the feeling of air hitting the back of his shirt is replaced where Louis’ chest was.

Standing at the front door was Niall, the neighbor from next door. Their cabins were a good quarter mile apart but he must have seen the car.

“Heard a car pulling up and looked across and saw it was you, wanted to just say hi and let me know if you need anything.”

Harry thanks him and takes the six pack of beer he extends forward. Niall became a multi-millionaire overnight after winning lotto and has lived his dream life here ever since. Harry has no idea how old he was, mid-forties maybe, but Harry feels like he’s secretly a 109-year-old wizard because he’s always talking to squirrels or mushrooms or some shit. He was also always bringing random things to the cabin. So much so that before renting it out, they had filled the back of Harry’s dad’s truck with the most absurd knick-knacks that they never had the heart to throw out over the years. But he kept an eye on their cabin and got the keys sorted for guests so Harry couldn’t be too frustrated when he interrupted.

Harry shuts the door and retreats inside to catch Louis poking his head through the blinds. Harry gives him the quick run down and Louis laughs at the wizard thing. That lead into the history of the cabin and Louis’ smile grew and grew with each tangent Harry went off on about a memory by the lake.

“I feel like I’m learning so much about you and we’ve only been here an hour. I could just sit and listen to you talk all night.”

Harry swats his hand in front of Louis’ face and scoffs. Okay, so storytelling was sort of his thing that’s why he was a writer but he didn’t want to spend the whole day digging up memories of weekends he’d never experience again. He’d rather create new memories.

“How about this: I show you around and then tonight we can go full Boy Scouts and make a fire and shit and talk about all these childhood memories?”

Louis looks at him with an eyebrow raised, “what in the world is a Boy Scout?”

Harry laughs forgetting the cultural differences and explains so Louis can get on board. Once he understands, he agrees and they make their way outside toward the docks. It’s a little chilly out but the best way to show Louis the lake is by boat and Harry prides himself on his boating skills.

“Sorry it’s no yacht...yeah I’ve seen those expensive clothes sir...but her motor works and she’s my baby.”

Harry jumps over the side of the boat like a pro and fishes the key out of his pocket. Louis is still standing on the dock looking apprehensive.

“Oh my god. You’re scared of boats aren’t you? Oh my god no.” Harry snickers and walks over to the edge of the boat and reaches out for Louis’ hands. “I promise it’ll be fun. I’ve been driving this thing since I was a teenager. I learned how to steer her before I could even drive a car. I won’t let you fall overboard.”
“I’m not scared ,” Louis pouts. “I just don’t particularly like them. I was in our Navy for a couple years. Not fun.”
“You live on a fucking island how do you hate boats? Ya know what, whatever. I hate planes. You hate boats. We’ll never go on a vacation anywhere not within driving distance.”

Harry watches Louis’ face go soft at his words and it takes away some of the embarrassment he’s feeling about thinking so far in the future given the fact they’ve only known each other a few months.

Once they’re on the water and Harry is pointing things out, he could see Louis start to relax. He could also see him trying to hide little bursts of shivers so after Harry drops the anchor, he grabs the tartan blanket he packed and drapes it over Louis’ shoulders and cuddles next to him.

“This is called Rogers Rock and legend has it a British Ranger with the last name, you guessed it, Rogers, escaped capture by sliding down the rock onto the frozen lake.”

They stared up ap the huge rock and Louis nods along as Harry tells more stories about the lake and accidently breaks his own rule to tell a couple stories about his childhood.

“Are you still close with your sister?” Louis asks. “I have three.”

“Yeah I am...three?” Harry asks truly amazed. “God I wanna kill my one half the time. No wonder you fled to America.”

Louis chuckles and cuddles closer to Harry. His hair smells like him but mixed with outdoorsy smells as if the lake claimed him and Harry breathes it in trying to commit it to memory.

Louis sighs as he wraps the blanket around his shoulder more. “I do miss them. But they’re just bitter I’m eldest because they’ll never—”

“Never what? Being the younger one is the best anyway...you can get into so much more shit.”

“They uh...they just don’t get as much say in things,” Louis quickly says. “But yeah, they definitely get away with a lot more than I ever did.”

Harry’s come to learn that Louis doesn’t speak much about his life back home and it’s harder than hell to get him to open up so Harry’s learned not to press. He knows the basics at least.

“Family can be so draining. Sometimes I wish I went further than four hours away. That’s why I like the lake so much it feels so detached from reality and everything. So what do your parents do? Everyone at Brasswood is rich as hell for the most part and I can’t imagine being a foreign exchange student comes cheap.”

“Uh,” Louis stutters for a second. “Politics. That sort of thing yeah. What about yours? You go there too last time I checked.”

Harry chuckles and runs his fingers up Louis’ side in attempt to tickle him for the comment he made. Harry wasn’t embarrassed so to speak about what his parents do but it was nothing compared to what the other students’ parents did.

“I’m an exception to the rich rule. My mom taught Sociology there for a year—apparently she’s a big deal—and at the time, I was an incoming freshman so they cut us a deal with cheaper tuition. Mind you, I’m still going to be in debt up to my nose for eternity since ‘cheaper’ means two entirely different things to me and the people who own that place. But she’s off in like I dunno Tanzania or something now. My dad owns a construction business back home. Nothing too fancy.”

Harry’s voice cracks a little unsure if he should talk more about his family but something about Louis, the safeness, makes him want to open up.

“They split up a couple years ago. Mom was traveling too much and it just took a toll on my dad. I still expect to see them both at home when go visit.”

“I’m sorry. If it helps any, my parents were an arranged marriage and I truly couldn’t even tell you if they actually like each other.”

They both let out a breathy laugh and Harry orders them to stop talking about lame family stuff and keep the mood happy.

By nightfall Harry is truly convinced Louis isn’t going to leave the cabin. He’s been in a constant state of wonder and Harry’s pretty sure he hasn’t picked his jaw off the floor since they arrived and it makes him feel pretty proud.

As promised, Harry starts a fire out front overlooking the water. He pulls two chairs out of the shed and brings a thick blanket too.

“A true American bonfire for you sir,” Harry extends his hand palm up in front of himself and waves it over his creation. “We got hot dogs, we got s'mores, we got cider and beer and water if you prefer. I know you’re impressed.”

Louis walks down from the deck looking like the single-handedly cutest fucking thing Harry’s ever seen. He’s just wearing simple black joggers and a grey sweater but Harry is still in awe.

“Love it. But what is a s'mores?” Louis struggles with the word and Harry finds him even more endearing.

“For the love of god did you grow up in an underground cult?” Harry waves the packages in front of Louis’ face once he’s close enough to see them. “Graham crackers plus chocolate plus a roasted marshmallow equals heaven.”

Louis literally inspects all three items as if he’s wondering if they truly do go together.

“That is so interesting. I never would have thought to put these three together.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

Harry snatches the marshmallows out of Louis’ hands and gives him a metal stick with a hot dog attached.

“No. Not a cult but might as well been. This is only my second time eating a hot dog. Before I came to Brasswood I was in the city for a bit and had one on the street.”

“That’s disgusting,” Harry says as he extends his arm holding the stick over the fire. “Anyway just put it over the fire and it’ll be delish I promise. Real Boy Scout now.”

Louis watches Harry do it first and follows. The more they do the more perplexed Harry is by Louis but he bets there are loads of things from his culture that Harry would raise an eyebrow at and have no idea what it is.

“So what about those stories?” Louis prods. “What’s the most trouble you’ve gotten into as a kid?”

Louis has to reach far to knock Harry’s shoulder with his and almost tumbles out of his chair in the process but quickly recovers.

“An eye for an eye? I tell one but you have to tell one in return.”

“Okay, deal.”

“So, when I was probably nine or ten and my sister was like thirteen, maybe, we thought it’d be fun to put a tarp down on the dock and use the hose and dish soap to create a poor man’s excuse for a Slip ‘N Slide that shot us into the lake. We planned it all out and it worked perfectly! Even the dog had fun chasing the water from the hose and stuff. But on one turn, I was going way too fast and couldn’t keep my body straight and I ending up wrapping around one of the wood posts on the dock and cut my head open. I passed out and almost drowned and bled to death. But here I am!”

Louis is silent for a moment until a burst of laughter breaks through the crackling of the fire. Next thing Harry knows, Louis’ doubled over on the ground laughing so hard it sounds like he’s sobbing.

“Jesus, I didn’t know my near-death experience would be so hilarious!”

“I’m so sorry! It’s just...wow.”

Louis can barely get the words out over his laughing but he finally composes himself and dusts dirt off his clothes and sits back down.

“I’m truly sorry. You just said it so casually and I was just envisioning little you flailing around. I’m so sorry.” Louis leans over and kisses Harry’s cheek. “Okay, my turn.”

Harry grabs another hot dog while he watches Louis think and he can’t see his face too much but the fire is casting a beautiful glow across and if he didn’t have hot dog breath (seriously, why didn’t he bring something else) he’d forget the whole conversation and pin him to the ground and makeout. But there was always time for that later.

“Okay so my parents are really strict, like to this day and I am a grown adult. And when it was just myself and one sister we’d always have to be supervised in the garden because it was pretty big and my parents were just convinced we’d get lost or I dunno. Well, instead of getting lost we decided we wanted to be helpful and rearrange all of the plants. I was probably eight, she was six. Somehow no one noticed until it was too late that we unearthed majority of the plants and moved them around like it was chess or something. Just absolutely covered from head-to-toe in dirt, it was in our ears, mouths, everywhere. Not to mention the small cuts all over our bodies from thorns and those stung like hell every time dirt got in them. And my parents didn’t buy like cheap plants they were really expensive flowers and shit. I think it took three full days to get the dirt out of my hair and every crevice.”

Harry chuckles but can’t help but to blurt something out after Louis tells his story. “Are you telling me...the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into was pulling flowers out of the ground?”

He watches Louis pick at a loose thread on the chair and suddenly feels like the world’s biggest asshole for his response. Louis looks up a little embarrassed but, thankfully, doesn’t seem to look mad at Harry’s reply.

“As you’ve learned by now...I was very sheltered and I was watched a lot. Like I can’t even explain it to you. So yes, I’m sorry I didn’t break my head or jump off a roof or I dunno whatever! Yes, that is the most trouble I’ve been in. Until now maybe.”

Harry looks at him amusingly and decides it’s probably time to ditch chairs. He asks Louis to stand and pushes the two chairs away and puts the blanket down; patting the spot next to him so Louis can sit. Louis does and Harry wastes no time wrapping an arm around his waist.

“Well, then here’s to causing trouble and being a little mischievous. Hand me those damn crackers and I’ll show you how to make s'mores.”

Louis looks like he Benjamin Buttoned himself to a child after his third attempt at making the dessert and he was covered in sticky marshmallow and no doubt dropped more than enough chocolate on his clothes. But Harry could tell he was in absolute bliss now that he experienced the greatest fireside snack of all time. If their current state wasn’t heaven, it was halfway there.

“I just realized how quiet it was,” Louis says looking around. “It seems like there’s no one around for miles.”

Louis washes his treat down with one of the ciders and Harry does the same. He hadn’t thought about school once today or his future or anything but the absolute present like he promised himself and he wanted to frame this moment in time. He hadn’t felt this relaxed and happy in so long and he felt stupid giving all the credit to Louis but he couldn’t help it. Harry had been alone for so long, sure he had his friends, but nothing beats a romantic connection.

“There really isn’t anyone around,” Harry says scanning for any light. “There’s no lights coming from around the other cabins—so hopefully no one comes to murder us right now. We’ll never get help.”

Louis laughs and shifts his body on the blanket so he’s facing Harry’s profile. Harry’s stomach jumps when Louis snakes his hand across his belly between his shirt and joggers. With less alcohol in his system Harry isn’t as brave as he usually is and every touch is amplified tenfold.

“So if no one’s around and you wanna be mischievous, does that mean I can do this?”

By this Harry has quickly figured out Louis means dropping his hand inside Harry’s pants and causing him to gasp as if he’d just seen a spider. Jesus Christ yes please.

“Yes! Yes...you absolutely can.” Harry nervously laughs out his reply and lolls his head back at the feeling of Louis touching him.

Louis’ lips are on his throat as if there was a magnet between them and he’s kissing down his Adam’s apple while his right hand explores every inch of Harry below the waist.

“Fuck, Louis.” Harry stutters and Louis tightens his grip and finds Harry’s mouth.

The kiss is sloppy and wet and everything Harry wants it to be. He can’t tell who’s groaning louder but he’d take bets it was him. Harry wants to protest when Louis’ soft lips leave his, but he holds in his outcry when Louis situates himself between Harry’s thighs and is holding onto either side of the waistband. He doesn’t even have to ask before Harry’s pulling down his joggers. Louis has a look on his face that Harry hasn’t seen before, or hasn’t noticed. His brows are furrowed and he’d almost look angry if Harry wasn’t actually half naked under him.

“You really do love public sex, huh?” Harry tries to lower his heart rate with the joke but it only speeds up when Louis smirks at him and lowers his body down and licks up the underside of his cock before wrapping his entire mouth around it.

“Fuuuck. Shit-fuck.” Harry hisses at the intense feeling.

Harry puts his own hand on his stomach lifting his shirt up to relieve himself of the heat that is encompassing every inch of skin. He puts the other in Louis’ hair and feels him bobbing his head up and down. The small wet gagging noises and Harry’s cadence of moans fills the quiet air around them and he’s so fucking happy no one else is around.

Harry’s hips start shifting in circles by their own accord and Louis firmly places his free hand on his belly where Harry’s own fingers are digging into his skin quivering under Louis’ tongue.

“God Louis, babe...fuck.” Harry breathes deeply as Louis takes him farther down and swallows around him when the tip of Harry’s cock hit the back of his throat.

Louis barely gags and works his mouth and tongue in ways that made Harry see stars. He was struggling to stay still despite his body going limp at Louis’ touch.

Harry looks down at Louis, the light from fire was bouncing off his face so he only caught glimpses of his mouth stretched over his cock. He let his tongue dance around Harry’s cock from base to tip while moving his head up and down and Harry knows he can’t hold back much  longer.

Shaking and gasping Harry comes a minute or two later without warning when Louis teasingly slides a finger past his hole and he’s pretty sure he was just catapulted into nirvana.

He comes back down slowly, gasping and groaning while Louis kisses his cock and the tender skin of his inner thighs.

Harry is full on panting after that and can barely gather his thoughts. “Holy shit….holy...shit.”

He manages to gather enough strength to lunge forward and tackle Louis to the blanket below them and taste himself on Louis’ lips. He reaches for Louis’ joggers and can feel how hard he is through the fabric.

“I want you so badly baby,” Louis whines. “Fuck please.”

Louis groans while Harry grabs his hips so his bare cock presses up against the fabric covering Louis’. Like a couple of teenagers, they grind against each other for a few minutes while making out. Harry doesn’t even know how to focus on Louis’ wet, warm mouth and tongue all over him or the feeling of his cock rutting against his own.

Harry knows they’re not just stopping at blowjobs and he’s not to get a literal stick up his ass in the name of sex.

“Inside, inside, inside.” Harry frantically pants the words against Louis’ mouth and he can feel Louis nodding in agreement.

They stumble toward the door and it’s not lost on Harry how ridiculous it must look considering his sweats were abandoned long ago. After only tripping on a few things because they refused to pull their bodies apart, they make it to the bedroom and start tearing their clothes off. Harry leaves his heart on the sleeve of the clothes all over the floor as they climb into bed.

“I’m really hoping you were presumptuous and brought—”

“Yes, of course I was...I am a college student after all. Hold on.”

Harry has to force himself to pull away from Louis while he runs to his bag and grabs condoms and a bottle of lube (which he tries to inconspicuously pull the safety plastic wrapper off of the top by covering it with a cough). When he turns around to face the bed, Louis is sitting up on his knees on full display for Harry.

Harry drops the items on the bed to free his hands so he can start touching Louis and fuck it was worth the wait. Harry marvels in the presence of such a glorious naked body. It wouldn’t surprise him at all if Louis admits right then and there that he was sculpted by the gods and put on this earth to torment him.

Everything feels like second nature to Harry as if he’s already memorized ever dip and curve of Louis’ body. He somehow knows the exact places to put his mouth on Louis that elicits the loudest moans. From under his ear, his nipples, and v-lines there’s not a spot Harry leaves unkissed or untouched. His head was spinning like he was dizzy off of red wine despite being sober.

He wiggles free of Louis’ hold and kisses down his stomach muttering, “amazing, amazing, amazing,” until Louis fills his mouth and he loses all sense of time. He’s not prepared for Louis bucking his hips up and Harry gags a little, which only pulls another groan out of Louis’ mouth. Harry laps his tongue around Louis’ cock and licks from the base up to the tip and kitten licks the pre-come.

“Can we fuck please.” Louis doesn’t pose a question but the words tumble out of his mouth as a beg and who is Harry to deny him. Harry teases his cock a little longer until he feels Louis shaking under him.

“Do you have a preference?” Harry asks. “I can go either way.”

“Can I fuck you?”

Harry replies by shooting himself across the bed and nuzzling his head into a pillow and obscenely spreading his legs open.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

Louis takes it nice and slow like time has been cut down to almost a full stop. Adagissimo Louis mutters when Harry realizes he said that out loud. Harry circles his hips around the two wet fingers that are inside of him and he scrunches the sheets between his hands while Louis leaves a trail of small kisses and fading teeth marks down Harry’s neck and chest.

Harry moans while arching his back off the bed as Louis angles his fingers just right.

“Lou—Louis so good, this is so good.” Harry whines and presses his hips down to meet Louis’ fingers.

He tries his best not to scream out a mantra of Louis’ name as the slick wetness of his fingers open him up. His fingers tangled wildly in Louis’ hair, tugging every so often when he'd swipe a sensitive area inside him. It’s not until Louis’ mouth meets his fingers that Harry lets out an embarrassingly loud moan and he hikes his hips up so Louis gets a better angle.

“Are you opposed to turning over?” Louis whispers against his skin. Harry shakily turns over and gets on his hands and knees shaking even more as he pushes back into Louis’ tongue.

The chills work their way up Harry’s spine with each twist of Louis’ fingers and he doesn’t think he’ll make it much longer with the slow push and pull. Somehow he manages a few more minutes before he’s on the brink.

“Can I ride you? Please—fuck feels good.”

Moments later, Louis is under Harry sliding a condom on and Harry’s in his lap lowering himself onto Louis’ cock. They let out identical groans as Louis fills Harry.

"Just like that baby...so fucking good."

Harry grabs hold of Louis and moves his own hips in circles as best he can trying to feel Louis as much as possible inside of him. Once he gets comfortable Harry slightly lifts his body up to expose Louis’ cock and drops down and repeats it until Louis starts his own cadence of Harry’s name. They fuck slowly; every thrust has meaning and purpose and Louis took Harry’s own cock in his hand wet with lube and strokes him till he had to force himself to hold back in order to make this last.

Harry teases Louis above him and takes his time pulling off his cock and coming back down. He could tell it was driving him absolutely mad. Harry bends down enough that Louis could kiss the part of his chest that was level with his mouth and even manages to pull a moan from teasing his nipples.

"Fuck—Harry, shit, s-so close now.” Louis’ voice is deeper than usual and it sends a spike of chills up Harry’s spine.

Harry decides to finally speed up a little more and can feel his own orgasm building back up as his thighs burn from their quick movements. It’s not long until he’s spilling over Louis’ chest and Louis’ voice is gravelly and deep as he squeezes Harry’s hips while he comes with a shout.

It takes more effort than they’d like to get up and clean off. The shower is much too small to share so they take turns and Harry marvels at Louis’ wet body when he steps out of the shower.

“Could fuck again right now with you looking like that.” Louis pulls Harry against him and kisses him slowly but with purpose before letting him hop in to rinse off.

Harry hopes the bed isn’t too uncomfortable for Louis but at least it’s twice the size of their dorm beds. Harry’s truthfully scared to sleep in case this is actually a dream and when he closes his eyes Louis and the cabin won’t be there and he’ll be alone in his room. He lets Louis settle into the bed while he gets the food they left outside and makes sure the fire is completely out because that’s the last thing he’d need is for everything to literally go up in flames.

Louis looks soft and sleepy as Harry climbs in next to him.

“Is this the appropriate time to ask if we’re like boyfriends now or did you just take me here and romance the hell outta me to fuck and be casual?”

Harry is a little stunned at Louis’ bluntness since he’s usually more prim and proper but it’s also turning him on because he knows exactly what he wants.

“I’d love to be your boyfriend if you don’t mind breaking up in two months because you have to fly 4,000 miles back home.”

Harry knows he sounds bitter and possibly rude but it was true. He couldn’t help but to think of Liam’s words and they sunk in. As much as he wants to be with Louis and how much he fucking loves the fact Louis wants to be with him, they could never make this work after graduation. It wasn’t fair to either of them to have a relationship with an ocean and a six-hour time difference between them. Louis deserves to be with someone close to home not a more-than-likely unemployed, college grad with debt up to his eyeballs who can’t give him what he needs.

“Who said I was flying 4,000 miles away at the end of the year? Not me.”

Harry smiles into Louis’ chest and pecks a few kisses. “Then as cheesy as it is to become official after sex, yes please be my boyfriend. Thank you. No take backs it’s too late—already sent the text in a family group chat you’re invited to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Passover, New Years, Yom Kippur, etcetera, etcetera.”

Louis laughs wildly and even though it’s dark, Harry can feel him shaking his head back and forth in amusement. “Ya know, my birthday is Christmas Eve. It’s a pretty big deal back home. You can’t even begin to imagine the parties.”

“I guess I’d have to witness one myself.”
“I suppose you will. But that means a plane.”
“I’m sure I can figure something out.”

Before Harry can think of something else witty to say his eyes get too heavy and the slow movement of Louis’ fingers tracing up and down his arm pulls him into sleep.

+++

Harry is pulled out of a dream by the overwhelming smell of bacon and coffee and for a minute he forgets where he is until he hears Louis' singing coming from the kitchen. He quietly creeps out of bed in order to stand in the kitchen doorway to observe his boyfriend undetected. He literally waltzes around the kitchen grabbing things from here and there and Harry can’t help but to bite his bottom lip with a smile.

A tray on the small round kitchen table catches Harry’s eye and it clicks that he’s about to get breakfast in bed. Yep, Louis is officially a keeper. He creeps back into the bedroom and tries to look asleep in order not to ruin the kind gesture. A few minutes later, He hears the door creak open and the bed dip.

“Harry? Harry...baby wake up.” Louis’ voice and his hand against Harry’s arm is so soft and gentle that Harry’s smiling to himself before fluttering his eyes open.

“Mornin’ what is all this for?” Harry sits up against the headboard and checks out the spread in front of him.

Somehow Louis failed to mention he could cook on top of everything else he can do. He even added garnish to the eggs Florentine because of course he did.

Louis shrugs and pushes the tray closer to Harry. “Thought it’d be fun to eat in bed.”

“This all looks so good. I didn’t even pack any of this though?”

Louis chuckles and leans forward to peck Harry on the lips. “Well, I tend to wake up really early and I realized we didn’t pack breakfast food so I, um, just went and got it?” Louis shrugs. “I felt like having a lazy morning and not going out to eat...so surprise!”

Not even caring about his morning breath Harry grabs Louis jaw and pulls him into a kiss that should cover at least half of his “thank you” for being the most wonderful human being.

Louis slides in bed next to Harry and they put the tray on their laps and Harry’s only a little embarrassed by the moans that escape his mouth when he tastes everything Louis has cooked. He can barely make toast let alone the spread they’re enjoying so it’s a welcomed change to his taste buds.

“Hope you didn’t scratch my car. I’ll have to go inspect it.”

“Oh, I didn’t drive your car don’t worry," Louis replies. "I don’t know how to drive in America...that would have been a nightmare to try. I, um, your neighbor saw me walking and asked if I wanted a lift. And he drove me down to the store and back. Lovely fellow.”

Harry is completely floored but also doesn’t even seem all that surprised. Louis could charm anyone to get his way. Now he has to do something equally as impressive for Louis in return.

When Harry gets out of the shower, he finds Louis sitting outside; a crisp autumn breeze ruffles the hair on the back of his head and he almost looks like he’s in a trance because he’s sitting completely still. When Harry approaches he can tell Louis’ thinking like really thinking because he doesn’t even react to Harry’s presence and his brows are furrowed and there’s a slight frown on his face as if something is troubling him.

Harry takes a seat next to him on the double rocker and dips his head against Louis’ shoulder after putting his cup of coffee on a small table next to the swing. He pulls Louis’ left hand across his chest and inside the arm of his sweater and laces their fingers together. He doesn’t want to totally interrupt whatever Louis is thinking about so they just sit there and rock back and forth watching birds dip into the water and leaves forming tiny tornadoes as the wind picks them up and carries them off.

When the silence gets to be too much for Harry, scared he did something wrong, his voice even scares himself in the serenity of the moment.

“Is everything okay?” Harry asks quietly.

Louis’ body jolts a little and he squeezes Harry’s hand as if to reassure him. Louis brings his legs up on the swing and puts his body in a z-shape under Harry’s left arm.

“Yes, sorry. Was just in my head, ya know?” Louis waves his free hand above his head. “Just thinking and stuff.”

“Me always. Do you want me to leave you alone?”

Louis shakes his head no and scooches closer and they sit like that just thinking and enjoying each other’s company in the absolute nothingness of the morning.

By the afternoon, Louis seems a bit more himself after Harry manages to track down a stable they could visit after giving him a Saratoga history lesson. Since season was over, they couldn’t go to the tracks but Harry could tell Louis was itching to see horses for some reason or another. Luckily, he knew people who knew people and found some willing friends of friends about thirty minutes away.

Harry, on the other hand, did not like horses. He didn’t trust them in the slightest and jumped back about twenty feet when the one they were brushing innocently huffed warm air at him.

“What is the fascination with these beasts?” Harry asks Louis completely perplexed.

“They are not beasts, they are majestic animals I’ll have you know,” Louis doesn’t even make eye contact with Harry and continues brushing and petting the horse. But he does catch him whispering “he didn’t mean that” to the animal.

“I grew up with horses. Learned how to ride before a bike. I probably miss our stables and horses most of all out of everything back home.”

Louis inquires with, Jill, the woman who owns the equestrian center they’re at if he could take Ariadne for a ride. To no one’s surprise, she insists on it and Harry honestly thinks there’s nothing Louis can’t get.

Harry tilts his head to the side absorbing Louis’ words. “Did you say stables...horses? As in plural? Aren’t these little fuckers a gazillion dollars — no offense.” He turns to Jill on the last part.

Louis chuckles as he latches a saddle onto the brown horse and climbs on oh so gracefully that it looks like he floated up there. Something about the way he looks on top of that horse is so authoritative to Harry and, it’s quite frankly, turning him on a little.

“I’ll just...I’ll just stay down here. You guys have fun…” Harry shouts with an enthusiastic wave as the two of them gallop off leaving Harry in the literal dust. He coughs and pushes away the dirt in front of his face and pulls his arms around his middle as a breeze catches him off guard.

Louis circles back about ten minutes later stopping the horse right next to Harry as he extends his arm in front of him.

“C’mon. I won’t let you fall overboard,” Louis mimics the words Harry said to him about the boat.

“I only plan on riding one of you and it sure as hell is not that horse,” Harry scoffs and he’s pretty pleased with his quick comeback.

Louis rolls his eyes but doesn’t budge.

“Well, think of it this way,” Louis lowers his voice and bends down as much as he can without falling off Ariadne. “I want to feel you.. all of you ...pressed up against me and your arms around my waist.”

Harry pulls the collar of his sweater from his neck and does not miss the twitch in his pants as he adjusts his posture.

Next thing Harry knows, he’s indeed straddling a damn horse—after spending a solid ten minutes flailing about trying to get on the stupid beast. Louis keeps one had on his as they’re wrapped around Louis’ middle and Harry doesn’t feel as freaked out once they start moving.

As promised, Louis starts it off slowly and Harry is holding on for dear life as the horse trots around the large enclosed area. They can’t be going more than eight miles an hour, if that, but Harry feels like they’re on a rocketship to the moon.

“Does this thing go any slower?” Harry cries in protest against Louis shoulder.

“Faster? Did you say faster? Andiamo! Andiamo! Andiamo!”

Louis starts clicking his tongue and Harry has no idea if it’s the sound or whatever he’s saying but the mother fucker listens and is galloping to its heart’s content and Harry is ninety-nine percent sure this is how he dies.

