The Italian sunlight faded when Louis closed his eyes but it wasn't nearly as dark as he'd wanted it to be.
He could still see bits of sunlight even underneath his eyelids and with how much his head hurt, it wasn't doing him any favors. It didn't serve to make him invisible either, though he wished it would.
Maybe then this man seated in front of Eleanor's mum would stop asking him random questions as if he actually considered him part of the conversation.
Here he was in Portofino, sitting in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and instead of being with his boyfriend of almost 9 years who was 5 hours away, he was seated with Eleanor and a bunch of other people he didn't care to engage with.
Of course they'd ordered another pap walk to distract the masses from the fact that he and Harry have been basically following each other around the globe the past few days. This was their form of damage control. Call in the girlfriend right away. Pretend you're on a vacation. That will explain it.
Bullshit. He knew the fans were smarter than that.
They always have been smart enough to see through the sleaze.
The awkwardness and slight discomfort he felt with this whole stunt was throbbing dull in his chest and try as he might, no amount of cigarette smoke would kill it. There was only one cure and he wasn't allowed that or them, rather, for another few hours at least.
He flicked the end of the cigarette with his thumb, the action helping him feel a little less anxious. His attention drifted in and out of the group in front of him, Eleanor shooting him sympathetic looks every now and then.
She knew where he wanted to be and looked like she felt bad that he even needed to be here, a concerned furrow to her brows, just subtle enough for him to pick up on lest anyone be watching.
The thing a lot of people didn't understand was that even if their relationship was the made up fantasy of a bunch of execs with warped views of what was acceptable of their acts and what they thought would sell, he actually cared very much for Eleanor.
It was kind of hard not to form some kind of friendship when they were foisted into this farce and forced to play house for years. She was more of a best mate to lean on than anything and she was excited to have a "gay best friend" to hang out with when they needed to do damage control.
The whole "looking loved up" thing was easier than he thought it would be once he started picturing Harry in her place. Especially with the kisses or holding Eleanor's hand. It still didn't convince anyone on twitter who shipped he and Harry, but then again he had given up being convincing anyway.
Even Harry started to like Eleanor a little bit despite the disdain he felt towards her for being able to be out with him in public. Not that they had anything close to a friendship at all. The younger boy was too stubborn to be totally cool with this narrative that had extended almost as long as they'd been together. He didn't blame El for it, but it was still hard. Hard for him to see the pictures of them holding hands or kissing. Hard to pretend.
Louis couldn't blame him at all.
The posts about Xander and Harry he would see pop up on twitter even though he'd muted every single word that had anything to do with that particular situation, still made him mad.
It was hardly the same situation but he still didn't understand why people were okay with any other male but him having that type of relationship with Harry. It was a bit frustrating.
"Lou?" Eleanor shook him from the thoughts inside his head, placing her hand on top of his on the table. "You wanna walk?"
He hadn't even noticed the table had mostly cleared except for Eleanor's mum and another couple that had sat down when the previous people left. Louis blinked a few times, nodding slowly as he pushed himself to his feet, putting his cigarette out on the bottom of his shoe, tucking it in his pocket.
As they made their way away from the table, their hands linking together to keep up the ridiculous charade they're both absolutely tired of, Eleanor sighs.
She's trying to keep the guilt and sadness off her face, he knows that but Louis wishes she didn't have to feel it at all. Before she can say what she's going to say, he cuts her off.
"Look I know that you're going to say something in the form of an apology and i'm going to tell you that its absolutely unecessary."
She glanced over at him, an eyebrow twitching upwards before she speaks. "You really think that that is going to make me feel any better about this? You've been checked out all day."
Louis shrugged, tugging her closer to kiss her temple. "Darling, i'm fine. No worries. "
Eleanor stopped, tugging on his hand to stop him too. "You miss him." She says, softly, making sure they're out of earshot of people.
"Of course I miss him but this is the price we pay for being the most obvious non-couple on the planet." He chuckles, running fingers through his growing hair. "Besides, I think I can survive a little while without him."
"I just feel bad you two need to be split up so much."
Before he could answer, Eleanor cuddled into his space, wrapping an arm around his waist, her face digging into his neck and he knew immediately there was a pap nearby. Twisting his arm behind him, he joined their hands again behind his back.
It was likely the last wave of publicity before he could finally disappear. He felt like a goldfish with everyone tapping on the glass around him to get a slice of his privacy, ensuring that it was no longer his.
