Actions

Work Header

Impulse

Chapter Text

You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.

NARRATOR'S POV

Middleston had two landmarks that the rest of the continent was void of. An abandoned amusement
park from the 1800's that still stood, rusty and dingy with a few caretakers to ensure its survival.
Second, a run-down but still fully functioning asylum called The Madhouse informally by the
townies who saw it erected sixty-eight years ago.

The weather in Middleston was as bipolar as some of the loonies within in. Today is hot, insanely
humid with perspiration on every resident's body and allergies in overdrive. Yesterday was the host
of a major storm which made the damp, heavy conditions of today that more irritating.

Louis' no different from everyone else in the respect that he'd very much appreciate the opportunity
to stay indoors with a sweater and shorts on, moving from room to room in his apartment with a
bowl of soggy cereal and sweet milk.

Unfortunately for him, today is his final day at the asylum mentioned above. He's the assistant to
their in-house psychologist while he completes his degree in psychology.

Today is said to be the day he meets the only patients worth meeting. Brothers with a temper, one
can sense that he's very excited through his early prep of questioning sheets and outfit planning.
He's pretty sure none of those matter.

"Do you think they've really recovered?" His ultimate best friend had spent the night to help him get
ready this morning.

Louis knows Niall just wanted free food and a place to crash because his motel reservation expired
when his gambling money did.

"Not sure." Louis shrugs, walking from the bathroom door to his closet with a towel on. "I've never
seen them and one can only assume such things with physical contact."

"Physical contact." Niall cackles, dropping to his back on the bed. "Well don't go in there
with your guns blazing. They're rapists, you know."

"No they're not." Louis slips the arms of his navy sweater on. "They're alleged murderers.
Alleged."

"Alright, lover boy. You're going to be late." Niall gets a towel to the face for the nickname. "Can I
hang around here while-"

"Yes."

"Because-"

Louis sighs heavily, snatching his satchel and other necessities at the door. "Because you travelled
with me from London and your current broke-ass state is my fault. Eat my food and sleep in my bed
to comfort yourself, jerk."

"I love you too!"

Driving in this weather is getting Louis. It's at least twenty minutes of open road with gigantic trees
on either side creeping onto the tar until he gets to the wrought iron gates of The Madhouse. His
Audi finds its usual parking space at the entrance to the institution with nuns and fake nuns making
their way around the grounds.

A few greet him and he smiles tightly at them, the fake nuns at least. He respects the old and cruel
women because they respect their vows, unlike most of the young ones who lift their dresses for the
first pretty face they see.

"Good morning, Lou." Eleanor, the secretary in the admin division of this establishment, greets him
with a red-lipped smile and cup of coffee.

He hums and makes his way to the cubicles that hold files for their tasks due by the end of the day.
There was the case of Perrie the Landscaper, who had a fetish for splashing blood across walls after
a kill. Then came his final meeting with John the librarian who used to cut human appendages and
stick them in books.

His third and final assignment was The Styles brothers. Their file was black and sealed with a
sticker.

Eleanor whistled. "You got the black one, didn't you?"

Louis doesn't look up from the untouched folder but frowns. "I asked for it."

"Brave soul, you are." She laughs, sticking the clip of her pen in her shirt. "It's their last week here
too."

He knows this. Edward and Harry Styles have been the Madhouse for five years since their twentyfirst birthday. They were sentenced to the therapy program here after a judge ruled against them.

"How was your weekend?" Louis decides to change the subject and looks up with a small smile.

It.....was five days ago." She says, confused by his question. It was Friday and the weekend hasn't
started.

"Have a good one." He dismisses himself and hurries along the hallways to the office where a stamp
on Dr. Murs' office stopped him.

"Louis!" A voice shouted after him while he jiggled the keys in the stubborn lock. He hated that Dr.
Murs never got to deal with a stupid, rusty lock everyday because he had to.

Louis sighs and tries not to look too deflated. It's too bad that Nick Grimshaw annoyed him to high
Hell. He used to be a patient here, treating his OCD, and now worked as a nurse and resident fuckboy for the bigger patients.

"Hey, Nick." Louis finally gets the door open. He chews his lip and gets a bleeding spot by the time
Nick nervously approaches him.

"Hi, Lou."

Louis has told him an innumerable amount of times not to call him that. "What's up?"

"I heard it's your last day." The taller but definitely lesser intimidating individual smiled at him.

"Yes."

"I want to ask you something then." Nick steels himself. Louis can literally see the wheels in his
head turning as a sentence is constructed carefully.

"Is this about your offer to take me to the town fair?"

"Maybe." Nick's smirk is not enough to impress Louis' unjustifiable high standards.

"Nick, you know dating is not allowed amongst colleagues."

Nick deflates and mumbles something to himself, his fingers twitching the way they would when
someone put Stephanie Meyer after Stephen King. He was going to split the pad of
his thumb open with his nail if he didn't stop.

"Hey." Louis snapped his fingers and got Nick's attention away from his harmful twitching. "How
about we start with coffee instead? I'm not really big on fairs."

It was a lie. Louis' loved fairs and circuses for as long he can remember. Every thrill ride, dunking
game and stick of candy floss has his name on it.

Nick lights up the way Niall does when he finds Brandy with a hundred bucks taped on it under a
Christmas tree. "Thank you, Lou! Coffee sounds perfect, better than my idea actually. When are you
free?"

The sooner Louis gets this done, the better. He doesn't want to give Nick any false hope.
"Tomorrow at eight."

"Done." Nick extracts his little journal from his back pocket and jots down the date, time and the
fact that Louis will be there. "Thanks again, Lou."

"No problem." Louis gives him a candy sweet smile and hides in Dr. Murs' office for ten minutes
before actually starting work.

There's a rat that lives in the air vents and it looks like today it has chosen Louis' section to scurry
about. He sighs and seats himself at his own desk with his belongings after flipping on the lights
and his boss's computer. He has a laptop to work with and opens up his calendar to look at what he
has due.

His meeting with Perrie is first in an hour, so he gets her file out and studies it but the black folder is
glaring at him. He can't stick the temptation it presents and drops Perrie's file to rip open the seal on
the Styles' brothers' profile.

No intern has lasted long enough to see their last day here and meet the infamous brothers, so the
only reports in here were from Dr. Murs. Louis' excited to be the last person who writes in their file.
He skims over the basic information and memorises the bigger, more gruelling details. When the
words become blurred he slips on his glasses.

Their names were Edward and Harry Styles, admitted in February of the year 2010. Declared
criminally insane on the same day by the court and the only person allowed to see them was their
psychologist. No marriage, no children, no lovers. They had no next of kin or guardians, nobody to
pick them up on their last day.

The brothers, despite their reputation, have remained squeaky clean throughout their stay. Their
meetings with Dr. Murs were without problems and they always changed the subject when their
crimes were brought up. How's your daughter, Olly? or I saw your better half drop your
lunch off the other day.

Louis goes through the crime scene photos and finds that they're just images of rooms after it was
cleaned up and returned to their natural state. There was no hardcore evidence against the Styles
brothers in a small town like this, so an investigation when stale after a while.

He had spoken to some of the people involved in their cases, but most would walk away or hiss at
him. The crazy ones, mostly. Someone told him they were sons of Satan and someone else says the
devil lives inside them, cut in two by the twin factor. To small children they're the monsters in your
closet and under your bed.

A knock on his door throws him out of his train of thought and he frowns behind his framed glasses.
"Come."

The door swings open a little more brutally than necessary and makes Louis shoot to his feet, the
chill of cold concrete connecting with his feet through his socks.

"Lou!" His favourite patient here screeches and lunges at him, wrapping her arms around his waist
and hugging his soft tummy.

"Hey there, Shelly." He grins down at her, squeezing her shoulders and combing her blonde hair
back. "Had breakfast?"

"Yeah, Lou."

Shelly is a nineteen year old college drop-out who was declared insane after she attacked someone
in the hallway of her campus. Louis later learnt that she was autistic and fell forward onto some
idiot's back who didn't help but hit her instead.

"What did you eat?" He puts the Styles brothers' file away and sits down, she sitting opposite him
curled up in her white dress.

"Oatmeal." She pouts, fingering the hem of her stained cotton dress. "Th-They said....you we-ere
leaving?"

Louis squashes his self-hatred and tries to smile. "I have to, love."

"No!" She shouts, worked up and betrayed. "You're my best friend-"

"I'll visit everyday." He promises, getting up to hug her so she didn't trash anything. "I promise I'll
come see you everyday."

"For breakfast?"

"Maybe supper, just before you go to bed."

He spends the next hour not doing the work he has to but assuring Shelly that he isn't leaving her
forever, much like everyone else in her life has. He gives her a lollipop from his bag and she kisses
his cheek before leaving upon the arrival of Dr. Murs.

"Good morning, Shelly." The older doctor greets her but she merely waves and skips back outside
to her room. "Mornin', Louis."

"Morning." Louis gets up and washes himself off in the little bathroom he uses exclusively. "I'm
going to see Perrie."

Dr. Murs gives him the okay and Louis ducks out of the office quickly, locking up his phone and the
other files in a cupboard at his desk. He jogs down the clean hallway with cracked floors and
crumbling walls to where his meeting room with patients are and opens the door.

"Morning, Perrie." He takes a seat in the room that smells of dust and blood, by a steel table that's
got crusted red on the edges.

Just yesterday they had an incident with a late patient who went crazy in front of Dr. Murs and
ended up throwing himself all over the room. He cracked his neck on the desk and fell onto the
rusty spoke from one of the broken legs.

She looks up, purple hair pulled back into a braid and her extremely short fingernails scraping her
knees again. "Yeah."

"What's wrong?" He asks immediately, folding one leg under the other.

"You're going to die." She looks at him stormily, her shoulders squaring and eyes clouding over.

"Why do you say-"

"You're seeing them today, aren't you?" She cuts across his question. "You're going to die."

"I'm not going to die, Perrie. When I do though, it won't be here." He tells her with his laced fingers
gripping his pen. "How did you find out?"

"Everybody knows, even them." She laughs so her chest vibrates, bra-less and cold. "The blond one
is already writing your name on his dick."

"Blond?" Louis tries not to gag on the last bit. He had no idea one was blond.

"You've never seen them, have you?" She smirks, sickening and like when she used to attack
unsuspecting park couples. "Fuckin' exciting, this is."

Louis spends the next half an hour trying to get Perrie to talk about herself and her recovery but it's
futile. The same goes for his meeting with John. Everyone is in dire need of the entertainment that
is bound to come with the Styles' brothers meeting Louis.

After two useless meetings, Louis closes up the files he's done with and sits in his office through his
lunch break sorting out paperwork. He eats an apple and drinks from the straw of a juice box. He
reads over his questions for the notorious twins and rereads it like they're inadequate. The sad thing
is that the black folder contains no photographs of the twins themselves so he doesn't know what
they look like.

One o'clock comes around half an hour after Louis starts becoming nervous. He's not always like
this for first meetings but he's been quite built up to this moment and hates everyone for doing that
to him.

"Hey, Louis." Dr. Murs calls him from his desk behind the wall to the left of Louis.

He gets up and stands at his doorway. "Yes?"

"My wife found out it was your last day." The doctor stands up and pulls out a lunch bag from under
his desk. "She thought you'd appreciate her peach crumble as a farewell gift."

Louis met Dr. Murs' wife and he took a liking to her desserts, so he forgets his nerves when he sees
the offering. Smiling gratefully, he accepts it and laughs lightly. "I'm not moving away, Dr. Murs."

"You try telling her that." He gets up and chews his lip while Louis packs his things away to prepare
for his absence from the office. "Good luck then."

"Thanks." And Louis' gone.

It's like everyone knows where he's going when he crosses the passage again for the hundredth time.
The atmosphere has slowed down and everyone watches him like he's insane. He shrugs
them off and gets to the room he's been assigned for meetings, finds two guards posted outside and
halts.

"What's this?" He questions them.

"It's our job, Psych." One of them says, Bill or something. "For the criminally insane, especially
these guys, we need to be here for your safety."

Wonderful. Louis cracks the knuckles in his right hand and grabs the door handle. He waits for his
life to flash before his eyes but nothing of the kind occurs and he's suddenly in a room with two
sinister other people.

One is at the barred window looking out with his back to Louis. The blond one. He's not doing
much else besides looking outside and Louis mentally records that. His arms are at his side, muscles
bulging under the thin cotton shirt they're forced to wear here. He stands at maybe six foot
something with slightly hunched shoulders and neat pale hair.

Louis realises there's supposed to be two Styles brothers in just about enough time for a set
of large hands to close around his hips and keep him from stepping forward.

"Boo."

Chapter Text

"Boo."

Louis' automatic reaction - as is the nature of any human who is caught by an unknown person with
force - is to push free of this muscle cage. He's nowhere near the amassed amount of strength
needed to break free and ends up fussing in futility. His chest cavity tightens with horrid fear
clogging his trachea and his fingernails are close to tearing holes through the fabric of his own
sweater.

"Get off!" He squirms and tries twisting himself out of the second brother's hold desperately.

Suddenly the arms are gone and he's falling to the ground in a tumble. His skull is almost beat open
with a severe impact with the concrete but his hands brace his fall so he ends up with mere scrapes
on his palms. His fringe gets in his eye and he sputters a bit from the lump in his throat finally
releasing him.

The laughter doesn't ease up though. Two deep voices are contributing to the same hoard of
amusement and Louis feels his resolve get a little hotter.

"What kind of game was that?!" He stands up quickly, dusts off his knees where he's certain there
are painful scrapes.

His form was shorter but is anger made him noticeable enough. One of the brothers pauses in his
cackling - the one who captured Louis with dark brown hair - but his amusement stayed
predominantly on his face.

"The world is uptight enough, darlin'." He says, voice like warm honey with the hidden threat of
rose bush thorns when you drank it in. "We've been looking forward to meeting you."

Finally the blond one moves away from the window with a smirk hailing from the seventh pit of
Hell that made Louis' tummy swoop. He sits in one of the two chairs opposite a single one,
drumming his short fingernails on the steel table patiently.

"What were you hoping to achieve by scaring me?" Louis is certain he's red in the face, not as a
result of the two sets of deep green eyes staring at him or the flexing of artful jaws beneath pale
skin.

"One of two things." The darker haired one sits as well except he takes the seat Louis is supposed to
have, leaving the only available chair next to his deranged brother.

Louis sucks in a sharp breath and steels himself. He will not be intimidated. "One of those
two things has to be an extra week in this Hell because that's exactly what you're getting."

The blond one - Louis really has to learn who's who amongst them - smirks with the exposure of
two alarmingly sharp teeth. Louis now feels the shiver he neglected to experience with Nick.
"I like him." He says, steeped in humourless appraisal.

Brother Dark Hair - nicknames Grizzly in Louis' head - regards Brother Blond - nicknamed Stark in
Louis' head - with a little surprise. Stark says nothing to his brother but that seems to be exactly
what Grizzly is expecting. Louis decides this meeting is over.

"I'll file your paperwork then. Have a nice day."

He never should have turned his back on two crazy people in an asylum.

The realisation strikes him the same time as the wall collides with his back harshly. He hisses and
surely heard a crack of knuckles somewhere above the blood thumping in his brain. His struggle is
made silly by Stark's abrupt appearance.

All the light is blocked out by the taller man's shadow, looming over Louis like a formidable tower.
He takes Louis' wrists and pins them to the wall behind his back, creating a painful surge of energy
through his veins. Louis opens his mouth to scream and a hand closes over his mouth, crushing that
hope.

Stark stares into Louis' wide and terrified eyes like he's playing a mental game with the smaller
male. "I'll have to give you something to remember us by for this extra week then, huh darlin'?"

His voice had a strange lisp to it and only when Louis started paying attention to the movement of
his lips did he understand why. The cherry plumpness of Stark's lips shifted when he spoke but only
minutely, and only so was Louis able to see that all his teeth were filed to a sharp tip.

Louis' fear engulfed him and he tried screaming again but Stark made a ticking sound with his
tongue and pressed himself up against Louis' rapidly shuddering body.

"You have a-" His ocean of dark emerald eyes raked down Louis' body. "-tantalising little body,
petal. I bet you're as soft as silk under all these clothes."

Just like the shiver from Stark's smile that Louis failed to experience earlier in the day, his life now
flashed before his eyes like he thought it would when he walked in here.

"If I'm right-" Louis' shriek was muffled when he felt a cold, calloused pair of hands rub his sides.
"-I'll leave a mark that I can claim a week from now. If I'm wrong....-" Stark smiles at the glistening
tears at the corners of Louis' eyes. "Well petal, if I'm wrong we'll just have to make the most of what
we have here."

Grizzly did the feeling up of Louis' delicate body. Louis has never felt so humiliated or violated
even though none of his clothes were removed. He turned his head away when Stark's lips brushed
his cheek, the dagger characteristic of his teeth scraping Louis' skin.

His heart was jackrabbiting in his narrow chest cavity, the childhood allergies he had closes up his
air pipes so he can't breathe without sounding like a nail scraping a chalkboard. The fear is that
powerful, that much more electric when it's all you can feel.

Something about the flesh of Louis' hips caught Grizzly's attention because he grunted and took
Stark's hand to the spot as well. Louis felt absolutely disgusted by the greasy palms squeezing the
part of him with faint stretch marks and otherwise unveiled soft skin.

He mewled helplessly and got gripped tighter when he tried to break free.

"Guess I was right, darlin'. Look at me!" Stark's hips hurt Louis' pelvic region with the
painful amount of strength he used to keep the boy pinned up. His fingers brushed Louis' hair aside,
caressed his cheekbone and thumbed at his clavicle. "The most glorious body belongs to someone
right under my nose."

Grizzly whispers something that's hardly English to his brother, neither of them looking away from
Louis while they communicate. Stark's horrifying teeth come into clear view when he smiles and
his brother frowns.

"Don't get greedy, Harry." Stark warns Grizzly. Louis hardly finds the name revealing to be easing
on his nerves. "We've got to wait a week before darlin' here sees us again."

Harry continues whispering, this time louder and more urgent like he's personally afraid of losing an
opportunity here. Edward - Louis can deduce that Stark is Edward - snaps at his brother for not
listening the first time.

"I believe he's too impatient." Edward steps back, taking Louis with him so the boy is practically
being dragged. "Sorry, darlin'."

Louis starts to kick up a fit again but once again a whirlwind of strength overcomes him and he is
back to being helpless. He screams into Edward's fist and God knows how the guards hear fuck all
of his protests outside. He blames the soundproof foundation and windowless door that will now get
him raped or murdered by two sadists.

"Hush, sweetheart." Grizzly tells him, seemingly obsessed with Louis' sides as he soothes the
goosebumps there and chuckles at Louis' squirming.

"Stop it." Edward throws Louis over the table's surface and Harry holds his hands down. "We have
approximately three minutes before the bastards outside come to check on us. If your screaming
gets them here earlier, our meeting a week from now will not be pleasant."

Louis gives up hope at that and puts all his faith into the countdown of three minutes. He stays quiet
behind Edward's hand and his vision becomes frantically blurry from tears. A shadow cloaks over
him and his skin becomes wet at his neck.

He starts to squirm again when he figures out what Edward's doing. He struggles under the weight
forcing him into submission, hands scratching at anything he can to get some freedom. Edward is
undeterred by all the protests and continues to work his mouth on one spot of Louis' neck.
It's just his lips sucking hard on the sweet-smelling skin, making blood flow faster and more
heatedly. When he's satisfied by the swelling and crimson red tint of Louis' skin, his teeth dive in on
the same spot.

He hesitates, tips of his sinfully sharp molars hovering over the bruised skin. "My name's Edward,
darling. You scream any other name while I do this, and I'll bite harder."

Louis' mouth is released as the hand over it like a forbidding cloud disappears. He forgets about
how dirty he feels and releases an ear-splitting scream when half a dozen daggers sink past his skin.
They're small and causing that much more pain. The agony increases drastically when no name
escapes his lips and Louis chokes on Edward's name as he tries to force it out.

Immediately there's shuffling outside and some shouts from officials. Edward doesn't let up and
Louis feels the drip of his blood flowing down his neck.

"Well done, darling."

The monstrous man finally let's him go but his presence is not forgotten because as soon as Louis'
let Edward's biceps go, Harry's are there to cover for him. The throbbing hurt in Louis' neck extends
towards his heart where acid travels through his veins like lead, and all he can do when Harry leans
towards him is hold his shoulders.

In quick succession, the door flies open and bangs against the hard stone walls. Louis' head turns in
that direction but Harry's lips are at his neck, gently grazing the mark his brother left and getting
blood smeared across his mouth.

"Don't forget about us, petal."

 

* * * * *

"I swear to fucking Zeus, Louis! You are not going back there!" Niall shouts at the top of his
lungs while Louis lies across his own sofa, a quilt over his curled up body and a bandage on his
neck.

A thumping from above ensues, from Louis' neighbour recently disgruntled by Niall's hooliganism.
Niall yells at them to shut up and sits down next to Louis with a sigh.

"It's not infected, is it?" Niall asks, touching the medical tape gingerly. "Who the fuck knows what
those people are carrying."

"It's fine, Ni." Louis assures him, as the paramedic had.

Niall makes an effort to get under the heavy quilt with Louis and cuddle his best friend. Louis
groans and turns over so his back is to Niall, but the Irishman is persistent and spoons him from
behind anyway. There's a small silence where Louis manages to stop his shivers and feel the cool
antiseptic on his neck.

"How far out of line would I be to say I think this is a romantic gesture?" Niall breaks that
wonderful silence to prod at Louis' neck.

"I'd say I will introduce to them on the day of their release." Louis elbows Niall's rib but it's
harmless because he's too weak for much else.

There's nothing scarier than being caught between two cruel strangers in a room where no one can
hear you and you won't be helped. Your screams will be drowned out by their laughter and
eventually you'll become paralysed by their dark, sinister gaze.

Louis can still feel their eyes, like they're watching him so intently even now that his back burns
from their stare. He shudders and can't help a tear or two from slipping out. He could have lost his
dignity today, along with the time left he had in this life of his.

"It's alright now, Lou." Niall holds Louis while he cries and tries to crack some idiotic jokes in the
process. "You're not going back there. I won't let you."

As wished upon the stars by both best friends, Louis doesn't need to go back to the Madhouse.
Infact he even avoids the off ramp he usually took to get there for the next three days while he goes
about his errands.

The first day is the hardest because Louis has to see Nick, deal with the simpleton's inquisition
about why the police arrived in a swarm and an ambulance was called twelve minutes after Louis
went into the room with the Styles brothers.

"Where are you going?" Niall asked from behind the kitchen counter, an empty bowl of cereal in
front of him and a mug of steaming ginger tea in his hands.

"To meet someone." Louis answers briefly as he swings on a sweater and pauses for a beat to hear
the rustle of wool on the bandage on his neck. He ties a scarf carefully around his neck to conceal it.
Middleston is a very small town with a population of less than five hundred, where the weather was
pathetic and small minds bred like rabies. Louis knew a handful of intellectuals in this town and
that's only because they were here to waste away their retirement days.

Everyone knew about the incident at the Madhouse. The Middleston Daily printed three articles
from three uninformed, biased journalists in one issue. Louis was either approached by reporters for
a photo or comment, spat at behind his back because they thought he was an incompetent
homosexual, or fawned over by extremists who wanted to know how the Styles brothers ever let
him go.

The walk from his complex to the cafe he is scheduled to meet Nick at is slow and many people
stop their loud banter to point and murmur. He stares intently at the ground while he walks. The fog
of an early morning is still lifting and not many kids are out on the streets yet, so Louis can go to his
destination without being hassled for some treat or the other.

"Lou!" He is greeted by an excited but seemingly concerned ex-colleague as soon as he walks into
the coffee shop.

Next, Nick is embracing him and Louis winces from a too tight squeeze. He smiles emptily and
slides onto a stool where his feet dangle off the sides.

"How're you doing?" Nick asks, rubbing his thumbs over his double cappuccino cup.
A waitress comes to take their food orders for this chilly morning and she avoids all eye contact
with Louis. He's become a kind of revered outcast - the paradox is not lost on him - because of his
recent tragedy.

"Bacon, egg and cheddar wrap with Kamikaze Latté." Louis says his order eloquently, as he has
been for a year now.

Nick orders some kind of breakfast omelette with creamed mushrooms and Louis just gathers foam
off the top of his hot beverage with a plastic spoon.

"I'm doing fine." He manages to lie fluently. "How about you, Nick?"

"Okay, I guess. I'm a little worried to be honest." He admits, blooming colour reaching his cheeks.
"They're in solitary lockdown, aren't they?" Louis refers to the pair of criminals who had him at his
weakest. "You'll be fine."

"I'm worried about you, Lou."

"I'm fine, Nick." Louis picks up his stainless steel fork and begins the process of picking at his food.
"Thanks for caring."

"If you need anything-"

"I have a best friend for that." Louis snaps rudely, cursing himself mentally when he sees how
Nick's face falls.

His fingers start to twitch again, the scars on his pale fingers being relived.

"I'm sorry, Nick. I just....-" Louis searches for a way to make this right. "Maybe I do need that visit
to the fair."

It's a magical transformation the way Nick's smile picks up. A recovering mental patient should not
be continually shot down when all they deserve is a fair chance. Nick's not that bad of a guy.

"You don't have to, Louis." Nick shoots himself down. He hates promises made on pity.

"I know." Louis makes an effort to smile. "I'm still asking."

Nick and Louis chat about a small circle of topics for another fifty minutes at the breakfast counter.
They eat savoury croissants and plan a trip to a bookstore downtown tomorrow, while their fair date
is scheduled in Nick's little brown journal for later in the week.

"I'm gonna go." Louis states softly, getting off his high stool with his coffee travel mug in one hand.
"I have some stuff to do for uni."

"Oh yeah. Sure, okay. Can I walk you?" Nick got up too, standing a few inches taller than Louis.

"I'm alright. Thanks though."

Louis sips from his travel mug on his walk home from the coffee shop. The fog has lifted to reveal a
healthy bout of sunshine falling over their cosy town. Every shop was open and children were out
everywhere, a few smaller ones bumping into Louis in their haste to have fun.

He reaches the apartment complex after six minutes of walking on a pale white pavement. His
fingers shake a little while he jiggles the keys of his flat, feeling the cold streak of his back. He
doesn't realise he was running to get away from vulnerability until he fell to the linoleum floor
inside his home, head in his hands and legs folded.

His shaking form was wrapped up in Niall's arms after moments of being alone. He babbles about
never forgetting what they felt like against him, holding him helpless.

"Let's go for a nap, Tommo." Niall helps Louis to his feet and takes him to his bedroom, pulling the
covers over his best friend so he was comfortable.

Louis got through a two hour nap before waking up feeling less terrified and more unresolved. He
was not going to let this horror haunt him for the rest of the week until he was once again caught in
the threshold of two criminally insane dominant males. Society's screwed him over too many
fucking times so he does what Niall will slaughter him for doing.

"Hey, Eleanor?" Louis holds the phone to his ear while he shuffles through some of his patient files.

"Hey, Lou. How you doin'?" She asks, concerned to a mild degree.

"Fine." He sips from his tea mug. "Patients in solitary get visiting hours, right?"

"Louis-"

"I want to make an appointment."

"For anyone but the Styles brothers, sure."

Louis stops his shuffling and folds his knees up to his chest. "I want to see them, El."

"I don't think that's wise, Lou. Dr. Murs is in charge of patient visitation and he's stressed out about
losing you as an assistant so-"

"Is he in today?"

"Well, yeah."

"Put me through to him." Louis bites his thumb nail. Niall is going to drown him in ginger tea
before slaughtering him. "I want to apply for a permanent post."

Louis has to spend a period of thirty minutes convincing Eleanor that he's not reacting out of PTSD.
He also stares at the same reflection on his faded laptop screen where his neck's bandage was
visible in epic clarity. He chews his lip while he forces himself to decide that this is not a
bad idea.

"Louis?" Dr. Murs comes on the line after Eleanor changes a dial on their massively hideous
switchboard.

"Hey, Dr. Murs." Louis sits forward in his chair at home, pen twitching in his right hand. "I have a
request. Two, actually."

"Go ahead."

He tells the doctor the lighter of the two propositions. The job offer is easier to swallow and Dr.
Murs asks a series of questions about whether he's certain this is what he wants.

"Yes, Sir. I've been an intern there long enough to know all our patients." He assures the worried
doctor in charge.

His visit request is less desirable and he spends two hours telling Dr. Murs that he is perfectly
healthy and will agree to security terms. He ends up getting the visit for two o'clock the next day
and that's an hour before his contract is signed at the Madhouse. As an intern he got no money but
his salary will be decent, coupled with the allowance his rich CEO dad gave him monthly he will
manage a decent life here.

"What you doin' up so late, Lou?" Niall walks in from the hallway of bedrooms in boxers and socks.
Louis decides to keep his latest decision and employment a secret from his best friend until he's sure
Niall isn't going to drown him in ginger tea before slaughtering him.

"Got some stuff to complete for uni." Louis clicks the button on his pen.

"You've been at it for a century now, Lou. When do you graduate?"

"I have a thesis to write and an exam to ace first, Ni."

Niall hums, plonking down on the couch violently enough for the entire contraption to shift
backwards. "How was your date this morning?"

Louis stops scribbling notes down from his laptop screen in the dim light of his desk lamp. "It
wasn't a date."

"Alright then, how'd it go?"

"Fine."

"That's it?"

"Yeah." Louis nods. "We're going to the bookstore tomorrow."

"Very sexy."

"Niall." Louis throws his hands up with a sigh. "Not everything is about dating, you know. He's a
nice person and-"

"Is he the creepy guy who-"

"Yes but he's not creepy anymore."

Louis is left alone after Niall finishes a plate of Oreos and squeezes his shoulders in a brief hug. He
falls asleep at the brink of dawn at his desk, pen marks left on his cheek and worry lines from his
disturbing dreams leaving creases on his forehead. He wakes up to an empty flat and a note stuck to
his arm from Niall.

'Your mom called yesterday. Call her back, Lou. - Niall'

Louis knows exactly why Niall decided to leave a note and not tell him this in person. He hasn't
spoken to his mother in months, and couldn't stand being around her for years before that when she
started bringing strange men home. She got custody of Louis in the divorce but he always found
reason to live with his dad instead.

"Shit." He rubs the palms of his hands on his face and brushes his hair back with shaking fingers.
The silence of his apartment is begging him to pick up the answering machine and find out what she
wants from him now. Money? A place to live? Protection from a drug lord? Who knew and he
planned to turn her down no matter what it was.

Since it was that simple, he got himself up and dialled her number on his handheld. It rings for five
rounds before someone picks up, enough time for Louis to take three long breaths and circle his
small table under an antique mirror three times.

"Louis?" Her breathless response annoys Louis to multiple conclusions that whatever she was doing
isn't something reputable.

"You called yesterday. What did you want?" He gets straight to the point. Any prolonged
communication with his mother was bound to have a sour ending.

"Son, not everytime I call is because I want something from you."

"Then why call?"

There's some loud rustling, possibly of paper or cheap clothing, before she speaks again.
"Middleston's town asylum, the Madhouse to its local residents, has seen some riveting news events
in the past two days. Resident psychology student, Louis Tomlinson, was-"

"Stop it." He's forced to make her end her reading once he gets what she's playing for. "Did you tell
Dad?"

"No." She immediately quips, voice shaky like that of a heroin addict who has gone a day too long
without a fix. "I won't if you-"

"I knew it!" He shouts, aggravated and the prickle of tension makes his neck itch. "You always call
when you need something."

"Lou, son." She begs of him slowly. "This is different, I swear."

Louis holds back any cunning and smartly ruthless comments he has for his mother. He doesn't need
this negativity right now. "What is it?"

"I'm leaving the state for a new place upstate." She explains, hushed and low-key. "I need a place to
sleep for two nights."