He’s probably cutting off circulation to Louis’ gut with how hard he’s squeezing his middle but Louis doesn’t say anything and keeps holding Harry’s hands with one hand and the reigns with the other. And okay, if Harry stops concentrating on his imminent death he’s having a little fun pretending he’s a damsel in distress and Louis is Prince Charming coming to his rescue. He’s especially having fun when he focuses on his body moving up and down Louis’ back. He’s most certainly not thinking about or enjoying the friction of his crotch rubbing against Louis’ ass. But he refuses to get turned on while riding on a death machine.

He probably shouldn’t do what he’s thinking next but Harry has never thought any plan out fully in his entire life. Against instinct, he wiggles his right hand free and dips it down so he’s cupping Louis’ crotch and flicking his thumb back and forth while pressing his front into Louis’ ass. Of course given the fact they’re on a horse and Louis was in no way expecting it, his reflex motion is to tug on the reign and horses apparently do not like that. The animal freaks out just enough that Harry falters and braces himself for impact with the ground. But when he opens his eyes, Louis’ straining his arm around his waist while Harry’s legs are clutching whatever they can.

“I told you I wouldn’t let you fall,” Louis’ voice is fatigue as he’s using every ounce of energy to keep Harry from busting his head open.

He manages to slow the horse down enough that Harry can wiggle his body off and land on solid ground without dying. Louis reads the room so-to-speak and realizes Harry is done with horses and eloquently unsaddles and walks the horse back to the stables while holding Harry’s hand. Harry gives him shit on the way back about almost murdering him but makes sure Louis had a good time nonetheless.

“You owe me after that,” Harry proclaims after getting out of the shower to wash the dust and horse-ness off his body. Louis is reclined on the bed looking at his phone in a red pair of sweatpants and no shirt; his hair still damp from the shower he had taken a few minutes earlier.

Louis looks up with a smile and places his phone on the table and pats the spot next to him. Harry pouts but he still walks over towel around his waist and climbs next to Louis.

“What happened to all your fancy clothes you wore at the start of the year?” Harry asks smoothing his hand over the fabric on Louis’ right thigh.

“Didn’t seem to fit in much so I ordered some new stuff. Do you hate it or something?”

Harry gasps feeling offended. If anything, he fucking adored everything Louis wore and, quite honestly, really just preferred him naked now.

“Absolutely not! I love all of your clothes...on the floor.” He mumbles the last bit but keeps it loud enough for Louis to clearly make out the words.

“What was that?” Louis asks putting his hand behind his ear.

Harry smiles with his teeth and places the back of his hand under his chin.

Louis shuffles on the bed and turns to sit above Harry and straddles his knees. Harry tries for a whole five seconds to keep his hands on the bed. He thrusts them forward to meet Louis’ stomach and down to his hips, digging his thumbs underneath the waistband.

“Hmm, commando?” Harry asks when he can’t feel the top of any underwear.

“Could say the same thing.” Louis replies untying the white towel around Harry’s waist.

Harry’s heart begins to race and he half expects for Louis to be able to see it jump in and out of his chest.

Louis unfolds the towel on either side of Harry to expose his naked body. If Harry wasn’t hard before he sure is now when he looks up to meet Louis’ eyes and sees him biting so hard on his lower lip that it’s no longer a shade of pink but bright white.

“C’mere then.” Harry says roughly.

Louis’ lips are on his in a blink of an eye and Harry licks into his mouth with a gentle groan. He lets his hands slip from Louis’ waistband to the bare skin of his ass and pulls him closer so he lingers above Harry’s waist.

Harry gasps into Louis’ mouth when Louis takes hold of his cock knee-jerking in response to the pleasant touch.

Harry runs his hands from Louis’ stomach down to the front of his sweats, palming at his hard cock through the fabric.

Louis reciprocates by biting down on Harry’s lower lip then darts his tongue back into his mouth.

His hand grips Harry’s cock as he slides his fist over. The dryness sends a mixing sear of pain and pleasure up Harry’s spine. He does his best to hold back from putting his hand down Louis’ pants; the restraint only making him more turned on.

Louis releases his grip on Harry’s cock and drops his hips to meet Harry’s and starts a painstaking rhythm of moving in circles.

Desperate for contact, Harry nudges Louis’ hips forward and holds him still while their cocks rut against each other.

“Off, off, off,” Harry mutters inside Louis’ mouth while tugging at his joggers. Louis teases Harry for what feels like forever before complying and stripping himself down to nothing.

Harry isn’t embarrassed about how quickly he gets his hands on Louis and Louis doesn’t seem to mind judging by the moaning coming from his mouth.

While Harry fully intended for Louis to pay him back for almost dying on that stupid horse, he is completely and utterly captivated by all that is Louis.

In an awkward switch that doesn’t throw off their rhythm too much, Harry gets Louis back-down on the bed and makes his way down Louis’ chest peppering kisses over every inch and teases his nipples enough to make him squirm.

Ohmygod, Harry...fucck,” Louis whines when Harry takes his cock down his throat without even as much as teasing the head a little.

Louis writhes under Harry as he pushes Louis as far back into his mouth as he can before bringing his mouth back up and repeating the motion over and over.

The tugging on Harry’s hair paired with his own cock rubbing up against Louis’ thigh is building his orgasm faster than he intended and it takes everything for Harry not to spill himself on Louis’ skin.

“Baby, feels so good,” Louis hums rocking his hips up in time with Harry’s mouth.

Harry pops off for a second with a slow drag of his tongue up Louis’ length and crawls up his body.

Louis is panting softly and Harry can smell the mix of soap and sweat as his nose nuzzles under Louis’ ear where he’s kissing.

“I know I said I wanted to ride you again but—”

“Yes,” Louis cuts Harry off before he can finish the sentence. “Want you.”

Harry grabs the lube and condoms they left near the bed the night before.

He kisses Louis with a brief sloppy wet kiss before moving down the bed as Louis turns over on his hands and knees.

Harry stops for a second taking in the sight in front of him. With wet fingers, he teases around Louis’ hole; Louis’ hips jerk back in response.

Harry pecks Louis’ ass with kisses before moving his mouth and middle finger to his hole. As he gently slides his finger in and licks around the area, Louis gasps a moan that seems to go on for an hour.

Harry,” he moans pushes back into Harry’s touch and he can feel Louis trying to find something to hold onto.

Harry reaches out his leg in an awkward position so Louis can at least dig his fingers into his skin. His tongue circles around Louis, and he pushes just the tip of his tongue into him before pressing two fingers deep into Louis.

Louis whines even louder and presses back against Harry’s face and fingers. Harry twists them left and right and swipes them at just the right angle for Louis to completely lose it.

Ohh,” Louis moans and Harry can sense Louis has his hand around his cock.

“Baby, don’t make yourself come yet,” Harry mutters wetly.

He fingers Louis until his legs are shaking and he’s barely able to stay upright on the bed.

Harry wipes his wet hands on the sheets so he can get a grip on the condom wrapper and tears it open. He sighs in pleasure at the quick feeling of his own hand on his cock as he slides it on and drips lube on.

They both gasp as Harry very slowly presses himself into Louis and he wraps an arm around Louis’ waist to steady his shaking body.

“Louis...fuck, you feel so fucking good,” Harry bites the taunt skin of Louis’ back as he presses deeper into him. Breathing heavily, he takes his time until Louis whines beneath him to fuck him already.

Harry picks up the pace; pulling back and thrusting forward filling Louis over and over.

They’re both unable to speak just muffled murmurs of oh gods and yeah yeahs tumble from their mouths.

Louis’ moans grow more incoherent and louder as Harry takes his hips and fucks him over and over; the slapping of skin echoing in the room. Louis’ barely sitting up anymore, his chest and elbows have fallen to the sheets and he’s struggling to stay in position

Harry makes due and crouches as low as he can get, his inner thighs burning but the feeling of being inside Louis overpowers it.

“So good, so good baby,” Harry’s voice is rough as he dips his hips in a u-shape to switch things up a bit.

“Oh my god ,” Louis pants. “So close...shit.”

Harry reaches in front of Louis and feels for his cock pumping it in the pattern of his thrusts.

Louis sucks in a sharp breath and Harry feels his orgasm cover his the hand he has wrapped around his cock as he spasms around Harry’s cock.

Harry’s stomach muscles clench as he feels the heat rise in his body and he squeezes his eyes shut as he reaches his own orgasm groaning as he rides it out.

Harry doesn’t think he’s ever come this hard in his entire life and it takes twice the energy to slowly pull out of Louis. Fuck what he’d give to do that bare.

Harry drops down to sit on his heels so he can softly kiss Louis’ skin until Louis gets too low and is face down on the bed.

With achy muscles, Harry gets up to rid of the condom and retrieve a wet washcloth from the bathroom. After cleaning himself up he brings the warm, wet cloth to Louis and cleans him off.

“Good lord, that was...that was something else,” Louis huffs as Harry wipes down his cock.

“Gimme like twenty minutes and I can rock your world again.”

They have identical laughs and Harry tosses the washcloth to the ground where it makes a gross sounding splat.

“You’re going to have to throw these sheets out,” Louis chuckles.

Harry is pecking his chest and caressing his side; the skin jumping with sensitivity at each touch.

“Worth it.”

+++

Despite not wanting to leave, they have to get back to reality and back to campus. By the time they arrive back to school, Harry feels like the past couple of days were a fever dream but the sheer amount of happiness he feels in his chest reminds him of how real the past forty-eight hours have been.

It’s hard to part ways after spending so much time together but after a makeout session that lasts almost too long for being out in public, Harry retreats back to his room to unpack and catch up on assignments.

The next week was a blur of papers, pages of his thesis and too many articles for the school site. Harry hadn’t felt this burnt out in years but he wants to finish his last semester with a bang. In order to make some extra cash, he offered to take on as many freelance writing gigs covering the stupid British Royal Wedding as he could. He figures he could use the same base articles for each and just vary the voice and swap out some adjectives. While not entirely the best way to go about it, he’d efficiently get them done while still having time for school work and, more importantly, seeing Louis.

By ten p.m. on Tuesday, Harry was so drained from writing even one more word and procrastination was calling his name. He decided to take a quick break to take a dumb quiz telling him which single royal is his soulmate. He could at least imagine for five minutes that he wasn’t drowning in note cards and student loans and, instead, about to be whisked away to some far off monarchy where he’d have his own castle.

After the last question he scrolled down for his answer, which startles him for a second: You got the Prince of Rozâlia, Louis Tomlinson. Wait...what?! He scrolls down a little more and sure enough a young Louis, his Louis’ big ass smile was staring back at him in pixel form.

“What the ever living fuck,” Harry completely forgets he was studying in the library until he heard laughing and a few people shushing him. He blinks and blinks and blinks but the webpage did not change. From the little blurb next to Louis’ picture, he is allegedly next in line for the throne and is worth an estimated $750 million US dollars.

Harry quickly screenshots the page and goes to Google to fact check. Most of the photos of Louis only dated back to 2016 with nothing more recent and it made him wonder what happened the past two years. Sure enough though, Rozâlia had its own website with a page on the monarchy and Louis’ name is listed with a short biography Harry proceeds to memorize. His stomach hurts and he feels a ting of betrayal but doesn't want to jump to any conclusions.

This entire time he never thought to look up the country Louis was from but he hadn’t lied about any of it just omitted the fact that he was fucking royalty.

Now, he was in a moral dilemma and had to decide if he would bring it up to Louis or wait for him to tell him on his own. Either option had a dozen more pros and cons. He felt wrong keeping this secret but didn’t want to admit he took a stupid fucking quiz on some gossip site and found out the dude he’s been dating is a gazillionaire prince. But he also felt like Louis lied and his could feel his heart shattering.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Harry abandoned studying and the library all together because he started to feel claustrophobic. He immediately began second guessing their time together as he basically sprinted back to his room. Was he just being used to fulfill some stupid dream of wanting to be normal? Did Louis know all along this would never last? Why was Harry always such a fucking sucker?

Harry didn’t get much sleep that night. Or the next. Or the day after. He was purposefully avoiding Louis and felt a ping of guilt stab his chest every time he clicked his phone screen to black when Louis would call or text. It definitely wasn’t the right thing to do, but he didn’t know what he’d say the moment they spoke.

It was inevitable that they’d eventually run into each other but Harry wasn’t expecting Louis to look like he literally camped out overnight to catch him at the front of his dorm. He looked tired and disheveled but not as broken as Harry felt inside.

“I don’t know why you’re avoiding me all of a sudden but can we please talk or something?” Louis’ voice is stern and there’s not even a slight tremble or ounce of weakness the way Harry knows he would sound.

Harry’s heart is pounding and he knows he can’t just pretend Louis isn’t there and continue on to class. He swipes his keycard to unlock the door and ushers Louis inside. They’re both quiet on the short elevator ride and there’s no more than a cough when Harry closes his door behind them.

Sweat is beading at Harry’s temple as he paces back and forth across his small room. It feels like an anvil is crashing in his stomach every time he looks at Louis. He wanted to pretend that Louis was just a fling that they had never settled on being boyfriends. He wanted to force himself to lessen his feelings so things wouldn’t get complicated. It hasn’t even been that long, right? This was easy, right?

“I truly don’t know what I did or how I can right it but if you could just tell me so I can stop going crazy that’d be fucking fantastic.”

Louis’ sitting at Harry’s desk playing with a stray pen and Harry wants nothing more than to just leap into his lap and forget everything. But he can’t. He needs to just end this so he doesn’t get hurt any more than he has already.

“Look, I have to leave in a couple weeks for a friend’s wedding and will probably...no, I guess after all this, I will just go straight home after and I don’t know when I’ll be back to The States if that even matters anymore.”

“Whose wedding?” Harry asks bluntly knowing damn well whose. He could feel his eyes start to water thinking about never seeing Louis again and he did his best to blink them away.

“A family friend. I was going to ask you if you wanted to come to London with me for a couple days and then maybe come back home with me but I guess that’s off the table now.”

If Louis had said this days ago Harry wouldn’t even have to think about it—he’d go anywhere with Louis. He was basically finished anyway after turning in his graduation forms and he’d find a way to make it work or meet Louis after graduation. But things were different now. Any future with Louis seemed ridiculous and childish.

Harry continues pacing and starts picking at his nails unsure of absolutely everything. He could confess he knows who Louis really is, which still wouldn’t change their fate or he could rip the bandage off now and end whatever it is they had. Either option resulted in Harry never seeing Louis again so what was the point of coming clean. He chose the latter.

“I was stupid to think we could make this work after the end of the semester. It wouldn’t even be long distance, it’d be transatlantic. It just seems unfair to us both. I don’t have the money to come visit and I wouldn’t feel right making you always come here. Let’s face it, even if you stayed here longer it would never be permanent. It doesn’t even matter though.”

Harry doesn’t want to be in his room anymore he wants to be far, far away and pretend the last few months never happened. Once again, he fell too fast for someone despite knowing the consequences. When would he finally learn?

“If that’s how you feel then I guess all I can do is accept it. I’m sorry you feel this way and had a change of heart but I won’t force you into something you don’t want to be in. I planned on staying longer but clearly you don’t want me. I guess just know I really care about you and will probably...most definitely...be thinking of you every day.”

Louis drops the pen he was tapping on the desk and gets up with a sigh. Harry wants to yell at him for being diplomatic but he supposes it comes with the territory. He’s obviously been trained in it.

Harry lets his guard down for a second and reaches for Louis’ waist when Louis steps forward and pecks him on the cheek. He pulls away but the damage is already done and Harry has to force himself not to touch Louis again and take everything he said back.

It seems like he’s waiting for Harry to say something but he can’t find it in him to speak. Probably because he knows if he opens his mouth he’s just going to start crying. “Bye, Harry.”

Harry stands in place staring at the door for a solid five minutes. Long enough for Louis to be down the elevator and out the door and not hear the sobs that break through the wall that just came crashing down.

He can’t see anything through the tears and fogginess of his eyes but picks up random objects hurling them across the room in attempt to let out his anger and sadness. He’s late for class but knows he needs to go at least to get his mind off of everything. Classes will be a welcomed distraction.

Liam is also a welcomed distraction and Harry meets up with him at their favorite diner after his last class of the day when his eyes are no longer puffy and red.

They slide into a booth and it takes all but two seconds of Liam to talk about exactly what Harry does not want to talk about.

“Assuming the long face is because your boy up and left already?” he asks. “His neighbor is in one of my classes and said he saw him lugging a couple bags out. Strange since the semester is almost over anyway.”

Harry’s heart drops. He had no idea Louis had actually left already and assumed he’d stay right up until he had to—and since Harry can do anything but hide his emotions, Liam catches on instantly.

“Wait. Fuck. You didn’t know he left? Shit. Fuck. Sorry.”

“We broke up this morning but I didn’t expect that he’d leave already. Can we talk about something else...please?”

Liam shakes his head so fast he probably gives himself whiplash and immediately announces dinner is on him knowing damn well how much Harry can eat when he’s heartbroken.

“Are you gonna walk at graduation or what?” Liam asks as they’re up to their elbows in burgers, three different flavors of milkshakes, chicken fingers, and Liam’s favorite, southwestern eggrolls.

“I think my mom would kill me if I didn’t. She’s flying back for graduation so I better,” Harry replies as he chews on his burger. He hasn’t really eaten in days and despite having no appetite, he knows he has to eat and eating his feelings is always the best choice. “Are you going?”

“I wasn’t but since I’m you’re only friend I suppose you need someone to sit next to.”

Harry throws a fry at Liam’s face and calls him and asshole and everything seems great for a split second until the weight of everything comes crashing back down.

Harry feels Liam’s hand patting his leg as he zones back in.

“Hey, everything will be okay, man. His loss.”

“You’re not gonna say I told you so?”

“How big of an asshole do you think I am? I would never. Now shut up and eat.”

+++


The weeks pass in a blur and November turns into December and Harry’s unsure of how he’s coasted through the days but he’s managing. For something that lasted for such an insignificant amount of time in the grand scheme of things, it’s affected him more than he’d like to admit.

Harry couldn’t help but to think of all the things he and Louis could have been doing in this time. If things were different. If he had just never found out about who Louis was he could be blissfully ignorant. At leas that way, when the inevitable moment came to part ways, he’d have more memories of Louis instead of the handful he’s latching onto.

He’ll never know Louis’ true feelings. He’ll never feel quite comfortable thinking that Louis could have just been using him until it was time to go. As if he was a child playing house. He didn’t want to believe that and he thought he knew Louis enough that it wasn’t the case but there were still nights he tossed and turned going over their time together in his head. It felt so real. Louis seemed so into him but maybe it was all just part of the con artist fantasy.

To add insult to injury, Harry was assigned coverage of the Royal Wedding—which meant waking up at the asscrack of dawn to write meaningless articles and being well aware that Louis was there.
The universe has a sick humor.
Liam offered to keep him company and Harry didn’t know what he did to deserve such an amazing friend.
Come the first Saturday in December, Liam was at his door at 4:30 am with enough coffee and bags of snacks to fuel an army.

Liam puts the livestream up on his laptop while Harry was trying to keep up with typing minute-by-minute happenings on his own computer.

He’s kicking himself for volunteering months ago to be on call for this and the irony isn’t lost on him. If things went differently, Harry could be in London where it was taking place. While he doubts he could have attended the wedding, he’d be having a lot more fun than writing stupid fucking articles about this stupid fucking thing before the sun was even up.

“Uh...Harry? Holy shit look.”

Liam is slapping Harry’s shoulder about an hour into the coverage and Harry yells at him to cut it out.

“No Harry, look. Isn’t that...I know it’s fucking early...but am I hallucinating or is that your Louis?”

Harry looks up from his screen and over to Liam’s. Sure enough, there’s Louis in all his fucking glory walking up to the church with three young women, whom Harry assumes are the sisters he’s mentioned, and the BBC announcer seem very shocked to see him.

“Exiting his car now is the future king of Rozâlia, Louis Tomlinson, and the three princesses. Normally, non commonwealth countries wouldn’t be invited but the Prince and Duke go way back. He is anything but subtle in that suit, wow. Quite frankly, this may even be bigger news than the wedding. No one has known where Prince Louis has been since 2016. This marks his very first appearance in over two years ladies and gentlemen.”

“Future king. Harry? Harry? Harry? What the fuck, what the fuck!” Liam is bouncing around the room and full on slapping Harry across the arm as if he just realized he had the winning lotto numbers.

“Yes, Liam! For fuck’s sake! Yes, that is him okay, I fucking know. Now please shut the fuck up!”

Harry snaps at his friend and he can feel his hands tremble as he does his best to focus on his work. When his computer pings, he eyes his chat with the two other writers on call and one is asking who can write up a story on Louis. Even though he knows it would get a good amount of traffic, Harry makes an excuse that he’s busy with another article and lets someone else take itt. That’s the last fucking thing he needs right now. He chokes back his tears and continues with his work.

“You know?! Wait, is that why you broke up? Harry please for the love of god you need to tell me everything.”

“Liam!” Harry yells. “I am fucking busy okay?”

If Liam was any other type of person he’d have poured coffee on Harry’s laptop and told him to fuck off. But he’s not like that. He lets it go and jumps back on Harry’s bed and stays silent. Harry figures he’s probably fallen asleep because he hasn’t muttered a single word or even a sneeze for what seems like hours.

Despite being more than exhausted after his shift is up, Harry tells Liam everything he knows and everything that happened. It’s not even so much the breakup that hurts since it’s not like they were dating for years. It’s how used he feels. How he was just a pawn in some fucked up fake life.

“Did you let him explain?”

“I didn’t tell him that I knew.”

Harry yawns and focuses on taking his contacts out so he can go back to sleep even though it’s mid-morning and he has a long list of errands before moving out in a few days and graduation next week.

Liam is staring at him looking aghast.

“So, you just let him leave without giving his side of things and that was that?”

“That was that.” Harry repeats. “It was for the best.”

“Well, I think you’re wrong and I’m going to annoy the hell out of you until you realize it,” Liam quips back from his spot in the middle of Harry’s bed.

Harry rolls his eyes and kicks Liam off his bed. “Says the person who told me not to get attached. Okay.”

“That was before I realized he was someone worth getting attached to.”

Chapter Text

It’s the morning of graduation and Harry’s back in his old bed in his childhood home and the giddiness he feels deep in his belly is reminiscent of Christmas Day as a kid.

Once he’s awake and functioning, he grabs everything he needs and rushes out the door to meet Liam and begs his family to be on time so they don’t miss his name being called.

While majority of his classmates have jobs or internships lined up before accepting their diploma, Harry has absolutely no idea what his future holds for him once he crosses the threshold into “adulthood” but he’s not too worried yet.

His family showers him in too-tight hugs and kisses after graduation wraps up and part of Harry wishes they could be a real family again. He’s still not used to taking separate photos with each parent and then each parent and his sister but he smiles through them all as to not look like a brat.

While he’s talking to his sister as the venue clears out, a figure across the room catches his eye and he swears for a second it’s Louis. But that would be crazy. Except, when Harry looks back to double check, his eyes aren’t playing tricks on him.

“Be right back,” Harry says patting his sister’s shoulder and almost sprinting toward where Louis is standing.

“What are you doing here? Did Liam put you up to this?” Harry asks when he’s within enough distance to whisper-yell. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“No, he didn’t. I wanted to show some sort of support,” Louis replies. “I just wanted to see you again.”

Harry hates how good Louis looks. Every fiber in his being is begging him to lean in and touch him or kiss him or something. But Harry resists.

“You should go. I just...I just think it’s best if you go,” Harry doesn’t even make eye contact and turns on his heels.

He doesn’t look back to see if Louis is still standing there or if he walked out the door.

“Honey, who were talking to?” Harry’s mom asks once he gets back to his family and is basically shoving them in the other direction. “He looks a bit familiar.”

“Maybe he was in one of your classes or something,” Harry’s sister offers.

 “No. That’s not it. He almost looks like someone the Today Show hosts were talking about from that royal wedding the other day...the cute one with the good butt.”

“Mom!” Harry and his sister both yell.

“Jesus Christ mom, just knock it off. Literally nobody can we just go eat or whatever,” Harry sighs. He lets himself glance back and the spot Louis was standing in was empty. His heart doesn’t know how to respond. His chest is tight and heavy but he pushes it out of his mind and focuses on the present moment.

+++

Liam makes good on his promise to annoy the ever living shit out of Harry so much so that he’s considering blocking his number. So far, he’s texted Harry every photo he could find from some commonwealth trip Louis is currently on and Harry kinda hates that he actually looks at each photo.

It’s hard to believe that Louis’ days consist of showing up to events for five minutes, planting a tree or playing a game with kids and then he’s done for the day while Harry is struggling to figure out a post-grad job. It’s just another glaring signal that they come from two completely different worlds.

Liam sometimes just texts Harry the Google results page of Louis’ name in the morning as if he’s a paper boy dropping off the New York Times at his doorstep. Harry stupidly scrolls because some part of him doesn’t want to forget.

There are various articles about his reappearance and thirst posts from Buzzfeed with every possible angle of him from the wedding. Harry clicks on the Twitter from the results page and is taken to Rozâlia’s official feed updating the couple of thousand followers on the lives of the royal family.

He scrolls a little longer until he spots a video and his mouse heads for the play button before his mind can tell him to just X out of the tab. Louis is not speaking English, but just hearing his voice gets to Harry. He listens to Louis and reads the subtitles.

“I’ve been away for awhile but am proud to be home and fall back into my duties. I thank the Queen for welcoming be back and to the lovely people of this country for opening up their arms and hearts to me again. I can reveal that I recently was visitingThe States where I met some of the most incredible people who have absolutely changed my life and I will never forget them.”

Harry plays it again and closes his eyes. He can almost feel Louis in the room with him.

He goes back to looking at the dozen or so photos Liam sent and didn’t notice until now that the same woman has accompanied him to each event. She stands close enough to him that she doesn’t look like a staff member and a few photos look like he’s guiding her by the elbow, which isn’t x-rated but doesn’t seem like anything royals would do with staff.

Harry thinks back to the comment Louis made about his parents having an arranged marriage and wonders if this woman is who he’s supposed to marry. He sees the same photos on Twitter and reads that she’s titled a Dame and Harry has no idea what that means but she’s clearly important enough to be on all these trips with him.

Whatever they had together wasn’t long but, god damn, it was good and the ping of jealousy bubbling up in Harry’s stomach is telling him he’s far from over Louis. All this led to was nothing except how much Harry realized he wished everything worked out.

Harry vows to just throw himself into his writing and tries to find, at least, a part time job so he doesn’t spend his days cooped up inside itching to just claw his way out of his skin because he’s so fucking bored.

Even though it’s a fucking trip and a half to get into the city, Harry finds solace in the busy streets and preoccupied commuters. He never was one for New York City and liked the peace and quiet of his suburban town but the chaos and static was exactly what he needed from time to time.

Since his mom was back to traveling for her job, Harry got out of Hanukkah duties and could just use his free time to roam the city and pretend to Christmas shop. His family wasn’t the most religious and tried to celebrate the major holidays, but any holiday cheer went out the door with his mom’s belongings and they sort of just went through the motions to not look weird.

His dad definitely tries and Harry hates to admit how big of a brat he can be sometimes when he ignores his request to pick out a tree or help put the lights up. It’s only when his sister is around that he begrudgingly agrees.

He’d go into New York for a couple hours and walk blocks and blocks until his face and legs are numb from the cold. After, he seeks shelter in the loudest bar he could find and warm himself with a couple beers. If he was lucky, his feet would get him to a gay bar on their own accord.

Harry wasn’t narcissistic but he knew he was good looking and could charm the pants off of anyone. It worked in his favor when he didn’t want to blow the cash he had and have a great night only totaling the $25 train ride.

“I’m sure every guy in here has offered, but can I buy you a drink?” Harry is finishing up his beer when someone’s invading the little space he has. The stranger’s breath is warm against his ear and he’s talking about a decibel too loud than he needs to be.

“Everyone but you. Another one of these is fine,” Harry says shaking his empty bottle before abandoning it on the closest surface. He has absolutely no intentions of this exchange going anywhere but it was always an ego boost to get attention.

“I’m Noah.”

“Harry, thanks.” Harry clinks his bottle against Noah’s once he comes back with it and takes a sip.

“From around here or visiting? Really loving the outfit.” Noah says scooting closer to Harry

He wasn’t wearing anything special; all black with the exception of a pink jacket that was definitely too thin for the current weather. It was very low on the list of outrageous outfits seen in New York City.

“Lower East Side,” Harry lies. He tends to craft creative stories about whatever persona he’s stepping into and makes sure to always choose a neighborhood just far enough that a long subway ride would extinguish any sexual tension. Usually he fakes a name but his real one came out before he could think of an alias.