In fact this whole damn stunt felt like that. He would never want this much attention on his relationship, really. He'd grown into too private a person for this. He had enough people analyzing him and his personal life in other areas, his relationship was just for him. There was less of a chance of it being ruined that way.
Now, with their hands joined behind his back it was like he was trying to hide this too. He was tired of being looked at. He was tired of acting like he was okay with being a public show just to hide something someone else didn't approve of in him. It was so exhausting pretending to be something else other than what he was. He preferred the pride in himself, not this.
Going through this line of thought, he felt his resolve cracking. Rapidly.
He needed his boyfriend.
"Are we done?" He whispered, his free hand fidgeting with the hem of his striped shirt.
Eleanor nodded, cutting the pap off with a subtle gesture. "We're done, lets go."
Louis sighed, relieved. He'd never been more happy in his life.
When he returned El to the hotel and then set off on his way back to see Harry, he was anxious, fingers still toying with the hem of his shirt. There was sweat gathering on the back of his neck despite the night coming on crisp and lovely.
Getting into the building was pretty quick and finding Harry's room was even quicker. He was still at the Gucci Cruise show but they'd agreed to meet back at his hotel room after he had finished with Eleanor.
Despite having to be alone for a while he had to admit anytime Harry went to one of these functions, his heart swelled with pride. He'd come so far from being that sixteen year old boy Louis had met in the X Factor bathrooms. He'd done so much. He was the face of Gucci, he had hosted the met gala and was in the process of creating a second solo album after such a successful debut album and tour.
To say that he was incredibly lucky to know someone like Harry who was ridiculously determined to accomplish all his dreams and still managed to maintain some semblance of humanity was an understatement.
Louis plopped on the bed, tucking his hands underneath his head, the entire day swarming in his head enough to make him dizzy. Closing his eyes, he exhaled a long, slow breath, allowing himself to relax into the soft mattress below him.
He rolled over onto his side, digging his face into the pillow he was sure Harry must have used if the scent left behind was any indication. It smelled of the fruity shampoo he used and a small trace of the smell of Harry's cologne left behind as well. Inhaling deeply, eyes firmly closed, he felt his tense body melting into a sense of ease and relaxation.
He fell asleep like that.
Hours later, when the light from the sun had extinguished to make room for the dark, nothing but the light of the stars and moon to illuminate the room, Louis felt himself being awoken by his phone ringing in his jeans.
Somehow in the midst of his nap, they'd ended up on the floor, his shirt meeting the same fate, leaving him in his socks and briefs. Louis reached over the side of the bed, grabbing his phone out of his pocket. He could just barely read the time on the clock that rested on the side table. It was definitely late. Harry would be at the after party by now. Or maybe he'd left.
He didn't even spare a glace at the screen before answering, holding the phone up to his ear while he rubbed his eyes. "Hello?"
"Baabbbbee." Came the slurred reply on the other end.
It was Harry and he was definitely drunk. A grin spread across Louis' face before he could stop it. Not that he ever would. Or could.
"Hazza? Where are you, love?"
He could practically hear Harry's frown in his reply. "Didn't wake you did I?"
His words were melting together like ice cream in the sun, his voice a touch deeper with what sounded like exhaustion and a bit of the alcohol. He couldn't be assed. He wouldn't care if he didn't understand Harry at all. This was his boy.
"Of course not."
After a small pause in which he knew Harry knew he was lying, he rolled his eyes.
"Alright, maybe but its okay. I wanna hear about your night. Where are you?"
Harry shuffled in the back of the car he was sat in, trying to get comfortable. "M'in the car. Everything was amazing. I love people. They're all so lovely and great. Great great people, m'lucky."
Louis chuckled, rubbing a hand over his face, pushing his fingers through his hair. He was so hopelessly endeared by this boy and his drunk rambling. Even after all this time."Had a bit of fun, did you, you're slurring quite a bit, there."
"Heeeey." Harry whined and he knew the younger boy was pouting. He could feel it. "Jus' a little fun. The tiniest smackeral."
"I know, baby. You deserve it. I saw the photos from when you showed up, you looked so beautiful. Always did love white on you." Louis lowered his voice, exhaling a soft breath. "Makes your skin look so kissable."
"I love you." Harry replied. "I love you I love you I love you so much."