He's at his end with his mother but if she's moving upstate she's further away from him and his
father so helping her get there can't be a crime. Plus, her use of 'sleep' instead of 'stay' or 'crash' has
the ability to tug on the strings of any child's heart.

"Yeah, okay." He nods even though she can't see him. "When are you arriving?"

"Friday." She smiles, breathing an exhale of relief at her son not shunning her entirely. "Thank you,
Lou."

"I'll pick you up from the train station at ten?"

"Yeah."

"Alright. Bye then."

After slamming his Samsung handheld cordless phone into the wrong slot three times, he finally
gets it right. Louis releases a frustrated groan and goes to take his shower, hopefully to get his
thoughts in order before he takes on the day.

He grabs his Radox shower gel that smelt of mint and vanilla, medical aid bag for disinfecting the
injury on his neck through ver batim of the paramedic's directions. Standing in front of the brightly
lit bathroom mirror, he peels the tough piece of white bandage off his skin and flinches whenever
crusted blood stuck to either medium.

The hickie is a brilliant red and if it weren't for the teeth marks, it would have been passed on for an
overzealous intimacy act. Unfortunately for Louis, when he pressed down on one of the puncture
marks a rivulet of red rolled down his neck. He watched it soak his shirt and one more fall a little
further.

In the shower, masked by scented steam blowing up around him and steaming up all reflective
surfaces, Louis scrubs the mark on his neck. He hopes to get the vindictive traces off it, the awful
feeling off creeping up his body and the shivers of a monstrous man to disintegrate.

He can see those stormy, broken dark eyes brimming with an irreparable soul staring down at him
like he was an object of prey. He felt Harry's hands on his hips and the rough glide of inexperienced
fingers squeezing his flesh.

By the time his shower is complete he's effectively scrubbed off a good percentage of any healing
scab formation on his neck and turned his skin to a flushed pink shade. He redresses the gauze on
his neck carefully and as instructed for whenever leaving his home, wraps a cotton bandage all the
way around his neck like a medical necklace.

In his bedroom he dresses for a cold day out with unappealing jeggings, a loose white long-sleeved
shirt that met his thighs and black denim jacket. He wore a scarf to hide the bandage party around
his throat as he was in no mood to deal with enquiries about it.

First was his meeting with Nick at an old bookstore where the owner sang pirate songs and
preached about the end of the world. He got in his Audi and drove down the streets towards the
quaint building squashed between a pub and Sunday church.

"You're the kid with the vampire bite, right?" The aged but definitely not senile male owner told
Louis the second he walked in.

Louis walked away down the nearest isle in the hopes of escaping such an inquisitive and illmannered elderly.
"Hey!" No such luck for him as the crone followed him past the Religious texts down to Recipe
books. "I'm talkin' to you, boy."

Growing sick of this man's game, Louis decides to give the townspeople of singular thinking what
they want. "Yes, I'm the one with the vampire bite."

The older man with a greasy white vest, sauce stains down the front and foul-smelling pair of
joggers on. He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and makes a sick nasal sound. "Really?"

"Yeah." Louis knows men like this and takes a step forward to assert the fact that he's not in for this
bullshit. "Didn't even hurt. Wanna know why they let me live, Arnold?"

The greaser's face falls when he hears his name from the boy he's never met before. He doesn't
remember that his name tag is stuck on the back of his cash register and Louis took a free wild
guess that it would actually be his and not an employee. Arnold starts to believe that Louis' actually
part of some bloodthirsty cult, such blue eyes can't exist on a regular joe.

Arnold moves away immediately after the bell above the door jingles from another customer
entering. Louis laughs to himself while he browses some titles of faded book spines, at last
distracted from the horrid feeling welling in his abdomen.

Old Latin music played through the PA system, a taste Louis hasn't been in the presence of for a
long time. He moves further into the store and pauses by a Criminal History isle that seems to
disappear into more shelves. His height is his disadvantage as his attempt at taking one book titled

Middleston's Murder Archive, he ends up toppling over three other irrelevant novels.
Arnold gives Louis a very disapproving glance but doesn't have the guts to warn Louis about
anything. He stays stationed behind his cashier's till with a crucifix nailed up beside the clock on a
mantle.

"Hey, Lou." Nick pitches up just after Louis manages to reshelf the books he dropped.

Louis glances over his left shoulder, scrunching up his nose when a nauseating feeling jolts up to
his brain from the mark on his neck. "H-Hi."

"Are you okay?" Nick takes the book from Louis, the one he intends to purchase and immediately
drops it at the feel of dust. "Ugh."

"I'm fine." Louis picks the object carefully and refrains from holding it against him. "It's not all that
pleasant to be vertically challenged."

Nick's laughter bounces off the rickety shelving and he follows Louis towards the ancient languages
section. "Who told you vertically challenged was a term?"

"My high school Math teacher." Louis just notices the basket in Nick's hand, dark purple and
scraped at the edges. He also notices that Nick is holding the basket with a tissue. "What's with the
basket?"

"Felt bad not to take one." Nick holds it out for Louis to put Middleston's Murder Archive in
it. "Lou, can I tell you something?"

His tone of the question is a bit doubtful but Louis' as curious as it gets so he nods and makes sure
to meet Nick's eyes to convey that he's sure. "Okay."

"I worked the night shift last night." Nick says as a start, a weak one where he bites his lip to keep
out his need to just stop. "Dr. Murs sent me to the um....solitary unit."

Louis knows immediately where he's going with this. Half of him wants to beg Nick to just stop
because he already has to face the demons in his life today, but the other half (and maybe a bit
more) wants to hear what happened after his police statement was given in.

"They asked for you." Nick knows Louis is looking at him but he can't bring himself to return the
gaze. "Not very nicely either."

"How do you mean?" Louis tries to make himself appear otherwise occupied by thumbing the
ragged edges of a book about sea monsters.

Nick shakes his head and starts to walk away. It would have stunned someone who didn't know that,
like the finger twitching, this was another one of Nick's nervous ticks. Louis sighs and jogs after
him, halting the fleeing individual by stepping in front of him.

"Tell me." Louis demands.

"Uh.....-" Nick scratched the side of his head. "Th-The big one?"

Louis held his breath, eyes searching Nick's in his study of this man's information. "Harry?"

Nick nods vigorously, then slows down until it looks like a badly oiled machine. "He asked for his
petal and I asked what he meant. That was stupid, I know. I was just curious-"

"It's okay, Nick. I understand." Louis tells him, the word 'petal' reeling madly through his head.

"So um....he said his petal had the best taste in the world and the um- the other one?"

"Edward."

"Edward. He said something in Harry's ear that made him really quiet. Edward told me to tell you
that he's looking forward to seeing you again."

"How'd you know Harry was talking about me?"

"Who else would they be talking about?"

Louis adds another con to his list of pro's and cons regarding being re-employed at the Madhouse.
He also doesn't understand what was 'not nice' about the way Harry asked for him, unless Nick was
leaving something out. In that case, he doesn't really want to know anymore.

He manages to steer their future conversation topics towards things he's comfortable with. Certain
sports, foods and antiques all make that list. Soon, it's thirty minutes before two and he has to build
up the nerve to once again step into the Madhouse.

He's not so sure of himself once he's parked outside in his usual spot, gripping the steering wheel of
his car until his knuckles are page white. Lip bitten raw and thumb nail worked down to a stub,
Louis gets out into the damp atmosphere. He's a damn psychology student, and he should be able to
put up a front.

Walking up to Eleanor's desk is not the same. He doesn't go to the white cubicle with his name on it
and doesn't get to take a mug from the staff lunchroom. He just about manages a wry smile for the
receptionist who looks at him sympathetically, before making him sign the visitors' form.

"Dr. Murs wants to see you first." She tells him once the sheet is signed and returned. "In his office,
please."

Louis holds the lunch bag with Dr. Murs' wife's casserole dish tightly in his left hand, eyes glued to
the ground so he doesn't step in any undesirable substances as he did in his first week here. He's
mastered many dissuasion, persuasion and escape skills because of this place.

"Louis? Have a seat." Dr. Murs let's him in and gestures towards a plastic-covered seat in his closed
office.

He knows what's coming and he'd like to have the first say. "Please don't try to change my mind."
"Are you afraid I might succeed then?"

Louis scowls at his mentor. "No. I'm sure you, along with every news reporter in town, doesn't
understand why the Hell I'd go back in there but this is something I need to do."

He's not lying at least. He needs to know why he isn't dead, why he's called Petal and why
there's only a mark on his neck. If he has to fake a thousand smiles and become a whole new person
in that meeting to get his answers, so be it.

"You're a strong mind, Louis. That's why I'll okay this." Dr. Murs gets up and slides a dusty brown
folder towards Louis. "If you feel the same as you feel now when you get out, the job is yours."
Louis doesn't breathe his sigh of relief too quickly.

"This time there'll be security guards in the room with you." Dr. Murs is walking alongside him
towards the staircase where they'll travel four floors underground to the solitary compartment.
"There are cameras and voice recorders already installed. Two guards in and two out, you'll be able
to see them through the bars."

Well, if he's getting this meeting by bending people's expectations of him, the least he could accept
is their terms. He's honestly grateful for all this protection. The Styles twins tried something
before they even knew his last name, now that they've got a good look at him he's horrified to
imagine what they're capable of.

"Here we are then." Dr. Murs puts his hand on a solid steel door with a clear glass pane through
which the two guards standing outside can see through. "They're in here. Be careful, Lou."
Louis gives him a short-lived smile and let's one of the African-American guards unlock the heavy
latch. He stays close to one of them and can't help closing his eyes to take a deep, shaky breath
when the lock slides smoothly out of place.

This is it, he thinks to his racing mind that's beginning to pulsate with tension. I'm
already crazier than the people in here.

Guard Number One walks in ahead of Louis and the blaring fluorescent lights are buzzing
vengefully above their heads, contributing to Louis' headache. The second guard walks in behind
Louis and once the one in the front moves aside, he gets to look up at those awaiting him.
Louis prepares himself for the performance of his life.

"I missed you, Petal."

Chapter Text

Louis prepares himself for the performance of his life.

"I missed you, Petal."

*LOUIS' POV*

Of course the voice hasn't changed and there isn't a party of twenty people admitting they pulled the
greatest prank ever on me jumping out. It was a sliver of hope anyway. The pet name of sorts sends
unkind chills racing down my back where sweat has begun to gather and slide down my skin.
Performance, right.

With the guards taking a stand near the door, I swallow what nervous bile I had outside and look up
from the floor. The first thing I see is Edward, standing closer than I'd like him to be with a smug
little smirk tugging the corners of his mouth.

"I missed you too."

My four words manage to get Edward to do a once over, surprise evident in his face. His dark eyes
lighten with humour but there's still an imminent presence of a defiled, foul shadow lurking behind
a curtain of mossy green.

Harry's laughter is sudden and loud. It frightens me into almost squeaking and just running
back outside to my car. Even one of the guards clear their through, questioning my mental stability.
Turns out Harry is seated on the cold floor and gets to his feet after my rather unorthodox and
unpredicted response.

"You were right, H." Edward kills the space between us by extending it, sauntering off towards a
table with bolted benches for chairs.

I'm torn between throwing that comment out the window and giving in to the bait. "What was he
right about?"

I somehow convince myself to sit opposite Edward at the table, my legs crossed and hands on my
lap to keep from touching anything. Edward studies everything I do and whether or not it's an act, it
will always be the most unnerving feeling.

"I said you'd come back before we came for you." My decision to sit blown to unsatisfactory
standards when Harry sits on the same bench I'm on, a tiny space between our thighs.

"How did you guess-"

"You're wearing a scarf." Edward points out with a nudge of his chin in my direction. "Take it off."

I frown. "No."

"It's not cold in here and what you're hiding under it isn't something I haven't seen before." Edward
leans forward but doesn't touch me. The brush of his warm breath on my cheek makes my skin
crawl and hairs stand to attention. "Take it off, petal."

Ah. There's my objective. "Why do you call me that?"

Harry scoots closer and I shift towards the edge, nearly sending myself over the edge because he
knows no boundaries.

"You remind me of a petal." Edward simply explains, thickening his cryptic response with a flash of
his vampiric teeth. "Soft and warm."

I struggle to keep the distasteful glare from bursting onto my features. Feeling a reward coming on
for Edward since he answered my question, I untie the knot of my scarf and swallow hard enough
for it to hurt on the way down while I fold the scarf on my knee.

Harry's the first to speak after his examination of the bandage encasing my neck is complete. "It's
still raw, isn't it? There's no way it healed."

Here goes nothing. "Considering I'm not removing the bandage in here for it to get infected, you'll
have to wait for the rest of your sentence to find out."

Two beats of silence pass before hoarse laughter breaks out. This time it's not Harry but Edward,
amusement on full blast as he claps his hands and reveals all his pointed teeth in a haunted grin.
Harry is staring at me without blinking, his creepy gaze flickering from my neck to my eyes.
"You've made me very desperate to get out of here, petal." Edward draws my attention back to him
by not holding back the liquid gold lilt in his voice.

"You've got three days left." I tell him, ignoring a hostile shiver that shoots up my leg when my
shoe brushes his knee. "Don't do anything stupid."

"You don't sound scared at all, darlin'." Edward observes. "Are we going to meet a naval army
outside your home when we come to collect you?"

My heart drops to the bowels of my body. A black hole starts to form and slowly my words are
swallowed up. Collect me?

"You are scared." Harry's breath fans my ear and pops my silent bubble of thought.
Not at all expecting him to be so close and sound so hypnotic, I fall off the bench onto my behind in
my attempt to get away.

"Hands off, Styles." One of the guards escorts Harry to the other side of the table while I stand up
shakily.

"You wanna go, Louis?" The officer asks me but I can't rely on my wobbly knees right now and the
pit in my tummy to not put me on my ass again.

I shake my head and slide back into my warm spot on the bench. Taking a brief moment to recollect
my thoughts and focus here, I fold one leg under the other and find the bravery to rest my elbows on
the table. Harry is frowning as if trying to decode something, once again locking gazes with some
part of me while he does so.

"Kidnapping me would be a crime." I remind Edward's blank stare. "Threatening me in here isn't
very wise, Edward."

Harry's head snaps towards his brother, gauging every moment of a reaction that passes. He reminds
me of a cartoon character.

"I never said kidnap, petal." Edward's shoulders straighten and his posture puts him at a taller height
than me. "You'll come willingly."

My blood runs cold by his eyes boring into mine. We're not even that close but I can feel him
everywhere, his troubling presence hovering around me.

"I don't think so." I display my amusement with a quick smile, teeth sinking into my lower lip.
"I do." Edward disagrees, cunning smirk becoming planted on his visage. "I can make you want it."
I lace my fingers together on the table, ready to say something when he cuts me off.

"You already want it." He doesn't even have the undertones of a cocky, over compensated brat.

"You're worried about us hurting you. I can assure you, petal, that's not what I intend to do to you."
The use of 'to you' instead of 'with you' throws my game way off and I begin to feel the lingering
remnants of a faint headache beating to life again. I rub my temples with my fingers and quickly
come out of it once the ache is lessened.

What was this psychopath getting at? Was he playing a different angle every different day or did he
just not have his mind made up? His stare never let up once through my process of thinking and
Harry seems to have solved his internal battle because he's watching me pointedly as well.

Edward takes advantage of my moment of weakness and whispers lowly the secret of his intentions
to me. "Harry may be wanting more from you, but I solely intend to assert my claim between your
legs."

My eyes fly open like shutter blinds and I jerk backwards to be as far away from the maniac as
possible. Unfortunately this just amuses him and he combs his blond quiff back effortlessly without
a care for the horror he's instilled in me.

"You have nothing to do but wait, petal." Harry doesn't seem to be any nicer to me, despite his
passive aggression.

I glance at Edward then at his slightly distracted brother. Harry is a little more unbalanced than
Edward, but if he were normal it would be endearing. There's simply no hope for Edward. Their
game is far from over and my act is slowly burning up.

"Harry's a jealous one." Edward claps his brother on the back. "We share but I'll have you whenever
I want."

I'm explicably, undoubtedly nauseous. That game of mine needs to be elevated if there's going to be
an escape from them. The law doesn't protect you from people like this. A person in distress would
get up and run but what would that get me? More painstaking moments to wait for these two
sociopaths to show up at my door.

I could report them and file for a restraining order. Our town is so small I might have to move out
into the city. There's hardly another option besides playing along and hoping to soften any
conditions thrown at me. The process is bound to be tedious.

"Harry?" I turn away from Edward to look at his twin, offering him a small smile in the hopes that
he'll come over to my side.

"Petal." Harry's wrists knock the table when he looks up. I can't help but imagine him outside this
place, away from his influential brother.

"Don't try to turn my brother against me, petal." Edward cuts off our communication and Harry's
head drops again. "Harry may slice anyone who touches his things, but he won't say no to the
person who never left him alone."

This information is new and never heard by any of their previous doctors so Edward realises his
mistake immediately. His face crumbles before regaining a tight, ungrateful composure. He's said
something to me he regretted. Maybe I'm not losing after all.

"Your secret's safe with me." I pipe up, fuelled by the upper hand awarded to me by this deep
revelation.

The door starts to rattle with the forceful shoves of Dr. Murs wanting to check on our progress. My
time is up. I stand and Edward does too. For a moment I believe he's going to try something but he
merely burns into the time I spend looking at him, before sitting again.

"See you soon, petal."

* * * * *

*NARRATOR'S POV*

There's a certain degree of insanity in everyone because the balance is important for survival. What
do you do when you're faced with a wild beast? The threat of your landlord coming to evict you?
You show a little crazy and you've automatically gotten yourself an extension.

Unfortunately for those who lose control of themselves to the dark side of madness, they never
return. Some people are easily bribed to the darkness by whatever tricks got them near like a
fingertip to a thorn. Much like Harry and Edward, there's a very big piece that gets broken when
they cross that line.

The Styles' obsession with Louis has gotten him far more paranoid than usual. He quadruple checks
that when he walks, nobody's following him. The horrible bit is, if either brother really wanted to
follow him they would be and he would be none the wiser.

Against his wishes and please to any diety above, Edward was in no way fucking about with his
clear-cut lust for whatever Louis withheld from him. The need to possess something outside his
nasty existence has overruled his nature to lay low.

"Harry." He nudged his sleeping brother with a harsh blow to his hip.

Harry awoke with a groan and snarl that unfurls even more when he sees who is being assigned to
hand them food. Edward drops his lips to Harry's ear, eyes on the door as it creaks open. His
brother's chest is beating like a drum and he can hear it, hear the sensational rhythm of a monster
waking up as well.

"He touched your petal, H. Are you gonna let him do it again?"

* * * * *

The plan works because the next day, Edward is pleasant surprised by Louis early in the morning.
His devious execution of the plot to end Nick's existence and have Louis come back to them under
any circumstance has succeeded.

It's before breakfast and he's already being yelled at by a beautiful face.

"What did you do?!" Louis wasn't allowed past the gates in his state, lest he harm himself.
Edward gets up from his air mattress and pushes Harry off the edge to wake him up as well. The
latter doesn't do more than sit up and observe the entire scenario unfolding before his war-torn eyes.
His boxer briefs offer no protection against the cold concrete ground and he leans back against the
bed post.

"Mornin', petal." Edward approached the bars and stuck his arms through.

Louis jumps back to be out of his reach. "You heartless monster! What did Nick ever do to you?!"

"He did enough." Edward replies to the question coldly, his icy glare set on Louis then the guards at
the main entrance behind him. "I didn't even touch him, darlin'. Don't fuck with me for something I
didn't do."

The silence granted to him is enough to give Louis two epiphanies. He looks at Harry with fire
burning away the patience he had for the psychopath. He also knows exactly how he'll dish out their
punishment. Nick's cold corpse lay in the morgue ready to burnt because his family won't come to
claim him.

"You're sick." Louis spat hatefully, bravely stepping forward. "Officer?"

One of the two guards approach Louis from the electronic bolted door. He doesn't look too happy
about being in such close proximity to the worst patient.

"Louis?" The nameless officer is all ears for what Louis has to instruct.

"Take Harry out." Louis wipes the wetness of his eyes. "Put him in the furthest cell from this one.
I'll sign off on it."

Now it's Edward's turn to look unhappy. "Fuck, petal. Don't-"

"Do it in the next ten minutes." Louis is walking away from the cell where they're held, ignoring
Edward's frantic calls and shouts.

"Petal!" He turns red with rage and the thought of having his brother somewhere not where he is
makes him slam his fist into the metal rods so many times he starts to bleed from a fracture. "You're
not taking him away!"

Solitary becomes a cage to both brothers and a forbidden territory for Louis. He sits in his office
while he taps away at his laptop, drawing up the official document that entitles Harry Styles to a
cell blocks away from his brother, Edward Styles. He feels a little guilty - very little - for separating
them after a tiny revelation was made to him about their bond.

Thinking about Nick and the gushing blood in a lonely hallway from his neck that's been sliced
halfway down to the bone, his resolve hardens. He finishes the document, emails it to Dr.
Murs and gets it signed.

"Do you think it will help?" His practising mentor questions the theory of separation providing any
results.

Louis didn't think so. It could make Edward more hateful and violent, and close Harry off
completely. "Yes."

* * * * *

After his lunch break, Louis feels completely empty despite eating two bananas and a yogurt. He
spent the entire duration alone in his small cubicle office, staring at the document he got officiated
and was chewing on the same chunk of fruit for three minutes.

He thinks of Harry alone in a cell and feels an understandable flare of disgust for the man who
thought taking a life - and the multiple lives beforehand - was okay. Being almost certain he's made
a good decision - albeit cruel - isn't enough for Louis so he decides to pull out any files the
Madhouse has on either Styles sibling to do his research.

The file storage department is two doors away from Louis' station. He makes a quick trip down the
hallway and spends twenty minutes filing a request to the woman in charge.

On his way back, he passes the closet where Nick first asked him to go to the fair and he turned him
down. He hugs his middle with clenched fists and forces his weak will not to turn him around so he
goes to the morgue. He didn't want to remember Nick as a bloody corpse.

"You not going home?" Dr. Murs is on his way out at seven that evening, his worn grey trench coat
hanging over his arm and briefcase in the other hand.
\
"Waiting for Pauline to get back to me on the files I requested." Louis answers truthfully, once again
folding the corner of his reading interest. "She said ten minutes an hour ago."

Dr. Murs chuckles and tosses his keys over Louis' desk with an athletic throw. "Lock up and be
gone by nine, okay?"

Louis salutes him as a farewell gesture and let's his smile fall flat with his forehead on his old but
sturdy desk. He messes up his hair with his fingers and slips on one of his stored hoodies to keep
out the cold. He's drowning in it and the college logo doesn't appear to be one he knows so it must
be Niall's.

Niall.

"Shit!" Louis flaffs around for his phone and curses further when he notices the dozens of
notifications that have sprung up during his busy day.

He's in the process of dialling his best friend who is probably worried enough about him to be
breaking something when his door slides across ancient wooden flooring. Good, Pauline's finally
here.

"I'm beginning to think everyone's clocks don't work." He absentmindedly tells her as he presses the
call button.

"Mine works just fine, petal."

Louis drops his phone with a loud clatter and his heart seizes up in his chest as he jumps to his feet.
With a wall at his back he hardly feels secure with his chest constricting like a leather band around
his organs. Two sets of unnerving, dangerously molten eyes are screwed so tightly on him that his
throat starts to close up.

"I normally don't allow my victims the luxury of thinking three steps backwards will give them any
kind of safety." Edward walks into the room, taking centre stage while Harry locks the only door
leading outside with a latch.

His nails are scratching the dry wall and his head pounds with the arousal of fear within his gut.
"Don't worry, petal." Edward drums his fingers along the entire length of the table's edge while he
stalks closer to where Louis cowered. "I don't have anything half as grotesque planned for you."

With seconds ticking by as sweat began to gather at Louis' hairline, he contemplates every option he
has. He threw the fight or defensive technique out the window when he realised his agility won't
match their experience. His hands remain folded at his chest and he looks to the right with
determination when Edward's breath gets close enough, warm enough to irritate the tendons of his
baby fine hair.

"Now, petal." Edward takes Louis' wrist and drags him over to the table he's deemed solid enough.
His deceptively alluring gaze pins Louis' as his back meets the table. "If you hadn't done
what you did, I could have made this experience for pleasurable for you."

Louis' heartbeat picks up tenfold along with his pulse rate. Dreads fills every orifice of his exterior
shape and the depths of his mind. Back in high school he would have screamed and maybe shed a
few tears but now he's somewhat mentally equipped. Being through uni with a course on exactly
how to stay calm has helped him.

"For a reason unknown to me, I favour you above most people I've known for all my life. Harry too,
don't you brother?" Edward pulls away for a beat of a blink to watch Harry deliver a strangled nod
with blank but reddened eyes.

Louis' eyes dart away from where his wrist is being pressurised inhumanely by a strong fist. He
sends Harry a pleading look but it's in vain from the start because it seems to send the psychopath
on a hardened path of distaste. Louis' wrong move was asking wordlessly for mercy because Harry
now felt less obligated to help at all.

Deciding not to keep quiet and helpless with fear lidding his eyes, Louis' voice shakes for the first
few words he speaks. "Y-You favour me?"

It's the only thing he could bring up again, hopefully delay this process so the primal human instinct
to survive the terror will kick in. There was a tiny tingle at the base of his spine that was triggered
by his shameless desire for domination.

Edward looks thrown off by this interruption, by this mention of something he said in a smooth
flow. Louis heard that so clearly? What did he mean when he said it?

"Don't be flattered easily, darlin'." Edward levels up his approach by pulling Louis' gaze away from
everything that's not him, his fingers tugging harshly on the boy's chin. "Do you think it's a good
thing to be a maniac's favourite?"

Louis looks right at him when he answers, challenging the masked threat behind the words thrown
at him. He even touches Edward's bony wrist over a tattoo that's left a red vein in permanent easy
sight and his skin slightly swollen. "I think it is."

Suddenly his quaint little office of dust and old shelves is engulfed in deep, gravely laughter. "I
made the right choice with you, petal."

There's a burst of relief that floods Louis' system. Could it be over? This torture must be over now.
Where are the guards? How did two cells become unlocked and unarmed suddenly? Louis doesn't
want to guess.

"You did cause me pain, petal." Edward displays the same hand he brutally hammered into the bars
of their gates.

Forgetting his mind for a short second, Louis gasps and examines this hand by holding onto it. It's a
mesmerising moment, his ignorance towards the fact that both brothers are watching him intently
with expressionless features. Edward growls and retracts his hand, almost knocking Louis off his
feet with the loss of balance support.

"Don't." He snarls, stepping in Louis' face so their noses are a hair's breath apart and his stare burns
the embers of Louis'. "I didn't come here for nothing, petal. You're paying for what you did
today."

Louis' confusion is chopped several levels down when he's spun around to face the desk, then
pushed down. His cheek presses against the cold wood and he begins his struggle, the fear laced
with an angry upset returning to his gut. He feels a swelling in his abdomen and it's most likely the
horrific aftermath that his body is preparing for.

"Stop!" He squirmed against the cool, sharp edges of wood jabbing his middle. "Please,
Edward......-"

His hands are tied behind his back using a tight twine. His wrists hurt from the roughness of
the rope, the splinters of the fine febrile strokes that scratch his soft skin. The angle causes his back
discomfort and his front is left bare on the table, legs on the ground and face down.

"Don't scream too loudly." Edward warns as he runs his hands down Louis' body length, stopping at
his behind when he leans over Louis' back to whisper in his ear. "I don't like being interrupted."

A scream rips through Louis just then when something touches his ear lobe with the intent of biting
down. Edward's dark chuckle makes him stop to realise it was just his lips and not razor teeth. Louis
tried to kick Edward off him but the fight was meaningless.

"Please don't do this." Louis' sobs were ugly and choked on as his clothes from the waist down were
stripped off.

He tried straightening his back but Edward put his hand on the curve - nearly covering the whole
Cshape with how large his hand is - and forces him back down. Louis' elbows hit the desk and his jaw
slams into the fine wooden finish.

There's no time to work it over and make sure he hasn't shattered anything because warm but
unkind hands are cascading like poky rocks down his thighs. He shaves regularly for the sake of
keeping clean so the contrast would be magical had the circumstances been different.

There's an unpleasant, jolting sting that smacks Louis' left cheek and his groan is strangled into the
least subtle sob he can manage. His face is red with hatred and agony, tear tracks racing down his
cheekbones to touch the wooden table. The admiring hum and not gentle caress of his body that
comes after has him giving up, laying down on the table and squeezing his eyes shut.

"You're not even fighting me, petal." This annoys Edward to no end and he yanks Louis upright by
his fingers locked in the boy's hair. "There's no fun if there's no struggle."

Louis wants to spit in his face now that it's so close, but he almost swallows his tongue instead
uttering the next few words. "You'll just take what you want anyway."

Edward's medieval smirk grows into a grin that looks more sadistic than a clown with a bleeding
knife. There are dents on the sides of this tragic facial conquest and Louis realises that he has
dimples.

"Indeed I will, petal." Edward's hand slides under the front of Louis' sweater, his thumb digging into
the perfect spot to make the boy wriggle against him. "Unfortunately it's not me who will be
enjoying you tonight."

All of a sudden Edward's let go of him and he would have fallen over had another set of rigid but
bolder arms not caught him. The stumble ends with Louis against Harry's chest, his eyes connecting
with the man who slit more throats than there are baby hairs on the back of Louis' nape. He
struggles against Harry, against the cold tide that swims in his eyes and gets nailed to the desk with
a harsh blow backwards.

"Don't." Harry's tone is electric and warning.

He pins Louis' hips down and arches his back correctly to step between his legs. His hands secure
Louis' thighs when the latter tries to kick him away, pressing his nails into the soft flesh until pain is
certain. Harry locks gazes with Louis until the boy looks away, falling onto his back lifelessly as the
last hope is drained.

"You move again and I will continue this on the fucking floor." Harry threatens him.

Louis can't look. He can't see himself being defiled and lose a part of his sanity, his claim on
innocence. Niall was right, he never should have returned to this place just because he felt the
undying need for answers. He regrets it all now and hates himself for ever choosing this hard path.
"Doesn't feel like you've been touched recently." Edward is there again, molesting Louis' body like
an addict drawn to a loot.

He first touches Louis' thighs, moving slowly North until he just about grazes the pink
puckered entrance he's targeting. Louis shivers and fresh tears roll down his cheeks. His crotch is
flat, soft and freezing because of Middleston temperatures.

"We'll give you prep-" Edward moving away, leaving Louis cold vulnerable in sight. "-because
Harry here deserves the best possible experience. What do you think, petal?"

What? How does he expect Louis to respond to that? He's about to be raped and he isn't the
least bit concerned about Harry's experience. Louis sucks his lip between his teeth and saves his
energy for later when he - hopefully survives - will scrub himself clean of this emotional
destruction.

"He's a virgin." The booming electricity of Edward's voice makes Louis jump. "He won't be that
rough, petal."

Rough or not, Louis' bound to destroy some stable part of himself in order to go on coping after
this. He digs his nails into his own palms, hoping he bleeds so some pain is relieved. His eyes screw
shut until his head roars with pain and someone new steps up behind him.

His mind goes blank.

Completely and utterly empty. Whether it's shock or just his inability to cope with traumatic events,
but the result is sustained. He can't explain it in the moment because of the obvious lack of any
vocabulary, but even afterwards he won't be able to explain what this is.

It can't be a thing of submission because Louis' never been someone who easily gives in to any type
of physical arousal. He stood his ground. What is this then?

He's flipped over with a lack of gentility and his back hits the table hard enough for him to moan.
The slivers of pain reach his head and he looks everywhere else but at where he's being assaulted.
His gaze is empty, glassy and mindless.

"Look at me." Harry grunts, adding lyrics to the sound of cotton pants being shed.
Louis' eyes snap towards him from the ceiling. He stares at the criminal like he's not even there and
Harry growls at the feeling it gives him. With too much force, Harry hikes Louis' thighs up on his
hips and gets easy access to his body that way.