Harry harmlessly flirts with Noah for the duration of his drink knowing well enough it starts and stops within the confined square footage of this bar. He was in no mood to go home with anyone and this guy wasn’t even really his type. Too blonde and the Midwestern accent he was trying to suppress wasn’t doing it for him.

He leaves the bar with a buzz and a number he’ll never use.

With the holidays around the corner, Harry was able to easily get a part time job at a clothing store and the only independent bookstore in his town, both within a block of the other. Keeping busy is exactly what he needed.

He feels like he already fell behind after seeing majority of his classmates with real jobs or big city internships. He never had the desire to jump right into a career but every month that went by without a real job was another month he had to explain to future employers about his lack of experience and deal with his dad nagging him to be part of the workforce.

The bookstore owner was cool with Harry bringing his typewriter in and working on drabble and poems when it was slow. After awhile, it sort of becomes a commodity and people would actually give him a couple bucks to write something short to go with a gift.

After two weeks, Harry turns it into a real side hustle and they start advertising it in the shop’s window as the holidays were literally in a couple days. Depending on the customers, Harry would manage to pocket an extra $20 to $40 a day.

Harry gets a lot of joy from putting a smile on people’s faces with his words. It never gets old hearing complete strangers tell him he put their exact thoughts into words when they had no idea how to express themselves.

He thinks, maybe one day, he could publish a book of poems, maybe along with photography he’s taken over the years. But for now, he’d keep uploading them to his Instagram and daydream of some big time agent coming across them and offering him a huge publishing deal.

 

+++

“Do you want your gift now or this weekend?”

Harry is at Liam’s house—mansion—for their mostly annual gift exchange. Liam is finally in town and not off on some glamorous trip with his parents.

While he’s always offered to bring Harry along, Harry feels weird making his family pay for him even though they can afford it and promise it’s not an issue.

He usually gently turns them down because he doesn’t want his own dad thinking he has to compete with an entirely different family for his son’s love.

Liam makes grabby hands, “now, now, now!”

Harry hands over the wrapped gift and he cringes the slightest when Liam tears into it without taking a photo of his Martha Stewart-approved wrapping job—he even put a sprig of evergreen in the twine for a finishing touch—clearly all for naught.

He used some of the tips from his poems to get Liam a bottle of his favorite bourbon and Liam smothers him in a giant hug before placing it front and center on his fancy ass bar cart.

“Okay, my turn,” Liam walks to his closet and has to use both hands to push a giant box toward Harry.

“The hell is this? Weights? Are you calling me fat or wimpy?”

“Why do people always ask what it is?! No weights, just open it!”

Liam’s smiling at him with his fists under his chin after plopping down next to the gift. Even though Liam's wrapping job doesn’t compare to his own, Harry’s not an animal and snaps a pic before tearing into it.

“Wow, Liam, shit, this is awesome!”

In the box is a vintage black Royal typewriter and Harry is already eager to test it out.

“It was apparently E.E. Cummings’ favorite model and I know you love that dude and your grandpa’s is getting a little beat up so, yeah, best gift award goes to me!”

Harry laughs and lunges at his friend to give him a hug.

He may not have a ton of close friends, but he can always rely on Liam for being the most badass and thoughtful out of them all.

They open Liam’s new bourbon and Harry finds some scrap paper and begins typing a bunch of nonsense that Liam declares will be in a museum after Harry’s untimely death after suffering his final, and worst, broken heart at the ripe age of 48.

Okay, so maybe they’ve had more than just a finger or two of the alcohol.

“So, you’re finally ready to admit I was right and you were wrong?”

“About what?” Harry reaches for the bottle and pours them both another helping.

He’s only been drinking for a year, (yes, he was never one of those people who had interest in alcohol before 21), but Liam has taught him all he needs to know about the fancy side of alcohol. This also results in him getting buzzed way faster than the normal man.

“You still being hung up on Louis.”

His name stings Harry’s chest and he takes a gulp of the amber liquid to ease it. “I mean...I miss his face and the sex was fucking great.”

“Not many people can say they’ve slept with a future king, that should be in your obit...maybe I’ll write it into my eulogy for you.”

“Why are you so hung up on my death?” Harry spreads out on the thick shaggy rug at the foot of Liam’s giant bed and makes 'snow angels.' He wishes he could just sink into the hardwood floor to get away from this conversation.

“Because you’re gonna die a sad old man if you don’t right your wrong. If you’re truly over him and just tell me I’ll let it go. If not, I won’t make fun of you for admitting you may have overreacted. I’ll even help you win him back.”

Harry thinks about it for a couple minutes.

If he was being honest, he knows with time he’d definitely get over Louis like he’s done every other boyfriend. But, if there’s even the slightest chance Louis still has feelings for him, and would even want to reconnect, should he neglect that hunch?

If his gut is telling him to reach out he should and if it ends with a final goodbye at least he has closure. If anything, he’s gonna look like the fool coming running back.

“Okay Liam. I suppose, and it’s probably the alcohol talking, I suppose I may have made the tiniest mistake by letting him go. What we had started was good and I did...do...really like him. I like his face, and his hands, and his eyes. Wow, punch me in the face if I ever compare his eyes to the ocean or the sky because they are so much prettier than that.”

Liam doesn’t even start laughing even though Harry can tell he’s probably trying his best to stifle a giggle.

“I need to get him back,” Harry says matter-of-factly. He bolts off the ground and up to where Liam is sitting against his headboard.

Liam’s already got his Mac booted up and Googling away as if he knew this was exactly what Harry was already going to say.

“He’s attending this benefit gala in Montreal for New Year’s. That’s your perfect excuse,” Liam says showing the screen to Harry.

“Okay, so how do we get in?”

Liam scrolls to the bottom of the page. “Uh, looks like we need at least a $1,300 donation to get in. But that’s like a grand in USD.”

Harry’s heart sinks. “I don’t have a grand plus flight. Forget it.” He shoves Liam’s computer away from him.

“You’re lucky I’m a hopeless romantic, Styles. I’ve got it covered as long as I can give the most epic of Best Man speeches at the wedding— without prior approval.”

Harry stares at him wanting to protest but knows Liam won’t back down.“Alright, fuck. I guess we’re going to Montreal. Find a fucking suit.”

Chapter Text

Their table is so far in the back that Harry can barely make out where Louis is but his eyes find him and suddenly it all becomes so real.

The fact he's not just another random 22-year-old but royalty . The fact that they haven't spoken in months and how much it's actually affected Harry now that they’re in the same room. The fact he jumped on the first plane to Canada without knowing if Louis even wants anything to do with him. The fact he's going to be indebted to Liam for the rest of his life if this doesn't go well. At least the alcohol, food, and girls are keeping his friend occupied and happy.

Harry didn't actually come up with a plan to see Louis. He doesn't even know how close he can get because of the security around all the important people at this thing.

Did he really think he could just waltz up to them and be like, "oh it's okay we go way back. See he was my boyfriend before I fucked everything up. Yeah, no, I'm not a stalker making all of this up you can trust me."

Every romcom Harry’s ever seen has promised him that Louis would just know he’s there and see him from across the room and they'd run toward each other then passionately embrace and makeout. But that is not how this night is going and Harry is running out of time.

Harry zones out as people give speeches and tries to make conversation with the others at their table. He honestly doesn’t even remember what charity the money is going to and nods along and claps at what seems to be the appropriate times.

When Louis gets up to speak Harry’s entire world stops spinning. He looks like a dream, no better than anyone Harry could have ever dreamt up. He speaks eloquently and switches between English and French so effortlessly that Harry doesn’t even realize he doesn’t understand half the speech.

“He is quite dreamy isn’t he,” a woman, probably in her mid-30’s, says with an accent from across the table to Harry.

“Huh? Oh, yeah...I suppose,” Harry reaches for his champagne and takes a giant gulp. It already feels like the U.S. gymnastics team is doing their floor routine in his stomach so why not add some bubbles to the mix.

“I hear he’s all but sealed the deal for his future mrs. but I suppose someone could bravely ask when the group makes their rounds.”

Harry and Liam exchange glances.

“Making rounds as in coming to talk to everyone?”

“Yes. This must be your first time at one of these. I think at least until it’s time for the countdown, they’ll all be mingling.”

Harry’s heartbeat speeds up and he wants to scream at the mini Simone Biles in his gut to knock off using his fucking stomach as a vaulting table.

He, obviously, plans on speaking with Louis that’s why he’s here but he needs it to be in private. He can’t just spring up on Louis like this in front of all these people.

“Maybe you should talk to him first,” Harry whispers to Liam. “Then he’ll know I’m here and will be a little prepared.”

If anything, Liam is great at looking like he belongs somewhere. He can look confident enough that he can just waltz backstage somewhere or right into restricted areas. There was a plus to having such a cocky and fearless friend.

The two of them excuse themselves from the table and Harry stays back a couple feet as he zig-zags through the tables. He pulls off to the side and does the ‘ol tie his shoe trick but keeps his head up as Liam approaches Louis by some other guests.

He tries to make out Louis’ expression when he sees Liam but it’s a little too dark. But he doesn’t miss Liam pointing to where Harry is standing sheepishly. He holds his breath waiting to see if Louis will make a move toward him or send someone to escort him out instead.

Harry audibly sighs when he watches Louis start moving toward him, ignoring anyone trying to get his attention.

Suddenly, in just a blink, they’re face to face and Harry’s mind goes blank.

“Hi," Harry chirps. He barely recognizes the high-pitched squeak.

Hi?”

Harry’s throat is dry and he can barely get out his question, “can we talk?”

Harry can’t tell if it’s seconds or minutes between his question and the looming silence as he waits for Louis to answer. He’s wincing a little half expecting to get a slap across the face for having the audacity to show up—the other outcome from every romcom he’s ever seen.

Simone Biles is at it again in his stomach when Louis grabs Harry by the wrist and leads him toward the stage. They walk through a black curtain and to a brightly-lit backstage area. Louis doesn’t let go of Harry’s wrist until they’re behind a door of what seems like Louis’ greenroom sort of space. He doesn’t miss the two beefy men in the corner who are most definitely royal guards of some sort.

“What are you doing here Harry?” Louis pours a glass of water and Harry would think he was playing it cool, like always ,but he doesn’t miss the slight shake to his hand that causes a drop of water to slide down his finger.

Harry takes the other glass and drinks it in one go.

“I needed to see you and I need to apologize and I needed to mend or fix or explain everything.”

Louis doesn’t say anything but by the looks of him ushering out the two guards, it seems like he’s willing to, at least, listen to Harry and isn’t sending them to escort him out.

“I got scared and I’m sorry,” Harry starts and then the words just tumble out of his mouth. “This is going to sound so fucking stupid but okay, I was bored while studying a couple months back and I took this stupid fucking quiz at the end of an article about the Royal Wedding and your photo popped up,” Harry takes a deep breath. “Why didn’t you tell me you’re a prince?”

Neither one of them make a move to get closer to the other and Harry’s pretty certain this is the end of whatever they were.

“Wait...what was this quiz?” Louis asks Harry with a slight giggle to his voice.

Harry contemplates telling him but he was talking before his brain could decide to protest. “Which single royal is your soulmate,” he mutters sheepishly.

“And you got me?” Harry nods his answer. “Interesting.”

“Okay, that is so not the point,” Harry raises his voice on accident. “Why did you lie?”

Louis moves from where he’s standing and sits down. He taps the seat next to him on the black sofa in the room before he starts to speak. Harry doesn’t miss the shakiness of Louis’ hands as he takes it in his.

Harry can tell Louis is gathering his thoughts and trying to figure out the best way to answer him. He gives Louis all the time he needs.

“I wanted everyone—you especially—to treat me normally. I’ve spent my entire life being waited on hand and foot and rarely ever given the space to think for myself. I haven’t been home in two years actually because I was getting so anxious about my life. Every decision has been made for me since birth. What I wear, how I talk, who I’m supposed to love. I—uh, I  just couldn’t deal with it anymore so I, um, I left and I’ve been on the run ever since just, like, ya know, hopping from one American city to the next. I saw a random photo of your university online and, I dunno, it just seemed like a sign so I enrolled for the semester even though I technically am not allowed to study anywhere but my home country.”

Harry scoots closer to Louis so their knees are touching and he forgot how much he was craving touch. A bit of his anger subsides as he starts to understand why Louis did what he did. He nods for Louis to continue.

“I was trying to keep a low profile. I just wanted to—I just wanted to live a normal student life before finally going back home. I didn’t, you know, expect to really talk to anyone let alone meet someone," he kicks Harry's ankle with his shoe and leave the toe pressed against his leg. "But when I saw you that first day, I don’t know what came over me but I decided to sit next to you. I didn’t think it would turn into anything. I’m sorry.”

Louis' attention is moved to his lap and Harry just watches his lashes flutter. He was still so enamored by Louis after all this time. Not a single ounce of his feelings went away and they all came flooding back in this very moment.

“Was I ever yours? Like now that you’re home, do you have marry some princess or some shit? That’s what some woman at my table was saying.” Harry says in a harsher tone than he expected to come out. “To be honest, I was really falling for you.”

“If you’d ask my parents, then yes. If you’re asking me, then no,” Louis says with complete sincerity. “It’s not really the biggest secret in Rozâlia that I like men but we’ve never had a gay—or out—monarch in the history of the country so my family isn’t really sure how to go about it. That’s part of the reason I left. Tensions were getting too high and I just thought it’d be best if I left for awhile. I figured the country was so small that I’d never have an issue with people finding out who I was. I guess I have to blame the god damned Brits for that one and whoever did research for that quiz. To answer your other question, yes, you were mine and I miss being yours, to be honest.”

Harry could tell that Louis was being honest with him. It may have been the small glint of wetness in Louis’ eyes when he finally made eye contact, but all of the rage Harry was feeling started to dissipated all together.

“I guess it’s my turn to apologize because I was a fucking jackass to you,” Harry says sheepishly.

He intertwines his fingers with Louis’ and Louis squeezes his hand so hard Harry thinks it might break off.

“I’m sorry for overreacting and ending things without so much as an explanation. I shouldn’t have done that it wasn’t fair to you. I shouldn’t have yelled at you at graduation. I just got so scared and felt like it was useless to try to date after finding out who you are and where you came from. I felt ashamed and I was so selfish I felt like you used me. I hope you can forgive me and not hate me.”

A small smile sweeps across Louis’ face and Harry just wants to lean in and kiss the lips he’s missed so much.

“I’ve already told you I could never hate you. I was upset because we were fine and next thing you weren’t talking to me. I wanted to tell you. Believe me, I did, and I had it all planned. I wanted to give you space so I left and I was always holding out hoping you’d find me somehow.”

This time, Harry doesn’t resist and he leans in and presses his lips to Louis’ in the most overdue kiss of the century. Louis grabs Harry’s face and pulls him closer so he’s basically on top of him and Harry presses his tongue into Louis’ mouth.

Harry fills any space between their bodies and throws his left leg over Louis’ so he’s straddling him. God damn Harry missed Louis. No words are spoken but everything else that needs to be said is being told through their lips and tongues and their quiet groans. Harry can’t help himself but to move his hips in tandem with their mouths and Louis’ hands stray from the nape of his neck down his back until he’s resting them on Harry’s waist.

Harry is not shy about how hard he’s already gotten. The sudden influx of intimate contact has his whole body buzzing and awake with want and need. He wonders if anyone on the other side of the door will hear them he he literally fucks Louis into the next year. That’d be one way to bring in the New Year.

“Do you want to finish this back at my hotel?” Louis pants during a break in kissing when Harry’s latched his mouth onto Louis' neck.

“I do not know if I can wait that long,” Harry pushes his body against Louis’ stomach to get the point across.

Louis groans against the fabric of Harry’s shirt against his collarbone and releases his hand from his ass to swipe against the front of his trousers.

“Well, I wasn’t expecting this so I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I don’t have any condoms or anything here—and no, we are not using olive oil and a plastic bag.”

Harry stops sucking on Louis’ neck and pulls back a little with a tilted head. “Please tell me you have not actually tried that.”

Louis laughs and Harry playfully slaps him across the face.

“I was a desperate 17-year-old, please give me a fucking break.”

Louis adjusts himself to stand up and pulls Harry back toward him. “Truthfully, I’d rather this go down back at mine and not in the backroom of a convention center. The only other thing I had to do was toast in the New Year and I’m pretty sure we already missed midnight.”

Harry pulls his phone out of his pocket to confirm. Yep, 12:07 am.

“Okay, let’s go.”

Things happen fast and Harry is basically pushed by the same two guards toward what appears to be a garage. This would feel like a kidnapping situation if he couldn’t hear Louis’ voice from a few steps ahead of him.

Once they’re in the back of the black SUV, Harry has no shame in crawling back on top of Louis. Despite smacking the shit outta his head on the roof, he plays it cool and leaves off where he was and kisses Louis’ jawline until their lips are touching again.

“I can’t believe I was almost never going to kiss you again,” Harry admits breathing heavily. He unbuttons Louis’ jacket and then the first few on his shirt and kisses every inch of skin he can get his lips on. Louis’ breathing is shaking and Harry can feel how fast his heart is beating as his undoes the remaining buttons and kisses Louis’ chest.

The position he’s in fucking sucks and his neck is straining but he’s not going to stop kissing Louis until his lips are raw and red and maybe not even then. Some sort of sex god was looking out for him because the passenger seat had been moved forward prior to them being in the car and Harry has literally zero shame sliding down between Louis’ legs.

Harry looks up at Louis and wishes he could take a photo of the way he looks with his shirt wide open and legs spread for days. Louis doesn’t resist when Harry unzips his fancy ass trousers and starts touching him through his underwear.

Louis’ breathing gets louder as Harry runs his hand up and down his cock and leans forward to put his mouth over Louis through the fabric. He feels both of Louis’ hands in his hair and his hips come off the leather seat an inch or two as he sucks in a sharp breath.

Harry cups his palm around the bulge of Louis' cock in his briefs and teasingly kisses the fabric and traces the length of Louis' cock with his fingertips.

Louis is awfully quiet above him and Harry pauses his teasing and looks up at Louis with a raised eyebrow.

“Alright, Beyoncé we’re almost there and this is a $6,000 suit,” Louis says a little breathy as he pushes his hands through Harry’s hair but he’s not actually stopping Harry from touching him.

“Well, you’re either going to walk into the hotel with a very apparent boner or you’re gonna let me finish.”

Louis does the sensible thing and lets him finish.

Harry helps Louis look presentable again as the car starts to slow down in front of the Hotel Le St. James. He still looks like he got a blowjob in the back of a car but hopefully the chilly weather will be a good enough excuse for how red and blotchy his cheeks are.

Harry’s body tenses in the cold when they got out the car and he wraps the thin fabric of his suit jacket as tightly as possible around himself. They don’t hold hands as they walk up the steps into the lobby and Harry uses the couple minutes to text Liam even though he assumes his friend got the idea their plan worked. He forces himself to look as normal as possible as they file into the elevator with Louis’ security. Casual.

The door opens into what looks more like a museum than a hotel room. Only the two of them step out and Harry breaths a sigh of relief. No cock blocking tonight, please.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Harry blurts out as he looks around the ornately decorated living room. “Do I even want to know how much this costs a night.”

“Probably as much as my suit that you were so eager to ruin,” Louis jokes guiding Harry further into another room by the waist.

The bed is neatly made with gold brocaded sheets that, quite frankly, yes...look fit for a king. Harry mentally kicks himself for the thought.

He doesn’t let the opulence of the room distract him much longer and he focuses his attention back on Louis and the suit he’d rather see on the floor.

“Okay, this is much nicer than that random convention center room,” Harry jokes as he presses his body against Louis’ and wraps his arms around Louis’ shoulders and pulls him in.

This kiss was far less urgent than their previous one. Harry could feel the heat of Louis’ body seep through his clothes and he tried to casually push their bodies closer to the bed but those sorts of things never quite work as effortlessly as hoped.

A giggle erupts from Louis’ mouth as Harry trips over his own feet in the darkness of the room and, although this isn’t their first time being intimate, Harry realizes just how tense he was when Louis’ laugh breaks their kiss.

“Watch yourself,” Louis says as he steadies Harry. “You good?”

Harry nods with a laugh and pecks Louis’ cheek.

They part for a moment as Louis shrugs off his suit jacket and places it over a chair and turns on the desk lamp.

“Get yourself settled. We have all night, love,” Louis says as he kicks off his shoes.

While Louis’ in the bathroom, Harry removes his own coat and shoes then loosens up a couple buttons on his shirt. He debates taking all his clothes off and just sprawling out on the bed naked but somehow felt like the hotel room itself would judge him for his classlessness. He opts for trying to look casually cool sitting on the edge of the mattress instead.

It seems like Louis was expecting the former, though, when he emerges from the bathroom in a robe and Harry is ninety-nine percent sure there is nothing underneath.

“There’s another one of these in there if you wanna get outta that,” Louis pats the fluffy white robe and moves closer to Harry. Only he could make a terry cloth robe look like a slinky silk number the way it’s effortlessly hangs on his body and exposes just enough skin to make Harry’s stomach heat up.

Harry raises an eyebrow and sees a bit of Louis’ chest poking out of the robe. “So, if I was to just undo this…” he pulls at the loose knot and the robe flutters open to reveal a very naked Louis—who makes no movement to cover back up; but with that body who could blame him?!

Honestly, Harry should get some sort of medal for not attacking Louis after being starved of his body for so long.

Harry teasingly runs his fingers down Louis’ bare chest and stops right under his belly button and watches Louis’ skin jump with excitement. He grabs Louis by the hips, pulling him closer, and gently presses his lips against the soft skin of his belly. It’s an awkward angle but the little mews coming from Louis make the strain in his neck worth it.

“Missed you,” Harry mutters with his lips pressed to Louis’ skin. His familiar smell brings back the memory of them first meeting and Harry flutters his eyes closed as he tries to let his lips say everything his voice can’t.

Harry pushes his head back in reaction to Louis raking his fingers through his hair letting out a soft approving “mmm” to the touch.

Harry kisses and bites Louis’ skin with much less fragility than before and starts sucking a little constellation of bruises on the spots he can pull between his teeth.

He can feel Louis’ posture start to slack and wobble where he was previously standing so strongly and Harry revels in the fact he can turn his knees to goo with just his mouth on his body. He lets his hands wander to Louis’ cock; which takes no time at all to get hard in his grasp.

“What do you want?” Harry murmurs as he gently strokes Louis with a light grip—just enough to tease.

Louis gasps, pushing his body forward into Harry and clutching at Harry’s hair. “I—I,” he stutters his words and Harry looks up to see Louis with his head back and his eyes on the ceiling. “You know what I want.”

Harry lets out a confident chuckle and slowly stands; the hand on Louis’ cock moving up his length as Harry gets to his feet. “On the bed then, yeah?”

Harry pushes the robe entirely off of Louis’ body and takes his own clothes off as quickly as he can.

“Have I mentioned I missed you?” Harry asks as he slides up the bed between Louis’ legs. “Like a fucking lot.”

“Well whose fault is that, hm?” Louis asks with a raised brow and dumb smirk.

“I’m an asshole we have established this. Now shut up and kiss me,” Harry says curtly.

He crawls all the way into Louis’ lap and takes Louis’ slightly stubbled jaw into his hands and kisses him much deeper and quicker than he had previously. Kissing is not supposed to be this hot when you’re past your teenage years but Louis tastes so good and his quiet moans are setting Harry’s body on fire.

His cock presses into Louis’ torso and Harry sucks in a sharp breath when Louis digs his fingers into his ass and keeps him pressed flush against his own skin; greedily feeling every inch he can touch.

Harry bites down on Louis’ bottom lip while rolling his hips forward bending his body down further so he can feel Louis’ cock under him.

“I—I’m...oh, fuck, please,” Louis mumbles into the kiss. “Harry...”

Harry had every intention of being the one doing the fucking but he can literally feel his body begging for Louis to be inside him and he lets out a groan just at the thought of it again.

Louis cups his jaw and nudges Harry's face up up so Harry opens his eyes and looks at him. Fuck he is so gorgeous even in the dimness of the room.

“I think I’d like to know what you’re thinking about,” Louis' voice is rougher and deeper than usual.

“I'm,” Harry chokes out. “Thinking about how I need you. Like now.”

He drags his thumb down the length of Harry’s cock before squeezing it firmly. Harry moans, pumping his hips into Louis’ fist helplessly. “Roll over then.”

Harry peels his body away from Louis and collapses into the soft pillow and sheets. He watches Louis go into the pocket of his robe and pull out condoms and a bottle.

“Much better than the alternative,” Louis laughs waving the items in front of Harry. And yeah, it was definitely a good idea to come back here to do this.

Harry is so endeared with how soft and clumsy Louis is in his eagerness as he tries to situate himself in a comfortable position between Harry’s legs. Harry reaches his hand out and strokes his fingertips down the soft of Louis’ throat and feels him swallow. He grabs the bottle from Louis’ hand and keeps eye contact as he squirts the liquid onto Louis’ fingers.

Louis starts moving his fingers over the shape of Harry’s cock, dragging them over the outline of the head and the curve of his shaft. Harry bucks his hips up at the touch and slinks down the headboard.

Harry sucks his bottom lip into his mouth with a satisfying gasp when Louis’ wet fingers trail down his cock and his middle finger presses into him slowly.

“That’s so good,” the words fall out of Harry’s mouth raspy and frantically. He tries not to be eager and holds back from forcing his hips to mimic the motion of Louis’ finger. “So good, baby.”

Although his eyes are closed and his ears are buzzing, Harry can hear Louis shuffle on the bed. He’s moved closer and placed his free hand on Harry’s left hip and slides his finger deeper into Harry and speeds up the movement.

Ah,” Harry says, on a soft, gentle exhale as Louis presses another finger against his hole. “Y—yeah—yeah.”

Any attempt Harry had at holding back was gone now and he slowly starts circling his hips in cadence with Louis’ fingers. He can feel his back start to stick to the sheets and the sweat on his forehead is soaking his hair.

“Feel so good love,” Louis whispers as he stretches Harry open.

If Louis keeps up what he’s doing with his fingers there’s no doubt Harry will come before he’s even inside him and he definitely doesn’t want that.

“Louis— please...want you,” Harry softly begs a few minutes later. He spreads his legs wider; the strain shooting up his thighs.

With his fingers still inside of Harry, Louis leans forward and kisses Harry's dry lips, the curve of his jaw, and down his chest. Harry’s body jumps at the touch of Louis’ hand on his cock as he slides his other fingers out of him.

Louis kindly asks Harry to turn over so he’d be on his hands and knees. Harry melts into the feeling of Louis wrapping his arm all the way around his waist and warm skin against warm skin. He manages to use one hand to get the condom and lube on and Harry lets out a satisfied hiss as he feels the pressure of Louis’ cock entering him.

He’s glad Louis’ got an arm around him because his legs shake and buckle as Louis enters him. “Got you, babe,” Louis pants wetly as he tightens his grip. “Feel okay?”

“Y—yeah, fuck...more,” Harry isn’t embarrassed by his outright begging. He, quite frankly, wants Louis to destroy him. He deserves the punishment for being so terrible the past few months.

He focuses on Louis sliding in and out of him as slow as molasses and he thinks he’s doing it on purpose. It’s not the most pleasant sound in the world but Harry is far too worked up to let it actually bother him.

“So tight baby. Haven’t been with anyone else since you broke up with me?” Louis’ voice isn’t harsh but Harry knows he’s trying to get him worked up. He opts to slam his hips into Harry’s after speaking and Harry yelps at the feeling of fullness.

Sh—shit . No, fuck no..no one,” Harry’s already getting breathless as Louis speeds up his movements and digs his fingers into Harry’s hips. “Only wanted you.”

Louis rolls his hips and pulls Harry's hips back as white dots bounce around Harry's eyes and he lets out an embarrassingly low groan mixed with a squeaky sound he has literally never heard come out of his mouth until this very moment.

“Can’t say the same,” Louis deadpans. Harry really doesn’t know if he’s telling the truth or just doing it to rile him up. Either way, it fucking works.

Harry’s never had angry sex and whether or not Louis’ lying, he can’t stand the thought of someone else fucking his man. His body is on fire with jealousy and Louis can probably feel how tense he’s become.

“Let’s swap,” Harry suggests with a low groan. “Wanna ride you.”

Louis can’t say no to that and he gently pulls out of Harry and falls over to the other side of the bed. Harry leans over to kiss Louis’ sweaty neck and collarbone while Louis puts a new condom on. Harry tries to look as sexy as possible as he straddles Louis’ legs.