Louis' grin only widened, his teeth chewing on his lower lip. His heart was pounding hard against his chest, so hard he had to rest his hand against his chest as if that would calm it down. God, he was so gone for this boy.
"I love you too, Haz. More than anything in the world. Now come back here so I can show you."
Harry made a content noise, settling back into his seat the shuffling able to be heard over the speaker once more. "I love you." he repeated, clearly unable to stop himself.
"You're such a knob, H. I love you more."
When the younger boy giggled, it made Louis' heart jump. He so loved that noise. That sound of pure happiness from the love of his life. It was a sound he'd love to record and play on repeat every time they were apart.
"M'gonna come and kiss you like you've never been kissed before once I find my jacket."
Louis flushed, wondering what the driver must think of his phone conversation. They were always so good at ignoring things but with Harry this drunk, it was likely he'd have to help the lad out once or twice, especially if he'd really lost his jacket. Sure enough, the drivers voice sounded in the background.
"Its underneath you, Mr. Styles, you took it off and sat on it when you got into the car."
He rolled his eyes, muttering "Knob." under his breath. How did he ever fall in love with someone that was this much of a dork? He wanted to kiss him stupid, regardless.
"You better come back here and keep your promise then, Styles. Cause i'll hold you to that."
There was a commotion on the other line and what sounded like Harry dropping his phone on the seat before he got his reply. "I'll be there soon, promise."
Once they'd hung up with each other, Louis shook his head, staring down at his phone, a dopey smile stretched across his face, his eyes crinkling at the edges. It was the first genuine smile he'd had all day. It felt good.
People always gaped at him when he told people that he and Harry have been together almost a decade, they wonder how a relationship that started when they were so young has lasted so long. There was no one that made him feel how Harry made him feel. There was no one else that he could ever imagine in his spot.
Harry owned his soul and his heart and it was just as simple as that. The things he felt were without words that were proper enough to describe it all. He didn't feel like trying either. They just fit.
A jiggle of the doorhandle distracted him from his musings, waiting a few moments before standing up from the bed, unlocking and opening their room door.
Harry was stood on the other side, messing with the card key, pausing when Louis opened the door, staring at him, amused.
"Need help, love?"
"I coulda got in." Harry huffed, walking into the room, throwing his card down on the table in the corner, setting the purse he carried around that night down as well. "M'not that useless you know."
Louis slid up behind him, wrapping his arms around Harry's waist, his forehead pressing into the skin of his shoulder. He was getting clingy already. "Of course you're not, baby. Wasn't suggesting that. How was the show?"
Harry turned around, pressing his lips against Louis' forehead, wrapping him up in his arms. He was sweaty but Louis couldn't find it in him to care."Was amazing. I loved it all. Such pretty things." He mumbled, squeezing the smaller boy against his frame. "I missed you, though. No one as pretty as you."
He smiled, backing away to be able to look into his love's eyes. "Better not have been anyone as pretty as me but I missed you as well."
"How was-" Harry waved his hand around, gesturing what he meant but he still finished his sentence. "the thing?"
Louis raised a brow, the corner of his lips quirking as he sat on the end of the bed, watching Harry strip off his suit.
"You mean my pap walk with Eleanor?" He said pointedly, laughing when Harry grimaced. "It was fine. Portofino is great but I prefer Rome."
Harry nodded but said nothing, letting the suit pants fall to the floor, kicking them to the side.
"I know its hard, i'm sorry. You don't like this but niether do I." Louis broke the silence, standing once more, his hands resting on his boyfriend's shoulders.
"S'not your fault. Just don't like it." He frowned, avoiding his gaze. "Don't like you with anyone but me. Never will."
Louis pushed himself up onto his tip toes, pressing a soft kiss to Harry's lips that were pressed together in a straight line.
They relaxed with the first kiss and the next and the next until Louis pried them open with his tongue, his hands framing the boy's face, their lips molded together in a scorching kiss that he hoped communicated just how much he wanted to be with him instead of Eleanor.
Harry's hands were placed on Louis' hips but they slid to press into the small of his back, then slidng down to rest just above the swell of his ass, tucking his pinky finger into the elastic band of his underwear.
Louis' hands tangled themsleves in Harry's hair, coated in sweat and the last remnants of whatever gel and hairspray had been applied before he'd taken off for the show. He tugged on a handful of hair he'd managed to get between his fingers, the answering groan from deep in Harry's throat sending a jolt of heat through his veins.