Harry's magically wet finger finds its way to where Louis wants him least. Louis cries out at the
unpleasant sensation of something wiggling inside him, slowly inching upwards along his velvety
walls. He's had partners before and he's had sex before but he's never been unwilling or had a mind
so blank it was scary.

"You can't give him just one, H." Edward's voice rings out from somewhere in the room.
No time is spent searching for him and Louis feels a second appendage invade his body. He shivers
and curls his fingers harder, more painfully until some steam is let off. Edward's words set off a
trigger in Harry's head because suddenly there are three fingers knuckle deep in Louis' body. Louis
is starting to pant and breathe brokenly, chest turning a strong pink shade.

"Pull out."

Harry's fingers are gone, their fullness and excellent occupation of stretching Louis' glistening rim
quit immediately. He refrains from mewling because he doesn't want this despite his body's
messages.

He forgets about Nick, about the black file not too far from his head on the desk he's sprawled out
on, about all the foul things that led up to this single event. The lives lost. The people violated.
Families torn apart. A small town called Middleston reduced to 'The home of the notorious Styles
brothers'.

The body bending over him between his legs, stretching his warm thighs apart as green burrowed
into blue, is all that has his attention. He arches off the table when Harry completely squashes him.

"Petal." Harry whispers, circling his mouth around the word and making it a soft purr.

Louis waits for it, the moment he can claim as the worst and most disgusting. It doesn't come.
Harry's length is impressively large and curved upward but goes nowhere near Louis' tight muscle
that's clenching around nothing. Fear drains out and some of his conscious returns to him, as Louis
looks Harry in the eye questioningly.

"Wha-" Harry groans out loud, pleasure lacing that exclamation to cut Louis' off.
He's about to ask again but Harry starts to thrust against him, hips colliding with Louis' strongly. It
hurts to have so many thrusts slamming into his pelvic region but he's not to occupied with that
when Harry is releasing a series of pleasured noises that have nothing to do with him.
Louis is confused.

He can feel Harry's rock hard erection against his, rubbing the underside of his own length with
forceful brushes. His skin is sliding against Harry's with sweat causing the sensitive surface to glow.
Instead of actually doing what Edward instructed, suggested cruelly he is grinding against
Louis to keep from actually penetrating both his body and magnified sanity.

His arms strain and Harry's hands grab his hips to cause jerking movements everytime he rocks
forward. Louis' eyes widen with realisation.

He's faking.

Chapter Text

His arms strain and Harry's hands grab his hips to cause jerking movements everytime he rocks
forward. Louis' eyes widen with realisation.

He's faking.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

The picture wasn't perfect. It didn't make sense and a lot of what Harry did made little sense.
Louis drew in shaky little breaths to keep oxygen flowing to his brain when all he wanted was time
to think about why Harry is risking Edward noticing his disobedience.

Was it for Louis' gratification? Was it just because he didn't find Louis worthy of taking his
virginity?

Louis allows himself to be violated in this way because it's the better bargain. Edward stood not two
feet away and one slip-up would mean him noticing Harry's misconduct, so Louis takes the
inexplicable risk to curl his leg around Harry's hip.

There's a moment where Harry's eyes turn a little darker, a little more fierce and his frown turns
ugly. He's uncomfortable with the contact but he takes enough time to realise the consequences he
pushed Louis away. His eyes locked with Louis, their bodies sweating and rubbing against each
other like real time lovers.

Harry gripped Louis' thigh with deep enough force from his nails digging into the soft tan, that
Louis belted out a scream he couldn't control. The sting was painful and surely bleeding
from the relentless press of Harry's finger buds between the split skin slits.

With a heart rapidly pounding against the narrow cage of his chest cavity, Louis began to feel his
individual ribs aching from the pressure of a heavier weight on him. He scratches Harry's waist and
scrapes off a skin layer to make the flesh underneath swell in red welts.

A heavy and hung length rubbed against Louis', the friction betraying Louis' frantic and shaken
nature. The fear seems to subside in favour of filling blood where it shouldn't be, and Louis feels
himself grow stiffer. This development causes a stutter in Harry's thrusting, slowing down to stare
into Louis' conflicted orbs of blue wonder.

Louis does Harry a favour and arches his back when the older male's stronger and less
compassionate hips collide with his. It's more a favour for himself because this is an act they're in
together. Harry continues his fervent grinding motions, slamming into the space between Louis'
thighs and reddening it with the bite of muscle on softness.

Harry got desperate about two minutes after his fingers started rubbing the very sensitive dip of skin
where thigh met pelvis. It was pink and perfectly pale, a tempting bit of skin. Louis jolted a little
further down the table at the contact and gasped a long, drawn out whimper. It would have been a
sound that any other partner in his bed would have succumbed to anything he wanted with.

Arms quivering and muscles tightening in the pit of his abdomen, Harry released a silent groan and
pretended to pull out of Louis by dipping his hand between them. Louis widened his eyes at the
feeling of Harry taking this opportunity to feel him up.

A body that's desolate and unaccustomed to a lover's soft touch bore down on Louis' more delicate
form until the sexual aura was tangible enough to burn someone. Harry came with a warm splatter
on Louis' tummy, painting what he's claimed with his seed.

The stickiness of their state only gets worse when Harry withdraws completely. For a split second
Louis actually considers not letting go of Harry just to keep his bare self covered with
something as he feels his dignity melt away with the late hours.

Of course he doesn't actually have the guts to do more than feel himself deflate and let the moisture
on his skin eat away at him until he's angry but distraught.

With Harry gone Louis hopes for some minutes alone with himself but Edward's stayed behind even
after Harry left the room like he was allergic to something in it. He took several seconds brushing
Louis' cheek with the backs of his knuckles, leaning in close with his expression unreadable.

Louis felt he could do nothing more than lift his gaze from the floor to Edward, their faces so close
together. He took several loud breaths and hoped the drum beat he was hearing didn't belong to the
headache he was developing. Fear has become mild with him in this place now. Over the course of a
week, he's become desensitized.

"You did well, petal." Edward held Louis' jaw too tightly and his voice was screwed a little tight.
"I'm impatient to have my turn."

Just when Louis thinks he's about to get kissed by a mouth full of shark teeth, Edward straightens
up and leaves with no more words. It takes a while after the door's slammed shut and for Louis'
overhead light bulb to flicker out of life before he's curled up on his desk with only a hoodie on. He
cries into his palms as the heavy curtain lifts from his mind and he fully comprehends what's
happened to him.

His sobs wrack his body until he's shaking, shivering from the cold and trying to sit up. His thighs
are burning up with the cuts that Harry put there, only to later dig his fingers in so the skin split
even more. Blood dripped out from the four puncture wounds in single files, pooling on his desk's
oak.

Louis wipes his face and jumps down from the table, overstating his strength and stumbling with
the rush of blood to his head. He whines from his side banging into his filing cabinet and pulls
himself upright so he can clean up in the bathroom.

He's done. He's done wanting answers because this is why they favoured him, why he was
called petal and not Louis. They just wanted his body to toss between them and he's sick of putting
himself in the perfect position between them. All it did was get him sexually assaulted. He was a
complete idiot, with all his qualifications and intellect, to think that five years changed people so
stuck in their ideology.

After cleaning himself with disinfectant and a scrubbing tool that scraped off layers of skin until it
was raw, Louis redressed gingerly and got out of the Madhouse without looking back.

* * * * *

kept him damp with sweat. His shower lasted thirty minutes and he ate breakfast at a snail's pace.
"You okay, Lou?" Niall asked when he noticed his friend was stirring something in an empty bowl.

Louis snapped out of his horrid memories and blinked at his best friend. "What?"

"There's nothin' in there." Niall took said white porcelain bowl and poured his own breakfast into it.
"Did something happen?"

Niall's not the most sly or discreet person Louis knows. "I'm fine, Ni. Middle promise."

Middle promise is a thing he and Niall made up when they were together in university. Everyone
used pinky promise but they swore with their middle fingers locked together.

"There's a thing tonight." Niall starts off after accepting Louis' answer.

"You'll um, have to elaborate, Ni." Louis picks his black Nike jacket out of the closet.

Niall followed him to the door, angel face on full-mode as he watched Louis put his keys and wallet
in his pockets. "A new club is opening in town. Small and everyone wants in."

"Where are you going with this?" Louis sighs, shoving his hands in his pockets and involuntarily
rubbing his tummy with his thumbs through the fabric.

No amount of contact with it will ever remove the burn of having been touched there by Harry
Styles.

"Come with me." Niall is begging, it's easy to tell with his enlargened crystal eyes and pouted lips.

"Yeah, okay." Louis nods once or twice, he's not sure. "What time?"

"Seven." Niall turns around and goes deeper into the apartment. "Try not to kill your mother."

It's not Louis' fault that he smiles at hearing that. "Yeah."

On the twenty minute drive to Middleston's only train station, Louis puts the radio on as loud as he
can to drown out his thoughts. Unfortunately it still feels silent, still feels empty and he ends up
thinking about how to handle last night. He's a psychology student and he can't handle
himself.

He's not about to dig deeper, if he's sure of anything. He has to go back to the Madhouse tomorrow
or sometime after that so he can't hide. The Styles brothers will be released into the custody of the
state tomorrow and Louis has no way to knowing what to do.

Nick's murder case has been inconclusive and made cold in just a day. Louis couldn't go in there
shouting Harry's name because Middleston is an old town and the people in it were older. They'd
call him crazy and lock him up in the same place as the culprits.

He's going to take this a day at a time and go with Niall to his club rave tonight to get his mind off
everything. A one night stand should do him some good when it comes to forgetting what Harry did,
where Harry lingered most.

His fingers tighten around the steering wheel, the noise from his crinkly jacket filling the car along
with some idiot shouting a rap from his radio speakers. Louis groans and switches the whole thing
off, nearly swerving off the road in his urgency.

The train station manager knows him and spends twelve minutes chatting to Louis in the chilly
morning breeze with leaves brushing their shoes and the horns of incoming vessels surrounding
them.

"So it's true then, huh?" Old man Neville takes a puff of his cigarette.

"What?" Louis keeps his hands in his pockets curled around his keys.

"Your neck." Neville nodded in its general direction. "One of the Styles really did go at you?"

Both of them actually. "He got his punishment for it."

Louis tightens his scarf around his neck, feeling the itch of his bandage getting too tight and biting
his lip instead of loosening the knot. He had to keep from scratching the side of his leg where the
four untidy red slits on his skin is open and exposed to the fabric of his jeggings.

The train from an upstate county rolls in just seventeen minutes after the big black overhead clock
strikes ten. It's one of their minor delays compared to the two-day delay of 1975. Louis bids Neville
adieu and watches the old retiree go back to his little cubicle by the tracks.

She appears from one of the exit platforms on the far end of the track. Louis takes a moment to sigh
and jog over the distance so he can help her with the three bags she's carrying. He feels the stretch
and burn in his thighs, the unkind whip of cold air on his neck.

"Hey, Lou." She's pulling him into a hug before he can politely decline.

"Yeah." He gives her an affectionless, one-armed pat on the shoulder blade before retracting
himself. "I booked you a hotel."

Her face appears to have fallen to a certain degree but she fights to keep that smile on her face
against the gravity of rejection. "I'm not staying with you?"

"No." He shrugs, only mildly apologetic. "There's no space at my place. The hotel is really close by
and you have my number, should you need me."

The rest of the drive is silent and Louis opens zero frontiers for a conversation. He arrives at her
hotel that's decent in duality and is costing him a decent amount of money, to help her out of his car
with her bags and check in.

"Here we are." He sets her bags down in her small, cosy room and is ready to leave. "Call me if you
need anything."

"Louis!" She calls after his retreating back with a heavy heart and unresolved issues lingering close
by. "Could we...grab lunch tomorrow? Maybe later today?"

"I have work today." He lies. All he really has to do is complete his assignment for uni before
driving it to the post office, as well as begin the first page of his thesis on the criminal mind.

"Tomorrow? Yeah, okay."
She seems satisfied to be getting any time with her unwilling son and nods with a tiny smile teasing
her thin pink lips. "I'll call you?"

"Alright then." Louis doesn't know what to do so he smiles and waves with his hand on the
doorknob. "I'll see you."

He's gone out into the empty hallway moving towards the elevators with his head feeling heavy on
his shoulders. When he turned his attention, it felt like his head would snap right off his neck and
roll onto the floor. It was task to keep it held up.

Back in his car, he evaluates himself and whether he feels guilty for the way he received his mother
or not. No such feelings surface so he concludes that he's handled that decently. On the drive home
he picks up lunch from a drive thru just because he likes the long wait and occupied thoughts.

He listens to the hustle and bustle of the people ahead of him ordering and paying for their food. He
tries not to let his mind wander back to a day ago when he was sprawled out on a table at the mercy
of someone a thousand time more ruthless than the average sociopath. He struggles with it and
eventually comes back to that same event.

His body feels pent up and exhausted, built up to the worst case scenario. Someone unkind and
unworthy has tainted more than just his body, and he's got no way of getting that feeling off him. He
can barge into Harry's cell and demand to know why he's treated the way that he is. Unfortunately,
these brothers are not average in intelligence or physique and could therefore be doing this just
because they know he'll come back to them.

He plans to tighten up on their security around Harry and Edward until their release. The rules
stated that he couldn't extend their detainment twice and Nick's pointless murder is not pinned to
them so they'll be set free tomorrow. Louis hopes that their period of detention just meant that they
were deprived of all the good, intoxicating things in life. Their rehab will kick in - he hopes - and
maybe they'll leave him alone.

"Here's your meal." The girl behind the window with burning red hair in untidy tangles under a
McDonalds cap says to him. "Enjoy. Pay at the next window."

"Thanks." He pulls up at the next window and throws his scarf into the seat next to him before
handing over the correct amount of cash.

His knuckles turn from angry red to page white during the final leg of his journey. He ignores the
pinch of pain that presents and pulls into the reserved parking space tenants of his building have.
Niall serves no purpose to Louis while he gets his paper done. He types out the final bit and prints it
before slotting it into an A4 envelope and getting back in his car.

"You look good in that." Niall compliments his choice in black pants. "You should ear that."

"Yeah okay." Louis pulls a T-shirt on over his bum-hugging pants then a black sweater.

"Are you going for a twink kinda look?"

Louis glares at his best friend. "Twink?"

"A gay or effeminate man, or a young man regarded as an object of homosexual desire." Niall reads
off his phone. "Or you're a finger-shaped cream-filled cake. Basically the same thing."

Louis' scandalised face is a fair contender and he throws a belt in the direction of Niall while he
pulls shoes over his feet.

* * * * *

"A beer at a new club?! Are you insane, Louis?" Niall yells over the heavy electric beat of the
speakers.

"I'd like to not get completely smashed tonight, Ni." Louis remains seated on the bar stool where his
feet don't touch the ground and the alcoholic beverage in his hand makes him forget the mark on his
neck.

"Why the Hell not?" Niall puts on his best offended face. "I brought you with me to get smashed,
Lou."

Louis laughs but shakes his head in rejection. "I'm good, really. Go earn your hangover, best
friend."

"Love you!" Niall plants a big kiss on Louis' cheek before squeezing through the mass of bodies at
the dance floor, heading for the centre of it all.

Someone takes up the stool on Louis' left as soon as the old geyser previously in it evacuates the
space. "Your boyfriend is very energetic."

Louis looks up at this new somebody who has neatly trimmed hair and a slight shadow on his
strong jaw. His face was easily described as square and rigid, the face of a man with little time for
himself.

"My boyfriend is just really excited to be at a club when all he does every day is work."

The attractive man with an expensive suit chuckles. "Why do you say it like that?"

"He's not my boyfriend." Louis' amused smile stays hidden behind the rim of his beer bottle.

"No?" The smirk that creeps onto this stranger's face is both enthralling and dangerously desirable.
Later that night with the hardworking man in his bed after two rounds of some of the best sex either
has had, Louis is asked about the multiple marks his body carries. His name is Anthony and he
especially likes burying his face in Louis' soft tummy, frowning as he investigates the four cuts on
Louis' thigh.

"What happened here?" He gave the small injuries many kisses that made Louis giggle.

"I told you where I work." Louis cards through the soft jet black hair on Anthony's head.

Louis couldn't tell Anthony the truth. It was his baggage and he couldn't imagine burdening
someone as gentle as Anthony with it. "Oh baby."

"Don't worry about me."

"Why shouldn't I?" Anthony's blue eyes that were closer to navy than crystal, burned into Louis'
eyes. "Can I take you on a real date tomorrow?"

Huh? "A date?"

"A date." Anthony's amused smirk is a true contender for any alluring smirk Louis' seen. "Should I
run you through the concept?"

"No, no." Louis giggles and turns over onto his side when he's given enough space. "I'd love to go
on a date with you."

Anthony's triumphant face is beautiful. He grins and the scattered faint freckles on his cheeks get
closer as he leans down to kiss Louis, smiles on both their faces.

Louis wakes up the next day to an empty but warm bed. He stays buried in the sheets for a while
longer, hiding his face in the pillow that smelt of Hugo Boss and expensive fabric. He also smells
bacon wafting through the apartment, along with something made of sweet batter and eggs. Niall
can't cook for shit so it certainly isn't him.

"Morning." He walks into the kitchen wearing a shirt that isn't his and nothing else, yawning the
sleep away.

"I love your new boyfriend!" Niall attacks him with a confession from the kitchen counter, Anthony
chuckling behind it.

"That's too bad because he's just a homeless guy I felt sorry for last night."

Niall's never looked so heartbroken, angry and disappointed all in one glance before. Louis' willing
to bet his net worth that the last time he saw Niall look that way was approximately thirteen months
ago when one of Niall's dates ate the last of the Nutella.

* * * * *
Louis' always had dodgy connotations hooked to the asylum's fine establishment. He never felt
especially energetic or proud to arrive at his place of work, but he's also never been
ungrateful.

The building remains where it's been for over two hundred years now, appearing bigger and more
monstrous with the dull morning hues painting over it. Louis stays in his car, fingers wrapped
around the steering wheel as he takes calming breaths and tries not to frighten the truthful nuns
walking out of the building.

He hops out when he's certain he's ready to face this new day. It already feels heavier outside, like
it's ready to tear him apart piece by piece the minute he walks into the Madhouse. Due to this, he
takes his time walking up the staircase of thirty-seven steps towards the set of double doors that feel
like burning hot iron from Hell.

A paramedic races out through those very doors and Louis has to pause in his step to let him pass.
"Hurry up!" The same medic shouts to obviously someone inside the Madhouse.

Two breaths later both doors fly open and a gurney is carried out. Louis rushes to step aside,
gasping when the face of one of their patients stares unblinkingly up at him. Their eyes are pale and
their lips are blue, face shot dead with paralysis.

Louis sprints up the rest of the stairs and down the hallway, searching for a face that can explain to
him why Sir Edmund Hollick is dead. Edmund is a thirty-something year old chap with a lot left to
be desired, he was dying of a tumour and diagnosed with creepy perversion. Louis only spoke with
him once and that was enough.

"Dr. Murs!" Louis spots his former mentor re-entering his office after sighing and regretfully
shaking his head.

"Louis. Hey." He walks in with Louis to their office, granting the latter a brief distraction to keep
him from staring emptily at his work desk.

"What happened?" Louis is fit enough to not be out of breath yet. "To Edmund. What happened to
Edmund?"

Dr. Murs falls into his creaky old swivelling chair, lacing his crow fingers together under his chin.
He looked older than his actual age and more tired than is good for him. "I don't know."

Louis gives him a blatant disbelieving glance, perching himself on a nearby rocky table after
dumping his bag on it.

"There was no blood." Dr. Murs says softly, hauntingly. "One of the Sisters phoned me and said
Edmund wasn't moving. I got here and the medic's declared him dead from a heart attack."

A heart attack? Louis' nose scrunches up to a wrinkly form while he considers this. A heart attack
has never been something that their patients ever suffered from, unless they were scared. Edmund
was too crazy to be concerned about worldly things so what was frightening enough to kill him?

"Are they opening a case?" Louis clears his throat and flexes his ankle that's gotten a little tight
since last night.

"If they do, it'll end up like Nick's."
Louis bites his lip and thinks. He feels the irritating roughness of chapped lips and bits of dry flesh.
In his uni days, he became good friends with one of the officers who came to investigate an on
campus major narcotics issue. Last Louis heard, Liam Payne was promoted to detective and bored
at the office.

"Can we open a case?" Louis crosses his arms over his chest to block out the chill invading the
confines of his jacket.

"How?" Dr. Murs loved all his patients. He mourned any loss and too many were lost this year
which affected Louis as well.

"I can call in a friend." Louis offers, and he can see already that Dr. Murs is going to ask his wife to
make him another casserole. "He can come down here and work with our police department."

"Where's he from?" Dr. Murs asks, intrigued.

"Detroit." Louis licks his lips. "I'll give him on my break."

"Excellent. Uh- Take this-" The doctor scribbles down a note and hands it to Louis. "-to Reverend
James. Tell him to close off Edmund's cell."

Although he was told the bare minimum of what to do, Louis got the hint and jogged out of the joint
office into a ice cold hallway. Lonely people walked up and down, nurses and Sisters trying to get
their jobs done so they can retire from this cursed institution.

Reverend James' office is two levels up and because of the absence of elevators, Louis had to take a
spiral staircase that clung to an unstable tower wall. He was not fit enough to arrive at the stamped
door without panting like a laboured dog.

The Reverend is unhappy to comply but he does so anyway. Louis listens to him preach some minor
part of the Bible before thanking him and leaving with a signed acknowledgement of what he's
promised.

"You've got two meetings today." Dr. Murs did him the honour of fetching Louis' task files from the
pigeon holes at the reception desk. "They're separated this time."

Louis nearly drops his water bottle at the sound of that. The last statement gets him close enough to
the realisation of who his two patients are today and of course it would be them. They're
getting released today and he needs to sign off on their sanity.

"Okay." He squeaks.

The times of the meetings are 10h00 and 11h30. Morning meetings are not Louis' forte but both
Styles are scheduled for discharge at 14h00 so he has no choice. Dr. Murs has seen his notes, spent
some time being sympathetic along with half of Middleston. Louis still had to face this evil and he
had to face it today.

At 09h54 he stops scribbling points down for his thesis essay and grabs a black folder, pencil and
takes a large gulp of water. He puts a reminder on his iPhone to call Liam the detective as soon as
he's out of the first appointment - Harry.

Louis is not a coward but his hands can't stop shivering like a leaf in the wind when he's reaching
out for the solitary compartment's door handle. The guards pretend not to notice and they allow him
all the time he needs to unhook the door's lock.

"Wait here." Louis tells them both to stop them from following him into the cell. "I'll....scream if I
need you."

It isn't a joke but Bill looks amused anyway. Louis holds his bated breath and walks into the dark
room before slamming the door shut behind him.

It's dead silent inside after the door has settled on its ledge, the echo of cold metal shuddering
disappearing with the chirps of birds outside. Louis flips the light switch after feeling around the
wall to his left for two seconds, eager to have light shed in this room of unsettling pitch blackness.
He just manages to contain his deeply troubled gasp, one octave short of a shriek.

"Harry!" He can't help but screech and drop everything he's holding from sheer shock.

"Hey, petal." The man responds, utterly calm, with no shirt on and a steady frown present on his
features.

The walls have tallies all over them, varying from tiny to extra bold in size. Some strokes are darker
than others and most are untidily scrawled onto the hard concrete. The most striking fact is that
they're all red and dripping, some crusted or dried in those blood rivers to the ground. They're
without a doubt written in blood, small quantities by the smell of pungent rust instead of gagworthy salt.

"Where were you yesterday?" Harry is seated on his thin mattress, one knee drawn up to his chest
and the other bare foot on the ground.

"What is this?" Louis picks his things up off the dirty floor and leaves them on the table available to
him in the corner of the room.

"Where were you yesterday, petal?" Harry was glaring powerfully at Louis but it was also
sad and Louis couldn't for the life of him understand why.

"I-I...I was off work yesterday." Louis put on a frown of his own and stepped close enough to the
wall with more tallies than the rest. "Answer my question. What's this?"

Harry remained seated, eyes trained on Louis' body. "How many strokes are there?"

There had to be over a thousand, marking the pale green wall from vertex to vertice. "Too many."

"Two thousand two hundred, give or take." Harry's bed creaks as he pulls his legs under him in a
criss-cross fashion. "One hundred and eighty for Wednesday. One thousand, four hundred and forty
for yesterday. Five hundred and eighty for today."

Louis frowns as he tries to understand this wordless puzzle, extracting his phone from his pocket to
take a picture of it. Harry doesn't object, or do much else but maintain his unhappy expression.

"What do you think it means?" Harry asks him, sounding like a malevolent hiss.

"I don't know." Louis says truthfully. "Whose blood is this, Harry?"

"You were off work yesterday?" Harry started to shake his head like he has told a lie and is
now fighting to defend it. "Edward said you weren't coming. I didn't believe him because why
would you- why would you do that? One stroke, one minute-"

He's started scaring Louis with the way his body rocked back and forth, shaking the whole bed
contraption and muttering away loudly. Louis pockets what he has in his hands and rushes to take a
seat in front of Harry, kneeling with one knee on the filthy floor.

"Harry? Look at me, Harry." He's not sure about touching Harry right now so he tries speaking
clearly in a voice that is probably used to tame wild horses.

Harry's eyes are as wild as said horses and he looks at Louis with stormy green marbles. He slows
down. "My petal."

And then Harry's reaching for Louis and the boy doesn't think the look in Harry's eye means him
any harm but that's what he thought before Wednesday too. He encircles Harry's wrist with his hand
and shakes his head.

"Who's blood is this?" Louis was desperate to know so he could at least rule out one mystery.

Harry meets Louis' eye, lips a little parted and gaze a little clouded over. He touches Louis' cheek
with his gentle fingertips. "Mine."

"Are you lying, Harry?" Louis had to check. He didn't see any visible injuries on Harry for all this
blood to come from somewhere.

Harry shakes his head slowly and his fingers must touch something he isn't happy with because a
disgruntled, scary sound rolls out of his chest. Louis feels the throb of a bruise being pressured on
his neck and he tries to pull away in time. That must be one of the new love-bites his body was
marked with.

"Petal." Harry growled and it put permanent shivers in Louis' spine to run up and down,
back and forth until there was nothing but the timeless drip of fear left behind. "You let someone
touch you."

When Louis tries to stand up, Harry holds his waist with a grip so tight it creates bruises. He pulls
Louis down to him and keeps him pinned to his lap, petting over Louis' sides. Whenever Louis
resisted, he squeezed too tightly and warned him with a glare.

"I waited for you." Harry inspected the neat red mark below Louis' jaw. "I waited for you and you
let some unworthy motherfucker touch you."

Louis had to get a word in edge wise. He took Harry's hands away from his bandaged neck and kept
them in his lap. "Listen to me, Harry."

Harry doesn't let Louis stop him when he leans in close to nuzzle the boy's neck. Louis smells of
warm things, soft things and apples. He blankets over Harry's constantly aggravated, raw and
unpleasant moods with this sweetness.

"You're leaving this place today, Harry." Louis shivered in the arms of his once upon a time attacker
who was breathing heavily into his neck and rubbing his back in an attempt to be comforting. "You
can be nice and sweet, I know you can. Can you make me a promise, Harry?"

Harry's eyes are probably closed and his bulky arms constrict all the way around Louis' slender
hips. The curve of his bum is treated as nothing special and Harry hugs that area of him too. He's
very protective of his petal.

"Will you ever hurt someone again?" Louis asks in a low but shaky voice. He never thought in all
his years, that this is a place he'd end up.

"I'd hurt anyone for you, petal." He confesses groggily, clearly having no sleep or nutrition for too
many hours. "You and Edward."

"I don't want you to hurt anyone for me, Harry." Louis rushes his input.

"Why not?" Harry's voice has returned to the tone that Louis heard the first day he saw Harry. Cold
and unkind.

"Because you can't take life, Harry." Louis puts it plainly, staring back at the set of emeralds
admiring the blue fire in his eyes.

"I can." Harry bends Louis' neck at an angle that allows him to look at the bright red mark that's
been put there by someone else. "I'll find out who did this-" Harry touched it with his index
finger. "-and I'll drive a hot poker through his stomach."

That's when Louis starts to squirm and push Harry away. One arm from the man is enough to stop
all of Louis' strength from getting him away. The grip was inhuman, steel-harsh and impossible to
dodge. Louis began to struggle with the image of Anthony having a hot poker through him.
"It'll take longer to pierce his skin." Harry laughed. "It'll start clotting but there'll be too much
blood, too much damage. He'll bleed for a very long time, petal."

"Harry!" Louis got his chest free of Harry's hold but that was nothing against the rest of his captive
body.

"It'll be all your fault, petal." Harry touches Louis' chest, thumbing the boy's perfectly shaped collar
bones. "You could lock him up in a jewellery box and I'd still find him. Oh how silly you can be,
petal."

With a heart that's twice its regular size from the swell of trauma, Louis forces his way out of
Harry's hold. He ends up with some more scratches on his hips and Harry following him to the door.
Despite his speed, Harry pins him to the nearest wall easily.

"You won't tell anyone about our special night." Harry says it like a worldly truth, a universally
acclaimed theory. "You'll keep your best friend alive that way."

What?

"The blond one?" Harry smiles the way Edward does but with the failing fluorescent bulbs above
their heads it looks more daunting. "Loud fellow with a gambling habit? If I know that even though
I'm stuck in here-" Harry pries Louis' hands away from his waist so he can slip his rough hands
underneath his sweater. "-imagine what I'm capable of when I'm outside."

Louis' mind races at a thousand mile a minute rate. Niall's in danger and it's all his fault. Anthony's
doomed and it's his fault. Louis had one option to keep them alive and he treasured his friend above
himself so he'd do it for them.

"I won't hurt him." Harry continues, holding the bare skin of Louis' waist. "I won't touch a hair on
your mother's head. She's in town for a while, isn't she? I won't mutilate your beloved father or old
Neville at the train station."

Harry says it all in a sing-song manner and it drives Louis up the wall with madness. The hot
feeling startles his mind as it jumps around on a stick poking the corners of his head.
"I have a price, petal, for all this." Harry pulls the neck hole of Louis' sweater down to his naked
shoulder. "Belong to me."

Harry's face is less than inches away from Louis'. Their eyes take a long while to meet because
Louis' are watery and stinging while Harry's are solid lava that burns anything on sight. Plump but
cold lips graze Louis' cheek, making him swallow with enough gusto for it to hurt.

"I'll even strike a deal with you because after all this rehab, I feel enlightened."
Harry picks Louis' legs up off the ground and plants them on his hips. He turns his head into Louis'
neck and the boy let's his first tears roll down his face.

"I won't kill the bastard who touched you." Honest to whatever diety Louis once believed in, this is
the best news he's heard all day. "Answer me now and I won't touch anyone you love. Make me
wait and he dies."

It's really not a difficult decision to make because Louis knows that going to the authorities with
this would do him a fat lot of nothing. The whole town knew about Harry and Edward Styles. It
took two detectives' teams to bring them in and nobody survived but them. They'd all much rather
sacrifice the boy from out of town than go through that again.

"Got an answer for me, petal?" Harry secures the opposite side of Louis' face, keeping him close
and in physical contact.

Louis' lips quiver and the cold intake of air hurts his gritted teeth. He forces himself to stop crying,
stop giving Harry the victory of knowing he's slowly tearing him up like tissue paper.

"Y-Yeah." Louis is nodding while Harry hoists him jerkily higher on his waist. He squeaks with
fresh tears on his face when Harry's tentative grim expression becomes appeased.

"Yes you have an answer or yes is your answer?" Harry coaxes, needing to hear it in a sentence.
"Bo-Both." Louis swallows with a tight throat and feels the regret already welling in his chest.