A small smirk swipes across Louis’ face as Harry applies lube to his hands and grabs Louis’ cock. But he doesn't expect him to full-on sit straight down on his cock. The short burst of stabbing pain makes it all worth it.

Christ, Harry,” Louis screeches when Harry’s body is flush against his hips.

Harry tightens his grip on Louis’ wrists and pushes them above his head. He quickly moves his body up and down Louis’ cock giving his hips a little roll each time he comes down.

“Were you thinking about me while he fucked you? Bet you were.” Harry’s surprised by the heat and tone of his words as they tumble out of his mouth. He grinds his hips in circles eliciting bursts of moans from both of them. Harry gets lost for moment and throws his head back as he feels Louis’ cock inside of him.

“Nah. He did quite the number on me,” Louis basically growls and okay, maybe he isn’t playing. Louis lifts his hips up the next time Harry lowers himself down and Harry feels like a cartoon character the way he sees stars again. He’s yet to relieve his own aching cock but uses the hand not holding Louis’ wrist to quickly swipe his thumb over the head. He shudders at the feeling and his groan is both one of pleasure and frustration.

Harry’s brief step into nirvana gives Louis enough time to wriggle out of Harry’s grasp and he gasps when he feels Louis’ palm against his cock.

Fuck. Fuck.” Harry groans as he tries to concentrate on Louis’ hand and bouncing against his cock. His thighs are aching but even though it’s been awhile, he knows Louis is close.

“Well, I won’t let that ha—happen again,” Harry hates that he’s stuttering. He’s trying to sound strong but his orgasm is creeping up on his.

When he looks down at Louis, his face is pink and blotchy and his hair is wet and cemented to his forehead but he looks like an absolute dream. Whether or not Louis really did sleep with someone else, Harry wants to fuck the memory out of him.

Harry bucks his hips down and this time Louis cants his hips up to meet his. The pleasure courses through Harry’s whole body so much that his fingers start to tingle and he can hear Louis coming undone underneath him.

When Harry sinks down again, Louis takes him by surprise and latches onto his hips and grinds their pelvises together. Louis wraps a hand around Harry’s cock and let’s Harry take control above him as he works on getting him off.

"Yeah—yeah, fuck Harry," Louis pants under him giving Harry more momentum to get Louis to come.

He’s not sure if the muffled yeahs and ohfucks are coming from just him but Louis too as the room starts to feel like a sauna. His muscles clench as he feels his orgasm and pressure building as Louis speeds up his movements.

“Lou—fuck—gonna come—shit,” Harry cries.

“Me too, me too—faster baby,” Louis mews under him.

Harry bounces up and down as quickly as his thighs can take him and only stills when Louis grabs him by the hips and jolts his body off the mattress.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Louis shudders as Harry feels him coming inside him. He clenches around Louis’ cock and revels in the moment.

Louis pulls Harry down by the waist and their mouths meet in a clinking of teeth as they try to get a rhythm down as their sweaty body press together. Louis’ mouth is so warm and wet and there's spit everywhere but he doesn't even care. Harry whimpers finding Louis’ tongue and it’s the messiest kiss but exactly what he wants right now.

Harry ruts his own cock between their bodies as they kiss and it’s only moments until he’s gasping and moaning while reaching his own orgasm and coming on Louis' chest.

“Oh, god,” Harry’s voice is high-pitched and whining and Louis’ there steadily holding him as he rides it out. Harry doesn’t think he’s come this hard in a while and it probably has something to do with his involuntary celibacy.

When he finally blinks his eyes open after having them squeezed shut for so long, Louis’ face comes into view, albeit blurry but Harry doesn’t miss the smile on his face.

Louis leans up to peck a kiss on Harry’s lips before Harry drops his forehead to Louis’ shoulder. He’s breathing heavily and can feel his heart pounding against Louis’ sweaty skin and the dampness between them.

“Baby?” Louis’ voice is soft like a warm blanket.

“Mhm,” Harry manages to get out. He’s not quite sure his vocal chords or tongue have any power to speak.

“Nothing ever actually happened. You know that, right ?”

Butterflies take flight in Harry’s stomach and he smiles against Louis’ skin hoping he can feel it.

“I had a feeling you’d get really riled up if I said something and you looked really fucking hot all jealous and stuff.”

Harry finds the strength to peel his body off of Louis and sees some of his come managed to even get on Louis’ chin. Oops. He swipes it off with his thumb then across Louis’ bottom lip in sort of a retaliation for his confession. He doesn’t think he’ll actually do it but Louis indeed licks it off and Harry feels like he could come again.

“Only ever wanted you,” Louis admits. “Even though we were over.”

The word over stings Harry’s heart and the slight lip quiver must have given it away.

“You’re here now though. That’s all that matters.” Despite being sticky and gross, Louis pulls Harry back into his chest and cuddles into him, peppering his face with kisses.

Harry murmurs his millionth sorry into Louis’ skin and they lay there until both start to feel gross enough to shower.

By the time they settle into a clean bed, because of course there are multiple rooms in the suite, it’s nearing 2:30 a.m. and exhaustion completely consumes Harry’s entire body once his head hits the pillow. He doesn’t even remember saying goodnight.

+++

Harry forgets where he is for a moment as he starts to regain consciousness from sleeping. The dead weight of Louis’ leg tangled with his and the warm and soft murmurs against his neck makes Harry smile and cuddle closer to Louis.

He can’t place the time thanks to the thick blackout shades but if he squints enough to the clock across the room he can sort of make out that it’s only been around six hours since they fell asleep and he forces his eyes to stay closed so he can get a few more hours of rest.

The next time he wakes up, Harry is alone in bed. He blinks his eyes open and sees Louis’ figure hunched over the desk on a laptop and a sliver of bright, yellow light is making its way through the half-opened curtains.

As if he has a sixth sense, Louis turns around and smiles fondly at Harry. “Did my typing wake you? I’m sorry.”

Harry’s voice has yet to wake up so he shakes his head no and sprawls his body across the entire king-sized bed. He didn’t get a good look at this room last night since they were a little preoccupied. It’s just as ornately decorated as the other bits of the suite and he marvels at the, no doubt, expensive artwork on the walls.

Harry didn’t think of a plan post winning back Louis and he feels a ping of guilt that he’s interrupting Louis’ life and work. He keeps quiet as he finally forces himself out of bed and to the bathroom just stopping by where Louis’ sitting to give him a quick peck.

Harry gathers his thoughts while the warm water hits his skin and he smiles to himself relieved Louis still wants him.

When he re-enters the bedroom, there’s a black shopping bag on the bed with the word SSENSE splashed across the front in white and Harry assumes it’s a nearby store that he’s never heard of.

“Lou?” He whisper yells around the empty room. He swears this suite is bigger than his entire house and would no doubt get lost in it if he were to wander.

He hears Louis pad into the room moments later and Simone Biles takes the vault again in Harry’s stomach when he sees how soft he looks in an oversized sweater and matching joggers.

“How was your shower? I figured you’d need some clothes so I had some dropped off. I hope they’re okay.”

Louis walks to where the bag is sitting on the bed and sort of nudges it toward Harry like a cat would when they bring something from outside. A small blush creeps up Harry’s neck over the thoughtfulness.

He pulls out a pair of black jeans , a shirt, and an olive sweater from the black tissue paper — and there’s even a pack of boxer briefs and socks at the bottom.

“Thank you, I could have just reworn my suit it’s fine,” Harry smiles looking at the items. He carefully puts them on the bed and walks over to Louis and pulls him into a warm kiss.

Harry feels Louis’ hands on his naked hips above the towel and deepens the kiss. Louis tastes like coffee and Harry melts into it. Louis slackens his lips a bit, just enough that Harry can brush their tongues together, which sends bursts of static through his body. Harry pulls back to peck chastely at the corner of Louis' lips.

“Did me coming here mess up any plans you had? I can just hang out here if you have things to do,” Harry whispers against Louis’ cheek. He’s soft and shaven now and Harry sorta misses the stubble.

“Actually—” Louis pauses and furrows his brows making Harry a little nervous. “Get dressed first and then I have to talk to you.”

Being the little shit he is, since Louis didn't say where to get dressed, Harry pulls his towel off him where he’s standing. He watches Louis’ eyes follow the towel to the floor and then up his entire naked body. Harry wiggles his eyebrows with a smirk and slowly grabs the clothing items. He doesn’t miss Louis’ soft groan and the way he tries to covertly run his palm down the front of his pants.

“See something you like?” Harry asks with a raised brow.

He's the one taken by surprise next and legitimately gasps when Louis falls to the floor on his knees and grabs at Harry’s hips.

Oh,” Harry groans and the smirk he had is wiped clean off his face as Louis takes his cock down his throat. “Fuck babe.”

He rakes his hand through Louis’ hair and gently moves his hips back and forth as his cock plumps up inside the warmth of Louis’ mouth. Louis scratches his fingernails down Harry’s hips and upper thighs and digs his thumbs into the soft skin and pulls Harry’s whole body into him. Harry can hear Louis quietly moaning around his cock and the slight vibration is making his knees weak.

“Faster, Lou,” Harry gasps. “I need you to—yeah, yeah.”

Louis begins working his mouth quicker, sucking tighter and whatever the fuck he’s doing with his tongue is working wonders. Harry lets out a squeak here and there as he tries to hold back.

“Oh, fuck,” Harry moans, his eyes rolling back as he tries to keep his legs steadied below him. “Oh my god, oh my god.”

Louis pulls off for only a second to lick up the length of Harry’s cock before taking it right back down his throat. His hands move around every inch of skin they can touch. Harry can usually last longer than this but he can feel the heat in his belly start to rise. He would feel embarrassed for already needing to come this quickly but with a mouth like Louis' it's hard to do anything else. Harry involuntarily bucks his hips forward when he looks down at Louis with his lips wrapped around him all puffy and pink.

Louis,” he moans ten octaves too high, each letter shaking. “Gonna come.” Louis makes a small mhm sound around his cock and makes no effort to pull back but seems to take Harry down further so his nose is pressed into the small spot of hair on his pelvis.

Babe,” Harry moans helplessly, bucking his hips a few times before he’s finally coming. He can only imagine how hard he’s tugging at Louis’ hair as he feels himself inside Louis’ mouth and he lets out a loud groan as he rides the last few seconds of his orgasm.

Harry’s breathing heavily as he feels Louis’ pop his mouth off his cock with his own satisfied whine. He shouldn’t look down, but when he does, Louis is wiping the edges of his mouth and it’s fucking obscene.

“Fucking Christ,” Harry’s voice is gravely as he sinks down onto his knees to Louis’ level. He kisses him, tasting himself but doesn’t care. “Do you want the favor returned?”

“I”m okay. That was good for me too...just couldn’t help myself,” Louis laughs shyly. “Please get dressed now I’m not used to you just waltzing around naked.”

+++

When Harry’s finally dressed and both of their blood pressures have returned to a normal number, Harry goes into the living room area and sits with Louis on the couch so he can tell him whatever it is he needs to say. Harry is prepared for good and bad but prays for the former given recent events.

“I’m really relieved you came here, Harry,” Louis says with a shy voice grabbing Harry's hand; the slight dampness a sign that Louis is a little nervous. “I know...I know this is a lot to ask but. Do you maybe want to come home with me? I would, um, I would really like you to come...if you’re free."

Harry’s heart jumps in his chest and he’s both nervous and excited. “Um, really? I mean, I can, yeah?”

“I know I must sound crazy,” Louis admits while he squeezes Harry’s hand. “ I am stupidly head-over-heels for you and just prayed every fucking day we’d find each other again. I just feel like we have so much unfinished business. I think you won’t hate me as much if I show you the world I came from and it’ll explain so much as to why I omitted all of this. And after, if it’s too much or not for you then you can at least brag to all your friends that you dated a prince.”

Harry thinks for a second. Truthfully, he didn’t have any real plans. He would have to quit his job but it was only part time so it wasn’t the biggest of deals. And, of course, he doubts there is anything he’d actually have to pay for while over there since Louis’ family like owns the fucking place so money shouldn’t be a big issue. Speaking of family, it’s a little early to be meeting the ‘rents—especially after Harry being an asshole—but the fact he’s going to be meeting Louis’ parents who are royalty gives him a bit of indigestion. It could be fun or end in a disaster but he didn’t fly to Canada to let Louis out of his sight again and has to go with his gut.

“If all else fails at least I got to go on vacation,” he laughs and leans his head down on Louis’ shoulder. “Yeah, let’s do it. I’m in.”

The biggest smile Harry’s ever seen swipes across Louis’ face and he’s pretty sure actual sunbeams are being cast from him the way he’s glowing.

“Great!” Louis yelps. “We, uh, we leave tomorrow...I’m still on a pretty tight schedule.”

Oh. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Cool. Cool. Cool,” Harry tries to say as calmly as possible even though he felt a huge burst of heat and sweat run up his spine.

Louis gets up from where they’re sitting and places his body in front of Harry and pulls his hands out to clasp them. “I could figure something else out. I feel like I just scared the hell out of you. I just—I don’t know when I’m going to be back over here and—”

“I want this to work out. I can’t lose you again,” Harry cuts Louis off. “If it ends in flames then so be it at least I’ll never run into you somewhere if it goes south. C’mon, I’m charming as hell. How hard can it be to impress your family?”

Chapter Text

Even though Harry knew Louis was rich he couldn’t comprehend just how rich he was until the two of them were in a private jet on a transatlantic flight. “There are mints in the bathroom,” Harry says in awe as he’s walking back toward where Louis is stretched out on a recliner in blush-colored linen pants and a matching button down. God he looks so fucking good.

“And there is an endless supply of champagne,” Louis replies holding a crystal flute filled with golden bubbly goodness. Harry takes it and instead of sitting in the seat next to Louis, he climbs over the armrest and scoots right next to Louis nestling under his arm.

They have about eight hours until they’re touching down in Rozâlia and Harry truly has no idea what to expect. Louis’ demeanor already started changing once they got to the private airport. It wasn’t in a bad way but his normal, relaxed, bubbly personality turned a little cold and he stood a tad taller after greeting uniformed women at the steps of the jet.

It took Harry a few glances to realize the coat of arms on the left breast of their uniforms were the same ones from the royal family’s website. Casual.

Thankfully, they were both calmer on the plane and the alcohol definitely helped them wind down. But there was still a pressing matter that needed to be addressed: he had to give Harry the SparkNotes on how to act around his family and other royals as to not offend them. Most people learn these things over years—Harry had just a few hours.

Being from the US the most Harry new about royal etiquette was saying, “your Majesty” to the queen. Louis warned him that he, unfortunately, had to call him your Highness or your Royal Highness around other people and Harry didn’t waste any time joking about for bedroom activities.

“So, your Royal Highness,” Harry laughs between the words, “how do I woo mummy and daddy dearest? Do they have a favorite sport or like drink or something I can talk about?”

This is when Harry feels Louis tense up a bit and get serious. He wasn’t trying to make any of this a joking matter and felt really honored to have been asked to go home with Louis and knows how big of a deal this is for both of them.

After his royalty crash course hurts his brain more than he'd like to admit, Harry drifts off to sleep for the remainder of the flight.

He only wakes when he hears hushed chatter above him. When the scene around him comes into focus, Louis was no longer in his lounge clothes but in a dark blue fitted uniform with more adornments than Harry could count. The whole royalty thing really came into perspective seeing him dressed up like this and Harry’s stomach did flips.

“Hey, you sleep okay?” Louis addresses Harry with a voice much softer than what he’d expect. He walks over to where Harry is perching on his elbows and kisses the top of his head. “Sorry if our talking woke you up. About an hour left of the flight.”

“You look really sexy dressed like that,” Harry yawns as, once again, his mouth speaks before his brain can catch up. Louis rolls his eyes and chuckles and does an adorable twirl for Harry.

“Haven’t worn this in awhile, surprised it still fits,” he says smoothing out the front of the uniform.

Once Harry gets dressed in a suit he and Louis picked out before leaving Montreal, he feels a little less inferior to Louis. He even went as far as getting a pocket square with little roses printed all over it to try and score some brownie points with the queen.

Harry’s nerves amp up even more once the jet begins descending. It was all becoming more and more real and when he looks out the window to the island below them, it really hit him that none of this was a dream.

Harry has barely a moment to breathe in the beautiful, cool air and feel the warmth of the sun before he and Louis were hurried into a black SUV that was surrounded by dozens of police cars. Clearly they weren’t going for an understated arrival.

It was a short journey from the private airport to the biggest (and only) castle Harry has ever seen in his entire life. Louis laughs at him when his jaw dropped as the car gets closer to it.

The “Châteaux del regno Rozâlia” (or Châteaux Rozâ for short he learned) as Harry was told was built in the 16th century and was influenced by French Renaissance architecture. Either way, it was some Hogwarts kinda shit and Harry was completely speechless.

The castle sat in the middle of the biggest city in the country—Rozâ—and Louis told Harry there were 400 rooms and over 75 staircases. Harry didn’t know shit about castles but there were more towers and windows than he could count. As to make a show of its namesake, there were thousands upon thousands of brightly-colored roses blooming from every damn corner of the castle despite it being winter—Harry honestly suspects actual witchcraft at this point.

The SUV drives through gate after gate after gate until it’s surrounded on all sides by the grandiose castle walls. Harry’s arm slides off of the door’s armrest when it's unexpectedly pulled open and he jumps a little. He waits for Louis to get out through his door first and then he exits the vehicle. It drove away faster than he could blink.

“Damn, so this is it, eh?” Harry says with his head tilted back glancing from side to side. “I’ve seen better.”

Louis let out a thunderous laugh that echoes against the stone walls around them and it eases a bit of Harry’s nerves. “Ready?” Harry nods and the pair begin walking toward a set of stairs that lead to a huge stone door.

The one rule Harry definitely hates is that there is no PDA among royals—including holding hands—so he has no idea what to do with his own hands and settles on clasping them in front of his body while they walk.

Since Louis was unable to give him a crash course in Italian, he’s stuck staring stupidly at the tall, slender woman and stocky man in front of them. For some reason, despite being in the 21st century, Harry stupidly expected the queen to have on a giant poofy Marie Antoinette dress and tiara but she was dressed in a modern navy blue dress and heels and the only thing in her hair was a couple bobby pins. Louis definitely got his looks from her but his bright blue eyes and button nose came from his dad.

Louis finally directs his attention to Harry and he starts to sweat as all eyes are on him. “This is Your Majesty, the Queen of Rozâlia and the Duke of Rozâlia,” he smiles in Harry’s direction. “Your Majesty, this is Harry Styles.”

Harry extends his right hand only after the queen does and shakes hers then her husband’s. “Welcome to our country,” the queen addresses Harry in an authoritative way that doesn’t give him any indication that they’re going to be the best of buds.

Harry follows a few paces behind Louis and he’s starting to think he’s way in over his head when people just start doing things for him without him even asking. Like a literal person bent down before Louis to take his shoes off and slide on velvet loafers and Louis acted like it was as common as someone handing him a tissue after a sneeze. Harry’s not sure if this means he’s supposed to take his own shoes off so he does that awkward tip-toe move he usually reserves for a freshly-mopped floor.

He watches someone take Louis’ uniform coat off of him and replace it with a black suit jacket and in the same instant someone is handing him a crystal glass of water and this is all before they’ve barely gotten 50 feet inside the castle. Harry is caught off guard when a smaller woman appears on his right with a matching glass and Harry does the most embarrassing half curtsy/prayer hands movement to say thank you and he sort of just wants to crawl into a hole right about now.

Everything’s pretty quiet within the corridors as he follows everyone down a hall. It’s so quiet that Harry’s scared to cough or make any sudden sounds or movements.

Louis’ parents make a b-line down another corridor and disappear without a word; which Harry totally expects. Like why would the queen throw up some deuces at him before going back to whatever much more important matters are at hand—like...running a country and not entertaining your son’s boyfriend who you most definitely, absolutely, without a doubt do not approve of.

Harry stops to take in the enormous paintings hanging in the hallway and all of the vases and other incredible items around the room. He sadly doesn’t see Louis in any of the paintings but they all look to be much, much older than him. Regardless, Harry thinks every corridor should be filled with paintings of Louis. He can’t imagine what other parts of the castle looks like if this is just a random hallway.

“Good afternoon, sir, I’m Giada,” the woman’s voice catches Harry so off guard that he literally yelps and it echoes in the portrait-lined hallway they’re standing in. He smacks a hand over his mouth and can feel a deep red blush take over his face.

Her hand is extended and covered in a black leather glove and she doesn’t seem the bit fazed by what just happened. Harry extends his hand to shake hers and prays to god that’s what he was supposed to do. Louis really sucked at giving him the lowdown.

“Good afternoon. Thank you for having me, I’m Harry,” he smiles at her. Suddenly he realizes they’re the only two people around and Louis has literally vanished. Giada seems to sense the panic on his face.

“Your Highness had to step away for a private matter. I’ll be showing you to your room. If you’ll follow me please.” She usher Harry with two fingers and he follows her through a door on the left and up some stairs.

Harry thinks he’s about to walk up all 75 staircases but his lungs and heart are relieved when Giada stops in front of two huge metal doors to an elevator. They ride up in silence and Harry stares at his feet until the lift stops.

They walk down another corridor that’s more ornately designed than what was downstairs. Harry doesn’t know where to look first. He feels like he’s in a storybook or the first time he went to New York City and just walked around with his head all the way back and mouth wide open.

“You’ll be slumbering here and I’ll be personally assisting you if there is anything you need,” Giada says as she takes two large golden handles into her hands and pushes them open to reveal Harry’s room. “The phone is next to the bed and just press ‘2’ to reach me.”

Fu—wow,” Harry quickly corrects himself as they walk into the large room. The red canopy bed sits on the wall to the right. The other walls are covered in magnificent floral tapestries over what has to be hand-painted wallpaper and there’s gold trimming on absolutely everything. Now Harry feels like he's stepped back in time hundreds of years.

Giada walks out of the room closing the doors and leaves Harry to marvel at everything around him and it’s hard to take it all in. The bathroom is just as ornately decorated as the room and he feels bad relieving himself in something so fucking beautiful but nature calls.

He pours himself a glass of water from the pitcher on one of the many marble tables in the room and grabs a couple cookies from a silver tray he could probably sell to pay off his student loans. He walks to the window and looks out at a garden. Besides the magical roses, there’s not much in bloom but he bets in spring it looks incredible. There’s a pond to the far right that he can just make out and he thinks about a younger Louis running around in the grass with his siblings.

The clink of the door pulls him out of his thoughts and he turns around to see Louis shutting it behind him.

“I know it’s a lot to take in,” Louis says softly as we walks closer to Harry. “Sorry to disappear I just had some protocol things to take care of. Is everything good? You’re feeling alright?”

If Harry was being honest, overwhelmed wouldn’t even come close to how he was feeling. But Harry sheds some of that anxiety when Louis wraps his arms around his waist and buries his nose into his neck and pecks soft kisses to the skin.

“Yeah. Yeah, I’m just adjusting.” Harry relaxes his shoulders against Louis’ chest and huffs out a sigh. “Everything is really beautiful.”

“If you’re not too tired, I can show you around some more and introduce you to my sisters or if you want to just pass out because of jet lag you’re more than welcomed to. Whatever you want to do, love.”

Harry shifts his body so he’s now facing Louis and takes his jaw into his hands and kisses him gently. He has a feeling they won’t be kissing as often as he’d like and Harry wants to get in as many as he can. Louis’ mouth instantly goes slack and Harry slips his tongue between Louis' lips resulting in the cutest little groan from Louis. Harry can think of many other things he’d like to be doing on that bed than napping.

“A nap actually sounds really amazing right now even though I know the first rule of travel is not to,” Harry admits. His headache and fatigue were starting to catch up on him and he figures Louis has to attend to a lot of people and he doesn’t want to get in the way. “I’m sure you have a ton to do right now so don’t let me be a burden I’ll just pass out for a bit.”

Louis lifts his chin up and purses his lips so Harry comes forward to kiss him again.

“I have a couple things to take care of but I can have Giada come get you for dinner? It’s going to be with everyone so I want you to be prepared but don’t be nervous.”

“Nervous? Dinner with the reigning monarch is easy peasy,” Harry huffs even though he’s shitting himself over the thought. “I clearly dabble in it in my spare time.”

Louis lets out a breathy laugh and rolls his eyes. “Okay, get some rest. There’s a ton of clothes in the wardrobe so you don’t have to nap in a suit. I’ll see you in a few hours.”

Once Louis leaves the room, Harry throws open the doors to the large wardrobe (which frankly, he expects it to come to life and start singing). When Louis mentioned clothes, Harry ignorantly thought like Louis had them stock the thing with some of his own clothes. Nope. Every item was brand new. Louis must have had it set up while he slept on the plane.

That feeling of inferiority plagues his mind again. It swoops in so quickly that Harry can’t bat it away and he lets it envelop him.

His heart feels so fucking heavy as he changes into a pair of sweatpants and a matching sweater. Many of the items in the drawers were things Harry already had back home; like the Nike outfit he was currently wearing and his favorite H&M basic tees and sweaters but in every single color the company manufactures. In the drawers were a zillion different pairs and patterns of jeans and pants.

Hanging up though, were clothes Harry was far too scared to touch. He recognized the Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Acne labels. Majority of the items were ones he lusted after but never thought he’d ever have the money to own—Louis had clearly found his Pinterest boards. He knows he should feel grateful but his brain is screaming “you’re not good enough” on repeat.

What could he have to offer someone like Louis? Someone who literally has everything and if he doesn’t already have it it would probably take a single snap of his fingers to get it. Harry didn’t bring anything to the table.

He was starting to think all of this was a bad idea.

He felt like he was stealing from Louis and his family. How did he think he would feel fine coming here and not paying for a single thing and just mooching off of his boyfriend? They weren’t equals. Harry was so, so much further below Louis.

Harry wants to call Liam or his sister but his phone is useless here and would cost way too much. He doesn’t really know how to use the phone in the room but quickly remembers the piece of paper near the water pitcher with the WiFi information. They may be in a 16th century castle, but thank god they were living in the 21st.

They probably have some crazy ass security with their WiFi but he’s able to login and sends a text to Liam. A couple minutes later, a FaceTime request is popping up on his screen and he quickly accepts it.

“Hey, Li!”

“Harry! Where the hell are you man?”

Harry presses the button to flip his phone’s camera, “take a guess.”

“Holy shit look at that place! Wait, is this Louis’ place?”

“If by place you mean palace then yes,” Harry says before turning the camera back to his face. “He invited me and I just couldn’t lose him again so I accepted. But I feel like I made a huge mistake, Li. Like he’s so rich and powerful and I understand the word peasant now.”

Harry’s pouting at Liam now and probably looks ridiculous.

“I mean, hey, I’m rich. We get along just fine and you’re my best friend! Think about it from his perspective. It’s probably really scary and a big fucking deal to bring you home and I doubt he invites just anyone to stay with him in his castle. As far as I’m concerned, an actual prince is in love with your ‘peasant’ ass so like enjoy it.”

Harry hadn’t taken a chance to think of it from Louis’ perspective. After their talk in Montreal, it did seem like a big deal to show up with a significant other on top of him being away for so long and he not only shows up after two years but with another man. Louis could be risking a lot for what he did. But Harry also likes to wallow in his misery so he doesn't ponder on that thought too long.

“I think he’s probably trying to make you feel as comfortable as he can in his world and I don’t think he’s trying to, like, brag or look extravagant.” Liam explains. “I know I get a little embarrassed by rich people shit my parents do. Do you think I really wanted a school building named after us?! I imagine it’s no different for him. He can’t help what he was born into.” Liam’s words are calming to Harry and he talks him down from the ledge so to speak.

Harry changes the subject and finds out what his friend has been up to and they talk for about forty-five minutes until Harry’s eyes literally feel like weights. He apologizes to Liam and thanks him for his advice before settling under the heavy blanket and passing out.

Chapter Text

Harry’s hands are literally shaking as he buttons up one of crisp black shirts from the wardrobe. He gives up trying to secure the button on the jacket after a couple failed attempts. He leaves it open to try again later once his nerves calm down.

There’s a knock on his door and he tells Giada to come on in while he puts a couple finishing touches on his hair and slides on his Oxfords.

“Wow, you look incredible.” Louis’ voice takes Harry by surprise and he spins around to see him standing in his own black suit looking like a fucking god.

“Shit, you scared me. I wasn’t expecting you,” Harry laughs as he smooths out the front of the jacket completely aware of how shaky his voice is.

“I wanted to walk in with you,” Louis smiles at him.