They both separated for air but left their foreheads resting against each other, their breathing labored and mingling between both of their faces.
"Bed." Harry whispered.
Louis hesitated, nibbling on his lip nervously. "Are you sure, H? You've been drinking a lot."
"I don't need to be sober to suck you off, do I?" Harry lifted a brow in questioning and now it was Louis' turn to gape at him.
"I- I don't know I just don't-"
Harry slouched slightly, pressing his face into Louis' neck, lips pressing gentle kisses into the skin and nosing at his jaw. "Please."
Louis sighed, his head tipping backwards, giving in rather quickly because he could never quite resist his boyfriend when he begged.
"If at any time I think you can't handle it, i'm stopping this." He said, moving back on the bed, sitting himself at the top, his back pressed against the headboard.
Harry divested himself of his briefs, crawling up the rumpled white sheets slowly, and onto his boyfriend's lap, straddling him.
"Y'say that as if you would ever be able to stop."
Louis shook his head, hands coming to rest on bare hips, squeezing them gently. "I just don't like feeling like i'm taking advantage of you."
The younger boy planted his ass firmly on Louis' lap, his arms draping over his shoulders. "You aren't taking advantage of me, Lou."
Louis' jaw twitched, the weight of Harry in his lap along with the teasing little figure eights his hips were moving in were inspiring his lower region to awaken rapidly, his dick hardening below the fabric of his briefs.
Harry could be persuasive if he wanted something and he damn well knew it. He used it to his advantage. He would do anything to get what he wanted, sometimes resorting to dirty tactics like teasing Louis until he caved.
He'd see random girls on twitter posting pictures of him and saying he was so daddy but in reality there was not a bigger baby than Harry Styles. His boy was so soft and pliant around him, he let Louis take control faster than you could snap your fingers and ususally he would.
When Harry shifted just right on his lap, prompting him to inhale sharply and grip the boy's hips, he smirked. His eyes were still slightly glazed over and his balance was a bit off but he slid off Louis' lap to sit on his knees in front of him. Reaching forward tentatively, Harry's hand slid over the growing bulge in Louis' briefs, giving it a gentle squeeze.
He maintained eye contact with the older boy in front of him, tugging the waistband down to grip the base of Louis' cock, giving it a few good pumps with a dry fist. Pausing, he lifted his hand to his mouth, licking his palm with his tongue before continuing his previous actions of stroking Louis to full hardness.
Harry rubbed over the tip with his thumb, teasing the sensitive skin. As he was doing that, he bent forward, sucking the tip into his mouth, his tongue swirling slowly and teasing the ridge of the crown of his cock. Louis exhaled, his hand shooting down to bury itself into the dishelveled hair on top of his boyfriend's head, gripping it gently.
When the boy was satisfied with the attention he'd given Louis' tip, he dropped his head, his mouth widening to accomodate more of his dick in his mouth, sinking down to about half way with a soft moan before coming back up, his mouth popping off for a moment to breathe.
Once he was ready to take it again, Harry wrapped his lips around Louis' cock again, his tongue flat against the underside, tracing the vein that stood out while he began bobbing his head in a steady pace. He sunk lower and lower on it until he was taking the older boy's full cock, his mouth meeting his hand stroking the base.
It was safe to say that Louis was an absolute mess by then. It had been a while since he'd gotten a proper blowjob from Harry and watching the boy take more and more of his cock on each downward motion was more than he could handle. Heat overtook his body, his breath coming out in soft pants, grip so tight on his love's hair, his knuckles were white and by the time he deepthroated his cock, Louis' hips were twitching, his gut burning.
Louis was close to bursting when Harry popped his mouth off again, shifting his body so that he could stand on his knees on the mattress, moving into his space to kiss him.
"Want you." Harry mumbled against his lips, pushing his tongue into Louis' mouth, allowing him to taste himself on his tongue.
His mind was a haze of static and sexual urges and by this point, Harry seemed a little more aware and less likely to pass out on him so he gripped the boy's ass, lifting him onto his lap back into his previous position.
They'd both gotten tested years ago as a precaution for engaging in sex without a condom and both of them had gotten a clean bill of health and Louis was relieved because there was nothing quite like being inside someone you love without a barrier. It helped them feel closer to one another. Closer than they ever had.