"My petal." Harry's cursed and savage hands reach the back pockets of Louis' jeans. "Are they
going to come in?"

Louis throws his head back against the wall, staring at the bright light and hoping it will blind him.
"N-No."

Harry slips his hands, both curious and large palms of calloused skin, between Louis' legs and
smirks at the boy's gasp. He rubs the tempting skin of Louis' thighs through the tight jean fabric,
mindful of the bandage on Louis' neck while he hides his face there.

Louis shivered from the contact. He winced and whimpered like the touch made him feel dirty,
horrible. Harry kept at it, completely entranced by the possibility of the sweetest skin he's ever
known existing here on this beautiful boy.

"You'll get used to it, petal." Harry whispered with dark seduction that trapped Louis in another
world. "You'll want it all the time soon."

Louis' nails dug into Harry's bare back, above his shoulder blades and between the well rounded
bones that jutted out through his skin. He clung to the man's person with such a deep grip that it tore
skin and made it bleed. Harry groaned and punished Louis by tangling his fingers in his hair,
yanking until his head but bent backwards at a painful nearly U-angle.

He said nothing to Louis and his teeth sank into the mark that was pre-existing on Louis' neck. He
bit and sucked painfully until the mark was redder, bloodier and much bigger. Louis blinked away
his tears and began to breathe in broken gasps, pants that didn't fill his lungs fully.

Harry lifted him higher in a throw and caught him on the short trip down. He unbuttoned Louis'
jeans but left it at that and crashed down on Louis' mouth with his invasive, hard lips. Being
momentarily distracted, Harry put both palms on the wall and pushed his tongue past Louis' lips,
dragging his nails over Louis' thighs that had dropped to the ground with force. His eyes
were closed and his lips took turns harshly sucking on either of Louis' grabbing the boy's thighs and
hiking it up again.

"You kiss me, petal, or you kiss my brother." Harry withdrew with his hand curled around Louis'
throat. "I assure you, he's not as kind as I am."

After that, Louis let's Harry do what he wishes. He kisses back with the thought of his family and
friends alive with happiness while he lives this misery. It's alright if he can learn to accommodate it
until there's a solution.

Harry drops Louis' legs to the ground and made a low, almost demonic growl from the pit of his
chest while he forced Louis' jeans and boxer briefs away. Louis started tearing up again and felt
cold from the loss of clothing. A warm body closed around him and he felt even colder.

Vivid red lines from three fingernails ran down Louis' thigh now and Harry picked him up again,
connecting their lips with the taste of salty tears and saliva mixing between them. When Louis
pulled away for air, Harry chased after him. He grinded between Louis' legs, almost hurting the boy
in his haste to get them both aroused enough. Louis took longer after it dawned on him that Harry
wasn't going to do him a favour this time.

Louis got no prep and no time to adjust. Harry showed his anger concerned his petal being touched
by any other person but immediately bucking his hips against Louis'. He pushed in slowly though
but the glimmer of hope that presented was extinguished soon enough. Harry held Louis' waist and
folded his legs, their hips banging together with a sweaty slide.

Harry felt big when he was faking Louis' rape but now, nestled so deep that he barely had to move
to nail his prostrate, he was huge. Louis hated feeling this full, this dirty on the inside and
out. He couldn't scream but he bit Harry's lip like it had no feeling and pulled his hair like the nerve
tips were numb.

The fucking didn't end until Harry knew Louis would come too. Voluntarily or not, Louis' body
could get aroused. Harry pulled almost all the way out and slammed all the way in so it
stung and he moaned into Louis' ear from the raining pleasure in his bones. He pistoned his
hips in wild bucks, fucking the air out of Louis and his precome into him.

Louis made no sound. He accepted Harry's rough kisses and let his insides be pushed and nudged
by an angry throbbing erection wanting to burrow inside him. His nails left crimson marks on
Harry's shoulders and back. Harry felt his orgasm approach with magical speed and stopped his
thrusting suddenly.

"Shut up." He saw the look in Louis' eye, the urge to scream. He cleared the table of Louis' things
and threw him on it. "You scream, petal, and I'll have to hurt you."

No threat has been as vagrant as that one, and it got Louis to immediately close his mouth. His back
slammed against ice steel and the base became sore with a collision of it on the hard edge. Harry
stepped between his legs and loomed over him, in his head protecting his petal from anyone else.
He curled his hands around Louis' thighs and started up his pace again, this time going for hard and
deep. Shallow thrusts forgotten, Harry pounded Louis into the table and kept all their sounds in by
kissing him. His petal tasted like him now.

Louis came first and his body sagged afterwards. He felt Harry's kisses on his neck and up to his
lips. Harry's hips stuttered and he came after pulling out, landing his seed on Louis' thighs.

"My petal." Harry picked Louis up off the table again and held him against him, rubbing Louis'
back and kissing his shoulder.

So he didn't fall with the exhaustion his body was slowing giving in to, Louis wrapped his arms
around Harry's neck. His legs began to slip and Harry hiked them higher, ignoring the damp residue
between them. Louis had to hold on for the sake of so many people.

Chapter Text

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. -
Norman Cousins.

Louis had to hold on for the sake of so many people.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"You're a silent sleeper, petal." The voice roused Louis from the slumber he inevitably fell into after
his body began to tremble with exhaustion.

His 'nap' was short of course because his hour with Harry was almost up - three whole minutes to go
- and he was still stark nude from the waist down. The bed he slept in smelt of mould and dust but
the chest he slept on was a million times worse.

Not for smell or physical condition as both Harry and Edward prided themselves in maintaining a
tip-top physique, but because Louis wanted to be nowhere near this chest.

"You know-" Harry keeps Louis plastered to his torso, a vice-like grip on his delicate waist and
fingers drumming an imaginary beat on Louis' sweet bruised skin. "-all they have to do is turn
around."

He was referring to the guards on the other side of the door. When Louis finally gets a response
close to his lips, Harry sits up and shifts the entire bed structure in that one motion. He sustains his
hold on Louis and places their faces intimately close. His head was tilted slightly and he held one
side of Louis' face in his excessively large hand.

"What would they do if they did?" Harry met Louis' scorching gaze before swooping lower and
capturing his lips in an anti-harmonious kiss.

"They'd add rape to your list of offences." Louis smartly replies.

Harry slaps him.

It comes out of nowhere and Louis' face snaps to the right after getting back-handed. His cheek
reddens and he knows he can't retaliate, should have expected this and shouldn't be tearing
up again because of a slap. It does nothing more than sting like Hell fire on Louis' face, soothed
shortly when he's dropped to the mattress and kisses litter that cheek.

"I'm sorry, my petal." Harry murmurs against his cheekbone, wet lips dampening Louis' skin. Tears
get on Harry's lips and he licks his lips for the taste.

Louis tries to get out from under such a heavy mass but his shoves and squirming all falls futile
because Harry's still whispering small apologies into Louis' neck, each accompanied by a kiss. They
don't feel warm or give him butterflies, they make Louis nauseous and livid.

"Petal." Harry warns. He doesn't like that his petal is trying so hard to get away from him.

"Get off me." Louis is pleading with a high-pitched whine following his words as he stretches out
the column of his neck.

"Petal, listen to me." Harry sees that he has no choice but to pacify Louis with a harsh bite to his
clavicle. "I'll let them come in here two minutes from now and find you like this. All spread out and
lovely. Would you like that? I certainly wouldn't." Harry's eyes become a deep, dark shade of onyx
as his lips get a little more cherry. "You're my petal and do you know what that means?"

Louis plays dumb. He looks up at Harry like he's a wolf in sheep's clothing and tightens his grasp
on the man's shoulders. He can feel the scabs from the cuts he left there and the satisfaction is
vague.

"I know you do, petal. Tell me." Harry is as blank as a canvas when he wants to be and sometimes
that can be the scariest possible thing.

Louis frees his legs of the tangle they're in and licks his dry lips before answering, carefully this
time. "Means I'm yours."

Harry grins and it turns out one of the two worst men to ever live has dimples. "Very good,
petal. That, in turn, means nobody gets to see you without a layer of clothing on besides me."

Louis feels like his ribcage consists of twelve lethal knight swords. He still finds the courage to
speak. "Wha-What about your brother?"

"We shared a womb, petal."

Harry is polite enough to grab Louis' clothing off the floor. Louis turns onto his front as he
listens to the slap of Harry's bare feet on cold concrete flooring, the thin blanket their patients are
forced to use pooling at his waist.

"We're almost the same person." He concludes, seating himself at the edge of the bed and handing
over Louis' previously lost attire.

Louis' about to say that sharing a womb is not the same as sharing a life, but he's not sure if it'll get
him hit again or not. He holds his breaking internal walls together, feeling like he was gaping open
and hollow but still alive miraculously.

"Petal?" Harry grabs hold of Louis' wrist in what is probably the most considerate contact he's had
with Louis.

The boy is spun around carefully with one twirl until he's back pressed up against Harry's torso. His
palms land flat on his pectorals and frightened blue eyes becoming locked with Harry's. The white
space around Louis' magnificently blue orbs are reddened and the skin below his eye is damp. Harry
touches his cheek with his thumb and bends to kiss him again, holding on tighter when Louis starts
crying.

"It's alright, Louis." Harry uses his first name and Louis has to look at him like he's mad. "Don't cry,
petal."

Louis doesn't understand why he shouldn't. He's throwing away his freedom that he's worked for all
his life, so that the people he held dear would stay safe. He doesn't know how else to say it, express
what the turmoil in his head feels like, so he walks out Harry's cell without anything to say.

The first place he goes to is the bathroom outside the Madhouse on the grounds for patients to use
during their time outside. He locks himself inside with the smell of detergent burning his eyes, and
screams. His hands grab his hair and pull to relieve pressure, to relieve pain. He doesn't care
how loud he is and how hard he scratches the cheek that Harry hit.

He strips to his last layer of clothing and washes himself. The liquid soap is half depleted by the
time he's done scrubbing his arms, legs and torso using his nails as a brush. He's sure that the burn
of his split skin being touched by the foam of soap is not good, but he welcomes the burn.

He washes his hair vigorously using the soap that will dry it out and probably give him dandruff,
but he doesn't care in this frantic moment.

* * * * *

"How'd it go?" Dr. Murs didn't look up from his desk while he typed away, one finger at a time
before squinting at the screen from behind his spectacles.

"Huh?" Louis hadn't heard him the first time. In fact, he's not sure he can comprehend anything too
loud right now. "Sorry, um...yeah it was fine."

Dr. Murs regards him shiftily. "You going to sign off on that one?"

Louis sits at his desk and takes a moment to find the correct position for his sore bum. "I have to,
don't I?"

His boss says nothing but smiles sadly and goes back to his work station. The clicking of his keys
picks up again three breaths later. Louis is almost spooked out of his chair when his phone starts to
ring with the reminder to call Liam the detective now.

"Still want me to give my friend a call?" He asks Dr. Murs through the wall separating them.

"It'll be your case once it gets here, Lou." He reminds Louis. Any fault, success and error will be his
undoing.

"I'll be right back then."

Louis steps into the hallway for a moment with his phone dialling Liam's number from ages ago. He
has to wait for thirty beats and two nuns to pass him, one actually glaring at him like he drowned
her puppy. Louis tries not to roll his eyes and tap his foot.

Liam's voice comes over the speaker as a groggy whisper. "Hello?"

"Hi, Liam Payne?" Louis looks down at the cracked floor while he speaks into the receiver.

"Uh- yes." There's some shuffling the background and Liam's voice gets clearer. "Who is this?"

Louis smiles, an authentic little quirk in his lips. "I think you'll remember my friend Niall better."

"Louis?" Liam sounds instantly brighter than he's certain the person he's speaking to isn't a criminal.
"Loud-mouth Niall's best friend?"

"I'm offended, Payne." Louis laughs and turns away from the people nearing him.
"It's been years-"

"Months."

"It's been months since we last spoke." Liam's husky chuckle follows after Louis' correction.
"How's the duckling?"

Liam often referred to Niall as the duckling because of his blond hair but ability to shut down a
room with his loud, yet adorable nature. Louis flicks some of his damp hair out of his eyes. "He's
doing great. How about you?"

"I'm managing." Liam sits up in his bed. "So why the sudden call-up, Lou?"

"Are you still in the business for favours?"

"Favours of what nature?"

"Detective work." Louis sighs, kicking a loose piece of wood on the floor. He hopes it's wood.
"They haven't fired you yet, have they?"

Liam clears his throat as he laughs. "Nah. I'm hangin' in there. What's the case?"

"I don't want to discuss it over the phone."

"Alright then. I can be there by tomorrow morning if I drive."

"You'd be willing?"

"Sure. You've never asked for a favour before and I miss the little duckling enough to pay your ugly
town a visit."

"I earn a living here, Payne. Watch it."

Liam is not at all impressed with Louis' little threat but doesn't press the matter. "At least tell me if I
need a team."

"It's a single death. I haven't....it hasn't been declared homicide but I have a hunch." Louis
has never picked up the habit of biting his nails and now to scratch the anxious itch beneath his
skin, he wraps an arm around himself. "Still interested?"

"You're still working at that asylum?"

"Yes."

"I'll do some digging before I get there. Text me some basic info to work with."

"Will do." Louis coughs when a dry bubble crawls up his throat.

"Hey, Lou?" Liam stops Louis from hanging up. The boy tended to do that.

"Yeah?"

"Don't tell Duckling I'm coming, alright?" Liam's voice curves to the contours of a smile. "I wanna
see his reaction when I surprise him."

"Noted." Louis unwinds his arm from his middle. "Bye, Payne."

"Aha."

After her hangs up, Louis realises that he's been standing on the side ledges of his shoes without
even knowing it. He personally diagnoses it as nerves and tries to shake it off before returning to Dr.
Murs' office where he had to deliver some good news.

He wish he knew why he was being so persistent in this case. It wasn't really fair to all the possible
homicides that went cold with illegitimate and unprofessional investigators. Edmund was someone
he knew not very closely, but close enough to be suspicious about his sudden demise.

"What will you tell him?" Dr. Murs is beaming about the news of an actual investigator
making the journey to their little town.

"Name and age." Louis reads off the paper he's jotted all this down on. "Cause of death. My
suspicion."

"Your suspicion?" Dr. Murs lifts his glasses from the bridge of his nose.

"That something scared him." Louis explains with a pencil between his index and middle fingers.
"Edmund's come from the part of town where everything's scary. He was healthy and if he died
from a heart attack it's because he was scared by something."

"Didn't he-"

"Go into shock at Shelly's last birthday party?" Louis nods, recalling the incident from memory. "I
know."

"Go ahead then. Since he's passed on, you can have Edmund's records for your detective friend."
Louis nods and manages a smile that resembles gratitude. "When's the funeral?"

Edmund had it documented that upon his death he would have a formal funeral that everyone on a
specific list had to attend. Louis had seen that list and seen that his name was on it, but the nail-biter
is that a certain set of twins also had their names put down.

"I'll have Reverend James contact his family." Dr. Murs says. "Off you go now, your last meeting is
in two minutes."

The dread fills Louis' system once again and he becomes momentarily paralysed by the mention of
Edward. It didn't have to be said to make Louis shiver.

"Yeah okay." Louis gathers up his belongings again and exits the office with his fingers mentally
crossed.

Edward's holding cell in solitary was far enough away from Harry's that he didn't even have to pass
the latter's door. Louis hurried down the hallways that echoed his footsteps like a light soundtrack,
the shaking of keys and heavy boots awaiting him at the gate.

When he's in the stairwell heading down to solitary, Louis feels overcome with the presence of
someone else. He looks around him in the hope that whoever it is turns out to be a stray psych
patient that he could talk to but there was no one there. He continued walking down the rusty steps
and eventually came to a halt again when he swore he heard footsteps above him.
"Hello?" He called out to the air like a vision would make him see who his tail was.

No such thing happened and Louis waited with his hand holding onto the metal railing. Suddenly, it
shivered like someone touched it near by. He froze and coached his scream, looking up at the roof
of the tower and seeing no one. He looked down into the depths of the basement with the same
result.

Wasting no more time with the chills icing his veins cruelly, Louis dashes down the rest of staircase
and jumps over the last two. His ankle nearly twists on the fall but he manages to get through the
second last floor's big brown door.

"Tomlinson?" The guard asks him from the other side, bored and awaiting his twenty minute lunch
break.

"Y-Yeah." Louis controls his breathing with slow intakes. "Let me in."

After a loud buzz that shakes the gate Louis' holding onto, he's allowed once again into the solitary
unit from a more external entrance. Visitors and patriots came to the Madhouse to make donations,
and this is what they got to see.

"He's waiting for you." The security guard on this end has spent a good portion of his life working
here, starting up a retirement fund that turned useless when he just came back to work after
'retiring'.

"Thanks." Louis' hands shook and no matter how hard her tried to hide it, the black file he was
holding still shivered like he was malnourished.

Edward's cell is two down from the entrance gate. Louis takes his sweet time getting there, clicking
his pen and unclicking it. He frowns to himself as he stops and arrives at the door. The guard that's
been promised to him as companions on any of his visits to either Styles twin unlocks the steel door
with a green key card before holding the door open for Louis.

"Shout if you need us." The oblivious, ignorant but still good-natured man told Louis.

Inside is brightly lit already, unlike Harry's cell. It's neat and doesn't smell half as foul as Harry's did
because of the blood on his walls. Edward is waiting at the table with his arms crossed and smirk
hidden behind the tips of his fingers.

"You're shaking like a leaf, petal." Edward chuckles, his humorous pun is not lost on either of them.
Edward is wearing his crisp white patients clothing without the faintest stain on it. Louis kicks his
feet forward and gets to the only other available bench chair. It's cold and unkind to Louis' behind
but it's better heat on a region he wants no reminder of.

"What's wrong, darlin'?" Edward drops his hands to the table and Louis actually hears the
mass of muscle hit stainless steel.

Louis can't do this, not when every sight too bright and sound too loud gets him an edge closer to
breaking down. He shakes his head to himself, internally agreeing with his thoughts and
stands up.

"I'll um- I'll send D-Dr. Murs." Louis taps his palm with the file in his hand and he's certain the
small pinch he felt was from a paper cut.

"Wait." Edward doesn't allow him to get farther than the vicinity of the table, standing up in
readiness to physically grab Louis if he has to. "Petal, sit down."

Louis is conflicted. He doesn't remember being this internally stricken before. He doesn't remember
being this scatter-brained and inconclusive. Edward's asking him to sit and Louis' looking like a
deer caught in the headlights of an eighteen wheeler.

"Come here, petal." Edward summoned him with the smile he used to lure unsuspecting victims in
with.
Edward holds the tops of Louis' arms as soon as he's within arms reach. Even he knows when Louis'
too fragile mentally and doesn't push him too far by advancing forward. He sits and takes Louis
with him, offering him a warm comfort in his arms.

"If he was anyone else-" Edward's prickly teeth touched Louis' temple. "-I'd punish him for hurting
you, my petal."

Louis wanted out of Edward's cradle. It was uncomfortable with too muscular thighs and arms
constricting his every breath, every squirm and every motion. He had no choice but to stay under
Edward's arm and look over his shoulder as he was restrained.

Wait.

"H-How did you know?" Louis scrambles to his feet and is caught between Edward's legs.
"It's obvious enough, darlin'." Edward's lisp-like voice made Louis' back shiver from an absent
chill. "My brother said he'd make you an offer and I know he did. He drives a hard bargain, doesn't
he?"

Edward found it amusing. Louis frowned and twisted his waist to weave his way out of
Edward's enclosure. It hardly lasts more than the four seconds it takes Edward to stand and throw an
arm over his shoulders.

"Maybe I'll pity you today but you should know that I'm very keen on claiming you as well."
Edward's warm breath fanned Louis' cheek as he spoke from behind, their bodies aligned and
pressed together at a slight angle over the table. "Petal, don't make this hard on yourself."
Louis' never felt relief like this moment when Edward's crotch rubbed over him and held no bulge.

He sagged slightly against the man's chest, biting his lip until it felt like he was jabbing an open cut
with salt. "I-I'm sorry."

To everyone else, Louis was street smart and tough. To these brothers, he had lose much of that
bravado in favour of saving those very people.

Edward's smile widened from sly smirk to a smug grin. He had dimples too. He nuzzled Louis' neck
on the opposite side from where he permanently scarred the boy, lowering his arm to wrap around
Louis' waist. He exhaled loudly, at peace with Louis' presence.

"I take it Harry didn't answer any of your questions." Edward allowed Louis to stand leaning against
the table because he sat and was at the perfect eye-level to control his actions. "Would you like me
to?"

Louis has to file two extensive reports today, signed and dated with his initials. Either brother taking
the time to answer mandatory questions set by the state would help him get things along much
faster. "Okay."

While Louis extracts a booklet of paper from his black folder, Edward gets comfortable watching
Louis under his scrutiny. He is careful about keeping his hands on Louis' middle region, or his
thighs. He noticed how the boy would flinch but not fight him off. It was a breathtaking sight.
"Go ahead, petal." Edward encouraged, feeling relaxed in this atmosphere where Louis felt it was
charged with horrible chills.

Louis licks his lips and flips through some of the pages. "What's your daily routine here at the
institute?"

Edward doesn't take more than a blink to think it through. "Three meals, five hours apart. Two
showers, one in the morning and one at night. I spend all day in here, petal."

Louis transcribes everything up until the pet name. He's fine leaving that bit out. "Any recreational
activities?"

"I use the gym seven times a week, two hour sessions."

His fingers race across the page to keep up with Edward's precise and apt responses. "Any dislikes
you've developed here at the institute?"

"Plenty. Would you like to know a few?"

Louis nods cautiously, meeting Edward's eye over the top of his page and shrinking back a little.
There simply can't be a soul out there more haunted and sadistic than Edward's.

Edward runs his tongue over his bottom lip, wetting the chapped cushion and sucking it between his
teeth. A pointed tip of his canine cuts a small spot of skin but Edward doesn't seem to notice.

"The food is twice as deplorable as the people." Edward finally says, completely ignoring the
droplet of dark red blood on his lips that's weighing down on his mouth. "Although, I do prefer
most of people in here to the old bats outside. They're filled with nothing but beer and small-minded
ideas."

"It's an old town." Louis mumbles, getting ahead of himself. He bites the inside of his cheek to
punish himself for speaking when all it could do is get him whacked.

"Well, there's that." Edward appreciates Louis' participation in the conversation and also notices the
flow of a wince on and off Louis' face. "What did you do?"

Louis shakes his head and touches his cold cheek with his fingertips. It does nothing and Edward
removes his hand with a steady scowl.

"Nobody will punish you but me." He gives Louis a serious deadpan. "You will not hurt yourself for
any reason."

He may not have seen it before or the light bruise from Harry's hit just developed, because Edward's
frown lightens.

"My brother is taking advantage of the fact that I'd never raise a hand to him." Edward screws his
jaw into a tight seal. "I might as well let him have his way."

Louis frowns at this. Will Harry's bipolarity and resultant abuse become a constant now? He doesn't
think he can last longer than one incident before going crazy.

"Don't worry, petal." Edward goes on, voice sweet like honey and poisonous. "All you have to do is
behave. Go on with your questions."

"What if-" Louis' filter has diminished. "-I don't know that I did something wrong?"

Edward smiles in the worst possible way. The tips of his teeth at the side are made clearly visible by
the curve of his lips and he cracks his knuckles against his neck. "Go on with your questions, petal."

Louis gulps and sees no other road to take other than obey. He fills the silence in the room with
another question of his, not daring to look up from his page all the while. "What issues do you think
went unresolved?"

"What do you think, petal?"

All of them. "Do you think the-"

A heavy fist collides with the table and Edward stands up to properly close around Louis' personal
space by squashing it. Louis' voice shook as it was cut off and they book look at the door to see if
anyone's heard his barbarism. Louis' heart fails. What had he done wrong this time?

"I asked you a question, darlin'. Didn't I?" Edward resumes the grip Harry had on Louis' hair,
knotting his extensive fingers between the locks of strong hair and tugging. "You'll answer any and
all of my questions regardless of relevance. Understood?"

Louis can't nod because the fire of horror has tipped over and he feels like he's burning up from the
inside out. His chest begins to heave and his mind is thrown into a million different routes.

Edward's holding his head so firmly that it's all he can do to whisper a broken, "Y-Yes."

Edward looks pleased then he just doesn't and Louis' fear returns to him like a missile pointed at his
most vulnerable spot. "Whose mark is that?"

Louis is about to ask what he's talking to but Edward's hands clasp his shoulders and one slides up
to his neck, the thumb not so gently caressing the hickie he has.

"If it was not my brother who put this mark on your body, tell me." Edward reinstated. He looked
deadly serious.

"I-It wasn't Harry." Louis flinches ahead of time, his air pipes closing up completely as the light
above their heads flickers.

"I won't punish you because I fully intend to punish the bastard who dared touch you." Edward was
breathing heavily and his nostrils were flared, his true anger being conveyed in the most absolute
way.

"No! No please." Louis shakes his head to add to the grandeur of his plea. "Don't hurt him."

Edward isn't impressed by loyalty and nobility because Louis wasn't being either of those things
for them. His vision turns red with smouldering anger and heat. He hates this and he's going
to end up hating Louis if he doesn't reign some of his madness in.

A mouth slams against Louis' fiercely. Louis makes a confused but scared noise mixed in one
whimper, trying to turn away but left to choke on the air allowed to him by Edward when he's lifted
and dumped onto the table. He hisses, the throb of his backside ruining the entire illusion of cold
steel soothing the burn of earlier.

Edward's the one to discreetly check the door and simultaneously keep his mouth closed a little in
the kiss. Everything about Louis screamed sensitive to him and contact with his sharper than
average teeth could severely hurt the boy. He doesn't intend that for their relationship this early.
Louis struggles only briefly when Edward starts to flatten him on the table, his arched back being
pressed down by a firm hand. He chokes when he can't breathe and another body cuts off every
contact with anything else. His hands are pinned and legs parted into a V.

"You will never mention another to me." Edward's hot white branding iron eyes are
scorching and delve into the soft satin of Louis' eyes easily.

To keep from crying, Louis pleads. "Please do-don't hurt me."

Edward's head tilts to the side like a sinister type of puppy. "Not now, I won't. You seem to like
lovers who take you out so I have a plan to meet those needs."

Louis' phone buzzes and his eyes nearly bulge all the way out of his skull. He prays harder than
anyone's ever prayed before, wanting it to not be Liam or Niall calling. He gasps upon the strong
hand gliding down the length of his body to his posterior.

"I've been wanting to touch you here for a very long time." Edward abandons the phone in favour of
squeezing one cheek through Louis' jeans. "It's as lovely as I imagined it. I want to see you naked
on my bed."

The phone stopped ringing.

Edward could see the finest images already. He could see Louis on his bed, nude down to the
beautiful layer of skin he's hiding now. He closes his eyes and takes a deep inhale of Louis' scent
that's oddly tainted by soap. His fingers flex around Louis' thighs as he imagines Louis in a lesser
clothed form.

He touches all of Louis' pliant body, memorising the planes and curves with his hands. This is all
his now. "You're going to have the hardest fuck of your life with me."

It's not an entirely pleasant image to Louis but he keeps his mouth shut and eyes on the cracking
ceiling.

"I'm going to have my way with you." Edward promised like a hot seal on a scroll from centuries
ago. "You'll learn to like it."

That's when Louis' spine bends in a perfect arch off the table, huffing a small discomfort and
pushing Edward's shoulders to earn himself some space. Unfortunately, all that happens is his eyes
rolling back slightly in an attempt to look away from the homicidal maniac groping Louis like he's
starved. He catches a glimpse of the door and the guards on the other side, but they're not facing
away.

They're looking through the window, right at their scene on the table, without reacting or making an
effort to come in and help.

Edward notices this too and smirks evidently. "Everyone can be bought, petal. Everyone with a
stomach and a family to support."

It's poetic and shouldn't be entirely true, yet it is because Louis is staring at the biggest form of
evidence. The guards look away, taking Louis' hope with them and leaving him with a quivering lip.
The atmosphere gets colder now that Louis knows he's been indirectly sold into this, and he flinches
when Edward nears him.

"I can't say I'm entirely happy with my brother being so rough." Edward speaks in Louis' ear. "It
takes away my opportunity to enjoy you too."

Louis can feel his head beating against the walls of his skull like a jack hammer gone mad, but he
can't get the slightest feel of his fingers burying themselves in Edward's hair.

"We have over thirty minutes left." Edward reminded Louis with a quick swipe of his thumb nail
over Louis' belly button. "Since we don't want to waste any time on our date later, I suggest we
cover ground rules now."

Louis was allowed to sit up then. He pulled his legs onto the table as well, his back facing the door
with a depressed hunch. He wanted as much of himself to be guarded from Edward so he crossed
his legs in the centre of the surface.

When's he going to say anything? "What do you want me around so much for?"
Edward considered his answer with a painstakingly long drag of his tongue over his teeth. "You're
ours, in any and every regard."

"For how long?"

"Forever, petal."

"How many-"

"When did this become your opportunity to question me?" Edward raises his eyebrow tauntingly at
Louis who had nothing to say to that. "Ask your last question."

Louis takes a hard gulp that causes his oesophagus some grief. "How many others are
'yours'?"

"None." Edward's eyes unashamedly rake over Louis' body even after the boy curls up with his
knees to his chest. "The day I pick someone over you, petal, or Harry does......-"

Louis is curious to know this answer, the completion of this sentence. Will he be tossed out? That's
wishful thinking for him. Will they take a chance and kill him? Why would they?
Why wouldn't they?

"That'll be a day to see, darlin'." Edward's ambiguous continuation does nothing to slake the worry
that's etched itself on Louis' brow. "Now what do we do for the rest of our time together?"

Louis rushes to reply with an answer that won't put him on his back. He remembers Edward
speaking about rules but he doesn't want to go there now. "The rest of the questions?"

Edward is not disgruntled by this and Louis knows he hasn't done something wrong. "Go right
ahead, petal."

With a small gulp of his nerves and reservations, Louis picks up his discarded papers. He opens his
mouth for the next relevant question to be dictated but Edward interrupts him beforehand. His blood
runs cold with the evil glint shimmering in the criminal's eye.

"Lie back." Edward even nudges Louis' tummy to emphasise his command. "Rule number one,
petal, is that you never object to when I want I access to your body. Regardless of place or time
when I need you to spread your legs or get on your knees, you do it."

The first rule gets Louis' heart racing to mad conditions. He can see the rise and fall of his chest,
feel the crescendo of his pulse rate. What a disgusting rule, to a person whose utilised their dignity
and rights to their full power earlier. Now he's made to be submissive and with no say.

"On that note-" Edward's shimmer becomes blinding to the knowing eye. "-lie back on the
table and part your knees. You can continue your questions."

"Ar-Are you going to-"

"I'm not going to hurt you." Edward deadpans, eyes tinted dark. "I'm the impatient one between my
brother and I, petal."

That's enough motivation to get Louis' knees spread at a decent space and his back flat on the table.
Edward is thrilled with this sudden show of obedience and hikes Louis' shoes up on the bench he's
seated on.

"Question, petal?" Edward prompts with his fingers skimming over the tight fabric of Louis' jeans
to pop the button holding it together.

Louis had forgotten about that. He grabs a page at random and reads. "U-Um....what do you
consider-" His voice rises in pitch when Edward yanks his bottoms down to his ankles and
removes them fully. He bites down on his lip to keep yet another cry from escaping it. He knew
there's nothing to do but put up with it. "-to be conducive to any positive changed here?"

It was redundant. It was unfulfilling and oh so sinister. Louis' been played like a boardgame all this
time to get him in this exact spot at this precise moment. People around him were unfaithful and
leading him to a prison of blackmail and bribery.