Louis takes a step forward so they’re face to face and he has on another one of his large, goofy grins that makes Harry’s heart melt. He reaches out to effortlessly button Harry’s jacket and at the same time, he lifts his head up so he can kiss Harry. Louis runs his hands down Harry’s chest and keeps them planted on his sternum.

Louis tastes minty and the balm he put on makes his lips feel velvety smooth against Harry’s chapped ones. Harry strokes the inner lining of Louis’s lip with the tip of his tongue and he can feel the soft tickle of Louis’ breath beneath his nose.

Harry can’t help himself as he wraps his right hand under Louis’ jacket grabbing at his ass causing Louis to stumble forward into his body with a quiet yelp.

“This can’t get too heated,” Louis mutters into Harry’s mouth. Harry nibbles at Louis’ bottom lip in retaliation pulling it back with his teeth before gently sucking at the plump skin.

Begrudgingly, Harry slowly pulls back from the kiss and pecks Louis one last time. He drops his head down to flutter a kiss on his jaw and gives his ass one final squeeze—for good luck, of course.

“Hungry?” Louis asks.

“Fucking starved,” Harry replies hoping Louis catches on to the innuendo.

On cue, Louis rolls his eyes and gently punches Harry’s shoulder.

They walk together to the elevator and Harry doesn’t protest when Louis grabs his hand. It feels like it’s been so long since they held hands Harry feels silly that his stomach flips a little. An elevator ride and a couple sets of stairs later, the pair is welcomed into a grand dining room.

Three young women are already standing in front of their chairs when they walk in. Harry recognizes them from the photos at the wedding: his sisters. Judging by the quick glances, they even seem a little shocked that Harry is in the room.

Louis reaches to pull out a chair for Harry but another man, a butler or someone Harry thinks, is there in a split second, “Your Highness?” he asks clearly thrown off by Louis’ actions.

Harry feels like he’s in the middle of a Western movie duel as he looks from Louis to the staff member. Louis removes his hand and lets the man pull it out for Harry.

“Don’t sit yet,” Louis whispers to him and Harry’s thankful for the tip.

Harry’s heart speeds up an unhealthy amount when Louis’ parents are announced to the dining room. As they enter, Louis’ sisters give a small curtsy and Harry follows Louis’ lead and bows his head.

Once they’re all given the go ahead to sit, Harry takes his seat and is surprised when he’s actually pushed closer to the table. He was half-expecting someone to chew his food for him next.

“If you don’t like anything just let me know and I’ll have them take it away,” Louis whispers to Harry as their first course is placed in front of them. Harry will be damned if he doesn’t eat every single thing put in front of him no matter what it is.

Once the queen takes her first bite Harry watches everyone else start to eat and he follows. He doesn’t expect anyone to start talking to him but he was hoping this would give Louis’ family a chance to get to know him.

By the fourth course, Harry is squirming in his seat. He’s never been at such a quiet dinner. Not even his family’s dinner after the dreaded divorce talk was as tense as this one.

“Harry, Louis says you’re from New York?”

Harry’s head snaps up at the mention of his name and he looks across the table to one of Louis’ sisters. He thinks it’s all in his head for a moment. Like his brain is making up a conversation to make things less awkward. But when he looks over, Louis’ sisters are attentive and stare at him.

“Yes, ma’am,” Harry replies feeling a little silly calling a teenager that but rules are rules.

“That’s lovely,” she smiles at him. Maybe the entire family doesn’t hate him. “I went to the city on holiday a few years ago.”

Harry nods as he listens and pausing eating so he’s not caught with food in his mouth when it’s his turn to speak.

“I live a couple hours outside the city, I’m more upstate so I don’t get into the city all that much,” Harry explains. “It’s really great in the winter though before the snow gets grey and slushy.”

Harry feels Louis tap him with his toe and he thinks he said something wrong until he simply just loops his foot around Harry’s ankle.

Dinner continues and Harry converses a little more with Louis’ sisters and him but never directly with the queen and her husband. Finally, after Harry has lost count from all the different plates they’ve eaten, dinner abruptly stops when the queen puts her fork over her plate.

In what feels like only two minutes, the table is completely cleared and Harry finds himself jumping to his feet with everyone else once the queen stands.

Harry keeps his head straight ahead but lets his eyes wander to watch her retreat through a door. He feels a physical weight lift off of his shoulders once it’s just Louis, his siblings, and him inside the room.

“Okay, sorry for all the formal stuff,” Louis’ eldest sister chimes. “Now that she’s in for the night we can be a little more casual. You’d think by 2019, we’d be able to wear sweatpants to dinner but nooo, I still have to wear a too-tight dress and a full face of makeup,” she rolls her eyes and doesn’t wait for a footman to pull her chair out further and scoots it away with the back of her knees.

Harry thinks the past two hours were a hallucination and he pinches the inside of his wrist to make sure this is actually happening. It’s like someone called “cut” and all the actors broke character. He may or may not look around for cameras.

“Félicité is quite the independent 21st century woman,” Louis jokes as they both watch his sister walk toward the door. “Technically, I should be leaving before her but fuck the rules, right?”

About an hour later, Harry is back in his Nike sweats and cuddled under Louis’ arm in huge theater room with his sisters a few seats ahead of them. They’ve put on a film and Harry feels like things are a little bit more normal now without the all the pressure.

“I’m really relieved you’re not always like regal and shit,” Harry whispers so he doesn’t interrupt the movie. “I’m not sure how many more of those dinners I could handle. Did they even like me or anything?!”

Louis squeezes Harry's shoulder his arm is draped over and kisses the side of Harry’s head. Harry wishes they were alone in the room so he could move his hand a little further up Louis’ thigh under the thick grey blanket strewn across their laps like they were a couple of teenagers.

“I’m sorry. I know that was really formal. We have our own dining area in our wing so we don’t have to eat every single meal with them. And I can take you to my other residence, which I planned on I just wanted to get this out of the way. She wouldn't have invited you to dinner if she didn't like you. That's like a big fucking deal considering, no offense, you're of no royal blood.”

Everything Louis says shouldn’t come as a surprise to Harry but there are still little instances where he forgets he’s royalty even given the fact he’s sitting in a theater inside a castle. He's just glad the queen liked him—or so Louis said. For all Harry knew, he could be lying as to not hurt his feelings.

“I’d really love to, like, explore the city too. I know you probably can’t walk around with me but maybe a day your duties call and I can go play tourist?”

Harry didn’t have a set time frame for how long he’d stay with Louis but he’d hang around for as long as Louis wanted him to.

+++

Harry ended up staying in Rozâlia for months after Louis begged him to at least stay past his birthday. February, though, quickly turned into May and Harry had quite the routine down now that he was feeling more comfortable in his new surroundings.

Louis had thought it best for the two of them to stay at the family’s privately owned cottage about forty-five minutes south of the main castle. While it was called a cottage, it spanned at least 7,500 square feet and, if he had to guess, it sat on probably twenty acres of land. Harry would never know it was just a short ride from the coast if Louis hadn’t told him.

The coastal countryside was absolutely breathtaking to Harry. If he breathed in deep enough, he could faintly smell the sea and if he walked far enough on the cottage’s property he could actually hear the water. He’d yet to actually go there but was hoping, now that it was warmer, Louis would be able to take him. He’d assume the royal family had some sort of private beach...maybe so private he wouldn’t have to be constrained by swimming shorts.

His favorite thing about the property though was the farm. There were dozens of animals and while he stayed clear of the horse stable, he quite enjoyed hanging with the sheep, pigs, and occasional chicken.

He became friendly with the animals’ caretakers and had his own reserved treat jar. They always looked at him funny when he would play with the animals but Harry didn’t mind. The animals would get so accustomed to Harry feeding them that they’d flock toward him any time they heard footsteps close to where the jar was stored.

It wasn’t until a few weeks in that Harry realized these animals were not pets when one of the lambs he’d named went missing.

He had called Louis out to the farm area in a panic, yelling at Louis to follow him quickly. Louis being Louis thought something terrible had happened and was seconds away from firing everyone.

“Harry what is going on?” Louis asks alarmed looking around at all the animals.

“Penelope is missing Louis. She escaped! What if a wolf or something gets her?” Harry screeches. He scoops up another lamb into his arms and pets the animal and coos at it.

“Oh shit!” Louis says and Harry thinks finally he gets it. Call the royal guard, do what you must but find her! “Harry, love...um, fuck. Baby...sit down.”

Harry finds a piece of stone to sit on while cradling the animal in his lap and innocently looks up at Louis.

“Love, you ate Penelope last night. Where the hell did you think those lamb chops with the ratatouille came from?”

“A GROCERY STORE????” Harry shrieks as he covers the little ears of the animal on his lap.

“No...no, love.” Louis is shaking his head at Harry and he’s not laughing. “No one here has ever been to a grocery store. That’s why there’s a farm...it provides food...”

Harry leaps up from where he’s standing, gently placing the lamb on the ground and takes two steps to the right before he’s vomiting everywhere.

The next week, Louis had informed the confused farm staff that the animals at the cottage were to live out their lives as nature intended and their meat would come from a different royal farm where Harry hadn’t gotten attached and named every single animals.

Harry had decided on a mostly vegetarian slash pescetarian diet after that and only ate meat in the presence of the queen as to not offend her.

+++

Once the weather was warm enough, Harry would opt for a bike and ride around town. He liked the anonymity of it all and blended in as much as possible with the locals—he even picked up on some basic Italian and French with the help of Louis.

He got a history lesson and learned the west coast of the island was more fluent in French since it was closer to France and the east coast preferred Italian since it was closer to Italy and each country at one point owned them. Louis informed him of the one time, after their independence, a king way back tried to merge the languages together to make a new language and it failed miserably so they just stuck with keeping both languages and English became wide spread not too long ago.

“You look ridiculous in that floral top,” Louis tells Harry as he’s sliding on his shoes.

Louis has to go to some appearance and Harry’s decided on a mission to find new books because he really misses his. Louis told him there were plenty in the castle’s huge library but this was something Harry wanted to pay for by himself.

Hey,” Harry whines with a pout. “You’re the one who bought it for me.”

“Yes, well I thought you’d put a shirt underneath it since it’s sheer and not have your tits hanging out like that,” he gestures to the front of the shirt.

“I’m putting a coat over it, calm your tits.” Harry puts his arms through the bomber jacket he had draped over a chair and does a spin for Louis. “Better?”

Louis shakes his head and nudges Harry’s jaw with his nose placing a gentle kiss to his neck. He’ll never get tired of these quick, intimate, moments.

While Harry was perusing a quaint bookstore, he felt a tap on his shoulder.

“Um, yes?” Harry asks, closing the book he was skimming. “Can I help you?”

“I just had to see you for myself,” the young woman, no older than his age says in perfect English.

Excuse me? What?”

“You’re dating Prince Louis, right? I’ve heard about you and I’ve never seen you around here and, if you haven’t noticed, it’s a pretty small village and I know everyone...everyone except you.”

Harry’s chest tightens and he probably looks like a deer in headlights right about now. Harry has yet to be seen with Louis in public and they haven’t even discussed yet if that was even going to be an option in the future.

“I think you have the wrong person, I’m sorry,” Harry’s voice is stable and he prays the lie is good enough. “I’m just here visiting. Found the place on Trip Advisor’s secret gems list.”

Right,” she examines the book in Harry’s hand. “Good choice. I’ll see you around...it’s Harry right?”

Harry leaves the bookstore empty-handed and pedals so hard on his bike back to the cottage that he’s pretty sure his legs are going to fall off. By the time he gets inside and is shouting for Louis he’s out of breath and on the verge of cardiac arrest.

“Harry, calm down are you alright? What’s wrong?” Louis rushes to his side and inspects every inch of his body while holding onto Harry’s shoulders. Harry can see the panic in his eyes and tries to catch his breath as quickly as possible.

He wipes his sweaty hair out of his eyes and spits out a few hot puffs of air until he can get control of his breathing. He tells Louis about his encounter with the girl in the bookstore and profusely apologizes to Louis if he messed things up or did something wrong for someone to find out. He promises he hasn’t posted anything on social media since arriving.

“Jesus, I thought you were hurt or robbed or something,” Louis wraps Harry in his arms and Harry hugs him back despite being super sweaty.

“So-so, you’re not mad,” Harry bites on his bottom lip and buries his face in Louis neck. He can’t help but to cry just a little. If the entire monarch crumbles because of something he did, Harry wouldn’t be able to live with himself.

“No,” Louis coos. “Someone back at the castle must be gossiping. “It’s fine. It’s fine. No harm done.” Louis pets Harry’s wet hair and hugs him tighter swaying back and forth. “Plenty of other salacious things have gotten out about the family. This is nothing. I’ve already told you it’s not a secret here that I’m gay.”

Harry feels a little better after Louis calms him down. He now feels silly for overreacting. Louis cancels everything he had planned for the day so they could be together even though Harry tells him everything is fine and he’ll be okay.

“I was actually thinking about asking if you wanted to go to an appearance with me next week,” Louis walks over with a plate of spaghetti that he whipped up after Harry’s meltdown. “Like have you by my side finally…”

Harry digs his fork into the dish and his cheeks are probably turning as red as the sauce on top of the noodles. “Really? I mean, if it’s allowed, I would love to go. It’ll be like bring your boyfriend to work day.”

Louis throws a piece of his bread at Harry’s face and he attempts to catch it in his mouth but he fails and it falls to the dark wooden table. This is a huge next step for them and Harry’s starting to really realize just how serious Louis is about him. Even though it’s been months, he still half expects Louis to change his mind and make his life easier by just being single or dating another royal.

“Yes, it’s allowed. You’re my boyfriend, you can come on royal outings with me. It’s just like a little ribbon cutting ceremony, nothing fancy. I want people to start getting used to seeing you around and start falling in love with you—not like it’s hard or anything.”

Harry chokes on a piece of spaghetti at Louis’ breezy confession, dropping his fork with a clank, he starts coughing with the most unpleasant dry heave. Way to ruin a moment. He desperately grabs for his cup of water and chugs it to relieve his throat.

When he looks at Louis through his watery eyes he’s got one hand diagonally across his face and is laughing to himself.

“Did you just, did you just admit you’re in love with me?” Harry asks earnestly.

So this is how it’s going to happen he thinks, over a casual lunch in the middle of a beautiful village with the most amazing person he’s ever met in his entire life who he’d probably drop everything for if he just asked—but then again, he kinda already did do that.

“I guess I wasn’t technically planning on saying it this way and it just sorta happened but, uh, yeah. Harry, I guess, um, I guess I’m saying that I love you,” Louis says shyly. “I mean does it come as that much as a surprise? I whisked you off to a foreign country and have been bending over backwards to get my family to see how amazing and kind and thoughtful and generous you are. I wouldn’t do that with just anyone. In fact, I’ve never done that. You don't have to say it back or anything, I know it's really like early, or whatever, it just sorta slipped out.”

Harry’s wooden chair scrapes against the floor as he pushes it back. It takes two steps to get to where Louis’ sitting and Harry all but plops down in his lap. Louis’ hands come off the table and wrap around Harry’s waist.

“I think I love you more than literally anything in this entire world,” Harry confesses with a huge grin.

He inclines his face toward Louis’, meeting his lips. He didn’t have coax or tease Louis. He swallows Harry’s words and pressed Harry back against the table deepening the kiss. Harry reciprocates with his own eagerness and forcefulness; sliding his tongue across Louis’ bottom lip to draw it between his own then dips it into Louis’ mouth.

Louis’ arms tighten around him, gliding down the small of his back then pushes under the swell of his ass where he’s sat on Louis’ thighs. Harry doesn’t hold back the soft moan into Louis’ mouth when Louis’ movement forces his body forward.

“Say it again?”

“I. Love. You.” Louis kisses each word against Harry’s lips. He feels so light, Harry thinks he might just float away if Louis were to unwrap his arms.

Harry lightly tangles his fingers into the hair at the nape of Louis’ neck. He’s grown it out a bit the last couple of months and Harry loves how there’s more for him to grab onto—Louis loves it to judging by the little groans he always gives when Harry tugs a little.

His own hair has gotten pretty long too and he never realized he, himself, had a thing with hair pulling until Louis would whisper how much he loves tangling his fingers in it while Harry fucked him. When people say things like that, you sorta, can’t not love it.

Harry wants to be dramatic, like in the movies, and push everything off of the table so they could fuck right there in the kitchen. But he also didn’t want to break all the China and knew some of it dated back like hundreds of years so it was best to take this somewhere else.

Louis pulls back and thumbs at Harry’s bottom lip, “love you.” A small whimper escapes from the back of Harry’s throat hearing the words for a third time. It also probably has something to do with the way they were sitting and how hard they both had become in the last couple of minutes.

Louis scrapes his teeth against Harry’s neck and bites down as his hands fumbled with the buttons of that ridiculous floral shirt. Harry’s not sure if Louis did it on purpose, but he couldn’t hold back the groan when Louis’ fingers brushed the fabric up against his nipples.

S-shit, babe,” Harry rolls his hips forward and tugs a little tighter on Louis’ hair.

“God, you’re so beautiful,” Louis slides his short nails down the now open front of Harry’s shirt then dips one of his hands between their bodies touching Harry through his jeans. Harry grips Louis’ shoulders and leans into the touch. Although an awkward angle, it was enough to get his heartbeat racing a little faster.

“If I’m not naked in the next two minutes I’m going to lose it,” Harry growls.

It’s wobbly and not perfect, but Louis manages to get out of his chair while holding Harry. He can only get him a few feet before it’s easier to drop him and push Harry toward the stairs and up to their room. They discard their clothes as quickly as they can, which is hard given the fact neither of them want to detach from the other.

Harry finally pulls away so Louis can take his shirt off. He hates the twenty seconds he’s away from Louis to grab what they need from the bathroom’s medicine cabinet and rushes back.

Louis’ sprawled out on the bed casually stroking his cock and looking toward the window as a beam of sun cascades over his legs when Harry walks back in. He lets out an embarrassingly loud whine at the picture in front of him. Honestly, who did he have to ask at the castle to commission a painting of this fucking masterpiece to hang in his room?!

His mouth becomes a gateway for moans and weak whimpers once Harry crawls between Louis’ legs. He leans down and drags his tongue upwards, following the vein in Louis’ cock from base to tip.

Oh, fuck...H-Harry,” Louis whines as Harry sinks down, letting Louis fill his mouth. Louis’ legs fall open wider as Harry works his mouth over him in slow, long, drawn out movements. Harry lets the head of Louis’ cock bump against the back of his throat and whimpers around it. Louis gasps loudly, his right hand shooting out to secure itself in Harry’s hair.

Harry takes his hand off the hot skin of Louis’ thigh to feel for the bottle near his knee and wets his fingers. Nimble and quick, Harry begins massages inside Louis making him buck down into them.

“Harry, Harry,” Louis moans as Harry presses his two fingers in and out of him. “Don’t stop, fuck!” Louis’ body shudders ever so slightly, clenching desperately against Harry’s fingers. Harry rubs his fingers over the spot again and kisses the base of Louis’ cock. He feels it twitch against his cheek as Louis moves his hips down to meet Harry’s rhythm. Harry rubs against him firmly, unrelentingly, making Louis cry out again and again. It was truly music to his ears.

Harry licks up the length of Louis’ cock and swirls a little circle on his head, groaning into the saltiness. He looks up at Louis and catches his eye under the mess of wet hair.

“You like that?” Harry whispers, purposely touching that spot inside of him again. Louis moans loudly, nodding, digging his heels into the white sheets. Harry knows if he keeps his fingers just like that Louis will be coming in minutes but he wants this to last as long as possible.

While he dips his ring finger inside Louis, his tongue meets his fingers causing Louis to kick his right leg out against Harry’s shoulder. He hisses at the snap of pain but pushes past it. Gently, he removes his fingers and spreads Louis open, darting his tongue in and out of him, unable to hold back his own moans and sighs.

“So good baby,” Harry whines against Louis’ skin. “God, so, so good.” Harry’s mouth was wet with spit and lube but he didn’t even care how he may look. Hell, he hopes Louis is looking down at him between his legs, sees how hungry he is for him. He loves when Louis jerks his hips up fucking himself on his tongue, desperately pressing his hole harder against Harry's mouth. Harry could literally do this for hours even if it made his lips red and sore.

“Baby, I need you inside of me like now!” Louis yells above him, squirming around the bed choking out the words.

Harry gives Louis one more long lick and pulls back. He keeps contact with Louis’ skin by placing one hand on his thigh and squeezing it. Louis looks wrecked already and he hasn’t even been properly fucked yet. His hair is plastered to his forehead and his skin shines with sweat and a few small blotchy red spots.

Harry wipes his mouth with the back of his free hand then reaches for the bottle and one of the condoms.

“No,” Louis whisper-whines. “Just the lube.”

Harry drops the condom, gently squeezing lube into his hand, rubbing it over his cock. Harry bites his lip just at the touch. Louis props a pillow under his ass and readjusts his posture.

Louis throws a leg around Harry’s waist as he slowly presses his cock into him. They offer up identical moans and Harry wraps his mouth around Louis’ collarbone and sucks on the tight skin. Harry’s body is tingling from his fingers to his toes as he pumps his hips into Louis and it mixes with the brief sting of Louis’ nails digging into his back as he fucks him.

“Feels so good,” Harry’s words are wet and languid. Louis is panting a quiet cadence of ohohohoh in his ear and it’s one of the hottest things he’s ever heard. “You’re so good, angel.” Louis contracts around Harry’s cock at the new pet name and Harry has to bite down on Louis’ neck at the intense feeling.

Harry was hot all over, his hair was sticking to his forehead, drops of sweat dripping down his chest gathered between their bodies as they slid together. Louis adjusts his legs, wrapping them both around Harry’s waist. Harry moves his hands to Louis’ hips to pick them up ever so slightly so he can get a better angle and fuck him faster.

The sound of skin on skin echoes in the quietness of the room, the only other sound is Harry’s quick huffs and Louis’ high-pitched moans. Louis was clinging to Harry’s neck after he bent further down, pulling on the ends of his sweat-soaked hair.

Oh fuck, oh fuck, I’m so close Harry,” Louis groans shifting his hips with Harry’s thrust. “Fuck baby, I’m gonna come.”

Harry speeds up his movements, well on the brink of his own orgasm.

“Can you come on me?” Harry asks breathlessly. “Wanna feel you.”

Louis awkwardly maneuvers a hand between them as he grabs his cock and starts pumping himself. It’s mere moments before Louis’ body is writhed in pleasure and a string of Harry’s name tumbles out of his mouth.

The warm wetness of Louis’ come against his stomach and chest swallows the remaining ounce of Harry’s self-control and he comes with a deep groan into the thick air of the bedroom. Louis digs his heels into Harry’s ass, pulling him as close as possible to his body as Harry orgasms.

“Shit Louis, Fuuck so good,” Harry feels Louis contract around his cock as he rides it out and he swears he blacks out from how good it feels.

When he finally comes down, Harry collapses on top of Louis, panting heavily. He knows it’s not gonna be pretty but he slowly pulls out of Louis and bonelessly rolls next to him onto the bed.

Harry turns his head to look at the beautiful man before him with his wide fucked-out eyes and red cheeks.

“Wow.” Louis laughs breathlessly. “I’m going to tell you I love you more often.”

+++

Harry’s first official business as Louis’ work companion is indeed a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new community garden in one of the nearby villages.

Harry definitely still sorta thinks these kinds of appearances are dumb but he loves watching Louis talk with residents and bend down with kids to drop seeds into the dirt and cover them up. It was the extra mile Louis went with his people. His warmth and kindness couldn’t be missed in these situations.

The people were sweethearts too and welcomed Harry with open arms—he doesn’t think they knew exactly who he was, but if he was with their prince, he had to be someone important. Harry was handed flowers, a few stuffed animals, and even a plush green pea pod with googly eyes by one adorable curly-haired little boy.

Harry plays with a few children and helped plant seeds next to where Louis had previously done it. A photographer snapped photos and mini Simone Biles came back to do a huge fucking gold medal somersault in his stomach when their fingers brushed long enough that someone had to see it.

It went on like this for a few weeks. Harry became the royal equivalent of a W.A.G.

He would accompany Louis to events around the country to give his blessing to new shops or charity events. Louis seemed to genuinely enjoy going to each and every one of them. Harry felt like a bit of a tool, if he was being honest. He felt like it was all for show showing up to these things but it made him happy to see Louis happy and to see how happy he made his people.

“Oh my god, babe. You have to see this hilarious article,” Louis yells from where he’s draped over the couch. One leg over the armrest and the other on the back of the couch.

“Do I have to get up?” Harry groans from his spot across from Louis on a chaise. “Just read it to me.”

Louis sighs the most dramatic sigh in history and shoots him daggers. “Fine.” He clears his throat and puts on his best anchor voice; which actually ends up sounding a bit Gossip Girl-y to Harry. “Remember that hot European royal from Harry and Meg’s wedding?—me they’re talking about me—Well, it looks like he’s got himself an equally hot boyfriend—that’s you—you have your first official royal gossip story. I’ll get it printed and framed right away.”

This is enough for Harry to leap out of his seat, clearing the wooden coffee table and hopping next to Louis on the couch. Harry wretches the iPad out of his hand and scrolls the page. Sure enough, Cosmo, of all sites, has the story and there are some photos of the two of them laughing together and looking really fucking cute in Harry’s opinion.

Most of the photos are innocent enough from the various events they’ve gone to, but there’s one of Louis guiding Harry with a gentle hand on his back low enough that it screams that there’s something more than platonic going on between them and then, of course, a snap of their fingers gently intertwined while they talked to an old woman at an event.

“Wow. That’s so crazy to see my face on like a website that’s not my dad’s Facebook.” Harry skims the rest of the article and there’s no mention of his name just a quick blurb saying his identity is a mystery and that he’s most likely a “commoner”—ouch.

“It’s crazy they even wrote a story. No one really gets any press unless you’re British,” Louis playfully scoffs. “I must have made quite the impression at the wedding for anyone to remember me.”

“Your ass did look fucking phenomenal in that suit. Like, Pippa Middleton who?!” Harry hands the iPad back to Louis and he’s looking up at him with a peculiar face. “What?”

“So, you kept tabs on me then?” Louis asks taking the device and letting the screen fade to black. “Even after...ya know.”

Oh right. Harry never mentioned that.

“Well, I was assigned to write about the wedding for a freelance gig and you happened to be there. It was hard seeing you, for sure. It’s whatever now.” Harry removes himself from the couch and goes back to where he was reclining.

Louis doesn’t seem like he wants to push further and Harry’s grateful. That seems like a it was a lifetime ago and not a little over half a year. He’s a completely different person now. No use in getting in a tizzy about the past.

“Well, it might not be long until people find out who you are if they care enough. If anything does happen, which it probably won’t since the Brits thankfully have a monopoly on royal gossip, we’ll get some staff to your family and take care of everything.”

Harry kinda wants to laugh at how serious and authoritative Louis sounds but this doesn’t seem like a laughing matter. He never really thought far enough ahead to anyone finding out his name, leading to digging into his family and his history. But like Louis said, no one has yet to really care about a royal family that isn’t English.

Chapter Text

When Harry wakes up the next morning, he felt like he was in the middle of a beehive. He just had some sort of sense that things were off. Although their room was upstairs, sound tended to bounce off of the stone walls and Harry could hear buzzing chatter below him.

It was weird for Louis to conduct business at the cottage. He usually went to the castle for that but by the sound of it, there were at least ten to fifteen people below him right now.

After getting dressed in something more than, well okay, his birthday suit, Harry makes his way down the stairs to the sitting room where Louis is really zoned in listening to a group of people taking turns talking.

Thankfully, no one is talking like it’s the end of the world and they’re rather calm. There are just a lot of people. Harry manages to grab Louis’ attention and he excuses himself.

“What’s going on?” Harry sheepishly asks with a yawn. “Am I being excommunicated or banished or...beheaded?”

Louis laughs and plants a chaste kiss to Harry’s lips.

“No, love. Luckily for you, we retired the guillotine right before you arrived. Just your country...their obsession with gossip kinda fueled that little article into a bigger story than it was and we had a ton of reporters requesting interviews and comments late last night. Just trying to deal with it all.”

Louis sounds exhausted and it’s barely nine in the morning. Harry wonders how long he’s been awake dealing with all of this.

“Is there, um, and issue, like is the queen pissed or something?” Harry pulls at a loose string on his shirt and breaks eye contact with Louis.

“No one’s mad at anyone. It was just unexpected is all. I guess I’m, technically, the first gay prince next in line for the throne in, um, the history of any monarch on earth...which is total bullshit by the way...I could name at least five others. And based on some portraits, my ancestors didn’t look like the straightest of people. But pairing that with dating a non-royal and then adding the fact you’re American to the mix is just a lot for some people. Juicy news, I guess.”