Just to be safe though, he needed to make sure Harry could take it.
Louis snuck his fingers between Harry's cheeks, rubbing at the puckered flesh of his hole with his index finger, the younger boy already whining at the premise of having some part of him inside him. He pushed back against the finger, it sliding in with a bit of resistance that gave way in the end as he pressed it inside, quickly adding his middle finger into the mix at Harry's breathy request of "more".
He fucked the two fingers in at a fair pace, curling them in, and spreading them apart to stretch Harry open enough to spare him from the pain of the stretch later. While his fingers worked, Louis leaned forward, unable to resist taking one of Harry's nipples into his mouth, scraping his teeth gently over it, and allowing his tongue to flick over a part of his boy he knew drove him wild with pleasure.
The way Harry was moving, he wasn't sure whether to press himself forward against Louis' mouth or to push himself back against his fingers, riding them fiercely. Desperately.
"Lou." Harry panted, his arms wrapping around Louis' neck. "Please, m'fine. Please."
Louis nodded, pulling his fingers out gingerly, wiping them on the blanket next to him. He gripped the base of his cock, holding it in place while Harry slid onto it slowly, his mouth dropping open, breathy moans sliding out of rosy pink lips as he bottomed out.
Harry's hips began to move back and forth slowly, giving himself time to adjust to the full and stretched open feeling, his hands gripping Louis' shoulders. When he was satisfied that he wouldn't feel any pain, he began to lift himself up and push himself down on Louis' cock, his mouth permanently open, a mix of pants and soft moans coming out of him.
Louis' hands were relocated to his hips and they were squeezing at random intervals as if encouraging him to move, letting him know he was doing a good job. At one point, one of his hands slides down to Harry's ass, gripping it, pushing him down on his cock at a rougher pace, relishing in the keens that are ripped from inside throat.
The boys hands clawed at his older boyfriend's shoulders when he lifted his hips to fuck up and meet the drops, eventually keeping Harry's hips pinned down against him so he couldn't move, using it to his advantage. Louis planted his feet flat against the mattress, thrusting his hips up into Harry at a rapid pace, plunging deep inside him and into the spot he knows the boy's prostate is resting.
Harry squealed, his nails digging into the tan skin below his fingers, and body bowing forward while Louis continued to viciously nail his prostate.
"Fuck. Louis." He moaned, his arms beginning to tremble.
He knew when Harry started to shake, he was getting dangerously close to tipping over the edge. Good and he knew how to finalize it.
Louis pressed his mouth against Harry's ear. "You look so good like this, you know? You take it so well. Let it go for me, baby." He praised, kissing the shell of his ear, losing a bit of steam as he got closer to the edge himself and became more tired. "I love seeing you all fucked out on my cock. You love that too, don't you. Gonna walk out into the streets of Rome limping and love it."
Harry gripped the hair at the nape of Louis' neck, whimpering and whining, his voice going uncharacteristically high pitched as his orgasm slammed into him, leaning backwards so he came all over his own chest instead. Louis pulled out, stroking himself until he too came, the white ribbons of it joining the mess that had already taken up residence on Harry's stomach and chest.
When they both had calmed down and Harry had limped to the bathroom, washing himself off quickly, he plopped back into bed with Louis, scooting close enough to press a kiss into his forehead, onto his nose, and then to his lips.
"M'really glad you're here." Harry whispered sleepily, his hand gliding over Louis' sweat covered chest.
Louis grabbed his hand, intertwining their fingers, his eyes roaming over the boy's face. "Me too."
Harry's eyes had already closed, looking like he was already falling asleep but under his breath, Louis could hear him whispering "I love you I love you I love you I love you."
"I love you. More than anything." Louis repeated, his voice soft and gentle, tucking a stray hair behind his boy's ear, then scooting forward to wrap his arm around Harry's waist, pulling him closer.
It was moments like these that he would always count as the ones that make all the bullshit worth it. He'd do a hundred stunts if it meant he eventually could wake up next to this boy everyday. Or just one day. If he could see that smile every single day of his life whether in person or pictures. If he could give Harry anything and everything he wanted by sacrificing his time every once in a while, he sure as hell would.
Sure, coming out would be so much easier but fighting for their love made it so much more meaningful and had made them so much stronger together and apart.
There would be so many more places to have these experiences, as well.
From Italy, beyond.