He'll have to deal with it, put up with every antic and dark desire until he gets his loved ones out of
town. Once they're far away - and he plans to use Liam as an assistant - he will get out of this
himself. For now, with all his knowledge on what these brothers are capable of, he's not willing to
risk any lives.

He also knows that if it were almost anyone else holding him openly hostage, he'd have a much
easier time speaking up.

"That's an amusing question, petal, considering-" Edward makes Louis stifle a shout when he feels a
chin being hooking on his thigh. "-our current situation."

Louis would like to point out that this position is not at all pleasant for him or conducive to any
amount of sanity that can be recorded. He bites that comment and scribbles on a page, terrified of
the moment Edward will move his chin to do something less acceptable.

During the next three questions, nothing happens as well and Louis manages to get out the door in
such a hurry that he's not bothered about his unbuttoned jeans. He falls over in the garden and
throws up all his food from the past twenty-four hours into the tulip plants, kneeling and dry
heaving painfully until the gags begin to make his throat raw.

Tears sting his eyes and thoughts battling to get to the forefront of his mind all mess with his
concentration. His body is racked with shivers and sobs, his spine just managing to keep him from
falling into the sod face-first. He hugs himself because the secrets he's keeping are so powerful they
might bust him open at the seams.

Thinking about being forced for the sake of everyone he treasures to submit to two mass murderers,
makes Louis sick to his core. He's been betrayed for who knows how long, when the problem could
have avoided early with the help of guards he learns that they weren't honest to him at all.
What was he going to do? He had to figure something out before he lost too much of himself to be
retrievable.

Louis hates himself all of a sudden. He recalls every conversation he had with the twins, separate or
together, and not in a single one did he openly express - with words - how much he was unhappy
with this. He merely kept quiet to remain unabused and listened to every word.

"Louis?" A voice of new descent interrupted his emotional bonfire.

Thinking the worst at first, Louis flinches as he gazes up in the general direction of the person. The
sun may be at its dullest but it still stings the boy's weak eyes.

"Reverend James." Louis sighs in explicit relief and stands up wiping his lips. The taste in his
mouth was absolutely foul. "What can I help you with?"

"I got a request for a homicide case concerning Edmund Hollick today from your mentor." The
pastor with aged skin, freckles and a kind smile offered his hand to Louis. "I'd like to hear more
about this."

Louis looks around them for a quick second while he settles his thoughts. "Um- I can speak to
you.....in the courtyard."

"You're very spooked, Louis." He notes of the boy's mannerisms. "I know that visiting your two
most notorious patients can't be something easy but it can't be enough to upset you."

"It is." Louis' mood turns bitter like the taste in his mouth. "I'm sorry you had to see that, Rev."

Reverend James shakes his head and puts an arm around Louis' shoulders. "Not your fault, son.
Now, tell me about this Edmund debacle."

Louis takes a big breath before starting. He explains his suspicions about something malevolent
carrying on in the Madhouse. He says that Liam will work for free, on his own time and not require
anything from the fund sponsoring the Madhouse. Reverend listens and eventually gives his consent
for the entire ordeal.

"I see." They've arrived at the water fountain where St Catherine stood offering sustenance to a boy
carved from marble. "I'll have it signed and sent back to you. This might give us some light on poor
Nicholas' case too."

* * * * *

It took a phone call from Niall to remind Louis that his mother was waiting to have their lunch date
at their apartment, for Louis to pluck up the bravery to take a stand.

 

It's a bit of a bipolar thing he conjures up but there's not much else he can do when he's just eaten a
doughnut from the staff kitchen and overdosed on caffeine to hopefully find a 'high' that would
enable him to forget the touches that stuck to his skin like toxic chemicals.

First he thinks, the guards are two-faced and he doesn't trust a single one to protect him. If he files a
complaint against them without evidence, the issue will be dismissed before he can blink twice. In
order to get evidence he needs witnesses and the only witnesses he has are currently threatening the
lives of his best friends.

He touches the mark on his neck and realises that the injury itself is evidence. He can acquire a
restraining order with it, as offered by a concerned police officer at the time of its make. What will a
restraining order do? It could get the twins away from him for a day and then make them jump right
back on the game. Unless he diverted their attention and gave them something else to channel their
energies on, something that would rescue him.

It's just after one when Louis walks into the solitary unit again. There were no scary incidents on the
staircase and this time he's on the other side of the bars to keep his safety in check. He'll admit that
something must be unconventional about him, to be back here and not on a flight back home to his
father.

"You're back, petal." Edward grins unabashedly with all the criminal youth he can muster to give
him dimples.

"I told you he'd come back." Harry speaks from the other cell to where he's been moved so Louis
can have this conversation.

Louis clears his throat. "Shut up."

Chapter Text

"I told you he'd come back." Harry speaks from the other cell to where he's been moved so
Louis can have this conversation.

Louis clears his throat. "Shut up."

*NARRATOR'S POV*

A frightening laughter erupts in the room. Like poison on the innocence of a child, it seeps into
Louis' bones and turns them cold. He could close his eyes and place himself in the cemetery of
murderers' graves, where blood lust was rife and every one of them was insane.

"What a beauty you are, petal." Harry extends his arm out between the firm steel bars. He licks his
lips. "Come here and let me share in the taste of that."

Louis frowns in apparent disgust but learns how to disguise it a little better. "Not everyone wants to
touched all the time, Harry."

Harry doesn't retract his hand, as the offer still stands, but his coy little smirk develops into
something more vulgar and lascivious. "You're different."

Edward taps his fingernails, bitten halfway down to the stub until his flesh was pink, and exhales
slowly. "I see beyond that, petal. You're scaring yourself under a bluff."

Louis' nose scrunches up at the ambiguous statement. Bluff? "Your poetry is beautiful."

"So I've been told." Edward trails off and steps deeper into his cell, disappearing behind the curtain
of black shadows. "So I've been told, petal."

"Wait." Louis stops either twin from walking away from this conversation before it's done.

"If you have nothing of meaning to tell us, petal-" Harry laces his fingers together through the cell's
bars.

"-I suggest you get your beauty sleep before two o'clock." Edward's criminally sinister smirk
deepened the dips on his cheeks.

It was adorable on toddlers and it was creepy on fully grown twin brothers who had a lot
more than simply a few skeletons to hide in their closets.

Louis decides to grovel at any information he can get concerning their plans for him later. If he can't
hide from it, he can prepare for it.

"What's happening at two o'clock?" He crosses his short but not useless arms over his tummy,
feeling the bruises from earlier press against his arms painfully.

"Wouldn't you like to know." Harry rolls his eyes and steps back, closer to the locked compartment
door that keeps him contained in a small solitary unit.

"I would." Louis insists stupidly.

"Bill!"

After Harry's shout across the hallway for the attention of one of the guards stationed in the
reasonably sized booth that contained all the controls for these cells, there's an electric buzz and
loud click. Harry's cell door slides open, drawing back on its hinges and easily gliding over a metal
railing.

Harry steps out and takes a moment to crack the knuckles in his neck, not even looking over his
shoulder at where Louis was frozen. He ignored his brother's disapproving grunt, before Edward
withdrew to the black shadow curtain and he took the opportunity to round the corner.

"Your preview from earlier wasn't enough?" Harry's suggestive eyebrow curve and the tilt of his
head like a curious puppy, all chip away at Louis' mental capacity.

He decides to stick with his original plan, or else suffer the consequences of cowardice. "It was
hardly a preview, more like a short film."

Harry is impressed by Louis' responses and his ability to keep up without fear, after so many
encounters where the boy simply surrendered to his fright. He smirks, an evil curl of his lips, and he
leans a little forward to be close to this phenomenon.

An arm extends across his path, disarming that plan and cutting him off midway.
"What?" Harry's annoyance skyrockets as he growls at his brother.

Louis' eyes dart from Harry to Edward once, the blue gateways widening to saucers of an odd girth.
Edward kept his arm there, his back to Louis and body curved against the boy's side.

"Enough for today." Edward spares Louis a glance. "You'll see him again later. There's no need to
terrify him."

Harry's face gets closer to Louis' but it stops at Edward's ear this time. Deep pits of ugly moss green
remain glued to Louis' every facial twitch while he whispers something to his elder brother. The
hand Edward had on the wall shifts to Harry's chest, fisting the shirt he wore to hold him back.
Louis was astonished. He does not regret all the caffeine and glucose he consumed because it
got him this.

"You sure are a greedy bastard, Edward." Harry pushes himself back with a stealthy press of his
palm against the wall.

He examines Louis' very intrigued personality glimpse and his brother's seemingly protective stance
all in one glimpse. Louis doesn't understand what is happening, and why it's happening to him at
this moment. Edward may be more passive about his aggression towards wanting to claim
something, but he's still Harry's brother.

Being Harry's brother meant he had traits that his brother had, and judging by their older behaviour
Edward had more of a manipulative way of getting what he wanted.

Harry was brute strength and arrogance. Edward's power lay in his words and possessive gestures.
"Maybe I am." Edward removed the arm he had barricading Louis' body and crossed it over his
chest with the other. "We have less than an hour left in this place, let's not make it worse for
ourselves."

That got Harry to back down significantly. He nodded in a stiff, curt way and dared to push his
brother aside by a millimetre to press a cold kiss on Louis' cheek. His lips touched the artful
cheekbone of the boy and they curved just slightly in a twitch of a smile, before retracting. Louis
remained nailed to the wall and sucked in a sharp breath that stung his pharynx as he inhaled it. His
skin crawled with contact from Edward or Harry, and now was no exception.

"Goodbye, petal."

The lights blacked out completely for just ten seconds, and when the light filtered back before Louis
could conjure up a scream, both brothers are gone. Edward is in his cell, watching something crawl
up the far wall and Harry is nowhere to be seen.

He forces himself to speak. "B-Bye."

* * * * *

Louis is a little tipped over on the skittish scale for the rest of the day. He jumps whenever someone
touches him, either in passing or to converse with the like of him. He does count his most recent
interaction with the twins as more of a success than any other meeting, which seems to be the only
victory of today.

He phones his mother to promise that he'll see her at two for their lunch date. She's not happy about
the postponement but she also gets very little say in anything anymore. Louis apologises and hangs
up.

"Is your filing done on the twins yet?" Dr. Murs walks past his desk, throwing the reminder out
there without a glimpse in Louis' direction.

"Almost!" The boy calls back. He's well aware how good the insulation of sound is in this office.
Niall calls him every thirty minutes to make sure he's still breathing, which Louis appreciates.

"You know damn well how you working there makes me feel, Lou." Niall whines on the other end.
"I worry about you."

"I'm fine, you know that." Louis sat curled up in his office chair, another large hoodie bloating his
curves.

"No, I don't." Niall points out cheekily. "I'm working tonight and I'll only be back at six tomorrow."
Niall's job at the local uptown pub with fancy lights, expensive drinks and snotty people has granted
them a good enough amount of funds to not complain about it.

"Fine." Louis bids him goodbye and good luck before hanging up the call.

He starts preparing the files that are necessary to be signed by every official who has worked with
the Styles. His fingers hurt after typing so much, correcting erratum and dialling numbers to the
police precinct for information. For a break, he takes a walk to the psychiatric ward where the sister
in charge of rehab gives him Harry and Edward's full medical report.

"How's your neck, son?" She asks from behind her desk just before he touches the brass door
handle.

Louis tenses and peeks over his shoulder at her concerned motherly expression. "Healing, Sister."

He's as sure as a box of dead kittens that he's not just referring to his neck when he said that.
The paperwork is done by twelve minutes past two. It takes up two thirds of his desk and stands as
tall as a small photocopying machine. It's done, however, and he's never felt so relieved.

"Come with me." Dr. Murs grabs one pile and motions for Louis to follow him with the other. "The
reporters are here."

"What reporters?" Louis shouldn't be asking this. The discharge and release of both Styles twins
into a town that both hates and fears them more than legend or myth, is said to be the most
publicised occasion in all of Middleston's history.

Dr. Murs laughs and makes his way out of the locked office, guiding Louis and his stack of files to
the reception. Louis gasps both in thrill and irritation at the sight of so many reporters standing
outside at the base of the entrance staircase with cameras and vans.

"Will they stay for everything?" Eleanor asks while she sets and sorts the files given to her on the
surface of her lobby desk.

"Yes." Louis sighs and unhooks the blinds shielding the doors. Flashes pick up immediately. "Damn
reporters."

Dr. Murs phones the disloyal bunch of idiotic police officers down in the solitary unit to alert them
of the fact that everyone would like to get this day done as fast as possible. After the Sheriff arrives,
they need only wait twenty short minutes before both inmates are brought up and the doors fly
open.

Officers - of actual responsibility - keep anyone from ascending the staircase. Louis ignores both
brothers as best as he can whilst stepping out after Dr. Murs. He's horrified to hear most questions
being posed to him, then him and the twins once they appear.

"Louis!" One of the female reporters with bright red lips calls him. "Louis, which brother gave you
the mark on your neck?!"

He gasps silently at the question, and in his attempt to turn away from them ends up looking at all
the others prying for his personal information. Harry stood closest to him, with Edward on the other
side. Both had endless smirks, ready to be shown on tomorrow's cover pages.

"Why, petal...-" Harry leans to his side, eyes becoming averted to Louis. "They're not as bright as
they seem, are they?"

Louis, under other circumstances, would have giggled from the apparent amusement of the remark.
Now, his stature is stoic and a little uneasy, however this time it's not because of either twin. All he
gives Harry in response is a quick look and roll of his eye.

"Ignoring me now?" Harry doesn't seem interested in the dozens of eyes watching him. "Petal."

Louis glares at him. Harry chuckles and opts to advance in the boy's direction. Nothing violent is
intended for after his handcuffs are removed he simply pulls Louis towards him.

"I hate being ignored, petal." He doesn't allow Louis to complain about the way he's pressed against
Harry's side, with a firm arm circling his waist and arching his back.

More shouts and calls from both reporters and known associates alike are asking for them. Dr. Murs
is shocked into disbelief and the Sheriff wishes he could do more than clench his fists. Nobody's
allowed to antagonise the twins or offend them, both from moral fear of having someone they loved
hurt with no evidence to get revenge, or being charged themselves under the umbrella of hate
crimes.

"What are you doing?" Louis hisses, trying to pull away without ending up with a sore back
from all the twisting.

"Be still, petal." Came Edward's voice from Harry's other shoulder. "We won't harm you here."

Louis stops his resisting but still removes Harry's hand when it hovers too close to his behind.
"You'll harm me somewhere else?"

"Not in the way you seem to think we will." Harry whispers in his ear, eyes on everyone else to
riddle their minds with jealousy and hatred. "Settle down, petal. Our fun's about to begin."

* * * * *

"What took you so long, Louis?" His mother was waiting at Mikky D's grill for the past half hour.
She looks angry at having to wait so long without company, but makes no other noise of annoyance.
Louis sits in the hard plastic chair, more than a little squirmy by the burn in his thighs and soreness
of his bum.

"You're the only person in this town who doesn't know that answer." He sasses unintentionally.
A quizzical look takes over her features, but she questions him no more. Louis is grateful as he
hides behind his menu that didn't hold enough options to be appetising. His mind wandered back to
the scene outside the Madhouse.

He now had a new date to look forward to, late in the afternoon at seven when the twins showed up
at his door. After they'd released him and people were done regarding him like an alien, this he had
been promised. Louis chewed his lip and had to agree, because Edward had bent down and feigned
giving him a kiss while he whispered threatening words in his reddened ear.

"Let's eat." He shoves all that aside to summon a waitress.

She takes her time walking over to their table, and for the first time Louis' mother knows it isn't her
fault someone is disgusted by their appearance. Louis notes how the waitress by the name of Anne
never looks him in the eye, but carelessly stares at the white gauze around his neck.

"Do you mind?" He finally becomes annoyed enough with her ill manners to point it out. "I'm not a
walking freak show and I pay your salary. It would not kill you to show some courtesy."

Louis' mother is impressed but she let's him fight this battle, as she's always done to the degree of
neglect. Louis hands Anne their menus and doesn't look at her again. The most surprising thing is
when he gets up and walks out.

"Why'd you leave?" She asks when she catches him outside, standing with his hands in his pockets.
"Never offend the person handling your food, mother." He brushes his fringe out of his eyes. "I gave
her a piece of my mind and have no intention of staying here to hear hers."

"Where do we go then?"

Louis thinks about all the restaurants he's been to in Middleston. The tiny diners, local greasy pubs
and other wonderful establishments. Niall will still be on duty at his job so he decides on that.
They drive the two minutes of distance it takes to get there, and Louis jumps down from his too
high vehicle and waits for his mother on the sidewalk, giving her a small but forced smile before
going in. He holds the door open and purposely leads them to Niall's section.

Their booth is perfectly ideal. It's tucked away in a big corner with the largest couch to sit on around
a table. Niall sees them come in, and leaves his conversation with a flirting investigator to happen
by them. Not many customers are in at this very late lunch hour anyway.

"Hey, you two." Niall intentionally smirks broadly at his best friend and his mother. "What can I get
ya?"

"Burgers and your greasiest fries please." Louis says immediately, no menu needed.

"Ginger ale or real alcohol this time?"

"Water." Louis takes Niall notepad for orders and writes it down himself, a tradition they've
developed.

Louis' mom orders what she wants and turns back to her son after Niall meanders towards the
kitchen. "I know I should probably know this but....why do you keep going back?"

"Back?" Louis raises an eyebrow. Then he figures it out. "Oh."

"Yeah." She crosses her legs under the table. "So why?"

"Because I have no need to go anywhere else." He says simply.

She doesn't need to know that if he doesn't go back, doesn't give in to every whim of the most
despicable people in town, she'll have her body ripped apart. The image, the possibility, of
such a thing happening to anyone he knows is enough to make him sick.

Their conversation surprisingly never runs dry. Louis doesn't see their shredded relationship being
repaired by a simple lunch date of burgers and chicken fillets, but it's enough for now. After eating
Louis drives his mom to the hotel she's staying in.

"If you need me, call me." He tells her after she's gotten out.

"I will." She smiles, the awkward tension lingering above their communication.

Nobody knows of his plans for later - that's now two hours away - and he intends to keep it that
way. When he gets home, exhausted and hungry, he spends half of that time eating a big meal. He
knows not where the twins intend to take him, but he'd like to be prepared for anything.

He showers for a very long amount of unknown time, scrubbing his body until it's pink from heat
and sensitivity. He hates that he's already hairless, which now takes away another reason to occupy
himself. His outfit choice is nothing simple or intricate: black jeans, an unattractive but warm lime
green knit sweater and black shoes. His hair is made to be the ideal medium between untidy and
styled.

His doorbell rings twenty minutes before seven and Louis frowns, not comprehending why they'd
be so early.

"Coming!" He's shouting it out before he can stop himself and cringe.

His sweaty palms are rubbed off on his pants. His mind is racing a million miles a second, with
twice as many thoughts. He begins to fear the first that could come to pass from tonight. How will it
start? Will it come to an end? How will that come to be?

He walks to the door with his phone in his hand, slipping into his front pocket. The latch comes
loose and Louis stills in surprise at the face behind the door.

"Anthony?"

The man he met the day before who had a bigger heart than anyone Louis' ever known, stands there
with a sheepish smile and single rose. Louis tries his best to not stare at it dumbly.

"Hello to you too." Is his response. "You cannot tell me you've forgotten our date when you're
already dressed."

Shit! "Anthony-"

"I'm going to have to cut this short, petal." After moving aside at the intrusion of a third voice, both
Anthony and Louis get to see Edward leaning against the back wall with a dozen white roses.

"Excuse me?" Anthony isn't local and he doesn't recognise the face of a psycho when he sees one.

Louis' heart turns into an iron hot drum. If Edward knows what Harry promised, Anthony simply
being here puts him in grave danger. He has to do something. Anthony seems to lose his well tanned
complexion at the sight of Edward's teeth when the latter smirks.

"Shall we go now, petal?" Edward steps forward, shouldering past Anthony and invading Louis'
personal space.

Louis has to make a decision that's going to end in either death or heartbreak. He's far more
prepared for the latter, and gives Anthony a terribly apologetic smile. He begs the man to not
question this yet.

"Come in for a second." Louis grabs Edward's forearm with a trembling hand and yanks him
forward.

The taller and broader individual gives way only when Louis tugs a second time. He slams the door
shut in Anthony's confused, torn face.

"Petal, I'm disappointed." Edward sets the roses down and his eyes bore into Louis'.

They stand so close together, their bodies a sliver's distance apart. Louis' unafraid in the mask of
worry. He studies Edward's unaffected composure, and how he doesn't do anything more than hold
onto Louis' hips. It's an exceptionally tight grip that is bound to leave bruises.

"Don't tell Harry." Louis tells him, watching ardently as his expression changes to one of
amusement. "Edward, please."

"My brother frightens you." Edward steps around Louis and pries the small hands off his suit jacket.
"He'll be pleased to hear that."

"Edward-"

Edward turns around, his side against the kitchen counter and eyes darkening from the wheels of
inner evil. "You seem to have this backwards, petal. You have no control over what I do."

"Please." Louis grovels, his desperation igniting the spark of his teary blue eyes. "You can't hurt
him."

"Can't help you, darlin'. Let's just hope you make my brother happy enough tonight to forget about
it."

* * * * *

The music is an intoxicating agent all on its own. There's surely alcohol in Louis' veins but it's on
minimal levels, although all rational thought has flown out the window. Letting go has never been
so easy.

After all getting drinks under Harry's credit card, they'd found a corner to sit behind the flimsy
curtain of booths. The strobe lights were scattered and colourful, adding to the beautiful atmosphere
of a club with sophisticated people. The wooden dance floor was not hazardous and people danced
like no one else was around.

The air was thick. The mood was electric. The prices were too high and the shouting were all
products of ecstasy.

Louis' not sure exactly when he got around to dancing in the eye of the mosh pit of people. It was
somewhere between trying to escape the groping of his body and also trying not to escape because
he had no idea where the door was. The former complaint had no improvement made unto it,
considering there were hands on him now to keep him close.

Edward was not fond of dancing on any level besides dignified dancing, this Louis had learned
upon drunkenly asking. Yeah, he vows to never consume alcohol ever again.

Harry was not one for dignity when it came to his petal. He ensnared the boy's slim hips in the web
of his arms and kept their bodies pressed together in sinful proximity. He dropped his lips to Louis'
neck and tasted every scent, every detail he could.

Neither of them knew the song that was playing, but Louis is fairly certain it's a remix. He had no
choice but to hold Harry's arm that stuck to his tummy, or risk falling forward. When his head felt
too heavy, he'd lean back against Harry and feel the heat of bare skin on him.

"You're a true temptation when you move, petal." Harry's wet lips drag across the spot below Louis'
ear, making him shiver and close his eyes.

"Thanks." Louis smiled in his dreamy state, imagining Harry wasn't a threat to his sanity.

Harry's hand slipped lower and finally under. Louis' nails dug deep into the man's skin when he felt
a bare hand, calloused and not gentle, slip under his sweater. The hand thumbed over the softness of
his tummy, and the owner's mouth began a path down the side of his throat. Louis' neck had to
stretch to the side, and instead of pain it made his chest burn with pleasure. Damn alcohol.

"Move for me, petal." He whispered deeply, darkly and warmly like honey on Louis' skin.
Louis tries his best and does. He huffs when it's near impossible to move when Harry's arms have
him caged. He tries adjusting the grip but it's futile for the man just tightens up and touches more of
Louis' bare skin under his top.

With the space so dark, Louis hardly sees more than the glint of Harry's eyes when he turns his
head. Harry catches him looking and lowers his lips to Louis'.

They don't touch, the mint of Harry's lips grazing the tangy flavour on Louis'. "Would you like a
little motivation?"

As he asked, his hand was raised to curl around Louis' neck. His thumb rubbed over Louis' pulse
point with a little more pressure than the rest of his hand. He won't admit that the squeeze
made him a little hotter. Damn bloody alcohol.

"Look at all these people watching you, petal." Harry uses his incredibly well managed grip on
Louis to angle his vision.

Louis hadn't noticed so many watching, staring. They look away when he finds them but they've
been spying for who knows how long. It makes him uncomfortable.

"They're all watching you be a slutty little petal for me." Harry's poisoned words were no better
than what Louis' saying to his bruised ego. "Let's not give them a show, darlin'. You're my petal,
aren't you princess?"

Louis' mind goes blissfully blank and oh God he hates himself so much.
Without knowing how he got there, Louis finds his back being torn up by a cold alley brick wall
while Harry fucked into him with animalistic thrusts. They were rough and harsh, slamming into his
special spot or sliding against it all with excellent precision.

"Louder, petal." Harry's hand crept up the plane of Louis' neck and his fingers pulled on the boy's
lips.

He got past the barrier when Louis gasped from a particularly wild thrust and Harry's fingers found
themselves blocking some of Louis' air intake. The latter choked at the salty taste of skin but kept
the tears stinging his eyes at bay.

His body jerked and head weighed heavy. He held on tightly, hanging off the man's shoulders while
his body was rocked mindlessly.

His cries filled the dark alley, when Louis realised the safest place to be was in the arms of a
monster. "Har- Harry!"

Harry growled and Louis' head hit the wall. His hips slammed into Louis', between his quivering
thighs and hard bone on soft skin. "Careful now, my pet."

Louis' whole body began to shake. He couldn't control the erotic twitches running mad throughout
his body, lacing his veins with something light and alluring.

Bloody alcohol.

"Not my name." Harry had to take advantage of the fact that Louis was communicating during sex.
"You won't call me by my name."

This astonished Louis. He had no idea what this new development would mean. He squirmed and
began to feel the fire inside his libido make his body restless, like embers beneath his skin.

"What-" Louis choked on his own intake of air. He arches his back to push off the wall but Harry
applies pressure to his abdomen and forces him back. "Ah!"

Harry held Louis' jaw in a powerful grip. His eyes, void of compassion and onyx black with little
sparkle, dug deep to burrow a home for his demons in Louis' heart and soul.

"Try again." Harry was made out to sound more lethal than he meant. When Louis didn't respond
because of the undying, unrelenting pressure on his hidden sweet spot, Harry grinded harshly. "Try
again."

Louis sputters and fears that he's losing the thrum of reassuring alcohol in his veins. He would hate
to see that go when that's all that's keeping him mobile.

"Would you like a hint?" Harry was unfairly composed during this time, and he took the effort to
clasp the side of Louis' face and press beneath his cheekbone. "Speak up, petal."

Harry's harsh appeal tore through Louis' arousal like daggers. He snuck his hand between them and
yanked, making Louis scream from a burst of pleasure and pain. "Yes!"

"The magic word?"

Louis stares directly into the fire that demons dance around in Harry's eyes. "Yes please."

Taking great pleasure in knowing and witnessing how absolutely wrecked his darlin' is, Harry
started to thrust again. He held the wall on either side of Louis' head and made his thrusts as brutal
as his intentions.

Alleys have long since become hideouts for people who were in public and in too much need for
another body to lessen their lust with. As much as the possibility of others hearing and/or seeing
them was present, the uncaring persona existing in Harry together with Louis' muddled focus left
them not too concerned.

"It starts with a D." He trails his finger down Louis' clavicle. "Then an A and another D....-"
Slipping underneath the layer of clothing, Harry tweaks one of Louis' sensitive nipples. "Take a
guess, darlin'."

Louis gets it. "Daddy."

"Louder."

"Da-Daddy!" He shouts it from the top of his lungs, unable to hone in his voice and speak
softly.

Harry tangles his fingers in Louis' hair and tugs. "Good boy. You're going to be good for me." Harry
lowered his mouth to the lobe of Louis' ear, closing in on the boy to hide him and keep him
prisoner. "Aren't you, darlin'?

Louis screams and scratches, his lip and skin being bitten where the white bandage didn't cover. He
made very loud, very high-pitched 'uh' sounds. He's not sure why he's not resisting all this, but he
pushes that away too because the pounding he's getting is pretty damn amazing.

He blames the alcohol for shutting everything out and shedding a warm light on Harry. His hands
hold onto the man on their own accord and his thighs jerk from the fluidity of Harry's thrusts. The
man's large hands grip the flesh of his thighs, exposing more of him in the darkness of a dingy
alleyway.

Louis' eyes shut forever and his mouth becomes agape. Harry cares not about kissing him, and his
hips begin to pivot in a mad attempt at being sheathed in the warmth and sweetness that was his
petal. He was close to his climax when he slid in once and stayed there, nailing Louis' body to his
and rounding his hips. Cut off breathless noises came from Louis, his abused prostrate protesting
but craving the burn of Harry milking it for pleasure.

Spasming from white pleasure, Louis comes all over his bare front and clenches down so hard on
Harry that he groans when the man moves just slightly. He curses under his breath and feels warmth
seep into his body, into his most private area when Harry orgasms over his bare thighs.

"Mm, petal." Harry drops Louis' legs so he's standing on his own two feet. "I bet your voice is raw."
Louis wants to bring up the fact that it's not just his voice that's raw. He sags against the wall
after putting a stray tissue to use instead after pulling his jeans back up, buttoning just one metal tab
instead of all. He's too exhausted with the energy reserves he had pre-alcohol consumption than
now. Definitely.

"We're going back inside." Harry tells him, sweet as custard and cold as ice. He closes in on Louis'
space when the back exit opens for a few workers to get off their shift, either shielding or merely
selfishly hiding Louis from them. "But first.....-"

Harry stood a few inches taller than Louis and he had to lean at an angle to be close enough. Louis
peered right back up at him, eyes wide and wet. He chose not to say anything, even when Harry
traced his lips with a rough fingertip and parted his lips on purpose.

Louis' eyes fluttered and closed, shutting the cold air out before they flew open again at the feel of a
tongue sliding against his own and lips sealing over his mouth. He made a very disgruntled sound
and was shoved back into the wall for it.

Harry kept his hips pinned to the wall, his fingernails raking up the boy's thigh and his waist to
leave scratches behind. He groaned into Louis' mouth at the taste of sweet alcohol. His arm
wrapped around Louis' neck and kept the boy on his toes, his own neck tilted forward.

"You better get all your kissing done now, petal." He hardly drew back to speak against Louis' lips.

"My brother doesn't kiss anyone."

Louis positively won't think to confess that Edward and he did in fact share in a kiss. It was
a risky one, he'll admit.

It's almost like the boy doesn't even hear what Harry said. Louis doesn't know why he let's himself
be treated this way, but maybe the alcohol will help him get some answers. "Why'd you pick me?"

The soft voice of question rang in Harry's head as he released Louis and stepped back. "Don't ask
me that."

Louis frowned, greatly confused. "Why not?"

Harry let rip an inhuman sound that should be coming from a creature that's been cornered and
threatened. It scares Louis enough to have him back down and nearly trip on his venture towards the
wall. Harry likes this response as it puts him back on top, and he takes a stride forward.

"Don't ever ask me that." Harry's eyes could slice stone with how sharp they were. "In fact, don't
ask me anything if it doesn't have the word Daddy attached to it."

To a psychologist, this should be a gold mine of information. There's so much to know, to learn
about the Styles twins when all they wanted was to hide and push everyone away. Louis had two
motives and he didn't know which one was more convincing.

He could stick around for the livelihood of his friends and family, or do it just because they've
gotten him stuck in a mud pile of secrets.

"Back inside, petal. Move." Harry grabs Louis' wrist and pulls him along the path back indoors.
The rain has picked up once again and Louis narrowly avoids having the tail of his sweater soaked
when Harry pulls him in, one fluid motion that could dislocate his wrist but ends up pressing their
chests together.

Louis is caught off guard by this circumstance. The club lights and charged environment, people
bumping into them and several bodies passing by them. The music is possibly twice as loud now
that Louis' experienced a muted version from without.

Harry frowns at Louis' shy stance, pressed up against him for no other reason than there's no space
to move in here. Louis catches him staring and looks away, his skin turning neon blue and
thin bottom lip disappearing as he sucked it between his teeth.