Louis rubs both of Harry’s arms to reassure him and Harry finally makes eye contact with Louis. He’s smiling another big dopey, toothy smile at Harry and he wonders how he got so lucky.

“Oh, so this is like groundbreaking shit then? I mean knowing the American audience, they’ll find something else to obsess over before they even get their morning coffee,” Harry says trying to laugh away the anxiety that’s creeping up on him.

“We’ve been preparing for this for awhile. I mean, my mom’s got like forty years left in her, she’s not going anywhere. It’s not like I’m taking over the throne tomorrow or something,” Louis says. “Your name’s out there though now. But don’t worry, we have eyes on your family and no one will be getting harassed by reporters or anything once the sun comes up over there. They’re safe and sound.”

Harry breathes out a sigh of relief. He’d never forgive himself if his stupid fucking love life ended up causing his family trouble. At least he’s had plenty of time over the past few months to get them up to speed on his whereabouts and what was going on. No one could believe him and all his mom had to say about it was, “I knew that boy at graduation looked familiar!”

While no one in his family was particularly happy he just up and left without warning, they were all a bunch of hopeless (and hopeful) romantics that any anger or annoyances disappeared pretty quickly. His sister, though, was always much more level-headed than anyone else in the family. She grilled and grilled Harry about his intentions and if he was going to move there permanently even though they hadn’t been dating that long, despite it feeling like a lifetime.

Harry didn’t have all the answers. He never wanted to admit how much he missed home (and his dog) and the normality of life before. Maybe he’d go back home for a few months and then visit again. He’s sure they could work something out for long distance. Plus, his sister would actually manage to find a guillotine somewhere and murder Harry if he missed her wedding.

There were a lot of little things Harry needed to figure out. He knew he was living in a fantasy world and when things happened, like his face splashed on websites, his head would fall from the clouds and he’s remember this was real life. But, he was also going to enjoy the days as they came and worry about logistics some other time. He thought of this as his post-grad gap year and didn’t appreciate anyone spoiling it.

+++

Harry finally got his day at the beach with Louis the first week of June and he was stoked beyond belief. He sadly couldn’t go commando but bent the rules enough and found the shortest pair of leopard-printed swim briefs he could find, which probably looked ridiculous next to Louis’ modest pair.

“Jesus Christ, Harry.” Louis cries when Harry strolls into the front garden with a towel draped over his neck and his briefs on full display. “You do know there is going to be a camera right?”

Harry’s beach day came with a few terms and conditions. The queen ended up actually enjoying the attention the country was getting thanks to the two of them and tourism rates were hitting an all-time high from people all over the world—especially from the gay community.

Louis told Harry he’d seen the projected reports for summer tourism and they were numbers the country has never seen before in its entire history and there was a huge scramble to accommodate the influx of traffic and people.

The queen thought it best that the two of them turn their beach day into a little publicity outing that showed off their amazing beaches to promote tourism. Either way, Harry got to go to the beach with his boyfriend and was even given the okay to show some PDA—it was a win-win.

When they got to the private beach, Harry set down the two woven bags he had over his shoulders and spread out a large white and tan striped blanket and matching pillows. Being used to the crowded Montauk beaches, it was a little strange being on a beach with no one else but he loved every second of it.

They went all out and brought along wine and real plates to put their lunch on—which included the most amazing goat cheese stuffed figs with a balsamic drizzle Louis apparently was a pro at making. It was definitely the most extravagant—emphasis on extra—beach outing he’s ever had.

“Can we makeout before the photographer gets here please?” Harry whines poking at the freckles on Louis biceps as they lay on the blanket.

Louis checks his watch. Looking satisfied with how much time they have before they’re interrupted, he turns on his side facing Harry and grants him his wish.

Louis tastes like the sweet melon he had for breakfast and Harry explores his mouth with his tongue. He knows they can’t get carried away like they usually do when they kiss but it’s so hard not to get turned on when Louis’ mindlessly tracing shapes on his arm or on his bare back with his fingertips.

“Your shorts are killing me, ya know? I’m going to have to spend the whole time in the water.” Louis’ laugh is warm against Harry’s face. Harry pushes his right leg to rest between Louis’ stroking his toes along Louis’ ankle. He offers a quiet yelp when Louis squeezes his ass before moving his hand to rest on his lower back.

“It could be much more unsafe in the water though. I could always just take them off in there,” Harry laughs and Louis rolls his eyes with a little groan. Harry squeezes Louis’ hip and dips his thumb under the pink fabric of his shorts. It’s taking a hell of a lot of constraint not to just put his entire hand down them.

Fifteen minutes later, a high-pitched beeping goes off from Louis’ watch and Harry jumps a little. Alone time is up. Harry protests when Louis starts extracting his body from his and he looks like a toddler pulling on his arms so he stays put. But he’s no match. Louis fishes out his white linen shirt from one of the woven bags and buttons it over his bare chest. Harry pouts waving goodbye to his tan skin as it disappears under the material.

No less than five minutes later a small group of people is walking toward them. Harry sits up, perching his elbow on the knee that’s bent vertically. Louis smacks him on the head to stand up instead and he obliges.

“Your Highness,” a woman in her mid-forties, who Harry sort of recognizes from the castle, says to Louis as soon as the group is in speaking distance. “Ms. De Lucia is here to take some photos.”

Harry’s seen this photographer at some of the events he and Louis have gone to. She must work exclusively for the family.

Louis is greeted with another “Your Highness” by the woman and then Louis introduces Harry to her. They shake hands and Harry zones out when she starts speaking Italian.

“This feels weird,” Harry admits while they’re bobbing in the water. “I guess this is how celebrities must feel. It’s just like so fake though isn’t it?”

After more than a few “candid” photos on land eating the meal Louis prepared and talking, they waded out to the water for some additional shots. The water was bright blue and Harry could see all the way to the bottom. Luckily, there didn’t seem to be too many fish swimming about and he was thankful for that. He loved the sea but wasn’t the hugest fan of sea creatures. Unless mermaids counted.

Louis laughs and brushes a stray piece of hair out of Harry’s face and rests his palm against Harry’s cheek.

“See. Like that. Are you doing that for the camera or would you naturally have put your hand there?” Harry pouts.

“Seriously...come on.” Louis huffs removing his hand. “I’m just doing what I’d normally do. I forgot she was even there. Just be natural.” He takes a step back in the wet sand and floats his body a few feet from Harry.

Great. Now she’s going to get all this on camera and people are probably going to think they broke up then he’s going to have to leave and everything will be a mess again.

Harry swims closer to Louis and pulls him by the waist, crashing their mouths together. Louis’ lips are pursed tightly together but Harry manages to loosen them up a bit by tugging on his hair for a quick beat.

“Harry!” Louis pulls his head back.

“You want me to act natural? Well, this is what I’d fucking be doing without a camera around!” Harry can’t help that he’s yelling. Water is splashing everywhere because when he gets mad he flails his hands in every direction. He’s glad the photographer is on land and hopefully can’t hear him. “I’m sorry. I don't think I can do this. This is ridiculous.”

It was like a fuse was lit and Harry went off. Harry’s not just going off about the beach day but all his pent up frustration over the past few weeks has sort of been simmering and stewing and this just happened to be the catalyst that set it off and he can’t seem to contain his anger no matter how childish he sounds.

Harry turns his body to get back to shore but Louis grabs him by the left wrist and tugs so Harry tugs in the opposite direction. Louis doesn’t lessen his grip.

Harry sighs in defeat and turns back facing Louis. He’s pissed that their relaxing day at the beach has turned into a dramatic fight and it was all his fault.

“You’re right,” Louis says. “This is ridiculous. A lot of things I have to do are ridiculous. You think I don’t know that? You think I don’t see you rolling your eyes at events? But this stuff is important to me. Did you ever stop to think that it’s pretty rare for this to be accepted?” Louis taps his fingertips on his chest then points them to Harry. “I delegate with all sorts of world leaders who aren’t all as accepting as we are. I’m the future king of an entire country, Harry, things are a little different for me.”

Harry looks down at the water pooling around his waist, watching it splash up against his stomach. He feels a little bit like a selfish asshole and he’s suddenly on the verge of tears but he’s still upset.

“I’ve done everything I can think of to be accomodating to you in my world and get you used to how I live. You always have the option to leave if it’s too ‘ridiculous’ for you. You’re not being held prisoner here, Harry.”

“Do you want me to leave?” Harry lifts his head so his watery eyes meet Louis’ dry ones. “Do you want me to leave? He asks again sternly.

“For fuck’s sake, of course not. I would be wrecked,” Louis’ voice is straining and Harry can see just how tense his jaw is. “But I completely understand if you want your old life back. It’s only gonna get crazier from here on out.”

This has been the craziest experience of Harry’s life but he knows deep down he wouldn’t trade it for anything; which scares the hell out of him. Normally, yeah, he’d probably fucking run and never look back because he has not been adapting well to this life but he’s never felt this way about anyone before.

“I’m not going anywhere,” Harry sighs. He brings a wet hand up to his hair pushing it out of his face. “I think I just need, like, um, a purpose? Ya know? I kinda feel like I’ve lost my identity here and it’s driving me a little crazy I think.”

Harry starts to simmer down now and he’s controlling his temper. He hates when he has these bursts of anger. It’s something he’s always done since he was a kid and he hates acting this way.

“Maybe I can set up a meeting with the Duchess of Sussex and she can give you some pointers.” Harry thinks he’s being one-hundred percent serious until Louis’ upper lip twitches and he cracks a smile.

“You little shit!” Harry splashes water at Louis’ face and jumps on top of him bringing them both under the water. Their play fight breaks up the real fight and Harry’s happy that all the tension has gone away when he comes out of water.

They both come up soaking wet and laughing and Louis’ the one to make the first move bringing Harry into a salty wet kiss. “So what was this about the water being unsafe?” Louis whispers as his lips hover over Harry’s.

It takes Harry a second to remember what Louis’ talking about and then their earlier conversation pops into his head and truly goes straight to his dick. They’ve swam far enough that they can still reach the sandy bottom but water is covering them enough that nothing looks too obvious.

“I think, if I remember correctly, I vaguely mentioned that I could just take off my swim briefs.” Harry grabs Louis’ hands, placing them on the waistband of his leopard shorts. Louis stretches out his fingers and squeezes his waist. Harrys hands move with Louis as he glides them down to the swell of his ass, squeezing again.

Harry very slowly pushes his body through the water so he was flush against Louis, letting him feel how hard he’s starting to get.

Louis’ hand flies up to grip the back of Harry’s hair while Harry tilts his head to the side desperately. “I’m strangely turned on by this,” Harry laughs into the sky as Louis peppers kisses on his jaw. “I kinda get your whole public sex kink thing.”

Louis’ laugh is breathy and as he kisses Harry his right hand falls from Harry’s waistband and to the front of his swim briefs. Harry arches himself into Louis’ hand letting out a couple quiet moans. He slides his hand under Harry’s shorts, and Harry whimpered when Louis’ fist closes around his cock. He strokes it a couple times, and Harry is unable to catch his breath.

“Oh fuck,” Harry whispers, his eyes sliding shut. He feels Louis pump his cock a few times before suddenly pulling away. Harry was about to protest until he feels his shorts sliding down his thighs. He manages to step out of one leg but gives up on looking too obvious and lets them hang from his left thigh, floating in the small current.

With every exhale, Harry releases a short, breathy moan and tiny gasps as Louis works his hand over his cock. Handjobs were at the absolute bottom level on the pleasure scale but dear lord Louis made it feel so good and paired with knowing someone was without a doubt watching them got Harry’s heart beating faster and faster. If the splashing around Louis’ arm didn’t give it away, Harry’s face sure as hell did.

Harry sinks his toes into the sand feeling the wet gravel press between his toes. He wishes he had sheets or something to hold onto and opts to dig his fingers into Louis’ biceps as he slides his hand back and forth more hurriedly.

Louis leans forward, kissing him slowly on the neck where it meets his jaw while his hand continues to work him quickly. Harry was unable to do much of anything, except stand there and clutch onto Louis moaning quietly.

“Come on baby,” Louis whispers hotly against Harry’s Adam’s apple. “Love you.” Harry was getting close but he really needed something else and just wanted to drag Louis to shore but that was out of the question. Instead, Harry drops one of his arms from where he’s squeezing Louis’s arm and drags it behind his body, reaching down to touch his hole with the tip of his middle finger.

“S-shit,” Harry pants at the overwhelming feeling between the two of them. Harry’s hand strains as he tries to semi-finger himself but it was just enough to set off the sparks in his stomach. Louis pulls Harry close to him once his body started jerking and he comes with a quiet, hindered groan.

“That’s actually really gross,” Harry giggles looking down at a spot of the once clear watered clouded with his come. He feels Louis shake his head at him and splash at the spot of water.

“We really should get out of the water,” Louis says and Harry agrees it’s long overdue. His fingers and toes are pruney and he could really use a drink or five. “I’ll meet you up there.”

Harry looks at Louis quizzically.

“Just need to take care of something…”

After pulling his swim briefs back up, Harry makes a motion to step forward and help Louis but he ushers him to go to shore telling him they already look guilty enough. Harry pouts but listen to him and heads back to their abandoned blankets.

Ms. De Lucia wasn’t paying attention to Harry as he got back to shore. Her camera was in its carrying case and she had actually been looking down at a book. When Louis got to shore, she stands up and slightly bows her head to him.

“I’ll review the photos and get back to you on which ones we’ll send out,” Louis says authoritatively and not at all like a guilty person who just jerked his boyfriend off in the middle of the sea and wanted to destroy all evidence.

When they’re back at the cottage Harry is not subtle as he paces around while Louis’ on the computer looking at the photos.

“Relax,” Louis says. “She took a few photos when we first went in the water. And if there were any incriminating ones, obviously I’d just delete them.”

Harry rushes over and rests his head on Louis’ shoulder as he clicks through the photos. They actually came out really cute and Harry is excited for people to see them together like this. None of them looked forced or anything like he dreaded. They just look like a happy couple enjoying the beach.

“Is it bad i’m kinda bummed she didn’t get any of you jerking me off?” Harry laughs. “My O-face coulda been our Christmas card this year.” Louis’ hand is in his face as he swats him away and lovingly calls him a moron. “Hope you have a white Christmas, Love the Styles-Tomlinson family.”

“Hey, who says your last name is first? I’m the important one here.” Louis protests.

+++

The next day, a handful of the photos Louis chose were distributed and used for advertising and Harry felt like this was the start of something really amazing now that it was absolutely official they were a couple. He couldn’t help but to feel hopeful and excited for the future.

What Harry didn’t think all the way through was now that people knew who he was, he couldn’t just casually stroll around town or duck into a coffee shop to read or people watch. He was basically under house arrest for a bit until things died down and Harry was losing his goddamn mind.

Louis said it wasn’t safe at the moment for him to go out even if he had security with him and people would just bother him so much that he’d wish he had just stayed at the cottage to begin with.

As if to prove him wrong, one day while Louis had business to do, Harry hopped on his bike and went to a little bakery to pick up some sweets for when Louis got back.

It was like someone had pressed mute on the bakery when he walked in. Just about everyone looked up at almost exactly the same time and a creepy hush swept over the entire place as they all simultaneously registered who he was.

The younger patrons literally leaped from their seats shoving their phones in his face for a photo. Harry panicked and left the bakery and didn’t say a word to Louis about it; hoping no photos of his failed attempt to sneak out would find their way to him. He did not need to hear Louis gloat about it.

What Harry did notice in the bakery though was that the older patrons paid no mind to him. They sipped their coffee and read their papers without a care in the world. His next bright idea was to casually ask Giada about places younger residents didn’t go to. It took her a bit to try and understand, but she was able to get Harry a small list gathered of establishments.

 

Two weeks after their photoshoot was splashed across advertisements, Harry brought himself to another café, this time, occupied by only four others who were at least all over the age of 70.

It was dingy, nothing matched (but not in a cute sort of way) and nothing about the narrow space was aesthetically pleasing to anyone: it was the perfect spot. Harry had taught himself enough Italian to be able to order a coffee and a couple biscuits. No one recognized him and he let his guard down enough to remove his sunglasses and nestle into a corner table with his notebook.

He had been slacking writing poems since arriving and has only wrote a dozen or so that he deemed worthy for public consumption. Of course, Louis had no idea he was still posting to his poetry Instagram but figured since it only had his initials in his bio, no one knew it was him. Liam had been keeping it up for him for months until he was able to download the app again. His original cell phone was useless as it wasn’t encrypted and protected from hackers etcetera, etcetera.

A few weeks ago, Louis must have just sensed Harry missed his typewriter. Or it was his constant complaining about how jotting things down on napkins just wasn’t the same, but the one Liam had bought for him for Christmas magically appeared one day. Of course, he couldn’t lug that on his bike to his new secret hideaway so it was pen and paper for now and he’d type them up once he got back.

His poetry was definitely always used an escape, but Harry also hoped his words offered their own escape for others. He so badly wanted to post photos of his time spent here but could not risk being found out. He hated doing something behind Louis’ back but he needed to keep at least this one constant afloat. He couldn’t bear the thought of having to delete something he’s worked so hard on for so many years. Plus, yes, the thought of losing 70,000 followers broke his millennial heart.

“Ti dispiace se mi siedo qui?” Harry looks up at an older woman, her skin wrinkled and leathery from too many years out by the sea in the sun.

Judging from her hand on the battered wooden chair across from him, he signals for her to sit assuming that's what she's asking. He watches her slide the chair out and settle into the seat. He suddenly wants to know everything her eyes have seen and listen to everything her ears have heard. He could just tell the old woman has experienced so much.

He goes back to writing and listens as the woman talks to herself. If this were a Disney movie, this would be the scene where she would share some wisdom with him after sensing his hidden trepidation. He wasn’t sure if he wanted Grandma Willow to tell him everything was going to be okay or that he wasn’t betraying his boyfriend for sometimes daydreaming about home.

He’d never know if she was magically sent there because a huge clap of thunder and lightning pulls Harry out of it.

“Shit,” he murmurs under his breath as he quickly gathers up all his stuff. He couldn’t risk his notebook getting wet so he shoves it in his shirt and crosses his arms across his body.

When he steps outside, the heavens open up and rain starts pelting him. He steps backwards back into the café and has no choice but to call Giada to send a ride—and under no circumstances tell Louis. He’s not sure how much authority he has on that one but hopes it’s their little secret.

+++

Harry sings to himself in the shower trying to wash off the scent of coffee and pastries as if he was trying to hide a marital affair. He’s in the middle of probably his best rendition of Adele’s “Don’t You Remember” when the shvoooooo sound from the suction of the door ricochets off the stone walls of the shower.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Harry gasps mid-song, dropping his bottle of body wash. He rubs the water out of his eyes to see Louis poking his head through the door.

“Sorry love, wasn’t trying to scare you or ruin your shower concert,” Louis says apathetically but Harry can hear the repressed giggle.

“Is everything okay?” Harry asks breathing heavily as he attempts to calm his heart rate. “Can a man get no peace anywhere anymore?”

“Oh, yeah, sorry. I suppose it isn’t urgent.” Louis replies. Drops of water have splashed onto his cheeks and Harry reaches to wipe them off only to add more water to his face.

“Well, I mean, if you’re here already…” Harry wiggles his eyebrows to get his point across.

Louis shuts the door without a word and Harry full on pouts thinking he just got rejected. How could Louis not be drawn into temptation while his boyfriend was naked and soaking wet right in front of him?!

Harry’s about to jump back into song when the door opens again and Harry watches Louis’ bare leg come into view and his heart does a flip.

“Ya know, I’ve never taken a shower with anyone before,” Louis confesses once he’s all the way and shut the door.

All Harry can do is bite his lip and look Louis up and down a countless number of times. He was so tan in the summer and his skin was just always, always hot as if he was the sole keeper of the sun’s warmth.

They haven’t had much alone time the past few weeks. Louis’ been out and about on royal duties, sometimes gone for a couple days while Harry sits around waiting to see him. He knew he was being grumpy and unreasonable considering the fact Louis had to help run a country and all but he just missed Louis. He didn’t want to be attached at the hip, but right now he could do with some hip-joining wink wink.

Harry reaches out for Louis’ waist and pulls him under the spray of the shower. He presses his palms firmly against Louis’ back before sliding them down to cup his ass and pull him tighter against his own front.

Louis closes his eyes and lets out a happy hum as Harry pecks kisses at his jawline. His fingers rake over Harry’s chest, scratching lightly over his nipples.

“I’ve missed you,” Harry whispers against Louis’ cheek. “Feels like you were gone forever.”

Louis moves his head so he can pepper kisses along Harry’s wet collarbone and Harry’s body melts at the touch; the heat of the water cascading over them makes his body relax—well most of his body.

Harry slides a teasing finger down Louis’ ass, lightly pressing at his entrance. Louis gasps rocking his hips forward in surprise—making him bump against Harry's growing hardness.

“Is there something you want, darling?” Louis asks with faux annoyance as he tightly grips Harry’s wet shoulders.

Harry moves his hands to grab Louis’ ass and tugs up hard. He doesn’t give a verbal answer but moves his lips to meet Louis’ in a wet kiss. There’s no shyness in the way he lunges his tongue into Louis’ mouth and bites at his bottom lip. Louis kisses him back hungrily and Harry gets lost in the movement of their mouths.

Louis’ body rocks forward into his and Harry could feel how hard Louis was when his cock brushes against his skin. He removes his right hand from Louis’ ass and slides it in between their bodies instead, all the way down Louis’ stomach and in between his legs. He presses his palm against Louis, rubbing his hand slowly up and down along his hard, wet length.

Louis’ breath hitches, pausing for a moment before letting out a low, wet moan. “H—Harry, fuck,” he curses throwing his head back.

“Want you,” Harry finally says in response to Louis’ earlier question. “Always.”

They’ve been having sex regularly, but Harry liked when it seemed a little more special, when he was feeling feverish and needy like he was now. He never felt shameful admitting how much he wanted Louis; how could anyone not want him, he was fucking perfection.

Harry pushes Louis’ body back against the grey stone wall and he hisses at the brief coldness on his back but it turns into the most pleasant-sounding moan once Harry drops down on his knees wasting no time getting his cock in his mouth.

The hands at the back of his neck tightened their grip on his hair, and Harry could hear tiny whines and moans above him as Louis’ hips rock forward. Harry sucks greedily, letting Louis push deeper into his mouth. Harry presses his tongue against the underside of Louis’ cock in his mouth and the little stutter of Louis' hips told him it had been effective.

“Baby,” Louis groans tugging on Harry’s wet hair. “Feels so good...so good, fuck.”

Harry hollows his cheeks as much as he can, sucking more vigorously to pull more moans from Louis. He truthfully wants to tell him he could fuck his mouth as roughly as he wanted, but that would require taking his mouth off his cock and Harry wasn’t about to do that nonsense.

Harry kneads the skin of Louis’ thighs, digging his fingers into the flesh as he takes his cock as far down his throat as he can manage. He may or may not slip his middle finger between Louis’ buttocks until it grazes against his hole.

He presses just the tip against Louis, which, in turn, causes him to violently buck his hips forward. Harry lets out a wet, gurgled choke as Louis bumps against the back of his throat.

“H—Harry, fuck, you’re gonna make me come already,” Louis says breathlessly.

Harry slowly pulls his mouth off Louis, kissing up the length and teasing the head with the tip of his tongue. “Shall I fuck you then?” He asks, looking up at Louis’ with the tip of his cock resting obscenely against his plump bottom lip.

Louis basically trips over Harry’s body as he lunges forward to push the glass door of the shower open. That answers that question. He’s a little relieved Louis doesn’t want to attempt shower sex, Harry’s long limbs were never a great match for weird shower angles and slippery floors.

Harry’s not concerned with the chill running up his spine as they make their way to the bed, their soaking wet bodies turning the sheets from a cornflower blue to a dark midnight shade.

Harry can feel the slight shiver of Louis’ body so he envelops him with his own body; chest against chest, hips pressed tightly together. They kiss to warm up until Harry can’t wait any longer.

“Question,” Louis says hesitantly as Harry’s slicking up his fingers. Louis’ one hand his resting on his stomach and the other is lightly pressed against Harry’s thigh. Harry loves how Louis is never shy about his body; he’s never draped a sheet over himself but just spreads out in all his naked glory.

“Answer hopefully…” Harry replies unsure if this is going to require him wiping his hands and trying to come down from how fucking horny he was.

“Um...we don’t have to or anything, but um,” Harry’s never heard Louis sound so unsure of himself. He’s usually so authoritative and bold. Harry leans over and pecks Louis’ mouth to encourage him. “I didn’t want to just jump into it and have you be like 'what the fuck,' but um, what’s your stance on uh…” Louis pauses for a second and Harry can see the words rolling around his tongue as if he’s trying to get a hold of them to spit out. “What’s your stance on dirty talk? If it’s too corny just ignore everything I just said.”

The US gymnastics team has made an inappropriate return to Harry’s stomach as it flips and flops around but the jolt of arousal that went straight to his dick overshadows the feeling in his belly.

Shit. Yeah, I don’t have much, uh, practice but fuck if that’s what you want, yeah,” Harry says breathlessly. “If you start laughing or some shit I’m stopping.”

Louis rolls his eyes and stretches his legs apart looking like the prettiest ‘enter’ sign Harry’s ever seen. “Come on, daddy...nope, nope I hated that the second it came out of my mouth.” They both burst out into a fit of laughter and Louis tugs on Harry’s mid section until he’s hovering above him; his breathy laughs are warm on Harry’s cheek and he truly doesn’t think Louis will stop giggling any time soon. While they laugh, Louis pushes Harry’s hand toward his cock with an impatient groan.

“You’re so fucking desperate for it, aren’t you?” Harry grips Louis’ cock and tugs on him hard instantly turning Louis’ laughter into a suppressed moan. “Don’t have to stay quiet, angel. Love your pretty little noises.”

Okay. So that went well. Harry tries to channel his own Sasha Fierce and build up some confidence to not second guess the things he's going to say so it doesn't ruin the mood.

After the positive reaction Harry got from saying that, he rushes to open Louis up with his fingers. “Gonna fuck you real good, baby. But I’m gonna play a little first, okay?” Louis doesn’t protest and just nods his head quickly. His thighs fall open as wide as they can as Harry’s slick fingers press in and out of him.

“Harder,” Louis whines his hips moving faster now that Harry’s fingers were inside him. “Harder, Harry.”

Louis groans in discontent when Harry pulls his fingers from him. “Seems like someone forgot his manners,” Harry teases as he lightly touches the skin around Louis' hole watching him contract at the sensation.

“Please. Please baby.” Feeling satisfied with the desperation in his voice, Harry presses two fingers back inside Louis after slicking them up again. “Want your mouth too, please Harry.” Harry moves around and situates his face in line with where his fingers meet Louis’ entrance but just hovers his tongue there until Louis whimpers above him.

He can hear Louis’ breathing start to increase and stagger as the pointed tip of his tongue kitten licks around his hole. Harry pulls out his fingers and massages him with his mouth until he’s sure Louis' body is pliant, his muscles soft and relaxed, and then he plunges his tongue inside him.

Harry’s ears are rewarded with the sweet sound of Louis moaning his name over and over like a prayer. He offers his own shallow groans as he tastes Louis and tries his best not to fuck his own hips against the bed to get off.

“You’re so tight,” Harry groans after he removes his tongue but keeps his mouth close to Louis’ skin; dipping just the tip of his thumb into Louis to be a tease. “Imagine how you’ll feel around my cock.” He truly had no idea he could talk like this and tries not to think too hard about what he was saying. Louis was responding so well to it that he must be doing something right. It lit a fire deep in his belly and Harry found himself just as turned on as Louis was to the way he spoke.

He didn’t want to sound demeaning with words like “slut” and hopefully it wasn’t something Louis wanted him to ever say, he didn’t think he could ever bring himself to use those sort of words. But what was tumbling out of his mouth so far seemed good so he stopped overthinking and just went with what felt natural.

“How’s it feel, angel?” Harry asks once he presses three fingers back inside Louis. He knew he’d want to get his cock in him soon but he enjoyed the tease and watching Louis squirming above him.

“Good,” Louis sighs rubbing Harry’s cheek with his hand. “Want your cock in me though like ten fucking minutes ago.” Harry forces his fingers inside Louis harder and with a slight crook so he can reach Louis’ prostate. Thankfully, the sex gods were on his side and he had the right angle causing Louis’ shrill voice to echo in his ears. “Oh, fuck,” Louis squeaks as he ruts his hips down to meet Harry’s fingers.