"Go find Edward, petal." Harry instructs him with his gaze flickering from person to person with a
devil's threat in his eye.

As much as Louis dislikes being held by someone like Harry, he'd much rather not be thrust into a
crowd of sweaty strangers with more vivid fantasies.

"Go on." Harry pats Louis just above the swell of his bum. "No one's going to bother you when you
belong to us, darlin'."

Louis' expression winds up with rolling eyes and his body pulling away from Harry's. He gets
sucked into the crowd that's separating their pairing from the bar counter where Edward was silently
keeping to his thoughts. Everyone who breezed past glanced, which turned into staring, then openly
gawked before gossiping to their friends about how 'The Edward Styles' was being all alone.

Louis took a while after wading through a sea of bodies, to observe this. He felt pity well in his gut
when groups of people would walk by like Edward - with his back turned of course - was a freak
show. He watches a trio of girls giggle in mocking as they pass by, before deciding it's enough
cruelty.

He believes in rehab because that's his job, and in the midst of his fresh start Edward didn't deserve
this. That, he figures, is his third motive.

"They're looking at you." Louis tries not to limp over to the seat next to Edward, and rather
gracefully waddles over.

Edward straightens his back, squares his shoulders and gives Louis a once over. It's magical how
they manage to get their eyes to be so black, the greatest ever contrast to the paper whiteness of
their skin. He hasn't had much to drink considering Louis last saw him with the glass of Bourbon
brimming, though now it's hardly skimming the rocks. He kept his lips sealed and expression
unreadable.

He turned back around to watch the cabinet of alcoholic beverages, removing Louis' feeling of
dejection by speaking up. "There have been three bartenders behind this counter in the past thirty
minutes. One was more concerned about his expensive course textbooks to notice that his sixth
customer gave him a tip big enough to cover those. The current female one is hornier than a cat in
heat." Edward turns his attention back to Louis after that speech. "Do you really think I didn't notice
the herds of neanderthals watching me?"

And well, Louis didn't mean to need to look at the ground to hide his smile. Damn alcohol, he
swears it. "How much doesn't it bother you?"

"Are you asking as my psychologist or as my petal?" Edward grabs Louis' arm to the sound of a
sudden squeak and hauls him onto his lap. The lift is higher off the ground for Louis but there's no
way down unless he hops over Edward.

"Well-" Louis grips the glass counter top with moving objects beneath the heavy sheet. "-I'm no
longer on duty."

He gulps when he feels a pair of lips on his shoulder, remembering Edward's words from earlier.
He's sat on his lap when he wanted to be next to him. He can't squirm if he starts to slip, which he
inevitably does. Edward takes it in his stride and wraps his arm around the boy's waist, drawing him
back against him slowly.

"Well, petal-" Edward drums his fingers in a one-two-three rhythm on the boy's waist. "-I
don't give a flying fuck."

Louis giggles. He didn't mean to and when he checks himself, Edward's observing him like a
strange artefact. Louis looks away first and Edward squeezes his hip.

"I've decided something." Louis snaps back to look in Edward's direction. Green lights add a
haunting appeal to the sharpness of Edward's teeth, his eyes now officially as black as coal.
"What?" Louis entertains his statement, stiff as a lamp post in the man's lap.

Edward catches the eye of several people walking by, no longer bothering with being discreet as
they take turns whispering about the unfortunate boy in the town psychopath's lap. Louis doesn't
care for them and the way they unnerve Edward doesn't show.

"Remember when I told you so....confidently that you'd crave what I had to give some day?"
Edward never acts mindlessly, and the half-moon shapes he's drawing on the counter top next to
hand must have significance.

Louis remembers that day as crystal clear as LED. He nods stiffly and bravely looks up into
Edward's eyes. "Y-Yes."

"No need to be frightened, petal." Edward's face is suddenly buried in Louis' neck away from the
damaged tissue area. "Don't you have faith in your mentor's rehabilitation techniques?"

Louis runs his hand through Edward's hair and he gets enough scowls, glares and wide eyes from
the general public for it. He pulls Edward out of his neck-shoulder junction. He plays the game on
their court by resting his forehead with a painful thump against Edward's.

"After taking all our encounters into consideration, you'll have to forgive me for doubting them."
He wished that whispering so lowly wasn't sufficient for Edward to hear him.

Edward's dimples resurface after their aestivation period. He beams and it's a God awfully terrifying
sight, with deadly sharp teeth behind perfectly plump lips. The gum at the apex of Edward's teeth
were redder than the rest, and made to look black along with his eyes and lips in the club tonight.
His pearly white teeth flashed green, blue then red.

Louis' slightly drunken mind takes him back to his teenage years when he watched Sinbad
with Niall and the cartoon sirens had exactly the same dental structure.

"As I was saying-" Edward has to keep a leg propped up on the bar stool's thin steel bar so Louis
doesn't slip off him. "-what I promised then I will be upholding now."

Louis shifts his eyes back to Edward from where a brunette and her red-haired friend were watching
them with open expression of irritation. Is this a regular thing for the brothers?

"Meaning?" He asks.

"I won't be touching you until you beg me to."

Louis blinks at him like he's not real, then raises his eyebrow at the contact they have now.
"Without clothing, petal." He elaborates, drowning the last of his beverage.

"Why?" Louis is plenty grateful for this understanding but there's also the nag of an average
person in his conscience wondering why.

Edward chuckles, revealing a peek of a canine as he summons the horny bartender and whispers
'Watch this' in Louis' ear. The boy has a hard time obeying but he pretend to be highly occupied by
what he has deduced to be fish beneath the counter swimming in illuminated water.

"Hello, love." Edward's accent thickens as he addresses the bartender with three popped buttons on
her blouse and cleavage that's spilling out into the cup she's holding. "Can you fill this up for me?"

Louis is strictly not biting his lip to keep his giggle contained because that's rude. He should
probably be worried about the bartender getting more than she bargained for but Edward can't
exactly try anything with another person on his lap.

"Sure thing, doll." She winks and walks away with an extra sashay of her hips.

When she's gone, Louis looks up. "Your point being?"

Edward laughs and slides off his chair, taking Louis with him and leading him towards where
everyone was adjusting their heartbeats to the tracks of the DJ.

"Your drink?" Louis looks back at the empty seat they've abandoned when he's pulled against a hard
chest.

"Shh." Edward circles his waist with one arm and his lips were mouthing their way across Louis'
shoulder.

Louis watches the bartender fuss about the drink she's making, go to give it to where she thought
Edward would be and frown to herself before consuming it herself. Louis imagines she must be a
very insecure person.

"I thought you didn't dance." Louis catches people moving away from them, making not nice faces
as they did.

"Maybe you could teach me."

Edward's hand slid all the way down but skipped Louis' behind and glided over to his opposite hip.
With that grip, he spins Louis around harshly until they're back-to-chest and Louis is faced with a
mirror image of Edward.

"Missed me?" Harry smirks, a formidable icon in this hazy atmosphere as he sandwiches Louis in.
"He didn't." Edward answers for Louis.

Harry looks at his brother in dismay but doesn't comment. He hopefully gets his revenge by
swooping down and smashing his lips against Louis', taking full advantage of the fact that he has no
reservations about kissing the pretty boy. He breathes heavily through his nose and secures one side
of Louis' face, licking into the boy's mouth.

"If you're done being childish." Edward saves Louis from not being able to inhale air when he pulls
him back.

Harry just licks his lips and winks when he sees Louis biting his own. Louis frowns and turns to his
left, where - big surprise - people are staring with gaping jaws.

"Petal." Edward barks. "If you give them your attention one more time-"

"-I'll have to take you to the alley again." Harry finished for him. Maybe they forgave each other's
shortcomings that quickly all the time.

"Is it a regular thing?" Louis asks instead of listening to their instruction, tasting alcohol that he
hasn't drunk in his mouth. "Them staring at you?"

"Yes." Edward answers.

"Doesn't it-"

"It doesn't matter, petal." Harry growls, Edward's arm going rigid around Louis. "They can't act on
it so pay them no mind."

It takes a small nudge of Harry's hand on Louis' behind to get him to turn away. When the song
changes, Louis watches Harry go to bar and return with small glasses of what he's certain is not
water. He's fed two of the five before he can protest, burning his throat on the way down.

The next thing he knows is his body is being moved for him, swayed left and right between two
bigger bodies that hold him against them. The night's not going to get any better if he doesn't try to
enjoy himself so his hands move on their own accord, one clasping the back of Harry's neck and the
other getting in a grip with Edward's.

Music only filters into their private bubble. Harry discarded the glasses a long time ago and would
bury his identity in Louis' neck before grinding forward. Louis would always be breathless by the
end of it. Edward stuck to roaming Louis' thighs, touching and squeezing through the fabric of his
jeans while moving the way Louis did.

It just started to get a little better for Louis when something cold and wet spilled down his side,
effectively wetting all that he's wearing with the stench of sweetened alcohol. Harry took a step
back, his glare evidently depicting his displeasure, and Edward groaned as he examined the
damage.

The club stopped for a reaction.

"I'm fine." Louis tells Edward, pulling away when the latter kept on frowning at the large stain
down his waist.

The person responsible stood there looking apologetic. Louis recognised her as one of the girls from
the giggling bunch who walked past Edward at least three or four times.

Harry spoke first, a roar leaving his throat instead of a normal voice. "Why'd you do that?"

It's a simple enough question but the culprit in a skimpy black dress doesn't seem to be expecting
that. Her boyfriend from not too far away decides to step in anyway.

"Just back off, psycho." He spat drunkenly, reeking of booze and cheap perfume. His beach blond
hair swept across his forehead, above the eyes he used to scan Edward then Louis.

Edward pulls away from Louis to step around and ahead of him, fucking pissed off his rationale that
someone would insult his brother for no reason. Louis holds him back and Edward could
absentmindedly have snapped his wrist, against his nature, when pushing the boy off him.

"Stop please." Louis tugged on his arm, pleading to keep any violence at bay. "Don't do this
tonight."

Harry looked back at Louis and gave him a prize-winning smirk. "They asked for it, petal."

Chapter Text

"Stop please." Louis tugged on his arm, pleading to keep any violence at bay. "Not
tonight."

Harry looked back at Louis and gave him a prize-winning smirk. "They asked for it, petal."

*LOUIS' POV*

The bed I wake up huddled into is my own and I'm naked down to my tight little black boxers. My
head was heavy and thumping along to an external beat that was crushing my skull bit my bit. I
groaned and covered my head with one of my three pillows, hoping to block out any noise from
worsening my mild hangover.

My body was sore and not in any pleasurable way. I felt like every muscle in my body was strained
and stretched like butter too thinly over the driest toast ever. My throat was powdery dry and I didn't
dare speak to test my voice. The events of last night come flooding back to me in a hurry to make
me nauseous, except no alcohol comes up and I'm left with a disgusting taste in my mouth.

"They asked for it, petal." Harry had given me his most dazzling smirk, probably one that
belonged on magazine covers.

I remember trying to stop him by gripping his right wrist, but he swung with the left. It landed
on the obnoxious teenager's jaw with a fierce enough force to send him stumbling back. His jaw had
to be dislocated with the amount of blood gushing over his lips, black in the nightclub's awful
lighting setup.

I'd pleaded with them - both of them - to put an end to this because I was perfectly alright.
Edward had pulled me aside and pressed me against a wall. I still feel that cold harshness of his
eyes boring into my softest core, his fingers digging like thorns into my hip and thigh. Then he
grabbed the girl by her hair.

"Settle down, pup." He had told me, the burn of his voice like lava to my sensitive nerves. "He's
putting on a show just for you."

Now, I felt like I'd taken a clenched fist to the inside of my own skull. I cringed at all the
happenings of the previous night, wisely choosing to push them aside for the short time it takes me
to get myself ready for a new day. The smell of synthetic over-sweet citrus is infecting my nasal
passages and putting me close to a gagging mishap.

I had to work today on this fine Wednesday but I'd be a lot late considering I received official
permission to wait for Liam. Another thing I groan and fall back onto the sheets about.
When I toss my covers back, the crinkling of something stiff and papery catches my eye. I fold my
legs under me as I sit up and grab the folded piece of paper with - why couldn't I predict this - a rose
petal from the bunch I got yesterday placed atop the flap.

What the Hell is that orange smell?

The writing is as eloquent as the speaker, cursive script from margin to margin in deep black ink.

Petal,

We'll be seeing you again on your last day of work this week. Pack a bag for the weekend and
dress formally. Your friend, Anthony, is safe until such time as you should disobey this letter.

Another groan of frustration. I scream into my pillow with my face smashed painlessly into it,
clutching at the sides viciously. The letter wasn't even signed so I don't know which brother wrote
it, though I'm sure they both contributed to the threat behind it.

More of last night comes back to me as flashing video images. I decide to stay in bed and lament a
little longer, just as bare feet wander across the hallway to the bathroom. Niall's awake and living
blissfully ignorant. I want to rewind time to two years ago when I chose the place of my residency,
put myself in Seattle or London instead.

When Harry grabbed her, the girl who purposely spilt her drink on me choked and stumbled. It
was the worst thing I've ever witnessed - besides my own nightmarish encounters with the twins.
Harry's hand was around her throat and nobody tried to stop him, nobody helped her.

I didn't want to see what Harry looked like in this beastly condition. Edward kept me as his
prisoner, sandwiched between the wall and his body. I tried stepping aside when he slipped one of
his legs between mine and did nothing else. It was simply a technique to get me to stand still and
stop my squirming.

"Hush now, petal." He spoke at my temple, brushing the other side where my hair was
everywhere. His nimble fingers pushed them back behind my ear and his thumb came to rest on my
cheek.

I didn't listen because I couldn't take my eyes off the scene unfolding behind his back. I didn't
care when I was using his shoulders to lift myself higher and didn't care when he responded by
using both his hands to cup my behind. His chin was tipped over my shoulder, his eyes closed by
the way they don't move against my skin.

Harry turns his attention to the jock on the floor. I'd assumed the poor lad was a jock by his
varsity jacket, speaking wonders of his future at a college far away from this tiny town. It's evident
that he doesn't care about his 'girlfriend' enough to try saving her again. When he sees Harry
holding the girl by the back of her neck, her hair tangled in his grip, he stands away.

The girl looks absolutely horrified as she looks from her worthless friends and her eyes even
land on me for a short moment. I wish I could do something just because she has no idea what's
headed away but the selfish, self-preservation crazy part of me is a hopeful. That part of me hopes
that Harry's found someone else to call petal and darlin'.

I could have cried from kicking-and-screaming fear or malevolent joy when he kisses her.
Niall banging on my - unlocked - bedroom door throws me out of my mind. I scramble to hide the
note and stretch while casually responding with a racing heart. "C-Come in."

"What is this?!" He barges in, bed hair on his head and a small crease on his cheek from his
favourite pillow.

He's holding a bouquet of white roses, only a little wilted at the tips and still wrapped in crinkly
transparent paper. That ever racing heart of mine finally makes a leap onto my tongue.
"Aw, Ni." I crawl to the edge of the bed and take the roses. "Thank you."

"Fuck you, Tomlinson." He kitten glares at me. "Who gave them to you? Did you have a date? Why
was I not informed?"

One who did not inform Niall James Horan of having a date when one has known Niall for over a
year, is writing a death wish. I really should have known better. I'm not smug in the slightest that
this case is a special one and the only reason my best friend is here yelling at me is because I'm the
mouse to two psychotic cats.

"No date, I swear." I lie outright. "Bought 'em for myself."

"Why?" He blinks, unfazed. I fear that he'll see through my act.

"Saw 'em on that old lady's cart. You know the one between third and sixth street? I felt sorry for
her and bought them."

There's no woman on third and sixth street.

"What the Hell were you doing on third and sixth street?" He fires back, crossing his arms.

"Got lost."

"You got lost?"

"Yes."

"In this fuckin' town, you got lost? It's like getting lost in a shoebox."

"It's a very big shoebox." I frown and mumble. I'm beginning to doubt whether there's a third and
sixth street.

Niall loosens up - at last! - and gives my forehead a kiss. "Get up, ya lazy arse. You have work."

He's gone in the next thirty seconds, taking my roses with him. I hadn't expected him to grab them
and a few petals fell onto my lap, making me pick at them until the white contrast to my tanned leg
irritated me. My thoughts were the only escape.

The way Harry kissed her made me grateful. Not that he kissed her and not me, but grateful that
I still had my lips after having them smashed against his so many damn times. The cold, thin and
still choking air didn't last long over every head present. It throttled me long before Edward's hand
came up to cup the back of my head, keeping me against him like he's caging me in.

I figured out why too late for anyone's good.

"Stop! Let me go, Edward!" I started struggling again when there was more than tears flowing
down the girl's face.

Edward held on with a tighter grip, as he had prepared for my resistance before I knew it was
coming. He kept his face buried in my neck, allowing me to stew in agony when I could witness
everything but not help her.

The girl victimised by Harry was sobbing and shoving the man away but God knows Harry is
stronger than the maddest man. He kept his mouth on hers until a small something began to tug on
the corners of his mouth, now stained black by the blood between them. He was biting her.

The streams of tears mixed with blood as the club began to erupt in terror. Everyone wanted out,
to leave but the stampede got nowhere. Harry bit down on the poor girl's upper lip until his teeth
tore through and blood gushed out from the injury.

She could not be helped because nobody was brave enough. I eventually sagged into Edward's
hold, relying on him to hold me up as he did. My horror remained glued to the scene of Harry until
he finally withdrew and spat on the ground.

I don't know what happened to the girl he attacked so animalistically. I feel a sickening headache
coming on everytime I tried to remember details beyond that moment so I stuck to not doing so.
Because of the previous night's pattern of foul events, I've successfully come to the conclusion that
the town was too shit scared of the Styles brothers to act against them. The oldies anyway,
youngsters tended to take several jabs at them which led to them being wheeled away by the fearful
elderly. Now, nobody was going to do a damn thing to them.

The police? I don't remember if they showed up and if people made statements. I don't want to ask
but such an incident can't remain silent. Will everyone keep quiet about it? What about the girl?
If I had to summarise my life up to this moment, I'd have a Hell of a time doing it. I'm casually
stalked/ wooed by two psychopathic twin brothers. I have a job at the asylum that's recorded in
Guinness for the most amount of reversible recoveries. My salary is half of the funds in my bank
account, and the other half comes from a father I haven't seen in eight months. My mother is a crack
whore.

My best friend is a hard worker with a gambling problem, and I've just invited an
investigator from Detroit to come look into the murder of a man that wasn't even my patient.
Yup. I shove that all away in favour of a long, hot shower that leaves every reflective surface misted
over and unable to see through. It's delightful. I scrub my body like I want the skin to peel
off along with the awful, awful memories that clung to it. The essence of someone else was always
sticking to my most private areas and no amount of Protex would erase it.

I slipped on faded navy slacks over my boxer briefs and went nude otherwise, my skin still damp
and the thin fabric got damper at those regions. Walking barefoot all the way down to the kitchen, I
greet Niall who is very engrossed by the works of JJ Abrams. The fridge light comes on as I open
the damn heavy door, scratched my tummy out of habit.

"We got any-" Niall is interrupted by the doorbell while I sniff some suspicious looking éclairs.

My heart stops beating as he goes to answer it, ahead of me when I shout for him not to. The
muscles in my neck are close to spasming as my head snaps in that direction. There's a shriek
followed by a squeal that does not belong to a grown Niall Horan, and I dash out of the kitchen only
to slam into the doorway dry wall as I come to a halt.

The danger is nil and I exhale a long draw of relief. Niall is just wrapped all the way around a very
stunned Liam Payne. The latter is fish-mouthing in confusion, clutching a jar of Nutella very tightly
in his right hand.

"Um." Liam looks to me for some form of help.

I snort. Amateur.

Taking three large strides, I lift the burden of the Nutella jar from Liam the detective and give him a
cheek kiss for it. For a moment I forgot the personal burdens I had, that formed clouds of acid rain
above my head. I can't help but look behind him at the hallway as if expecting one of the twins to
magically appear cackling demonically.

Leaving the door to close after a nudge from my ankle, I jog back to the kitchen and put some
refrigerated flapjacks in the toaster. Nutella flapjack sandwiches for breakfast sounds about right.

"Let go now, Duckling." Liam walks into the kitchen some ten minutes later, Niall utterly glued to
his front.

"Hey there, Lou." He greets with a jerky nod.

"Need some help?" I raise my eyebrows at the situation he's in while I pop four flapjacks in the
toaster.

"Nah. I'm good." Liam manages to get Niall on his own feet.

The blonde immediately turns to me, fire in his bright blue eyes. "You knew he was
coming!"

"Uh- no." I lie lamely. "Who's he?"

Liam sits himself down at the kitchen counter, totally unimpressed after dropping his travel bag on
the floor. I put two medium flapjacks on a random white plate before sliding it to him, then popping
two more after giving Niall the other pair.

"I'm going to dream about you and this Nutella forever." Niall sits a chair away from Liam,
physically contradicting the words spilling from his mouth.

"Considering I polished off your other one-" Liam chuckles at the pained look that takes over Niall's
features. "-I thought I owed you one."

"Wise arse." Niall forks his flapjack into his mouth, chewing and swallowing without the aid of
milk.

When I get my flapjacks out of the toaster, I notice that half the Nutella is consumed already and
I'm left to spoon a large dollop onto my warm breakfast. With a cup of tea in my hand, I excuse
myself and go to my bedroom it's my way of informing Liam that none of the Madhouse case is to
be discussed in front of Niall, and he can come find me when he's ready.

My breakfast is completed and I use my phone to catch up with anything I've missed. The Wi-Fi
seems to be acting up and I restart it, watch a red then healthy green signal light come to life. I
shoot off a text to my mother checking on her, discover messages at the bottom of my inbox from
early May and respond to them now. Most are from my sisters, then there's an email from my father
checking on me. Oh if he only knew.

My father is very Christian Grey minus the sex appeal. He's in control of everything and that's why
my sisters think my mom left him, but I know it's just because she's not willing to pull up her socks.
My dad has a new woman in his life and she's doing just fine not becoming a drug addict and escort.

A knock on my door startles me out of my browsing through my contact list. "C-Come in."

The door creaks open and hesitantly, Liam steps in. Relaxed, I smile and allow him to sit at the edge
of my comfortable bed. He had a black zipped folder in his hand, his muscular stature sitting up
straight and not blocking the object at all. I watch the corners of his leather jacket crinkle and I
cringe.

"What?" He laughs, free of standard and amused by my reaction.

"How did you manage to drive here in a leather jacket?" I ask, sliding off my bed to put my plate on
a table and wash my hands.

"I managed." He shrugs simply. "This is for you."

"Thank you." I accept the offering, immediately unzipping the material pouch to reveal what it
encased so carefully.

"That is-" Liam cracks his knuckles. "-background information on Edmund. It's not much since it's
a developing case but we can add to it as we go along."

I look at him as he speaks, nodding and humming at all the right intervals. "Are you on duty for
this?"

"No." Liam pressed his temples. "I'm supposed to be on vacation."

"You poor thing." I roll my eyes and set the file on my study desk. "I have to get ready to work. Are
you staying in a hotel?"

He happens to be staying at the same hotel as my mother and I offer to lead him there on my drive
to work. After getting dressed in beige three-quarter jeans that allows my ankles to peek out from
the folded cuff with a graphic T-shirt I don't remember buying, I alert Liam that I'm leaving.

"Where will you get lunch?" Niall follows me to the door and I sincerely doubt it's because of me,
and rather due to Liam behind me.

"The place I always do." I answer routinely, my head still heavy and now with two Advil pills in
addition.

"Maybe we could both go?" Liam suggests, looking tired himself. "I'm sure the Madhouse isn't the
ideal place to discuss the case."

"Neither is a diner filled with retirees." I grab my keys and sling the strap of my bag over my
shoulder. "We'll discuss it at home."

Liam gets into the parking lot of his hotel safely enough, and he calls me to alert me of the fact that
he'll drop by the Madhouse after he's had a long enough nap.

"That okay?" He checks whether his plans have the go-ahead.

The sight revealed to me from behind one of the town's oldest trees where I always park my car,
gets me to hurry this conversation along. "Yeah. 'kay. I'll talk to you later."

"Bye-" I rudely hang up before he can say anything else.

There are two tactics for the situation I'm in. I could simple ignore the glossy black Range Rover on
my left outside of which stood a man in a terribly grey trench coat. The other option? I can
acknowledge him and the car. I wish I wasn't such a coward.

I make a dire effort to park two spots away but bloody Reverend James gets there before I do. Part
of my snarling subconscious thinks it's because he knows I'm not baptised. He still smiles and
waves when I drive past him, on to making a circle before coming back.

The gaping parking spot is still there when I round the stone corner again and I'm forced to fill it. I
thank my father for tinting my windows because to my immediate right is none other than the
individual I'd like to avoid completely for the rest of my life please.

"You're undoubtedly a sinful allurement when you're trying to avoid me." Edward grabs my elbow a
little too briskly and draws me back between our cars when I try speedily walking away. "Makes the
catch all that more delicious."

I glare at him although his eyes are hidden behind mirrored Ray Bans. It just so happens that today
is one of the very few sunny days in Middleston. I'd like to hate on this lunatic and his
sociopathic brother for disabling me from appreciating the phenomenon because I'm the eye of a
very cruel whirlpool. All the burdens they've thrown onto my shoulders makes me less and less
content.

"I thought you'd be happy to see me, petal." Edward leans back against his monster of a car and I
stand against my own.

"Pray do tell me why you thought that." I snap, keeping from rubbing the damp skin of my
forehead.

Edward laughs, loud and frightening. It doesn't scare me even if the Sisters walking on the
pavement from the admin building around back jump out of their robes.

"You're not making my life easy either, petal." He rakes a hand with five bony by perfectly long
fingers through his starch white hair. "Harry knows you called a friend from Detroit."

Shit! I stare in horror at the twin in front of me, falling back against my vehicle with a
deflated slouch. "How?"

"Can't tell you that, darlin'." He crosses his arms over his chest, the sleeves of his coat - why is he
even wearing that? - strain around his biceps. "He's going to be plenty angry at me too."

"Then why'd you come here?" I am seriously considering living under that rock everyone talks
about.

"To try and save you." Edward tilts his head to the side, utterly insane and peering at me from
behind his sunglasses like I'm no different.

I scoff and try not to choke on the bile rising in my throat, full of rage and worsening my headache
along with it. "Save me?! You and your brother-"

Edward's sunglasses lift onto the crown of his head, his eyes narrowing on me. "Tread carefully,
petal."

"You and your brother have done nothing but muck up my life!" I exclaim, which I probably
shouldn't have done because this man was not living in the Madhouse for nothing.

I seemed to have pushed a line seemingly by the way Edward's jaw tightens explicitly, allowing the
flex of the bone and clean shaven skin over it to shift. "You failed to tread carefully, Louis."

Another moment passes before my back is hitting the metal railing of my car door and my wrists
find themselves pinned together at my tummy. Edward's eyes bore like atomic bombs into my own,
scorching like the flame of the phoenix.

"You are-"

*NARRATOR'S POV*

The crunching of boots on gravel gets Edward to pause whatever threat or otherwise statement he
was about to make. Louis looks over his shoulder at the approaching person in a halfway-done
white silk shirt and skin-tight jeans. The wind is supplying enough breeze to cause a flapping
motion in the fabric of such an expensive shirt.

"You do this to him on purpose." Harry starts, squeezing Edward's shoulder so his brother backed
up.

Edward moved so entirely away that he kicked stones at the tyre of their jet black vehicle. He
struggled with his anger already and with Louis not adhering to his warning about being verbally
cautious, he doubts he can hold on much longer.

"Do what?" He hears Louis ask Harry, either uncharactistically ignorant or pretending.
Harry's smirk with a thousand different meanings and still the ability to make a blissfully naïve
individual weak at the knees, will forever unparalleled. He takes a chance and dips down low
enough attack the thin purse of Louis' lips. It's become quite the obsession with him, Harry's need to
physically root themselves together so it became abundantly clear to all competitors that this beauty
will lay in his bed at night.

By choice or not, is not of importance.

His lips slide imperfectly against Louis' because the boy tries to turn away but Harry secures the left
side of his face. The kiss is a little sloppy and Harry might be pushing Louis too hard against the
car's exterior, but the intrusion of a tongue in his mouth gets Louis to focus his irritation on
something else.

"I expected a better greeting." Harry says unhappily, clasping Louis' neck in a steel hold.

"I'm sorry." Louis says sarcastically, skipping the roll of his futuristic eyes.

"Are you?"

Louis screws his jaw up painfully. He catches a glimpse of Edward completely avoiding their scene
as he stood by the hood of the SUV.

"Answer your Daddy, petal." While Edward's stare felt like resting in a fire' eye, Harry made you
ice cold in the deepest part of your body. It was paralysing. "Petal."

"I am." Louis says before he can stop his unfiltered mind.

Harry took the final step that put his leg between both of Louis'. "This concept is difficult for you,
petal. Who are you speaking to?"

The curtain in the building on Louis' left moves again. More people are probably gawking at the
scene unfolding outside, wondering and speculating like the inquisitive members of society they
are. Louis is also bothered about Liam showing up after him to carry out his investigation.

"Daddy." Louis wants to speed things along. He creases the folds of Harry's shirt when he hold onto
them, surprising both brothers with his willingness.

Harry makes a slight humming noise. Edward turns in time to frown in confusion at Louis and his
overly affectionate brother. The short circuit that is Harry's demented psyche allows him a small
fantasy where Louis has finally come over to his side. He nuzzles Louis' neck and suckles at the
tiniest gasp that comes as a result.

"Come, petal." He suddenly backs away and yanks Louis forward with him. "Get in."

"I have work-" Louis starts to say and Edward slamming his clenched fist on the hood of the Rover
gets him to stop abruptly.

Harry gives his older brother a disapproving look that questions why he would sabotage the
progress they've made. Edward doesn't even look at either of them when he made his way around
the front of the vehicle and back into the driver's seat. He was fuming and it wasn't hard to see.
Louis wanted to know why.

"Okay." He found himself agreeing for the sake of learning why Edward suddenly objects to the
behaviour he's been wanting all along, and for the sake of the approaching red Mustang that belongs
to Liam.

Louis is in the back seat and when the doors don't lock, he allows himself the tiny possibility that if
things go downhill he can jump out. The unfortunate truth of that leading to death or severe injury
doesn't dawn on him just yet.

The interior of the Range Rover is everything the car magazines make it out to be. Louis doesn't
puzzle for long over how the brothers have the funds to source such luxuries of theirs. The seats are
high off the carpeted floors and Louis has to tip his feet so his shoes touch the ground. The windows
are perfectly tinted from the outside but from within he can see everything he needs to.

Edward speaks zero words to him as Harry gets in, smug little bastard. He turns his knuckles to an
unhealthy white shade as he pulls out of the spot in reverse, a smooth ride despite the gravel
beneath them. Louis only begins to doubt himself when Liam drives right by and doesn't spend
more than a beat studying their presence.

"Where are we going?" He has to ask. There's an unsettled air about the car but Louis doesn't feel
threatened by it, his gut instinct failing to flare up.

"Edward?" Harry calls his brother to answer the question.

Sparing a glance at the rear-view mirror, Edward shoots Louis an indecipherable look before
turning back to the road. Louis doesn't know what to make of it and he chews his lip in agitation.
"What's wrong?" Harry turns in his seat - he didn't put his seatbelt on - to face his brooding sibling.

"Edward."

Louis didn't like where this could be going. His eyes snapped from brother to brother in concern.

"Nothing." It was barely audible for either party on the listening end.

"You're moody again." Harry points out, all innocent and child-like.

He even gets Edward to pry his eyes off the road and for his murderous stare to loosen up at the
worry of his best friend and brother. Astonishing as it was to Louis, he's a little concerned about
Harry's ability to change his mood so suddenly. He's seen it at the Madhouse and now here it is
again.

"Edward-"

Thankfully by this point they'd arrived at the destination they intended and Edward gets out before
answering. Harry is left with a pissed off grind of his jaw and frustrated curl of his fingers against
the leather seat. Louis hates Edward for leaving him here with Harry.

"He's pissed off about you." Harry fills the silence with his deceptive voice. "I don't have time to fix
it now."

"Fix what?" Louis' eyes dance across the furnishings and exterior design of the marvellous house
he's in front of.

"The war you may have started." Harry jumps off and opens Louis' door. He's proud to say he's a
gentleman of fine breeding.

"War-"

"Hush, petal." Harry chuckles at the alarm in Louis' voice, lowering himself to whisper lowly in the
latter's ear. "Welcome home."

* * * * *

The Styles manor is exquisite and so well maintained that nobody in their right mind would assume
such brothers resided here. There is a butler who usually drives either Styles around, Gerard, and a
housekeeping lady by the name of Sophia.

It's at least three levels high and been on this estate for centuries without a doubt. Harry is a giddy
little boy when he takes Louis on a peruse through the establishment, stunning him even further.
Louis listens to the way Harry praises their home and holds his hand like they're absolutely
comfortable with each other.

"This is the dining room." Harry says eloquently, tapping Louis' knuckle with his middle finger.
"We rarely eat here because the table is too long."

He wasn't exaggerating. The fine oak table ran from one side of the long room to the other,
stretched out over more than four legs under it. Next is the living room.

"Ed and I designed this room." Harry makes it sound like a distant memory. "It's nothing more than
a room with sofas and a coffee table."

Here he is wrong. There's a massive flat screen hoisted over a mini steel shelf that housed the
various devices hooked up to the monster of a television. Each thing the Styles family did was done
in style - ultimate pun intended - and huge proportions.

He's shown nothing else downstairs and doesn't get a word in edge-wise until they're upstairs. A
glass pane runs along the far side of the hallway and the bright sun sitting over a few pine treetops
allows Louis to remember that it is the middle of the day.

"You said...-" Louis is ushered into the darkest room he's been in and the door closed behind him.
Harry flips the lights on and Louis realises where he is. The bedroom. Before him two beds
were positioned a distance apart with a small table and lamp between them. To his right was a
sealed window and to his left was the set of doors to a grand closet.

"Edward's." Harry points to the bed on the left with white sheets and black pillows. "Mine." He
indicates to the bed with an absolute matching design.

He's gobsmacked with no way of recovering.

"What were you saying earlier, petal?" Harry poses the simple question.

"Why am I here?" Louis fires back, heart and mind set on keeping his clothes on for today.

Harry indulges him a small smile and saunters back over to him from the window. He tilts Louis'
face up to look at him and runs the nail of his thumb along the curve of Louis' cheekbone.

"Because you have questions for me." Harry says in a deep, lowered voice. "Questions I won't
answer without incentives."

Louis shivers and his instincts reel madly in the bridges of his mind, crashing overboard so he's left
to his primal choices. "Your brother."

"Yes?" Harry encourages with the nudge of his plump lips on Louis' heavy thud of a pulse point.
Louis steels himself and wills the fear away. It crumbles to an extent but builds up again as
something worse than fear in the case of a deranged pursuer with practised hands.

"He's upset." Louis sputters.

"Maybe-" Harry walks them back and trips Louis so he falls onto his back. "-we'll put on a show for
him."

Falling through the clusters of warm air leaves Louis silenced when his back and hips hit the bed.
It's something his strong inner personality will not allow him to take comfort from but he's at a loss.
He chose to come here and he's at Harry's mercy therefore.

"S-Stop." Louis holds his hand out when Harry opts to crawl over to him, the flesh of his small
palm coming to rest over the flesh covering Harry's beating heart.

"Here's how it works, darlin'." Harry withdraws from the close proximity and lays down with his
cradled by the pillows. "Come closer."

Louis shuffles in his direction after kicking his shoes off. He'd like to surrender completely to the
submissive part of him that believes wholeheartedly that no harm will come to him from these
brothers. Their infatuation with him will all-in-all be in his favour until he decides to screw up.

"Get up here." Harry motions to his mid-section that is bare and flexing the display of his gymquality abs as he breathes.
Starting to protest, Louis argues that he's not comfortable with being that willing yet. "I
won't-"

"Petal." Harry sighs, his hands reaching out to frame Louis' face. "Was I asking?"

Sighing himself, Louis' breath catches when Harry's thumb skates across his lower lip. The
appendage pokes at the seam of his mouth, pulling away just quick enough to be innocent. He hauls
Louis into the proper position across his lap and lies back down to bask in the advantages of having
the best view in the world.

"This is how it works, petal." He begins, eyes icy and lapping at the discomfort displayed by Louis.
"Do you have many questions for me?"

Louis will admit that he does. Getting an opportunity to pick at Harry's brain without blood spilt or
his body ruined is a good a chance as he can get. "Yes."

"I will answer one question of yours truthfully for every release you give me."

Louis' eyelids draw further back as he tries not to scream in confusion and dismay and every
disarrayed emotion in his body. Release? What did he mean?

"Orgasm, petal." Harry elaborates simply, the sparkle of his eye belonging to nothing sweet. "Seems
easy, does it not?"

Louis disagrees. He's good at sex but he's not motivated enough in this circumstance. He's had
awful encounters with Harry and even worse memories of sexual connotations. How will he get it
up himself, let alone pushing Harry over the edge? He has a lot of questions to ask and the thought
of following through with this challenge makes him nauseous.

"No." Louis shakes his head, his hand caught in Harry's when he starts pulling away.

Impatiently, Harry huffs angrily and drops Louis a little harshly. He presses down on Louis' thin
wrists until they're an inch or two into the bed. "You're so stubborn, petal."

Louis turns his head away when Harry raises his shirt, the bare skin of hard muscle on delicate
softness. Harry keeps Louis focused on him, meshing their lips together in a messy union. Their
teeth clash and Louis begins to feel the biting chill of cold air on his exposed body. Soon, Harry
covers those areas with his large paws and separates his jaws to bite him.

It's hardly painful when Harry's teeth sink into the skin below Louis' chin and their teeth clank in a
forceful pull of Harry to the darkness he brings with him. Louis closes his eyes and tries to imagine
himself in an alternate universe where this is enjoyable. He simply won't survive another assault on
his body and mind.

He shivers at the dip of a tongue in his belly button when Harry gets there. His back arches with his
tightly squeezed eyelids, the warm wetness heading lower and lower. This feels more pleasant than
their previous times and he wonders briefly why the effort is being made now.

"I can make love." Harry says in a wicked promise, unbuttoning Louis' jeans with their mouths
slotted in a system. "He told me I couldn't but I can."

Louis documents this little insecurity of Harry's mentally for later. He looks for his brother's
approval often, even in sex. "He?"

"Call me Daddy." Harry insistently rolls his hips between Louis' thighs. "Say it for me, petal."

"Why?" Louis' neck tilts to the side, his hands braced on Harry's bulging biceps.

"Petals are delicate." Harry kneels between Louis' bare legs, unbuckling his belt and smirking down
at the splayed out boy. "They need Daddy's."

"We have thorns."

"Yes you do, darlin'."

Harry stripped himself of his pants and bent back down to conceal Louis' body with his own. He ran
his hands all over Louis' limp body, hiking the sinful thighs of his obsession over his shoulders.
"I hurt you the other times we did this."

Harry thumbs over Louis' nipples to get them perky and attentive. His own erection remained
within the confines of his boxer briefs, pressing into the crevice of Louis' behind right where he'd
enter him.

"I'm going to put my mouth on your body before I let you get started." Harry gets started on Louis'
neck, right behind his ear.

Louis hopes he can use this time zoning out from the torture of Harry's tongue to prepare himself.
Unfortunately an attention-deprived growl and lick to a particularly jerky spot on his thigh has that
plan squashed then beat on.

"Pay attention to me." Harry scowls ungratefully. "Open your eyes and watch me."

He's about to take in the mentally unstable sex God above him, when the bedroom door opens in the
brusque motion of a possibly still uncomfortable and irritable Edward. He happens to glance at
them only because of the angle he entered the room at and does nothing, says nothing to them.

Harry hardly pays him any mind and continues to nibble on Louis' skin at the curves and soft peeks.
Edward goes into the closet for approximately three minutes, and while Louis is roped into Harry's
ministrations he keeps his eyes on the closet in the hopes that the sane twin will come to his rescue.
He's not ready for this to be entirely consensual and Harry's even forcing that on him.

"Me, petal." Harry turned Louis' head away and it was like sharing a bed with two hot coals. "Don't
pay attention to him."

In the middle of that speech Edward decided to leave again and Louis watches the last of his
silhouette disappear behind a closed door. He accepts defeat then and hardly feels the rough drag of
Harry's tongue on his intimate regions, then the jab of his under-lubed fingers and then the intrusion
of a wide girth spearing his insides.

Louis pushes himself to be somewhere else during the entire thing and he hardly even gets hard,
even if Harry doesn't notice he gets to feel the warm come slide down his thighs after Harry's
orgasm. It's wretched.

"My petal. I have something to show you." Harry is beaming like it's Christmas morning and he's
destined for the best presents in the neighbourhood.

Before he can wake up on his own, fuelled by the robotic mindset his brain has fallen back on,
Harry yanks Louis' drowsy body over to the edge of the bed and picks him up in a fireman's carry
that was poorly executed. He has Louis clinging to his lower back as he hurries down the hall to the
panoramic window Louis saw earlier.

His heart and guts have leaped bounds up the length of Louis' throat into his mouth. The ground is
far too close to his face for his liking and his uneasy perch on Harry's shoulder is deeply unsettling.
He's slipping more and more until finally Harry drops him to his feet, setting his hands on Louis'
shoulders and spinning him around.

"All for you, my petal." Harry traps Louis' ear lobe between his lips and suckles until the skin is
swollen pink.

A dead feeling settles in Louis' chest, along with the cloud of absolute horror that causes his jaw to
fall, heart to pound and mind to collapse into turmoil. He contains his scream but he's only certain
that can be done for a few seconds because of the stability Harry's arms offer to him. The sounds
around him drop to an extremely low decibel until they're just a sick ringing sound.

There's a lake outside in the back of the manor with a single huge tree, bare as Hell right beside a
short pier. Off the longest and strongest branch hangs two course ropes, each wrapped around the
wooden support then around the neck of a limp person. Louis scratches bloody warts into Harry's
arms as that scream breaks through horrifically.

The first rope belongs to the broken neck of the girl who spilt her drink over Louis, her body
hanging lifelessly with no colour whatsoever to signify body warmth. From here, Louis can see that
she's been dead a long time. The next rope is the reason for Louis abusing the arm wrapped around
his waist.

Anthony.

Chapter Text

The first rope belongs to the broken neck of the girl who spilt her drink over Louis, her body
hanging lifelessly with no colour whatsoever to signify body warmth. From here, Louis can see that
she's been dead a long time. The next rope is the reason for Louis abusing the arm wrapped around
his waist.

Anthony.

*LOUIS' POV*

It's like someone placed metal clamps over my ears and made every sound I could recognise simply
pass by with the heavy ringing of metallic echoing. My head felt blocked and stuffed with things
that made it heavier. I'm pretty sure I was struggling to free myself from the beastly grip around me,
keeping me restrained from leaping out the window.

Anthony!

There are tears rolling down my face before I'm able to stop them. Along with hurt comes pain,
unimaginable pain at knowing you've done all you can to save the person you're least likely to save.
I know I can't scream. There's no voice to do it. I'm under an agonising amount of pressure that I
feel braced at the seams.

"Do you like it?" Harry asked against the lobe of my ear, half the tone of a toddler telling a secret
and half the mannerism of a sadist ensuring his victim is well shaken up.

I'm being tilted forward and I don't know why, but it's by the strong hand of Harry on my back. I
sob at the blatant gruesome extent of this 'gift', hiding it behind my hand with blurry vision coating
my sight. The bodies outside hung limply in the wind, swayed lightly from side to side as the rope
twitched from the breeze and tension.

The squeaks and squeals of rope grinding on drying skin is covered by own screaming. I'm wearing
nothing but clutching some form of cotton to my naked chest with my left hand. Harry is shuffling
behind me but I care very little because I'm just about tipping over the edge of grief mountain. I'm
keeping my watery and widened eyes on everything indoors so another attack of panic isn't
triggered.

Who knew breathing could be so hard?

"I hate it." I mutter angrily, the whites of my eyes turning red with strain and beginning to itch.
"I hate you."

Harry doesn't seem to grasp this and he spins me around to look at him, but I fight a short battle to
keep my gaze off him. I'm afraid I might turn murderous myself if I have to see his big green eyes
that are no more appealing than moss. Anthony's pale face haunts me and the ghost-like features of
a young woman accompanies him.

"I did this for you!" He exclaimed heatedly, green eyes narrowing into something mossier.
I gasp from the grip he has on my shoulders, squeezing too tightly to allow proper blood flow. I
wince and try to shove him off.

"No." He shook his head at his inner demon but he looked at me. "No, stop! I did this for you, Lou!"
Coals would burn simpler in my soul than the ash and flame of Harry Styles. "For us."

An easily understood grim expression of distaste and irritation must have spread onto my features.
My anger was raw and I felt it like ice but also mercury through my veins.

"No, Harry." I manage to get him at arm's length.

Harry cut me off with a hand curling stiffly around my neck, causing no restriction or pain. "For
us, petal."

I wrapped my hand around his wrist and matched the intensity of his stare. "You did this because
you're cruel and heartless. I-"

"No!" He slammed his fist into the wall next to my reddened ear that's prickling with heat. "It was
for-"

"It was for you and your sadistic mind!" I spit. "You hurt innocent people, Harry!"

"Not innocent." He shook his head again, convincing nobody but himself internally. "He tried to
take you away."

"From what?" I seem to be goaded on my the emotional adrenaline running through me and
I push futilely at his torso. He steps forward again.

"From me."

To an ignorant outsider or bystander those words alone are enough to make a hopeless romantic
swoon. I sometimes wish I was one of said outsiders who knew nothing of the brothers' twisted
ways.

I make sure when I speak next it's directly to Harry. "I'm never going to be yours."

Something clicks in Harry's bipolar shell and the chord connecting an average person's
emotive responses to the physical features that condone it, is snapped.

He cages me into a tiny space with his arms. They close around me quite suddenly and the spooked
gasp Harry pulls from me pleases him. "Scared, petal?"

I steel whatever reserves of probable sanity I have left, and pull on the least frightened expression I
can manage.

"You're my petal." Harry frames my face with both his ginormous hands. "You belong in my bed, in
my home with my name on your lips. I don't refuse to admit that I'm a tad more psychotic and
sadistic but don't you know, petal? It's best to be the lover of the devil than his enemy."

"A 'love' is not what we have and it's not going to ever exist between us." I glare at him,
hating the height impediment. Professionally, I'd never speak to any of my patients this way. "You're
lying to yourself and it's a cruel thing to do but I'm damn glad you're doing it because it's the
least you deserve."

After all I learnt, I should have known better.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

You're either born a psychopath or you're lucky enough to be a functioning member of society.
Regardless of whether you are in either category there's a thin film that coats the border between
sanity and raving lunacy in your brain. It's not a single event that causes the break in that film, but
the pressure and prodding of a chain of events.

Louis is unlucky enough to be that person in this moment.

Harry is the first to act. He made stable Louis' neck by grabbing him by the hair at his hairline at the
back of his head. His fingers were soft but their motions made the act thrice as painful. He tugged
harshly until Louis' head was tilted up instead of ahead and his jaw tense with aggravation. Their
faces remained angled towards one another for the moment it took Harry to exhale slowly and let
the dampness roll over Louis' lips.

"You're an infuriating little petal, aren't you?" He asks hauntingly with rhetorical undertones.

"Stubborn and ungrateful too." Louis dug his nails into Harry's wrist until the racing of the man's
pulse stuck out against the bite of his nails.

"Yes." Harry smiles at the thump of Louis' head against the wall. "Yes and you're about to
stop."

"Am I?"

That ticked off something in Harry, as did most of Louis' misunderstood quirks. He pried Louis'
hand off his wrist and found red lines left behind, one ending in an actual bright red slit where
cartilage tore skin.

"Hmm, petal." He disapproved of markings existing on him and moved to pin Louis' hands
completely but Louis was minutely faster and his slap landed squarely on Harry's cheek.

Harry had him held against the wall with all of his body's strength by the time he registered the
sting of Louis' abuse. His skin turned pink from the impact but failed to get more prominent
because of the fierce bone structure he carried around.
"You're so fucking-"

"Enough!" Someone else intervened, stern and boiling with a crooked temperament after watching
the pair for such a while.

Louis' head snapped towards the door in the tiny space he was allowed to breathe, nestled
uncomfortably under Harry's chin. He broke free of the hold on his hands and neck, feeling great
strain as he was freed from Harry.

"You've done enough." Edward took three large strides and hardly twitched at the sight outside. "Go
clean it up."

Harry didn't budge for a whole minute and he did not fail at keeping his locked vision unstaggering
on Louis' face. Edward gripped his shoulder and jerked him backwards to get him to move.

"If it's not done by sunset, brother, you'll have something far worse than Louis to deal with."

Harry was gone after that. He slammed the bedroom door after yanking it open on firm hinges his
anger was nothing dramatic and all real, driving shivers down Louis' spine as his adrenaline faded.
He was alone with Edward after that and he couldn't look anywhere but at the floor.

Louis felt something heavy being draped over his shoulders and he glanced up immediately at
Edward. The man's impassive face gave nothing away as he covered Louis' naked top half with his
coat and avoided all eye contact.

"You do this to yourself." Edward says to him, blatantly unhappy and waiting for Louis to
understand that.

"I don't-"

"Come." Edward puts his hand in Louis' and pulls him away from the daunting scene just outside.
Louis remains frozen in his position, face angled towards the window where his bottom lip wobbles
at the sight of Harry cutting down the ropes outside. Edward sighs deeply and doesn't wait for Louis
to gather his wits about him, as he's never possessed enough patience. He has an objective at the
moment and Harry returning before it's complete could hinder a few things.

He bends to Louis' appropriate height and hoists him up off the ground, sweeping the gravity out
from under his cold feet. It's an over-the-top move that makes Louis gasp back his swallowed cry
and stare at the side profile of Edward.

"What are you doing?!" Louis can't imagine the world of awful possibilities Edward could conduct.
"Stop! Stop please. You promised!"

Louis couldn't take more of an attack, not from anyone and Edward is certainly first on that list.
Edward suddenly halts in confusion to ask: "What promise-"

"You said-" Louis has to wipe the fresh tears away from his eyes. "-you wouldn't touch me. You
promised!"

Edward doesn't know how to respond to the boy he's holding, that's crying to get away from him
from gripping the expensive fabric of his shirt like he needs an anchor. He doesn't set down the
wriggling boy until they're in the adjoined bathroom. He ignores every squirm and protest he gets
from Louis, setting the boy down on the counter by the rudely bright mirror to stare back at his
gaunt reflection.

"What- What are you doing?" Louis sniffles, clutching the coat he was given to cover as much of
himself as he can.

He watches the Styles other half turn on the shower and test the water, ideally wetting his sleeve in
the process. He's confused by all this and studies the environment of the bathroom to learn the
nooks and crannies.

It's wide and spacious. A giant shower stands across one whole side with a glass wall blocking it out
from the toilet and double basin. It's so elegant and updated in interior design that one would never
place it in a manor like this.

"Jump down." Edward instructs like the elementary function and command of Louis' brain has
malfunctioned.

He unhooks the one button Louis had in place at the very top of the coat, closest to the stiff collar.
Edward sets the coat down and pretends so convincingly that the sight of a naked Louis does not
affect him in the slightest.

"Get in." He steps aside so that Louis can go into the shower.

Louis looks at Edward and wonders why he's doing this for him. Edward himself looks hardly
different from when he'd slammed the Rover's hood metal in frustration. His hair has been raked
back many times and his shirt is unbuttoned at least four buttons down.

"Why are you doing this?" He forces himself to ask before it remains a mystery forever.

Edward responds by remaining quiet and handing Louis the body gel. His entire shirt is drenched by
now with the back spray of water as he stood in the shower section too, shoes and all. He was
unaffected by any of it and his unrelenting stare remained focused on Louis as if checking up on the
boy.

"I'm sorry." Louis tried again to get words from Edward. He accepted the bottle of body gel and
sponge but did nothing with them.

Edward's curiosity makes his eyebrow quirk. Why is Louis apologising?
"A-And thank you." Louis stutters, frowning at himself and appreciating the warmth of the water
gliding down his sore exterior.

"For?" Edward takes his chances and asks.

Louis' thin bottom lip is bitten down to a sore layer of skin and the steam from his shower is doing
good for a slight burn on it. He doesn't exactly know how to phrase his thanks in words and doesn't
want to be touched.

Coming to his solution is a rocky road, but nothing as hard or challenging as taking the step forward
and touching Edward. It's not something he'd set out to do yesterday or a few hours ago even, but
he's got no other way to express his gratitude. He closes his eyes tightly, squeezing out the water,
and setting his cheek on Edward's shoulder.

The man is taken aback completely and goes stiff to the core when he witnesses this. Louis shakes
his head when Edward's hands brush his back.

"Don't." He won't allow himself to be touched even if he's bending that rule already.
Edward understands and drops his hands back to his sides. He wants to know why he's being so
accommodating with Louis but he's got a fairly good subconscious idea. Louis' not their petal for
nothing.

"I'll protect you." He blurts out uncharacteristically but not unintentionally.

Louis cues his quick withdrawal and stares up at Edward with glossy blue eyes of intrigue. There's
something masked in Edward's eyes too and it's something that's full of pain.

"From-"

"From everything." Edward presses the body gel and allows the blue substance to drip onto the
sponge.

"Why?"

With slow hands, Louis takes back the sponge and finds his answer leaving with Edward as the man
exits the shower section.

"Wait!"

Louis panics and forgets to grab hold of Edward in his hurry to keep the older male near so his more
threatening, scary sibling doesn't get to him. He trips on the steel bar dividing the bathroom tiled
floor from the shower-fitted area, dropping the objects in his hands as he falls. His knee hits the
steel rod and Edward turns around in time to hear him shriek.

"Petal!" He is now uncharacteristically beside himself, seizing Louis by the arms to hold
him up even if it's halfway.

Coughing and sputtering, Louis let's Edward support him in a shaky stand again. His knees become
wobbly and the unkind thrills crashing into his concentration distracts him from the fact that
Edward is carrying him again.

"You have no care for self preservation, petal. None." Edward scorns with a rigid jaw.
He slams the bathroom door closed without using his hands and Louis whimpers from the sudden
bang. Edward is overcome with something else now, and it drives him to a manic mind with fretting
over Louis.

"Drive me crazy." Edward frowns deeply and opens the tap of the white porcelain tub. "Absolutely
mad."

Louis watches Edward carry on handling him and the things around them so easily. He feels like
he's caught in a trance within a vortex and can't move his attention from Edward. The man was
wetting himself entirely by holding Louis the way he way and it seemed only Louis took note of
this.

"Fuck the fucking promise." Edward muttered in a harsh tone, kicking off his strange shoes and
stepping into the filling tub with Louis.

He sits down with Louis pressed against him like an overbearing vine wrapped around the boy's
middle, in the form of his muscular arm. Edward would never do this. He'd never even want to get
this close to Louis, or anyone. There was no gaping hole in his soul for intimacy, but he doesn't feel
like he can physically let his petal go at the moment.

It doesn't feel like Louis wants him to let go either by the way he curls his short fingers as they
spasm slightly on Edward's forearm. They're side-by-side in the tub with Louis slowly being
covered by the warm water.

"You kissed me." Louis says softly, carefully. He's referring to days ago that felt like a lifetime prior
to this day.

"I am aware." Edward watches Louis lean forward and drops his arm to admire from a short
distance, the beauty in the curve of Louis' back.

Louis doesn't meet Edward's eye and tightens his hand on the other's pant leg when the bedroom
door opens outside the bathroom. Harry's back.

"He won't come in here." Edward silently promises. "I'm-"

"Why did you kiss me?" Louis bends his knees up to his chest and circles an arm around them. He
listens intently to the noises of the adjacent room.

Edward grinds his jaw and his gums begin to hurt where the sharp ends of his teeth slot beside one
another. It's a spell-binding pain that makes him want to cause more pain to balance the first dose.
"Because it must be obvious that I don't kiss people, you want to know what made you so
special?"

Louis nods cautiously and an involuntary wince makes his nose scrunch up and back shiver.
"You want to hear that I'll never hurt you-" Edward leans forward too, his sudden press against
Louis' back makes them both anxious. "-because my brother did and will again."

"You won't?" Louis curls his toes in the water.

They both listen to Harry dashing about in the next room, cursing loudly and at one point smash
something. Not once does he approach the bathroom door.

"I won't."

Louis involuntarily launches himself at Edward when Harry does start knocking on the door. It
could actually be twice as loud as when he slammed it earlier or just that Louis' ears are gone
sensitive. He fears Harry walking in here and Edward allowing him to be taken.

"Must I still-"

Knowing what Edward's asking before he fully does, Louis takes the man's arms and winds them
around him. He's hoping this becomes an incentive of sorts, to make Edward not easily give him up.
Edward's arm become constricting bands around him and one shifts to stretch across his back.
"I will keep you safe from him, petal, if that is what you want." Edward offers with a slight lisp
from the conical shape of his teeth. "Is that-"

"Yes." Louis closes his eyes at the sound of Harry starting to talk through the barrier of the door.
He sounded unbelievably desperate with his knuckles tapping a soft rhythm on the solid wood
structure. "Lou? Petal?"

Louis doesn't respond and rubs the cold tip of his nose on the silky texture of Edward's shirt. The
latter doesn't mind or at least doesn't seem to mind because he scratches the bend of Louis'
shoulders with his short nails so they don't leave marks on the skin surface.

Harry continues to talk while Louis hears very little of it. He gets bits and pieces of his pleas that
have no effect on his behalf.

"He's different, petal." Edward doesn't want to let go of Louis anymore than Louis doesn't want
Harry to touch him.

Louis starts to feel the water getting cold and his muscles getting tighter so he stretches his bare legs
out. Outside, Harry is caught between the storm in his head and the morbid reality surrounding him.
He's pacing around the bedroom and closet, matted in dry decay on his creased clothing and dried
blood. His fingers crawl through his hair so many times that the weakening motion gets a few
strands loose in his palms.

He's pulling his hair out with frustration and a world of pent-up cruel emotions spitting words all
the same at him.

"Don't...-" Edward frames one side of Louis' face to make sure he's looking at the earnest hope in
his eyes that's curtained by emotional instability. "My brother has a fragile and broken mind, petal.
He doesn't know the proper way to do things without help, and he's recently taking such a liking to
you that-"

"He hits me." Louis cuts across with a snap. "He screams at me and he raped me."

Edward flinches at the word with personal disgust and hate. "Be firm with him and he'll
learn."

Louis shakes his head and starts to withdraw from their small cove. Edward holds him back. "He's
too dangerous for me."

Edward listens to Louis' extremely low voice and sighs. He takes the new bar of soap from a metal
rack and makes sure Louis sees. "May I?"

He gets a nod from the boy half asleep against him and begins the lathering process with a suitable
white sponge.

"I will make sure he doesn't hurt you." Edward covers Louis shoulders and back with the white
foam he's created. "You must promise to give him a chance."

"A chance?!" His voice cracks and his eyes run wild.

"Hush." Edward shakes his head and starts on Louis' arms. "You have to understand something,
darlin'."

Louis waits with narrowed eyes to be explained to because he cannot understand or begin to
respect- He shuts himself down when the realisation dawns quickly.

"You're not crazy." He makes Edward drop the soap so he can look into his eyes without hindrance.
Edward's been perfectly sane for the time that Louis' known him, save for the times when he acted
out from anger and justifiable aggravation. He stares back at Louis like his biggest secret has been
revealed and he tries to get out of it by shifting.

"No, stop." Louis plants himself firmly in his spot and holds onto Edward's sturdy shoulders.
"Edward, why would you-"

"Give my brother a chance and I will tell you."

Louis can't sacrifice that. He knows he can't. "You went through.....all that he did even when you
didn't have to?"

Edward doesn't reply.

"This." Louis feels no worry when he presses the pad of his thumb into Edward's cheek and the
other examining the sharpness of the man's molars. "You did this to be.......more convincing.
Why make yourself-"

"Because there's nobody else to do it for him, petal." Edward's unable to contain the truth he's
forced himself to keep to no credit. "He's my brother-"

"-and you're loyal to him." Louis finishes in a paraphrase. "You put yourself through all that and
you'd still have me give him a chance."

Edward looks behind Louis out the small window put in place in their bathroom. "I did it because
he's never known how to be happy. You can make him happy, petal."

"What about you?" Louis moves his thumb to the Adam's Apple on Edward's throat.

"We can share."

Chapter Text

Edward looks behind Louis out the small window put in place in their bathroom. "I did it
because he's never known how to be happy. You can make him happy, petal."

"What about you?" Louis moves his thumb to the Adam's Apple on Edward's throat.

"We can share."

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Louis blinks away the sting of a hypothetical eye lash falling in his eye, and looks at Edward in
disbelief. "Share?"

"Share." Edward confirms, a smirk curving the corner of his mouth so his dimple sinks partially on
his pale cheek. "It shouldn't be unappealing to you."

"Oh really?" Louis crosses his arms, or at least tries to before Edward nails him against his chest.
Edward drags his lips across Louis' ear and it provides a starting point for all the right shivers.
"Twice as much attention. Twice as much pleasure."

"Maybe that's not all I want." Louis turns his head with difficulty to look Edward in the eye, a
casual clash of blue ice and green earth.

"What do you want?" The man taps the bandage around Louis' neck that's concealing the healing
process of a scabbed bite mark. "Protection?" He laughed in a warm breath. "Warmth?" His arm
extends around Louis to unplug the drain and stand. "Love, petal? Is that what you want?"

Louis knows he wants a lot more than what these brothers can offer in their broken glory to him. He
tries to tell Edward this without needing to say a word, his eyes burning the message into the
landscape of Edward's mind. His body is lifted out of the tub and a towel is wrapped around him.
"Give us a chance." Edward tucks the loose end of the thick white towel into a secured hook under
Louis' arm. "Maybe the desire of two mad men will be enough for you."

"You're not a mad man." Louis points out quietly, studying Edward's reaction as it evolves.

The man smiles crookedly and touches his index to his lips in a motion to be silent about it. Edward
takes Louis' hand, rolling the boy's smaller fingers between his own and leads him out of the
bathroom. Harry is not in the bedroom but a vase is broken at his bed by the window.

"He can be a child at times." Edward speaks, switching on the light in their closet.

Louis thinks about the time Harry rocked back and forth on his bed in Briarville; the time he spent
convincing Louis at the very same window that he did everything for them. He had an
unsettled way about him and the nervousness of a child being rejected.

"Don't let him guilt you." Edward pulls off clothing from random hangers. "He is very passionate
about everything he favours and now he favours you."

Edward gives Louis black joggers and a white T-shirt that's bound to flow for miles on his body
shape. It feels soft anyway.

"What about you?" Louis slips the shirt on first after forgetting to dry himself. "You always speak
about him."

Edward starts to remove his wet clothing at last after Louis imagines they've become soggy and
awful. Their eyes never separate even when Edward is stark naked and standing inches away from
him.

"Twice as passionate." Edward runs the tip of his nose up the column of Louis' throat and when the
boy's eyelashes flutter before closing, let's the stickiness of his lips slide across Louis' without a
kiss. "I'm all yours."

Louis' eyes fly open. "Mine?"

"All yours." Edward reinstates. "Why, petal, would you like me to belong to someone else?"

"Why would you...-" Louis reaches his hand towards Edward's cheek and stands on his tiptoes.
"You want to be mine in-"

"I am yours." Edward corrects. "My brother hasn't realised it yet but he's given himself to you a
long time ago."