“So fucking needy for my cock, baby,” Harry hums, pushing with a little more force. “Can’t wait to hear you when I’m stretching you open.”

“Yes, god, yes. I want it so much, fuck, I want it,” Louis cries. “Love how big you feel in me.”

Harry’s fingers slow to a stop and he laughs softly at Louis’ annoyed groan at the lack of anything inside of him. When he looks up between his legs, Louis has a pout on his face as if he’s being inconvenienced by the lack of contact.

“Come onnn,” Louis sighs impatiently. And here Harry thought he was the needy one today. Harry moves up the bed, sucking a bruise onto the pale expanse of Louis' neck as he thumbs his cock, realizing just how desperately he needs his own to be touched and, preferably, buried deep inside Louis. He keeps as much skin-to-skin contact with Louis as he stretches for the bottle of lube.

“Let me?” Louis asks reaching for the bottle; a "please" tumbles off his lips as if he knew Harry was going to want to hear him say it. Harry clicks the bottle open handing it to Louis. This time, he lets out his own satisfied groan when Louis’ wet fingers run over the length of his cock. "Can't wait to feel you in me. love."

Louis situated himself perfectly under Harry and he holds the back of Louis’ head and kisses him as he guides himself into his boyfriend. Louis groans as he’s stretched open and Harry swallows his oohs and gods.

Harry began to move. First, a few shallow thrusts to tease Louis even though he himself wanted to let his hips buck forward on their own accord. Louis wraps his right leg around Harry’s waist as Harry positions his left leg on his shoulder. “Oh my god, oh my god,” Louis pants underneath him. Harry tastes salt as he kisses the wet spot between Louis’ neck and shoulder. He bites down hard as he feels the intense pressure of Louis contracting around his cock. “Yes, oh, oh. Please, harder, please,” he gasps. Louis grips the taunt skin of Harry’s back tightly as he thrusts into him.

“Feels amazing. So good, my darling.” Harry pants as he works up his thrusts to a steady rhythm. “Promise me you won’t come if I go faster?”

“Won’t come. Just, need more, more please,” Louis begs trying to rock Harry’s body faster as he scrambles to grab Harry’s face and align it with his; teeth clanking and tongues completely out of sync.

Louis’ mouth was on his again, their tongues eager while Harry increases the speed of his hips. He was fucking him properly now, pounding into him at a rough pace as Louis meets each thrust. Louis’ hands shot up into Harry’s hair and Harry urges him to pull; eliciting a string of yeahyeahyeahs to tumble off his tongue.

Harry thrusts as fast and deep as he could, trying to get Louis to see stars as his cock grazes his prostate. It was probably better he didn’t have the best aim, because let’s be real, that shit is hard to do time after time. But the high-pitched yelps from Louis’ mouth every so often was a good enough prize for him.

“Oh my god, there. That’s…oh my god baby, fuck,” Louis moans into the thick air of the bedroom on a particularly hard thrust that makes Harry’s own eyes go white. Louis manages to drop a shaky hand between their bodies so he can tug on his own cock. “So close, so close, Harry.”

“You look so fucking perfect. Take my cock well,” Harry huffs looking down at Louis. Sweat has mixed with the shower water and Louis’ cheeks are red as apples. His eyes are open just a centimeter enough to hopefully see Harry smiling above him. "Look so gorgeous."

Harry takes Louis’ arms and stretches them above his head and holds them their with one hand while sloppily taking Louis’ cock in his other hand. He owes being able to do three things at once to drum lessons he took as a child and mentally high fives himself. Harry pumps himself in and out of Louis and maintains his rhythm while listening to Louis’ choking breaths. Neither one of them has spoken in a couple minutes, too breathless and on edge to waste energy on words.

Louis’ legs are shaking, fucking trembling as Harry moves his hips faster. Harry releases Louis’ wrists, he didn’t realize how tightly he was holding onto them until he saw how bright red they were indented with his fingers. He grabs Louis’ legs and hoists them around his waist after they slacked down to the bed so he doesn’t have to try and keep them up.

“Gonna come for me now, angel,” Harry says softly. It’s not so much a command as a wish but it works either way. “Come on my stomach darling, wanna see you make a mess.”

Shortly after, he feels Louis contract around his cock and his body stills for a moment before he shudders with a yell. Harry can feel a hot stream of Louis’ come hit his stomach and the sound of him riding out his orgasm brings Harry to his own not too soon after. He shouts as he tumbles over the edge; his eyes rolling back and his body shakes as he comes inside Louis.

Louis groans when Harry finally musters the strength to pull out of him. He collapses halfway on Louis and halfway on the bed and feels Louis’ hand rub his sweaty, wet chest.

“Well done, baby,” Harry mutters. Louis lays there, breathing heavily, strung-out, as Harry reaches to pull a pillow case off a pillow and wipe his body.

“You...you too,” Louis says lazily reaching for the pillow case. “That was really hot. The way you were talking. I really liked it.”

A wave of relief sweeps across Harry’s body and he smiles at Louis. “I kinda liked it. It didn’t feel as stupid in the moment and I liked how you reacted to it. But I can probably do better.”

“It was fucking hot but practice does make perfect,” Louis smiles using the little strength he has left to lean over and kiss the side of Harry’s mouth.

Cleaning up is never the fun part but afterwards, when they’re cuddled in new warm sheets, Louis pulls him closer and he could probably fall asleep just like that even though it’s the middle of the day.

“So, I did actually have something I wanted to tell you earlier in the shower,” Louis says wrapped in Harry’s arms.

Harry looks over at him sleepily and nods his head to have him continue.

“I have to go away for a...royal obligation, if you will. It’s sorta like the trips we’ve done but I sadly—”

“I can’t come with you?” Harry finishes.

Louis nods. “It’s four weeks and you obviously can stay here but also, I know you haven’t been home in a while so I was thinking it could be good to go visit?”

Harry doesn’t know why his first reaction was to be sad. He’s been feeling like a ping-pong ball recently going back and forth between being homesick and wanting to never leave. But it would be good for him to go home for a couple weeks.

He’s been in Louis’ hair for months and it’d be really good and healthy for their relationship to spend some time apart. But he also had this stupid idea that leaving would somehow break what they have and shatter the fairy tale he’s created in his head.

“Yeah, I think it would probably be a really good idea to go home for a little. My dad would really appreciate that I’m sure,” Harry replies. “God, what am I going to do without you for a month?”

Louis turns so their faces are close and he kisses him softly. “It’ll be good to test out long distance. It’s not like you were planning on staying here forever.” Harry’s brows furrow at Louis’ remark and he’s a little confused—and apparently it shows because Louis is backing away a little and asking him “what?”

“I mean. You did invite me here and said to stay as long as I wanted. I just thought you were cool with how long I’ve been here.” Harry says hesitantly as not to sound defensive. He didn’t want a redo of the small fight they had at the beach.

“Of course you can stay as long as you want, but I was assuming at some point you’d go back to New York and start your career and everything. I would hate to tie you down here.”

What Louis was saying made sense and it was rational. Harry being Harry immediately thought of all the bad things that could happen if he did decide to move back home. There was one thing about a long distance relationship when you lived in the same country but this relationship had so many other aspects to it that Harry really wasn’t sure it could stand the test of time if he packed his things and went home. And that scared him.

“Let’s see how this month goes and we’ll take it day by day,” Louis says. “I’m going to miss you so much.”

+++

Harry calls his dad the next morning to let him know he’ll be coming home for awhile. His dad, ever the jokester, worries he’ll never find his son at the airport because he’s forgotten what he looks like. He also harasses him into bringing Louis home sometime soon since he’s yet to meet him.

“Oh, before we hang up I almost forgot,” Harry’s dad says. “You got a couple phone calls and an envelope in the mail from Last Page Publishing? Seemed like spam to me.”

“Wait..what?” Harry all but yells into the phone. “No, no, no, no. That is not spam. Holy shit, holy shit. What did they say?”

“Well, it’s your mail, I didn’t want to open it! Someone named Zoe just left the messages with her name and number.”

WIth everything that’s happened and the whirlwind of events over the past half a year, Harry had completely forgotten that he drunkenly sent out manuscripts of a poem and photography book the night of graduation. And this could, potentially, be his big break.

“Dad, open the fucking envelope for Christ’s sake,” Harry huffs into the phone. He quickly apologizes after sounding like a complete douche.

He hears the rustling of papers through the phone and his dad “hmmm-ing” as he flips through things. Harry’s foot is tapping so quickly on the hardwood floor that he thinks he’s about to wear a hole in it.

“They allegedly want you to sign a book deal. Harry, these sorts of things always trick people. I don’t want you getting your hopes up just to get scammed. If they ask you for money hang up!”

Harry completely ignores his dad’s words and leaps out of his chair and spins around the room. “Dad, no. I sent a manuscript to them and a ton of other publishing houses. Fuck. Okay, I need to call them what’s all the info?”

He scribbles everything down and hangs up with his dad.

+++

“Mr. Styles, you are a very difficult man to get a hold of,” the woman on the other line says. “It’s been weeks.”

“I know, I’m so, so sorry Mrs. Young. I’ve been abroad and lost my phone—it’s been this whole thing,” Harry figures a few white lies won’t hurt. “But I called now...that has to count for something?”

The line is quiet for a beat and Harry’s heart sinks. He may have just lost is one and only chance to get published.

“You’re in luck, Mr. Styles.”

“Call me Harry, please,” Harry cuts her off mid-way.

“Harry, I’ll cut to the chase. LPP is still really interested in publishing your work. Not only is your writing phenomenal but the addition of the photographs and typewritten poems is not something we’re seeing a lot of these days. Of course being in the age of social media, your online following is really impressive as well. May I ask how you’ve been updating your Instagram if you lost your phone?”

“Oh yeah. I, uh, had photographed hundreds of poems already, so I had them basically on a queue with an app I paid for and my good friend, Liam, he’s been helping out and commenting and stuff while I got things sorted.”

Harry’s heart is beating a millions beats a second and he’s trying his very best to stay composed and professional; despite wanting to scream like a little kid.

“Well, I know you’re abroad at the moment, but we’d love to have you come by the New York office and meet some people and go over a contract if this is something you’re interested in? I can’t divulge all the information yet, but I think we’re looking at a three book deal, possible book tour and a $250,000 advanced on the first book—given you sign the contract.”

Harry’s heart falls into his ass. He doesn’t even know what $20,000 looks like let alone $250,000. That could put a huge dent in his student loans.

“Harry? Are you there still?”

“I—yes, I am. Sorry. I was just. Wow. Yes, I’d love to come to the office. I’m actually preparing to come back home for a bit in a few days.”

“Does Friday work? Four days from now?”

“Absolutely!”

When Harry hangs up, his mouth is wide open and he sinks to the floor and suddenly begins to sob. His dream for as long as he could remember was to get a book deal. He optimistically thought it’d happen by at least 30 but never thought it’d happen at 23.

While Zoe didn’t mention it, Harry had wondered if his newfound fame with Louis had anything to do with this deal but if LPP had been trying for weeks to get in contact with him, it may not have been a factor. Plus, it’s not like anyone else was interested—that he knew of.

When reality settles back in, Harry was reminded that he now had to tell Louis. Of, course, he knew he’d be happy for him but he wasn’t exactly sure how he would take the news. Harry hated the part of him that wanted to hide the whole thing from Louis in case he advised against it.

Louis doesn’t freak out when Harry tells him. In fact, he seems more excited about it than Harry was when he found out. He even surprises him with a new suit to wear to his meeting; which makes Harry feel even worse about debating hiding the whole thing from him.

Harry didn’t realize just how sad he’d be leaving Louis. He held back tears as they sat at the airport idling in the SUV. Louis had flown with him to France to catch his plane to New York while he headed in the opposite direction to Sardinia.

“You’re going to miss your flight, go. I love you,” Louis says softly. “Call me when you land I don’t care what time it is.”

Harry nods his head where it’s resting on Louis’ forehead. God, he is such a sap tearing up about being away for just a month. “Love you, don’t fall in love with some rich foreign prince while I’m gone.”

“Never. You’ve ruined anyone else for me,” Louis laughs. They kiss again for the last time for a long time and Harry tries to savor every note of how Louis tastes.

Chapter Text

Despite the jet lag and sudden fall back to reality, Harry feels good being home for a little bit.

He should have known better than to just expect his dad to be idling in the arrivals area of the airport. Upon leaving customs, Harry spots his dad and Liam with a huge, like literally massive, “welcome home cheater!” sign scribbled in red Sharpie that probably made its way to Twitter by now judging by the stares.

Harry rolls his eyes at his friend once they see each other, which causes Liam to frantically wave the sign around causing way too much attention to be put on them. “Can you please roll that shit up?” Harry asks once he’s close enough to the pair.

He can tell Liam is contemplating making a scene but he must sense just how exhausted Harry is and folds the sign before enveloping his friend in a hug, “welcome back...cheater.”

Harry rolls his eyes after being squeezed to death by his friend and goes to give his dad a hug. His dad looks at him quizzically, and Harry thinks he must have something on his face. “Are you my son? I can’t quite recall what he looks like it’s just been so long,” his dad sarcastically says before he’s caving and enveloping Harry in his arms.

The questions start as soon as the car doors shut and Harry does his best to fill the two of them in on everything he didn’t get a chance to tell them over the phone or through FaceTime.

Harry has two days to get ready for his meeting with the book publisher and no matter how hard he tries to calm down he can’t quite seem to settle his nerves. He listens to his dad’s fatherly advice and doesn’t stop anyone from telling him how wonderful of a writer he is and how much he deserves it. The confidence will at least make him feel less unworthy of a book deal once the day finally arrives.

+++

Harry is practically shitting himself as he pulls on the enormous glass doors of the skyscraper he’s entering for his meeting. He keeps pinching the inside of his wrist to make sure he’s not actually in a coma and experiencing an elaborate dream.

He didn’t think he’d be this nervous but he was on the cusp of having a panic attack inside the huge building and had to wipe his hands on his suit pants every five seconds because how sweaty they had gotten.

He shakily gives his name to the front desk and is given a visitor pass and told to go to the seventeenth floor. He uses the thirty seconds or so in the elevator to pull his shirt away from his sweaty back and checks his teeth in the mirrored walls. His heart is pounding so loudly that he can barely even hear his own thoughts; which is probably a good thing at this point.

“Hi, Harry Styles for Zoe Young,” He tells the man behind the computer at the front desk. He’s sitting in front of a huge mural that spells out Last Page Publishing with the covers of all the books they’ve published. Harry’s heart jumps a little hoping there’s room for his own on there.

About a minute later, a tall woman appears and announces herself as Zoe. “It’s so nice to finally meet you, Harry. Right this way.” She leads him through a glass door into the main office. Harry was stupidly expecting it to sort of look like a library but it looked like every other office space with cubicles, file cabinets, and people scattered around.

Harry was lead into Zoe’s office and two other people were on his heels as he went to shut the door. Introductions were made and Harry still felt like this was all a dream. His nerves started to calm down once he was able to start talking about his passion for writing and photography. He reiterates what must have been a dozen times that he couldn’t believe anyone was interested in his work.

Once they get into the nitty gritty side of things—aka the legal stuff, he pays close attention as the three women spoke to him and so much of it went over his head. He finally was gathering that this wasn’t a prank or anything and they were absolutely one-hundred percent interested in giving him a book deal.

Harry’s head was throbbing by the time the two hours were up and he left the office with a contract nestled in a large yellow envelope under his arm. He took his dad’s advice and didn’t sign anything on the spot but inquired about taking it home to look over; which really meant Liam’s lawyer dad would be going over every single word before Harry put pen to paper.

“So it went well then,” Liam asks once Harry’s made it to his friend’s apartment on the Upper West Side that his parents so graciously pay for.

Harry kicks off his shoes and loosens the tie Louis had bought him just for the occasion. “Yeah, really, really well. I almost still can’t believe it.” He slides the envelope across the hardwood floor to where Liam is perched. “They weren’t lying when they said a $250,000 advance. They’ll literally mail the check once I send these back.”

“Wow,” Liam says flipping through everything. “So like, when do they need the book done by?”

“They’d like the first draft within three months since they were interested in using most of what I’ve already put online. But obviously need to entice people so I’ll have to get some new stuff written and approved. But the actual book probably wouldn’t be a tangible thing until next spring.”

“That’s fucking amazing! We need to celebrate,” Liam yells.

Harry’s nose twitches the second he smells the familiar scent and about two seconds later, Liam’s shoving a bowl in his face. He takes a long hit hoping it’ll go straight to his head and get rid of the terrible migraine he has as well as settle his nerves.

“Dad’s coming over after work to check it out,” Liam says on an exhale. “Headed to the Hamptons bright and early Sunday if you wanna join?” Harry groans because there is absolutely nothing more he would like to do than accept Liam’s offer so he can spend the rest of the summer sprawled out at the beach, gorging himself with food, alcohol, and the semi-occasional recreational drug—so basically what he’s been doing minus the copious amount of sex—but he knows he’ll never meet his book deadline if he goes.

“Nah, not this year man. My dad’ll flip if I came back just to leave again. Gotta spend some quality time with him to stay in his will.”

They smoke and talk for hours and hours as if there was no time lost between them. They easily dive right back into a conversation from months ago and Harry couldn’t be more happy about coming back.

After they got the smell of weed out of the apartment and look presentable, Harry goes over the contract with Liam’s dad. He gives the green light on the contract and Harry would trust him with his life so he couldn’t be more excited about all of this actually happening. Once his high starts to wear off and the sun loses its intensity, Harry bids his best friend farewell and catches a train home.

He wants to sign it right away but is sentimental and waits to do it when he’s home with his own dad. They crack open a bottle of cheap ass champagne that’s probably been in the fridge since graduation and cheers to his new beginnings. Harry uploads a quick post to his Instagram notifying his growing following that he has a surprise for them. He's stupidly excited to be able to tease the book like so many of his favorite authors have.

It’s not until the following Tuesday that Harry can actually get a hold of Louis on FaceTime. He’s been so busy on his royal tour thing and the time difference that they keep missing each other.

When his computer connects Harry’s holding the signed contract in front of the little camera. “I did it. I’m going to mail it out tomorrow,” he says with the biggest smile on his face.

Louis’ own smile mirrors his and his heart is literally melting with how supportive he’s being. “I’m so proud and happy for you babe. Does this mean I’ll actually be able to read your poems for once?”

Harry pouts and lets out a giggle, “you get to read them just not the ones I write about you.”

“Well, those are the ones I want to read,” Louis fires back with fake annoyance.

It’s pretty wild to Harry that soon, and if he’s lucky, thousands of people will be reading the words he’s strung together about Louis. He’s only uploaded a few love poems on Instagram because he tries to keep them for his eyes only. But he knows the book can’t just be all angst and he’ll have to be selective. It’s still hard to bare this much of his soul to strangers and he knows the poems he’s going to pick for people to have hardbound on a shelf to read over and over again have to stand the test of time.

“I miss you,” Harry pouts as he changes the subject. “I didn’t think it’d be this hard to be away but I miss you so much. How are your travels? Anything fun happening?”

“Oh nothing too much. No wars raging on so that’s good. But would much rather be with you,” Louis says with a yawn. It’s probably 2 am wherever he is and Harry feels badly keeping him up after probably being up since seven the day before. He doesn’t recognize Louis’ surroundings so he figures he must be in a hotel or on royal property somewhere. He can’t believe they still have over three weeks of not seeing each other.

“Always free to shirk your royal duties and come to middle of nowhere Upstate New York.” Harry adjusts his computer on his lap and stares fondly at pixelated Louis. “Hey, speaking of...have weird news about the book thing.”

Louis looks taken aback when Harry speaks but he ushers him to continue.

“So, they’re looking at next spring to release it, which means I need to work my ass off until then. And, um, I dunno the time difference being over there might make things hard? And they need me to stop by the New York office every once in a while to go go over shit like the cover and page orders and stuff. Doing it all virtually or through the mail might be really hard…” Harry pulls his bottom lip between his teeth and chokes back tears. A month away from his boyfriend was hard enough but multiple months seemed like an impossible feat. It had to be all or nothing.

Harry watches Louis’ eyes flicker away from the camera and down so he just catches glimpses of his eyelashes.

“Are you like trying to break u—”

“Fuck! No, Jesus shit, fuck! Absolutely not,” Harry rushes the words out of his mouth in an embarrassing scream. He latches onto the sides of his laptop as a gut reaction as if it were the sides of Louis’ face. “I just wanted to throw that out there. I just, I don’t know how to make it work and am completely stumped on a solution.”

They’re both quiet for a couple minutes and Harry watches Louis furrow his brows and look up and to the left as if he’s trying to solve a complicated math problem. “If you intend to come back, and if they give you advanced notice to when you need to go to the office, we can just take trips back and forth. I can’t imagine it’ll be that many, right? But, I mean, if you just want to stay home that’s fine. We can figure something out.”

Harry, of course, does not want to stay home. He finds himself to be much more creative when he’s in Rozâlia. But if this is going to happen he needs to make the move for real and not stuck in some in between state.

“I’m not sure about the visa...I can figure it out. But, um, I was thinking, maybe I could move there...like for real? This is such a cliche but, like, we basically have been living together full time anyway? The publishing house thinks I live here full time but I think if I explained to them I was moving they’d have flexibility...I think.”

If Harry’s sure of anything it’s that he has absolutely no idea if this will even work out but it has to be better than having to stay in New York to write the book.

“I didn’t want to pressure you or anything but I had been hoping this was something we could discuss,” Louis says softly. “I know you’re so close with your family and friends and I would never force you to move here but if it’s actually what you want to do, of course you can. I would want nothing more than for us to start a real life here if it’s what you want.”

Harry wants to start crying. He also wants to squeal like a 12-year-old and spin around his room in excitement. He can’t be sure that he and Louis will last forever. He hopes they will, but even if it’s the next three years at least he’ll have solid footing and a place to call his new home. And if, god forbid, something happened and they broke up, Harry would definitely have saved enough money to move back home—broken heart and all.

“I think it’s exactly what I want to do. I said I wasn’t going to lose you again and if I have to move across the Atlantic Ocean, I’m going to. I love your country and the people...I think it would be really good for me and for us. It makes the most rational sense. I can move for my job, you can’t.”

They’re both smiling now and Harry wishes Louis was there so he could hug him and kiss him. He doesn’t care if things are moving too quickly, there is no one else he’d rather be with and his gut is just telling him this is the right thing to do.

It’s just a matter of breaking it to the people who have been in his life forever.

After tears and a couple beers the next day, Harry’s dad has calmed down from the initial shock of him breaking the news about his move. Harry coupled the blow with the fact they still have plenty of time together and that Louis owns a literal private jet in case he gets homesick.

His dad figured he was going to move out of New York eventually after college, but was assuming Nashville or even Portland because Harry mentioned it so much. But his heart could only take so much seeing him go so much further away.

Harry felt guilty, for sure. He didn’t want his dad thinking he’d abandoned him, like his mom had, but he knew he’d be okay on his own. Plus, his sister lived close and could keep him company—it was what Harry had to think about as to not feel so shitty.

+++

The upside to moving in with your boyfriend, who happens to be a prince, is that you don’t have to pack that much. Harry managed to only use a handful or so boxes—most of which contain all of his clothes, records, typewriters, and bits and bobbles—and two suitcases...also filled with clothes.

Another upside to having an in with the monarch of the country you were moving to was the expedited visa process. Something that should have taken a month, if not more, was completed in just a couple of weeks and Harry was finally legally able to live full time in Rozâlia.

Before Harry knew it, he was back at the airport crying his eyes out as he said goodbye to his family. Liam even managed to take a break from the beach and send him off. Of course, it wouldn’t be long until he’d be on a plane to visit—he made it abundantly clear to Harry.

He sheepishly parted from his family when a uniformed woman walked over to inform Harry that the plane had been fueled and was ready when he was. Louis had surprised him with a private flight so he didn’t have to deal with transfers in Italy or France.

“Living the fucking life, Styles,” Liam yells to Harry after he slings his leather bag over his shoulder and walks toward the plane.

Harry let himself feel a little bit like a badass once he settled into one of the plush leather seats of the jet. If he was being honest, he’d envisioned his send off to be less posh and more, “oh, fucking shit the gate is closing I gotta go... fuck TSA” but alas, sometimes good things do happen.

When Harry comes out of the bathroom after changing into sweats, he’s startled to see another person on the plane but his heart recognizes him before his eyes do.

“Louis?” Harry squeaks in utter excitement.

Louis jumps up from where he was perched on the arm of one of the chairs and all but leaps toward Harry.

“Surprise!” he smiles with the cutest laugh Harry’s ever heard. “I was hiding in the cockpit till you got settled.”

Harry’s about to make a rude joke but he’s too happy to see Louis that all he can do is grab him by the cheeks and kiss him until his face turns blue. And shit he missed Louis. His lips and tongue haven’t forgotten how to move so effortlessly against Louis’ and he tastes exactly the same as always and Harry couldn’t be happier than to be with him again. He never wanted to turn into one of those people who needed someone this much but such is life.

Harry leans his forehead against Louis’ and kisses the tip of his nose. “I missed you so fucking much it’s insane.” He breaths him in and lets his hands run their way across every inch of Louis’ body trying to make up for all the weeks they’ve been unable to hold each other.

“We have a long flight, wanna get comfy?” Louis whispers with the smallest wink. He pulls away from Harry just far enough to lead him down the jet to a closed off area with a bed. Harry has absolutely no intention of using the next eight hours to sleep.

Harry hasn’t forgotten the way Louis’ tongue feels lapping at his cock; the wet heat of his mouth covering his length. He could never forget the little mews and moans that escape from the back of Louis’ throat when Harry twists his finger just right. He feels no shame begging Louis to touch him, groaning with want and need after so long without it. Harry hones in to how good it feels to have Louis’ weight on him as he sits above him riding the ever living fuck out of him, bouncing on his cock until he comes all over Harry’s chest with a long sigh.

The good thing about being away from each other so long is while Harry may come with a strained shout almost the second Louis wraps his lips around his cock, his body is so needy for Louis that he can bounce back like a fucking champ.

And he does. And they do. And they do and do and do until every single muscle is throbbing with pain and Harry’s whole body is sore and sticky with sweat and come as he lays spread eagle on the small bed panting like he’d just run a marathon.

Louis’ playing with Harry’s fingertips as they lay together after mustering up the energy to clean up. “I’ve never really talked to you about it, but what are, like, your plans for your prince-ship or whatever you call it?”

Louis lets out a breathy laugh and squeezes Harry’s palm. “I want everyone to be happy,” Louis replies quietly as he brushes his thumb against Harry’s wrist. It makes Harry’s heart flutter as much as his words do. “I know that it’s impossible and sounds so naive, but I want them to be as close to happy as possible. I don’t think anyone should go without things like food, water, employment and shelter. So we really do everything we can to make sure that never happens. I’ve really made it a goal to lower our unemployment rate. I know I probably look like a fucking asshole saying all this in a private jet.”

Louis laughs and turns into Harry’s body and his warm breath spans across Harry’s chest as he pulls him closer. “I don’t think that,” Harry whispers against Louis’ temple. “I think you’re doing a great job. I’d love to ya know help, if there’s anything I can do?”

If there’s anything Harry’s learned over his time with Louis is that he cares so deeply about people. Whether it’s his family or the owner at the corner store, he truly has a heart of gold and would do anything to make someone smile. It makes him want to be a better person too and this time around he wants to do things right.

“I’ll probably just make you come to more of those outings that you just love so much.” Harry playfully slaps Louis’ arm and huffs a fake annoyed sigh. He promises Louis he’ll be more into them than he was in the past. Now that he has his own work to do with his book, he doesn’t feel as lost coming back to Rozâlia the second time around.

Chapter Text

Things felt more real, more right, now that Harry’s own belongings were strewn across their cottage. His own knick-knacks found space among the pieces handed down from generation to generation. His records found home on a shelf under books he no longer needed to jokingly open up Google translate for. Harry’s life permeated every aspect of Louis’ belongings and he loved seeing how both were weaved together so effortlessly.

It felt like just yesterday he was working on putting together his first book, and now he was finishing up the third in the series. He was no Bronte or Cummings but the first two sold well enough to spark more interest than Harry was ready for. It was a small cult following, nothing major, but if he was still in the States he knew he’d be living very comfortably right now.

There were some reservations within the monarch with Harry becoming a semi-public figure—no matter how insignificant he really was in the grand scheme of things. Historically, it was frowned upon for significant others to do things outside of philanthropic work decided by the monarch. While it necessarily wasn’t “illegal,” the Queen wasn’t the biggest fan of it but allowed Harry to continue his work since he and Louis were only dating.

Louis had told him things would be different if they were married. He’s warned Harry many times that if or when that happens he would have to forfeit his career. Harry likes to think there is no engagement on the horizon because Louis knows how important this part of his life is to him. Plus, Harry had felt married in every sense of the word except the useless piece of paper.

 

In the past two full years that he’s lived there, Harry’s family finally came to visit, despite not all at the same time. But he was thrilled to finally show them his new life. He treated it how anyone would show their parents and sibling around their new city, despite the glaring difference of half the “house tour” being a fucking castle—yeah, he wouldn’t be getting used to that either for a long time.

+++

“Louis?” Harry walks through the backdoor of their home through a small sitting room with expansive windows; which Harry uses as a human greenhouse in winter when he wants to be in the sun but not actually outside. He’d just gotten back from a small book signing in the U.K. and was glad to inhale the familiar scents of home.

“In here!”

Harry follows Louis’ voice like a trail of breadcrumbs leading him to his office. Harry’s always felt like a bull in a China shop in Louis’ office. It was immaculate and didn’t help that everything was breakable. There were a bevy of framed military medals on the walls next to oil paintings of past rulers and cases of gifts from all around the world.

It was a stark contrast to Harry’s own writing den, where his family photos, courtesy of Walgreens, were haphazardly taped to his wall and pens, stacks of papers, and books were little landmines scattered on the floor just waiting for someone to trip over them.

Louis is sitting at his desk hunched over his laptop when Harry walks in. His glasses are halfway down his nose and Harry wants to rub his thumb over the crease between his brows.

Louis doesn’t say anything when Harry walks into the room, but Harry knows he can sense his presence because his shoulders pull back and relax a little and his mouth falls open the slightest as his jaw unclenches.

“I did something spontaneous a few days ago in London,” Harry smiles wide while keeping his hands clasped behind his back. This causes Louis to look up from his laptop and offer a small smile. He takes his glasses off rubbing his eyes and raises an eyebrow at Harry.

Harry removes his left arm from behind his back and displays it to Louis, revealing a new tattoo.

“A rose,” Louis says matter-of-factly without the slightest hint of excitement or approval. Harry instantly regrets everything and feels heat creeping up the nape of his neck.

“I, um, yeah? I dunno...I was bored writing and had the idea.” It’s a lie. Harry has meticulously planned out the tattoo for months and he has no idea why he’s lying to Louis right now.

Harry follows Louis’ eyes as he glances down, eyebrows raised. His sigh is long-suffering and Harry thinks he may have just made a huge mistake. They’ve talked about tattoos before and Louis’ always said he likes how they look but could never get one. Harry never thought to ask him though about the Queen’s stance on tattoos. Panic flashes across his face as he starts going on scenarios that all lead to something bad.

Finally, after what seems like hours, a small smile creeps across Louis’ face and Harry lets out the breath he was holding.

“It’s big,” Louis says tugging on Harry’s hand to get a better look. “I like it though—pretty.”

Harry searches his face. Louis’ job is to be nice to people but he looks genuinely content now that the shock has gone away.

“They’ve always been my mom’s favorite flower,” Harry says trying to make it not seem so crazy that he got a massive rose tattoo as some weird declaration of love. Although he’d probably get Louis’ name tattooed across his forehead if he needed to prove his love. “And, I thought it was good to mark this new beginning.”

Louis lets out a breathy chuckle, “babe, you don’t have to justify your tattoo to me.” Louis pulls Harry by the belt loop so he stumbles closer. He leans down and gives Louis a gentle kiss. His mouth opens and Harry feels the tentative sweep of his tongue and the sense that everything will be totally fine.

Harry awkwardly fits himself on Louis’ lap and although the desk is poking him in the spine, Harry relaxes into the softness of Louis’ lips. He always has a habit of wanting to be in Louis’ lap despite being way too lanky but he makes it work. The chair creaks beneath them as Harry’s chest presses closer to Louis and he roams Harry’s back with his hands.

Even after all this time, Harry’s breath still hitches when Louis’ gently sweeps his fingertips under the hem of his shirt and presses them against his skin. His fingerprints tiny spots of heat on his skin as they brand his body.

“I should have just bought you another candle instead,” Harry laughs pressing his face into the warm crook of Louis’ neck. Louis wraps his arms around his middle and squeezes so tightly Harry thinks he might pop.

“I don’t need another candle. I love the tattoo, just took me by surprise is all,” Louis hugs him harder and Harry can feel the shake of his head. “You look sexy with it.”

Harry pulls his head back up to be face-to-face and lets out a laugh. He feels the slap of Louis’ hand on his back telling him to shut up and take a compliment. Louis’ hands slide off his waist to rest on each thigh. His gaze moves across Harry’s face and focuses onto his lips. In just a matter of seconds, Harry can see the glint in his eyes get a little mischievous.

Today’s one of those frantic transition sort of days where all of a sudden, in a dire sense of urgency, one or both of them feel like they might literally die if they’re not a deranged tangle of naked limbs some time in the next few minutes.

“Why are you always a sex-crazed teenager when we have plans with your parents?” Harry huffs a rather fake annoyance as they abandon Louis’ office chair for the wide expanse of their bedroom. “Can I at least shower first?”

“Why are you thinking about my parents when I want to suck your dick?” Louis fires back carelessly removing his clothes and throwing them on the floor. “Plus, I miss you it’s been like two weeks since I’ve seen you.”

For some reason or another Harry doesn’t shut up while he sheds his own body of his clothes and turns on the shower. There is literally no reason why he should be talking right now and not just focusing on trying to get Louis in the shower with him. “Because I already get so nervous as it is and now I have to worry about…” he pauses and lowers his voice in embarrassment. “Smelling like sex or like them just knowing.”

Even though it’s been a couple years, Harry has still only interacted with Louis’ parents half a dozen or so times and he still gets quite nervous around them—like he’s still an outsider and unworthy of being in the same room. Even worse, feeling like a charity case. Despite Louis telling him just how fine it is they’re together, Harry’s done his research. He knows Louis’ the first in line for the throne to stray from being with someone of royal blood. There’s no way there’s not a little animosity toward him.

He doesn’t hear anything but a huff come from Louis for the remainder of the time he’s in the shower. And worst of all, Louis doesn’t make a surprise appearance.

Louis has a sheet draped over himself for what is probably the first time ever when Harry emerges from the bathroom; a puff of steam following him. Harry can’t believe he just extinguished their early-afternoon sexcapades. Idiot.

Louis sends him a small smile that screams “are you quite finished yet?” and pats the spot next to him on the bed. Harry curls his naked body up against Louis’ side and breaths him in deeply.

“I know you get stressed out easily. I still get nervous being around them. We’re just going to the horse race...I know, horses, but let’s not forget we were invited—I didn’t set this up.” Louis’ voice is soft and calming as he strokes Harry’s wet hair. Harry always feels dumb when he gets like this but Louis always manages to say exactly the right thing.

“I knowww.” Harry groans pushing his lips forward to kiss whatever skin he can manage to get his mouth on. “Sorry. It’s going to take me years to get used to thinking they accept me.”

“They do accept you. Baby, you would not be living here if they hated you. They literally have a say in my entire life.” Harry sighs heavily and smiles against Louis’ skin. Okay, it kinda feels great to know that they think he’s good for Louis.

“Now, can we please go back to what we were doing I’d really like to have sex now, please.”

Louis doesn’t wait for Harry to reply and rolls his body to plop on top of Harry’s lap straddling him. Harry lets out a wet gasp when Louis bends down to run his tongue over his nipple. He nips at the skin, making Harry shake just the slightest beneath him.

While Louis' mouth was attached to one nipple, his fingers were attached to the other, and it wasn’t long before Harry was whining, wanting more. Needing more. And forgetting the past five minutes of his sulking.

Over the past few months, especially when there is some time between them, Louis likes to leave deep purple bruises all over his chest and then come back to see if they’re still there. The handful he left before Harry went to the U.K. are all but faded now so he makes quick work of blemishing the skin on his chest once again.

Harry’s unapologetically a sucker for the pain and he knows his mixture of hissing and groaning is only fuel to Louis’ mouth.

“You want to put that mouth to better use, baby?”

Louis looks up through his long lashes at Harry from where he’s perched over his body with his mouth on his chest. Harry’s smirk is wiped clean off his face when Louis bites down on his nipple and Harry lets out a loud hiss. Louis’ lucky he really is a glutton for pain.

Louis quickly litters Harry’s chest with several more bruises and bites that cause Harry to buck his body upwards. Little whimpers and half-aborted moans rise in Harry’s throat as Louis’ teeth dig into his skin and his right hand makes home between his thighs.

“C’mon, babe,” Louis whispers against the taunt skin under Harry’s belly button. “Let out those pretty little noises.”

Harry lets out an uninhibited groan when Louis finally abandons his chest and moves down to put his mouth on his cock. He’s done it hundreds of times but it never stops feeling fucking amazing. Harry tries to resist from pinning his lip between his teeth so that Louis can hear him. He didn’t want to be greedy or desperate but it was hard to keep his back pressed to the bed when Louis would easily take his whole length down his throat.

Fuck baby,” Harry cries out. His hips jerk forward, pressing flush against Louis’ face.

They never bother to put anything in drawers anymore so it’s not too long of a stretch or pause for Harry to reach for one of the few half-empty bottles of lube on either nightstand.

He knows he could just come from a blowie, but Harry’s in the mood to get fucked and knows Louis wants something more intimate than this.

Louis’ cool, wet fingertips trace teasingly along Harry’s inner thigh, purposely bypassing his cock, and Harry’s mouth twists with dissatisfaction as he watches his dick twitch pathetically while Louis now ignores it. With his legs spread so wide it’s easy for Louis to push his fingers between Harry’s round ass cheeks. He moans like an animal when Louis haphazardly brushes over his hole with the slightest of touches.

Louis circles the tight ring of muscle a few times and Harry relaxes his body before Louis slides his middle finger knuckle deep into him. “Oh, f—fuck,” Harry moans, his back dramatically arching off the bed.

Louis slides his finger in and out once, twice, three times, before adding a second. He pumps in hard and fast instead of his slow, gentle strokes, making Harry’s thighs ripple and pretty little uh, uh, uh’s bubble out from the back of his throat.

“There, there, there!” Harry all but yells grabbing onto Louis’ biceps to give him leverage to push down against his fingers. Louis turns his fingers and crooks them roughly making Harry jerk up off of the bed almost fully upright into a sitting position.

“Feel good, love?” Louis voice is so soft and a Harry doesn’t miss the slight condescending tone considering the way he’s absolutely ruining Harry right now. Harry can only reply with a faded “mmhmm” as he lets the sensation carry over his body.

After a few minutes pass, Louis must be able to sense just how close Harry is to coming despite his lack of verbiage other than drawn out moans.

“You want to be fucked so badly, don’t you?”

“Yes.” Harry proves it by being the one to disconnect their bodies where Louis’ fingers meet his hole and turn his body over so he’s on his hands and knees.

Look at you,” Louis’ voice has gotten deeper now that Harry’s literally on display for him and practically begging to be fucked. “Greedy much?”

Harry can feel just how close Louis’ body is to him and he turns his head to look when he hears the familiar click of the lube bottle. Louis gets his free hand in Harry’s hair then, wrenching his head back as he teasingly presses his slick cock against his hole.

“Louis, Louis, Louis,” he hardly remembers any other words besides his name. “Please baby.”

“I’ve got you, angel,” Louis assures him, already slowly guiding his cock into Harry. Louis keeps his fingers wrapped tightly around Harry’s hair and slides into him before he snaps his hips forward. Harry jolts and cries out, and Louis just huffs a slightly evil laugh. “That what you want?”

“Y—yes.” Harry hisses at the feeling at first, but lets it transform into a groan when Louis repeats the same movement. “Moremoremore.”

Thankfully, Louis doesn’t tease and gives Harry exactly what he wants. He lets Harry’s hair untangle from his grasp and grabs ahold of his hips with both of his strong hands. He bucks his hips forward, fucking hard into Harry, rough and relentlessly.

Harry uses all his strength to keep his knees from buckling under him and tries to stay upright for as long as he can. Louis can clearly feel his body shaking so he leans over him, pressing his chest to Harry’s back as he fucks him.

Louis whispers dirty things that make his heart do flips, things Harry can’t quite comprehend with the sound of his pulse drowning out Louis’ words but the heat of his breath and how he feels deep inside of him is enough for Harry’s eyes roll back.

“Oh- fuck.” Harry’s entire body shudders from head to toe, but he fights hard to not move even an inch. “Right there.”

“Yeah?” Louis murmurs, keeping his angle as he thrusts forward. He keeps his rhythm going just so perfectly, and all Harry can do is repeat his name over and over again like a prayer.

Harry pushes his body back so there is absolutely no space between them and he pumps his own cock in cadence with Louis’ thrusts. There’s no way in hell he’s going to last much longer and he wants this to be both of their best orgasms ever.

“Love you so much,” Louis whispers against Harry’s shoulder. “My beautiful boy. So glad you’re mine.” He knows what words like this do to Harry and he completely unravels after that.

Harry comes before Louis and he’s sure his ooooohs can be heard hundreds of miles away as they attach themselves to a long string of Louis’ name. He doesn’t even try to keep his mess off the bed and strokes himself until his hand is completely soaked.

He rides out the end of his orgasm as Louis fucks much sloppier into him than he was mere minutes before. Louis groans lowly against Harry’s skin, his nails raking down Harry’s back and landing on his hips as he comes.

+++

When Harry greets the Queen and her husband at the tracks, he has to act like their son didn’t just fucking the ever living hell out of him mere hours before. He’s still sore and is dreading sitting in a hard chair for the next few hours hoping the champagne will help a little. It also doesn’t help when Louis “playfully” slaps his chest when he knows damn well how sensitive the skin is thanks to all his marks.

Harry’s pretty sure his eyes are still glassy and glazed over and no amount of makeup was going to hide the faint blush he was still sporting but he soldiered up and hoped for the best.

His relationship with horses has improved just as much as his relationship with Louis’ parents: aka he’s still scared of all of the above. So halfway through the race when the Queen apparently suggests Harry sits next to her, he is literally about to shit himself—which would suck for many reasons including the fact he’s wearing a brand new pair of white jeans and a silk shirt that do not match with bowel movements.

Louis sits to Harry’s left and squeezes his hand three times as they settle into their seats. Since PDA is pretty much off limits, they resort to the occasional brush of the hand and knee pat and every middle schoolers favorite past time: footsie. Eyes are on them as much as they’re on the horses speeding around the track so Harry does his best to look interested since he knows they’re also being photographed.

“Mr. Styles.” The Queen has never once called him Harry but Louis has reassured him she’s never referred to anyone outside their immediate family by their first name.

Harry’s heart jump from his chest to his throat as he directs his attention to her. “Your Majesty.”

“My son has grown quite fond of you and you of him. I’ve decided one of my personal advisors will be working closely with you over the next few months. I hope you’re open to that.”

Harry truly has no idea what she’s talking about but he nods and vaguely remembers uttering some sort of reply that seems to satisfy her based on the slight smile.

He and Louis stand moments later when she rises from her seat and retreats toward the box just behind them with one of her royal guards.

It takes about five minutes for Harry’s blood pressure to even out and to find his voice again.

“Uh. What’s this about personal advisors?” Harry asks Louis over the roar of people cheering. He’s all but ignored the race for the past thirty minutes or so.

Louis’ eyes widen and a light pink blush tickles his cheeks. “She really likes you.” Louis squeezes Harry’s knee. “We’ll talk more when there aren’t so many people around.”

+++

“She whaaaat?” Harry screeches as he’s standing half-dressed in the middle of their room hours after their appearance at the horse race. He didn’t think he heard Louis correctly and swore he said she wants them to get married.

Louis walks over from where he’s standing to peck Harry on the lips and repeats himself. “She wants you to be trained as you transition into royal life; it’ll take about six to eight months. It’s basically her way of saying she approves of you and an unofficial blessing if we were to get married.”

“I think I need to sit down.” Harry barely makes it to the edge of the bed as he gathers his thoughts. “That’s...that’s good though. Like wow, okay. I mean yeah...cool.”

Louis’ laughter fills the room and he soothes Harry by stroking his hair and peppering kisses on his cheeks and lips. “It’s no pressure or anything. I know we’ve talked about it, but I’m happy with us as we are. We’re still super young but this is a really good sign and I’m so happy she’s as in love with you as I am.”

“Well, maybe not as in love,” Harry giggles with a slight wiggle of his brows. Louis playfully slaps his cheek and rolls his eyes.

“You’re gross.”

“Well, you’re stuck with me. Queen’s orders.”

+++

Harry’s training apparently starts immediately. More precisely, he’s awoken at exactly 6:11 am the following Monday when it’s still pitch black outside. He’s ready by seven and is whisked away from the comfort and warmth of Louis’ still sleeping body.

He’s paired with the Queen’s personal advisor and secretary, a petite blonde woman in her mid-40s named Chiara. It feels like school all over again when she hands him a notebook and pen and they start discussing the monarch’s history.

He basically has to memorize the entire family tree dating back literal centuries. But it’s nothing compared to the grueling work of memorizing the hundreds upon hundreds of rules. Rules Louis and his sisters have had years to learn that were being condensed into a few months for Harry.

Luckily, over the course of his time with Louis, he’s picked up on a lot of the rules and etiquette and they come naturally to him now but there was still so much to learn. He now has his own team of aides within the Palace on hand to assist him in preparing for formal engagements.

The one exciting part of the training was that Harry was able to travel more with Louis so he could be introduced to the various charities Louis holds close to his heart as well as the occasional dignitary at royal events.

Usually when he went to things, he didn’t talk and kind of just stood in the back. But now, he was being made part of the event. He would be briefed ahead of each event on the senior people he will be meeting how to address them, important topics to speak about or avoid, as well as appropriate attire.

Since he usually goes out around town more than Louis, Harry sort of has this thing going where people are noticing him for his his wardrobe more than his connection to Louis and the royals. He loves fashion but basically grabs whatever and throws it on and somehow he makes it work. But it turns out, there are people in the world who care about what he wears, especially since he’s kept his old man chic style going, and certain pieces have even started selling out after he’s spotted in them.

He tries to be a little more selective in his outfits but gets a little rush every time an alert pops up online about his style—because yes, of course, he now has Google Alerts set for himself. But his off-duty outfits don’t fly with the Queen at royal events so when he does where them out, they garner more attention since they’re flashier than the subtle suit and tie most royals are seen wearing day-to-day.

He was basically a working royal without the title. Even though it was a lot of long hours that turned into long weeks and months, Harry saw the positive in it: that he was trusted by the Queen and more importantly, trusted with Louis’ heart.

It also, sorta kinda, helped that Louis decided to use a game Harry grew fond of while learning new rules. A lovely game where his super-hot boyfriend would end up with less and less clothes the more answers he got correct.

At the end of training, Harry was able to go with Louis to an engagement in the Queen’s place while she was off in Italy for another royal engagement. He felt like he was preparing for the world’s hardest exam; which included half a dozen foreign government officials he could not mix up. Luckily, he realized he was much better at schmoozing than any school subject and was eager to put all his training to the test the next day.

+++

Harry had no idea what time it was. All he knew was it was pitch black and the sound of sobbing wretched him from sleep.

As if an invisible force is tugging at his body, Harry leaps out of the bed so quickly that he gets light-headed as he tries to stable his legs. The only light in the room is the dim yellow peeking out from under the bathroom door. As he moves closer, he can hear Louis gasping for breath as he tries stifling his sobs.

“Babe? Louis, are you alright? Can I come in?” Harry whispers with trepidation. He tests the doorknob and sighs in relief when it wiggles.

When Harry opens the door, Louis is sitting in a suit on the cold stone floor clutching a photo so tightly Harry can see thin cracks on the glass. His eyes are so puffy Harry can barely make out the usual bright blue irises.

Harry immediately falls to the floor between Louis’ legs and embraces him, which makes Louis start wailing out a cry he’s never heard before. It sounds almost a wounded animal.

“Darling, please...what’s wrong?” Harry coos rocking Louis back and forth after he’s curled into him. He can feel the wetness of Louis’ tear on his bare chest and just wants him to be okay.

“Sh—she’s g-gone,” Louis wails. The fingers not clutching the photo dig into Harry’s shoulder.

Harry looks down at the photo. It’s probably from ten years ago or longer but he recognizes it from one of the granite tables in the front sitting room. A dapper young Louis is sitting on a brown horse and has the biggest smile plastered across his face and his mom’s rare smile mirrors his.

Harry’s heart completely drops into his stomach and a wave of nausea hits him so hard in the chest he has to suck in a huge breath of air to stop feeling like he’s suffocating.

“Jesus Christ, fuck babe.” Harry has no idea what to say or do and just holds Louis tighter. He feels like he’s in a dream. Louis had just spoken with her earlier that day there is no way this is happening.

He pulls Louis closer to him in his lap and squeezes him as tightly as he can as if he’s shielding him from any and all bad things. Louis sobs harder into Harry’s shoulder and he gives him all the time he needs. Harry cannot even fathom how he’s feeling but his own eyes are watering and his jaw is quivering. Louis’ tears run down Harry’s chest as he tries all he can to settle his aching heart.

Minutes upon minutes pass and Harry just holds Louis there; rocking back and forth trying to suck all the grief out of his body and into his own if only to help ease the pain.

“Her ca—car,” Louis sniffles. “Something hap—happened during her trip, I don’t know. She’s dead, Harry. She’s fucking dead.”

The words hit him like a brick. Harry loses his breath for a moment by the severity and bluntness of Louis’ words and he’s gasping hard as he sucks in a much needed breath of air. The tears have been prickling his eyes since he walked in the bathroom and there is no use holding them back now.

Harry vaguely remembers Louis shuffling out of bed hours ago. He assumed he imagined hearing him leave the room, but he must have gone out to be told the news. It breaks his heart even more that he couldn’t have been there for him.

He feels absolutely useless in this moment. He’s never had so much as a fish die let alone a parent or family member. All he can do is hold Louis and hope it’s enough.

“I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” Harry keeps repeating the words as he coddles Louis in his lap. Everything else going on feels so insignificant right now. “I k—know that doesn’t mean or do anything, but fuck, Louis I’m here and will do anything you need.”

They sit on the bathroom floor like that for hours. The feeling in Harry’s ass and legs have long gone but he won’t move and just holds Louis there just as tightly as the second he wrapped him up in his arms.

At some point, Louis stops crying but lets out strained whimpers every now and then and Harry doesn’t lessen up his grip around him.

“She was my favorite person in the whole world,” Louis’ voice is quiet and hoarse. “I wish you got to know her longer.”

Even in the worst moment of his life, Louis is still thinking about Harry and it cuts him deep.

“She’s an amazing woman,” Harry whispers. “She loves you very much.”

By this time, the soft glow of morning light is seeping into the room. Harry’s eyes are heavy but he can’t imagine how exhausted Louis must feel both mentally and physically.

“Can I run you a bath?” Harry kisses the wet patch of hair stuck to the side of Louis’ face. “Please?”

He feels Louis nod against him with the little strength he must have. Harry manages to pull both their bodies as he scoots across the floor to the clawfoot tub. He strains to reach over to the tap while still holding Louis against him and he is able to turn the knob after a few tries.

The sound of the water gushing out of the faucet fills the otherwise quiet room. While the tub fills, Harry gently starts undressing Louis. His limbs are as heavy as concrete and limp as he pulls Louis’ arms out of the wrinkled, tear-splattered button-up shirt. Louis seems fatigued just from the minimal effort of undressing that Harry stops moving all together for a few minutes so he can recuperate.

“Do you think you can stand?” Harry softly asks moments later.

Louis’ wobbly when he finally starts to move and Harry is there to steady him. Louis grips his arms tightly as Harry finishes undressing him and leads him into the warm water. He quickly excuses himself and jogs to the shower to get bath products.

When he comes back, Louis is entirely under the water causing Harry to panic but he comes back up a second later; his sad blue eyes meeting Harry’s.

They don’t talk much more but Harry cleans him up and washes his hair. He knows he can’t scrub away the anguish but he fucking wishes it could all go down the drain with the water and never come back.

The sun is stronger and higher up in the sky when Harry gets Louis in bed. He kisses his forehead, his cheeks, his chin, his eyelids, his mouth, and lingers his lips on Louis’ palm. He mutters, “I love you, I love, I love you,” over and over in attempt to stitch up even a centimeter of his shattered heart.

+++

It’s only been a few hours and Harry’s truly uncertain of how Louis is going to make it through even the next few minutes let alone an entire televised broadcast.

The queen’s private secretary, who Harry’s grown to know while working closely with her, has notified the country’s government and the countries within their commonwealth. But it is Louis’ duty to tell the entire nation, and world, about the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen. And he must do it with self-control and as little wavering emotion as he can as to not look unfit to take the crown.

Harry is prohibited from the room in the Palace where Louis and his family are making the announcement. So instead, he’s biting his fingernails and pacing around a sitting room adjacent to them with the television on.

His heart drops when the news broadcast that’s on flashes to a new screen. Louis is standing, while his sisters and father sit just a feet or two behind him. They’re all dressed as regal as ever. The princesses all have tiaras on and gorgeous gowns while Louis and his father are in military uniforms. If Harry didn’t know better, he’d think they were celebrating something.

To add to their pain, Louis has to give the announcement three times: once in Italian, once in French, and finally in English; there’s also an official signing off to the side. Harry can see Louis’ bottom lip quiver just the slightest as he he begins to speak.

His sisters are not as stoic and wipe their eyes as they avert their faces from the camera.

“It is with great and utter sadness that I announce the passing of Her Majesty, The Queen of Rozâlia, Adaline II.” While he speaks, a smaller screen is in the corner shows a footman pining the announcement outside the gates of the castle as the country’s flag is lowered.

“...I am honored to be your king and hope to be as dignified as Her Majesty was before me.”

Harry hears rapid shots of a gun-salute outside the window and he jumps at the sound. Louis talks for about five more minutes until the TV screen has gone completely black and Harry moves forward to shut it off.

He feels like he’s continuously in the way so he spends as much time as he can behind closed doors away from the Palace at the cottage. He hasn’t seen Louis in four days besides at night to sleep; and even then they don’t talk and just roll to their respect side of the bed. Harry will give Louis as much space as he absolutely needs but a part of him just wishes he’d ask for something, anything from him.

There is so much that is happening and everything is scheduled to the minute that Harry spends much of the next few days alone. The Queen’s casket has a processional across the city to the church where she had her coronation. The public is welcomed to mourn the loss of their monarch for twenty-three hours out of the day for the next three days until her funeral takes place.

Since Harry is of no royal blood, married into the royal family or a dignitary, he’s not allowed in the church and must watch her funeral on television like the rest of the world. He has to turn the TV off when he sees tears on Louis’ cheeks. He can’t stand not being able to be there and comfort him.

“How’s he doing?” Harry’s dad asks over FaceTime. Harry needed to see a familiar face and wished someone could at least be there with him but this was as good as it was going to get.

“He’s strong. He’s so fucking strong, dad. I could never do all this and be in the public right after you or mom died.” Harry sighs. “There is nothing I can do. I can’t ease any pain or comfort him at the funeral. It’s not fair. And he barely says anything about it to me. I feel useless.”

“Just being there is probably so helpful. I remember when Pop-Pop died when you were just a baby your mom’s presence made a world of difference. It was comforting to have her there and I’m sure Louis feels the same. Just give him time.”

+++

Time was a weird concept when you’re royalty. In Harry’s world, things have moved rather slowly. It’s only been two weeks since the Queen’s death, it’s still a fresh wound, but already so much has changed.

Time for Louis and his family must seem like supersonic speed. In those same two weeks, Louis made the transition to King and prepared for his coronation. He’s barely had time to process his mother’s death and was already expected to take over her role and rule an entire country.

Harry wishes he could stop time. Let Louis—and his siblings—grieve in peace for as long as they needed. But time moved so much faster when the stake of an entry country was on the line.

Harry also had to adjust some things. He didn’t tell Louis that he canceled his book tour because he knew he’d either force him to go or feel badly he had to cancel. He figured Louis would remember at some point that Harry should be Stateside instead of by his side—it was a no-brainer to stay by Louis’ side through this. For those fans who took a keen interest in his personal life, they were understanding when Harry posted the announcement but he made sure to be as apologetic as he could and promise to reschedule.

Harry knew that with Louis as King now, both of their lives were going to drastically change and he was prepared to be by his side through thick and thin.