"Why?"

"Simply because it is, petal."

"If you're mine then why won't you kiss me?"

Edward's bemusement lights the sparkle in his eyes of dampened spirit. His smirk is frightening
with the caps of white blades peeking out against the plumpness of his bottom lip. "Would you like
me to kiss you, petal?"

Louis' smile is a fair contender. It's small and soft, much like all his feelings at the moment. He tilts
his head to the sky a little so his nose brushes Edward's no matter which way they twisted. "Are you
afraid of kissing me?"

They both wonder how a conversation derailed so intricately onto the in's and out's of their kissing
life. Edward's brows furrow together at Louis' question, forming three worry lines on his forehead.
He is hesitant and he's always excellent at hiding it.

"Because of these." Louis touches the exposed tip of Edward's deadly canine with his delicate
fingertip.

Edward takes Louis' hand away from his face and does the strangest thing that can happen at that
moment. Louis' seen fifty too many strange things with these brothers. He nips at the nail of Louis'
thumb before sucking the appendage between his lips.

Louis gasps and tries to jerk his hand back to his side but Edward may have accomplished what he
set out to do. He extracts the lavender taste from his mouth and chuckles at the flabbergasted look
on Louis' face.

"I can do damage with these." Edward flashes his molars in a brief grin, and his eyes dart to the
strapped gauze featured on Louis' neck. "I remember this."

Louis covers the bandage with his hand, dipping his head to be greeted with the sight of his bare
feet on fine carpeting. Edward picks up on Louis' uncomfortable vibe and regrets saying anything,
but goes for trying to make up for it.

"I don't want to do it again." Edward tells the truth, removing Louis' preventative hand.
Louis grabs the joggers off the rack where he'd placed them, hurrying to pull them over his legs. His
present companion watches in vague amusement as the boy tries not to fidget with the hem of the
shirt he's got on.

"Why did you do it?" Louis asks while he exits the closet after the air within it becomes rife with
tangible tension.

"I may not be clinically unbalanced-" Edward holds his arm out, motioning to his own bed for Louis
to crawl into. "-but I am still a man. What and who is valuable to me, most or least, must mean
absolutely nothing to others so that they don't try to take it from me."

His body tucked between the mattress and soft comforter, Louis curls into an appropriately sized
ball. He sniffs and turns his back to Harry's unmade, messy bedside half of the room. Edward
doesn't linger long and when he's out of sight, Louis feels the panic settle.

"Where are you-"

"I'm here." Edward draws the heavy curtains closed and comes back to the King bed with just
boxers on. "Harry won't come near you here."

Louis' expression scrunches up. How is he lying on a bed so near to Harry's going to keep him away
from the lunatic?

"We made a promise, a pact if you will." Edward folds one leg under his other as he seats himself
near Louis. "He will not go near my bed and I won't go near his."

Louis nods, relaxing minutely against the luxurious pillows. They're perfectly soft and frame his
body from the shoulders up the way it should. He can still hear the aftermath of the racket Harry
caused downstairs, as it is obvious the man is raving mad at the product of his plan.

"A clever promise." Louis commends sweetly. He is hardly a mass under the covers and Edward is
deeply tempted to cloak his small presence with his body.

Instead he smiles in appreciation at Louis' approval and wakes up again to walk to the other side.
He pulls back the covers and Louis holds his breath while Edward gets in under the warm sheets.

"What are you-"

"This is my bed, petal." Edward flashes him a decent crooked smirk.

Unable to help it, Louis' amusement and his personality from circumstances where he's more
comfortable shines through. He giggles. "Stop interrupting my questions."

Edward gets close enough to him so his laugh is audible under his soft volume. He's fascinated with
Louis and wants to keep his distance but also get close enough to consume every bit of consent the
boy offers him.

"How many people have you done this with before?" Louis asks, a hand tucked under the side of his
face.

"What would you call this?" Edward questions, coy as ever. Louis rolls his eyes and shrugs.
"Cuddling?"

Edward's eyes widen comically although he doesn't mean to, the green dilating across a larger
surface area. "Cuddling, petal?"

Another shrug from Louis. "You've never cuddled before? You sound terribly disadvantaged."

"I'm afraid I am, petal."

Louis doesn't waste time and reaches his arms across the distance and does what he shouldn't do
with a right mind. He wraps his arms up and around Edward's neck, dragging himself over the space
with bunching sheets around him. The older male doesn't react much besides take a moment to be
surprised, then reel Louis in with his inhuman strength.

"Is this all I've been missing out on?" He feels the press of Louis' little body against his, and it
makes his heart beat a little faster but nothing noticeable from the exterior.

There's a small laugh under his chin that pushes Edward to wind the other jobless arm around Louis'
hips. No argument. No resistance. He swallows his sigh of relief and turns it into a regular breath
out. Louis remains perfectly still with his forehead against Edward's chest, mapping out the freckles
and dimples between muscle points.

He's certainly surprised when Edward didn't push him away so he took a little comfort in the
blanketing presence. His fingers were curled inwards towards his palms and he knows Edward can
feel the brush of his eyelashes when he blinked.

The thing about Edward's body was that it's so terribly ideal. He has a straight back with just
enough strength in muscle to make a person exposed to it melt into baking butter. Now, held up
against him Louis can see how Edward would be a nice suitor to anyone he chose.

"Why is your hair so blond?" Louis hates silences so he decides to fill it.

"So blond?" Edward mimics in mockery.

Louis feels the need to offer an amusing explanation. "Ordinary blond doesn't cover it."

Edward's laughter shakes his shoulders just the slightest and Louis takes some pride in knowing he
hasn't lost his sense of humour even in tough times.

"This is our natural hair colour, petal." He explains casually, then a short burst of laughter leaves
him. "Harry dyed his hair because he thought it suited him better."

"Oh." Louis finds this interesting. "Good on both of you."

Edward rubs Louis' back once from shoulder to base. "Do you actually want to sleep, petal?"

Louis' yawn is perfectly timed and Edward shifts his gaze to observe the 'O' shape forming on
Louis' lips and the flutter of his eyelids. He settles into the shape he had made previously and let's
the exhaustion from days drill into his system.

The boy is asleep when Edward whispers to him. "Why don't you dream of me?"

* * * * *

A crash wakes Louis up just moments after Edward wakes up before anything can happen.

"Don't-" Edward tried to stop his fuming brother from acting out.

"How dare you?!" Harry, in clingy navy jeans with faded knees and nothing else, topples the
desk beside the door.

Louis knew the sight he'd be met with if he turned around and how much it would scare him, but he
moved his body anyway. Edward tried to hold him back from falling over the edge with his vine of
an arm pressing into Louis' tummy under the bunched up shirt he donned.

"Brother, calm down." Edward pushed himself up to be propped on his palm.

"No!" Harry bellowed. His nostrils were flared and his eyes were wide enough to be intimidating.
His fists were curled with enough ferocity to have the vein in his neck bulging.

"Fuck!" Harry punched the wall to release some of the coils of nagging demons drenching
themselves in the thought pools of his mind.

Louis has never seen a person so angry.

Edward sighs behind Louis, giving up the fight he's been trying to avoid. He probably have locked
the bedroom door when he closed the windows and shut the curtains. He could also have not gotten
into bed with Louis - his petal - but how could he deprive himself?

"Why did you take this from me?!" He felt well and thoroughly shaken up by the restriction of his
own honour to the pact he and his brother made. The wear-and-tear of his mind was escalating
dangerously.

Louis touched Edward's forearm before the man could speak. He sat up too and Harry's eyes
followed every motion of his body like a hawk. "Love?"

Two heads roll in his direction at that moment in frozen time. Louis knows what he's doing. No, he
really doesn't but that's what he's telling himself after hearing everything Edward told him about
Harry. Louis heard Edward's voice in his head and that's what gave him the final push.

Harry seems to be having the hardest time processing Louis' vocal endearment. His anger fans out
so suddenly Louis fears he's going to collapse. The redness falls from his complexion and is
replaced by confusion. Vivid, perplexing confusion.

Time resumes itself because Harry has decided how to respond and the heartbroken look in his eye
dies along with Louis' trepidation and Edward's fear.

"Love?" Harry's bottom lip starts to wobble and Louis doesn't have a clue on how to react to
this.

How does one respond to a psychopath with a quivering lip and temper of hot coal?
Louis kicks off the covers from where he was suspiciously tucked in quite neatly and Edward
just....let's him go. There's a flare of something not pretty in Edward's chest as he watches Louis get
closer to his ticking time bomb of a sibling. He doesn't let it show because if he didn't want this, he
would not have told Louis those things.

"You okay?" Louis doesn't touch Harry the way he's brave enough to with Edward.

Harry spoke with an unfairly low volume, leaving Louis to listen carefully or miss a word. "You
called me love."

Mr. Mercurial. Louis changes Harry's name in his head from Grizzly to that. It's far more apt. "I did,
didn't I?"

Edward was there suddenly, standing behind Louis without being too near to the boy. He's just a
security measure. Harry hardly notices him and that's a first for everyone. He'd rather bury his face
in the promising soft pudginess of Louis' tummy, so that's what he does.

"Harry?" Louis croaks.

He refrains from touching the arms squeezing his waist or the face hiding in his abdomen. He
flinches at original contact but the bitter memory of when Harry 'inspected' him during their first
meeting comes floating back unwelcome. Harry had pointed out something on his tummy and
clearly, the infatuation stuck.

Edward's words come back to him as well. Be firm, he said. Louis bites his lip and looks at
the man behind him but is met with empty eyes and no words.

"Harry." He reaches behind him without a front of hesitation and unclasps Harry's slim hands. "Let
go."

His voice is edgier and a little more no-nonsense. Harry's heartbroken expression returns when he
looks up at Louis from his kneeling position. Louis remains resolved.

"Why?" Harry has his wobbly lip in action again and he looks breathtakingly convincing with his
dismay.

Louis opens his mouth and to keep a squeak from escaping, he bites the inside of his cheek.
Harry takes his as a small victory and valiantly tightens his hold now on Louis' curvy hips. "I don't
want to."

Before Harry's face can touch ground with Louis' tummy again, the boy steps back and incidentally
bumps Edward's chest. He doesn't mind that and pulls Harry's hands off his body with force. His
rebuke makes Harry scramble to his feet so he's back to six foot something and scary.

"You broke your promise." Louis has to keep himself together when thinking about Anthony and the
tree out back. "Promises are very important to me, Harry."

Edward suspected Louis would take an approach like this so he schools his exposure into calm and
collected. Harry is much more twisted and not in any way is it something desirable with anger
issues and attractive stances. He feels caught up in a horrible web and it scares him, as frightening
as he already is.

"I-I'm sorry, petal." He's helpless, like a fish out of water, as he appears more forthcoming and
sweet. "I won't do it again."

"You won't?" Louis presses. It's not enough to make a regular Joe promise but Harry's not a regular
Joe.

"Won't." He even shakes his head to validate his word. "Ever."

"Good. Thank you." Louis swallows hard, the lump of emotions and accomplishment. He's a bit
shaky after what he's done so boldly, explicitly confident.

Edward resurfaces to the land of the living at that moment. He sets his hands on Louis' waist,
fanning his fingers out on the slender structure and feels the bump of ribs under his press. Harry's
eyes dart to where he's touching Louis but he's not so angry now because Louis and he are on good
terms.

"Good job, petal." Edward whispers in Louis' ear, mysteriously wet lips grazing the fine hairs of the
boy's neck.

He's not even trying to be dark and seductive in any way but Louis has to fight himself to not shut
his eyes and moan. Harry doesn't know if he's allowed to touch his petal yet so he asks.
"Can I....?" He's already in the tiny bubble space they've created for themselves so that's all that's
missing.

Louis shivers at Edward's hands moving lower and nods just quickly enough to be noticed. Edward
latches onto his neck away from the bandage and his arm snakes around Louis' front. Harry leans in
just enough to flatten his hand at the base of Louis' back, his lips trailing up the safe side of the
boy's neck.

The texture of goosebumps makes him groan and Louis has to throw his head back to allow them
more access. Edward slips his hand under Louis' shirt and tilts his head away from Harry's so their
lips meet. It's a blinding moment for Louis when he recalls the struggle of getting Edward to kiss
him. He feels the hesitation even now when his tongue flicks the impenetrable barrier of Edward's
clenched teeth.

Harry knows he can't kiss Louis' lips yet and it bugs him above any measure. He wants to be as
close to the boy as his brother is but he's smart enough to know Louis wants his proven loyalty first.
In this stead, he sticks to using his mouth on surfaces of Louis' skin to get a reaction. At some point
he does something right because Louis mewls and his hand around Harry's wrist tightens.

Edward doesn't loosen up until Louis moves a hand to the side of his face and experimentally runs
his tongue along the pattern of teeth. He reaches gum and the man is weak enough at this stage to
open his mouth for this kiss. Louis loses the fight for dominance after that and with Harry's hands
roaming uncensored, he let's Edward do as he pleases.

The raunchiness of their interaction dims when Louis realises that it's the middle of the day on a
weekday. He pulls himself away from Edward's insistent and persistent lips, as well as Harry's well
behaved paws that hold onto his sides.

"I need to get back to work." Louis announces with a tired sigh. He simply cannot imagine going
back to work after the day he's had.

"I'll drive you." Harry offers first. He's got blown-out pupils and extra red lips that are puffy from
all his ministrations on Louis' body.

"You don't have a licence, brother." Edward reminds him, amusedly glancing over Louis' shoulder.
Louis giggles. Harry shrugs like it's no big deal and Edward clears his throat.

"I'm going to get dressed." Louis squeezes his way out of the cage he was caught up in.

Harry flops down onto his own bed like a teenager who just got his crush to kiss him. Edward licks
his lips and stands at the foot of Harry's bed, waiting to be noticed. Harry sits up at the displeasure
his brother is making him face in such abundance.

He knows that he's in for a kind of punishment when his brother returns because Edward was - and
still is - very particular about things concerning Louis. Freelancing is not allowed and Harry
managed to derail himself quite freakishly.

"I know." Is all he tells his older brother.

"Good."

* * * * *

"What on Earth happened to my car?!" Louis shouted to the many people surrounding his
Audi the second he jumped down from the Rover.

Louis' Audi's windscreen was smashed with the brick in question still sitting in the deep crater it
created. The driver's side window was cracked and a scrape deep enough to expose the innards of
the vehicle ran along both the passenger side doors.

The nuns that were standing idle and useless scurried away while Reverend James stuck back to
explain to Louis what happened with Dr. Murs and a staff nurse. All three sets of eyes passed from
the expectant face of Louis to the new appearance of Edward.

"A patient had a small tantrum." Reverend James gave everyone a wry smile but Louis was having
none of it.

"So you allow patients to vent their anger on your staff's personal property?" Louis didn't yell but it
took a great deal of energy to contain it all.

"He got loose, Louis." Dr. Murs steps in. "Ran out of the psychiatric ward and did this before
anyone could get to him."

Louis looked at the car he worked towards buying and now has to pay thousands in repair fees
because these people can't keep their nurses on high alert. He wanted to cry. "Crap."

"The foundation running this institution will be happy to pay for all the damages." Reverend James
tried to patch things up.

"Half the fees." Louis clarified, looking the Reverend in his eye. "The other half goes towards
employing more vigilant keepers."

He knew he was out of line by saying that but he was so angry he couldn't bring on the feeling of
regret. That's his first ever car that's been in his name and he's had it since he was eighteen. It had a
special place in his memory so sue him for lashing out.

"I will write you a cheque later." Reverend said, still so polite but even he has glanced thrice over
Louis' shoulder.

Louis nods stiffly. He hates taking money from anyone who isn't his father for his allowance and
Dr. Murs with his salary.

"The tow truck is here to take it to the best garage in Middleston." Dr. Murs has his hands in his
pockets, sticking the strong winds whipping his white coat just to see a former patient a little longer.
"I'll sign the papers and be back then." Louis spins around on his heel and pointedly ignores the
sympathetic look from Edward. "Don't do that to me."

Such simple words spoken everyday by people of foreign and native lands but this time it's enough
to have everyone looking. Dr. Murs forgets to close his mouth and the cold bites his sensitive teeth
at the nerve. Edward smirks and turns around with Louis to meet the tow truck driver.

"You're sad and I'm sympathetic." Edward says to him, watching Louis' hand dart across pages as he
signs his initials.

"Then stop it." Louis hands back the clipboard. Even the mechanic is staring. "Oh for crying out
loud."

The mechanic ropes and clips Louis' Audi's bonnet to the hook at the back of his truck. Edward
steps in front of Louis to get his full attention.

"Thanks." Louis mumbles as his car is dragged out of the parking lot by an old truck with new
prints.

"Hey, petal." Edward extends himself and reels Louis into his arms. "I'll pick you up later."

Louis shakes his head and closes his eyes to keep his eyeballs from freezing in the howling wind.
"It's fine."

"You mean to catch a lift with that Liam friend of yours?" Edward doesn't have much on besides a
white shirt with three buttons at the top to create a V-neck, black jeans and boots. "If so, I should
tell you that I'll be here at four and if you're not here I will be very pissed off."

A giggle bubbles out of Louis unexpectedly and he separates from Edward to look up at him. "I'll be
here."

Edward puts his three fingers in his jeans front pockets. The air blowing so violently has messed up
his hair and left it flattened to the side. The red colour burst of his lips drew back over his teeth
when he was amused and it was a beautiful enough sight to be terrifying.

* * * * *

Louis had a pile of work awaiting his return when he was seated at his desk again. Someone
brought his plan for the day to his desk and scratches were everywhere indicating time changes
from when he was gone. He frowned as he tried to decipher the correct times before entering them
in his diary.

His phone with half its battery life left sat dead at his side while he sorted through paperwork and
filed the final report on Perrie the Landscaper. She's due to be discharged tomorrow into the custody
of her mother and Louis is thankful he doesn't have a last meeting with her.

He has two meetings to be completed by three o'clock if he's going to have their reports done by
four the latest. He does not see that happening with the amount of time he has to spend editing Dr.
Murs' schedule for outdoor activities according to each patient's requirements.

"Lou?" Dr. Murs disturbs his quiet work time as a floating voice.

"Yes?" He stops reading the chart's fifth page with rubs his eyes tiredly.

His eyes lift from the page to his employer standing there with two mugs, setting one down next to
his left hand. "It's already two, Louis."

At that moment Louis' phone buzzes with the alarm he set to remind him that he needs to be on the
move at this time. He thanks Dr. Murs and grabs the files he set aside for his meetings, his phone
and mug of plain black coffee before leaving the office.

His first meeting is with the late Edmund's cell mate, Rico. He also requests that two male nurses
follow him inside rather than dead beat police officers. For the first time, he sees a bead of worry
rush across their eyes. He finishes with Rico in time for his second meeting across the block. This
patient is Natalia and she's a very quiet one, so Louis tells the nurses to let him handle this on his
own.

Natalia is a girl a few years older than Louis and has the awful habit of biting her hair so all the tips
are spit-covered and matted. Louis sits across from her all the same and keeps his valuable
belongings on his lap.

"Hi, Natalia." He greets her with a warm smile.

Her vision flickers to life like she had her eyes closed this whole time and looks at him curiously.
"Louis?"

"That's me." His smile broadens. "How do you remember me?"

"How's your neck?"

His smile fades significantly. "Fine. Why do you ask?"

"Everyone knows what happened to it." She crosses her legs on the hard steel chair. "Some people
think you're satanic now, others want to be like you."

"We're going to talk about you now, alright? How have you been since I last saw you?"

"They say you shouldn't fuck them both. You'll die if you do."

"Natalia." He warns, but they're both aware already of the lingering nurses outside with sedatives.
"We're talking about you."

"There's a weird smell in my cell at night." She abruptly changes topics and starts staring out the
barred window. "Like damp wood and blood."

"Every night?" He asks, not bothering to jot down points as his phone records the conversation. He
wishes he hadn't finished that entire mug of

"Every night. Do you have a smoke?"

"You know you shouldn't be smoking, in here or anywhere."

"The nice nurse guy....Buddy gives me a smoke-" She replies smoothly. "-right before he
comes into my room and sticks his hand down my shirt."

Louis stares at his patient with mixed feelings. "He rapes you?"

"Every night." She repeats her answer from before. "Check the cameras, if they haven't erased the
footage."

* * * * *

Harry groans and remains plastered to his bed on his front. He's well aware that he can't fight it but
that doesn't mean he will go easily. That was his initial gusto but now he's just exhausted and the
sweat draining out from his pores has turned sticky over his wait.

"What the fuck were you thinking?" Edward had the whip around the lowest concave of Harry's
waist. He tugged on the handle he gripped tightly when he got no response.

Harry's got no energy left in him because even if he does visit the gym and creates an excellent
stamina for himself, there are days when he just forgets to go. That now meant him lying pliant and
bare with his breathing reduced to frantic gasps.

"You want me to guess?!" Edward is slightly breathless himself. He stopped himself from
doing the usual routine of taping Harry's mouth shut while he fucked him, only because he wants
answers now.

"I wasn't thinking." Harry mumbles, biting his pillow in the midst and saliva getting all over the
unique fabric.

"What?" Edward yanks on the leather whip so hard that if Harry didn't buck up and kneel, it would
have sliced his skin.

"I wasn't thinking!" Harry crowed, his knuckles blistering white while he groped for something to
hold onto.

Edward sighed and undid the loop of the whip roping Harry in. The latter male collapsed back onto
his sheets like a hollow vessel.

"Hurt?" Edward asks as he tosses the whip aside and tries to stop Harry from shuffling away from
him.

"My arse." Harry grumbled, not bashfully.

"You deserved it."

"I know."

* * * * *

Checking the camera footage regarding Natalia's issue is the first thing Louis does after his time
with her is up. He plays nice with everyone because he isn't exactly sure which male nurse is Buddy
so with permission from Reverend James, he searches through overnight footage. There's evidence
of the rape occurring each night in Natalia's cell and Louis raises the question on why none of this
was being reported.

Reverend writes to the board of managers and donors about this, as well as firing all the culprits that
add up to four people. It becomes one of the most gruelling days of Louis' life when at 15h43 he's
not anywhere near being done for the day. He allows Dr. Murs to handle the affairs of Natalia's case
while he completes her file in his office with the recording of their interview and transcript of
report.

Most of the workers are gone home and all the night shift employees are making their way in. Dr.
Murs stayed in late with Reverend and Louis had joined their little intervention when he delivered
Natalia's patient file to them. They quizzed him and documented things from his witness eye-view.

"The police are coming in tomorrow for an official statement." Dr. Murs made certain to look at
Louis. "Can you make sure she's ready to do that?"

"What time will they be here?" Louis asks.

"Twelve."

Louis takes out his calendar on his phone and makes a note of that. For a Friday, tomorrow isn't
looking pretty enough to be worth celebrating. He excuses himself to finish the patient file of Rico
by uploading their interview and doing his professional write-up on it.

"Got a second?" Liam knocks on Louis' door with his knuckle.

"The next person to interrupt me is getting shot." Louis doesn't look up from his screen. "Have a
seat."

His phone rings and Liam laughs as he sits himself down in the chair opposite to Louis at his desk.
Louis holds up his finger and checks the caller identification on his iPhone, frowns and answers
anyway.

"Hello?" He gives the caller his full attention and sits back in his chair, batting Liam's hands away
from his keyboard.

Edward held his phone against his ear as the wind cruelly whacked anyone in the face as they
walked, jogged and dodged. "I believe I was promised your presence outside this institute of mental
deterioration."

Louis felt an eye roll coming on along with a smile at his computer screen. "How did you get my
number?"

"I asked someone."

"I'll be out in-" Louis glances at the time at the corner of his screen then Liam's pout. "-twenty
minutes. Is that okay?"

"You get nineteen." Edward chuckles and hangs up.

Louis blows out a stubborn exhale with his bottom lip jutted out.

"Sorry 'bout that." He apologises to Liam and gathers the work he'll have to do at home. "What did
you want to talk to me about?"

Liam drops the set of coloured pens he was playing with and Louis sets it atop the pile of work he
has. He brings Louis up to date on everything concerning Edmund's case. There's no new
developments but Liam spent the day meeting the coroner, Edmund's cell mate who Louis also met
today, the nurses who went in and out of his cell.

"There are no cameras in the section." Louis informs Liam on their walk out after locking his office.
"Why not?"

Louis shrugs. "Lack of funds is the reason we get."

They walk down the hall together with just the noise of their shoes clanking on sticky linoleum.
Louis does a mental check of everything he's supposed to have and curses in a very PG way when
he realises he left the USB containing his interviews back in the office.

"I'll um...see you tomorrow?" Louis waves to Liam as he rushes back down the hall the way he
came.

Skidding to a halt, Louis tries to keep his handful of papers from falling to the unhygienic floors. He
tucks them all into his bag, spending a moment in the quiet shadow in the crook that's part of the
passageway. He's extracting his keys from his front pocket when a foul smell reaches his nose and
makes him momentarily gag from the pungent power it packs.

He covers his mouth and nose as he finally gets the key into the knob and shoves it open. Flipping
on the light switch, his office was illuminated again as well as part of the hallway he'd just exited.
Standing behind him for the entire duration of his key-fumbling and file-juggling experience, was a
person lean enough to bend over his height. If Louis had turned around instead of immediately
going to his desk space, he'd have seen the face of this person who had a nightmarish curve to both
his eyebrows, an upper lip that was torn to raw tissue at the side and hair that stood at all angles. It
was purely a face bred to terrify people to death.

Louis grabbed the lidless USB under the Verbatim brand name and dashed out the door again. His
locking process was more efficient and with the stench absent, he was out of there in no time.
"Eighteen minutes!" Louis had to shout above the screeching of the wind circling him and the figure
leaning against a familiar Range Rover.

Edward shook his head and opened the passenger door for Louis to hop in. It took a few tries
because of the luggage Louis had and that the wind seemed to have a nasty life of its own with a
personal vendetta to trip him into having a concussion.

"Where's Harry?" Louis makes himself as comfortable as he can. The Styles is a family that looks
after their assets, an obvious indication being that there isn't a scratch or bit of litter in this giant
vehicle.

"Tied up at home." Edward keys in the ignition and the engine's purr of life is hardly there.
Louis stares at Edward's unyielding face as they pull into traffic. "Do you mean-"

"Not literally, petal." Edward relaxes once they're on the highway and sits back in his seat with one
hand on the steering wheel.

"Hmph." Louis chews the inside of his bottom lip as he turns his attention to his iPhone.

They drove in silence for three solid minutes while Louis checked a few messages from Niall
informing him that he had a late shift at the bar tonight. They'd just passed onto an off ramp by the
time someone spoke again.

"Petal?"

"Why do you call me that?" Louis locked his phone before the giant battery cell could flicker and
annoy him.

"Well-" Edward stops at the red light a cross-road away from Louis' apartment complex. "-answer
my request and I'll tell you."

"It's always about deals with you." Louis notes out loud, his pout on full display. He remembers a
time - days ago - when he'd never have been this comfortable with Edward. "Why can't you just tell
me?"

"The fun always lies in what greatness you can achieve with the smallest of bargains.""

"Is that a quote?" Louis stops himself from crossing his legs. The force of habit is something that
now makes him fidgety when one leg isn't angled differently from the other.

"You can quote me, should you wish."

"Such a charmer." Louis muses with brief laughter. "What is your bargain, Styles?"

Edward side glances at him with a crook in the curve of his mouth to depict his obvious amusement.
"I propose, in exchange for the answer to your question, you accompany my brother and I on
another date."

They have arrived in the underground parking lot for Louis' place but Louis doesn't move to get out
and Edward doesn't move to aid him. The brothers want a do-over from Louis?

"A date?"

"Indeed."

"Where will you two take me?"

Edward takes a silent moment to consider this, his eyes following someone as they scurry across the
garage to the elevator bank. "Most probably something spontaneous and cliché. Do you agree to it?"
"When are you planning this....spontaneous and cliché date?" Louis gets the door handle between
his fingers and keeps it in a position of uncertainty.

"Tomorrow."

"I'll think about it." Louis opens the door and swiftly jumps down to the concrete ground.

Edward gets off to follow the infuriating boy he calls petal regularly. He locks the Range Rover and
listen to the irresponsible screech of tyres trying to fit into parking spaces some blocks down. Louis
gives him a quizzical look as he walks briskly towards the elevators himself, pushed on from his
usual cruise mode by the strong winds.

"Where do you thing you're going?" Louis jabs the correct button on the panel and rocks back on
his heels.

"I'm escorting you, petal."

"Is that necessary?"

"Who knows what peril may lie ahead?"

The elevator doors slide open and Edward extends his arm towards its warm interior, ushering
Louis in ahead of him. Louis rolls his eyes and steps in, immediately finding his floor number on
the golden box of choices and presses it. Edward is about to end his internal argument on whether to
go or stay when a pair of male surfer strangers - most likely from the skidding tyres - squeeze their
way in.

He chooses to stay.

Louis doesn't seem to mind them or pay any attention to the drunken idiots swaying in their
stagnant positions. Edward's domineering nature to keep Louis tucked away for him and Harry
leads him to winding an arm around the boy's waist just as the doors close.

His subject looks up at him from the side of him that's away from the suspicious blokes with a
concerned and confused knitted brow. Edward shakes his head very slightly and Louis almost
convinces himself to object to the controlling demeanour he's hidden under. That is only until one of
the two others in their company shoves the other, and there's a fleeting thought of Louis' collision
with a mirrored wall.

Edward stops any such reaction by pulling Louis towards the back and the boy's clumsy tendency
gets his shoe snagged in a dip on the ground. He stumbles and Edward seizes his hips before a fatal
lunge.

"Sorry, y'all." The shover apologies with a stifled burp and Louis' closer companion had his nose
pressed to the feathery tuft of hair on his head.

"It's okay." Louis gives him a tiny polite smile and looks away at the ascending number above the
door.

It gets to the desired digit and Louis ignores the weight press of his bag, the struggle to maintain a
grip on his slipping phone and locating his keys to hurry out of the iron cage. Edward follows right
behind him with soundless footsteps and the shuffling of his heavy grey coat halts with Louis when
the boy's back faces him to unlock the front door.

The first hand to touch Louis' body is Edward's right and it slides with more enthusiasm than
regular sensuality to the front, flattening over Louis' tummy. His reaction is to drop his keys and
gasp with a loud enough sound for it to entail an echo across the vacant hallway.

Edward moves the tip of his nose to the hairline below Louis' ear. His body leans just the slightest
bit forward and Louis' hands curl into his fists against the numbered door. He's doesn't know what
Edward's trying to accomplish in the middle of a public hallway but his otherwise motivated
body let's him go ahead with it anyway.

The hand from Louis' front moves to one of his wrists, wrapping the fist up in a case of Edward's
paper pale fingers that hold onto him so tightly. Louis' lips fall apart and his eyelids slip shut at the
warm press of Edward's chest on his back. The broader shape of the former makes Louis feel like
he's tucked away in a corner even if they're simply standing indecently in a passage.

With Edward nosing along the line of well-trimmed hair and delectable soft skin, Louis releases a
small whimper from the cold dryness of his own mouth. He sucks his bottom lip into his mouth and
uses his free hand to snake a path upwards to Edward's nape and bring him closer.

Public display of lewdness forgotten, Edward groans when Louis' fingers knot his hair and his face
is hidden so snugly in the crook of Louis' neck. His other arm forms a possessive belt around Louis'
middle where the slender figure drives his temptation through the roof.

"Remember what I promised?" Edward stepped forward with his leg between both of Louis' thighs.

The layer of jean cloth is not enough to keep Edward from feeling the crevice of the space between
Louis' thighs and how it was tightening. He couldn't think of a person who would assume they were
innocent at the moment.

"Hardest fuck of my life?" Louis grinded his hips and Edward made a guttural noise from deep
inside his chest. "Bring it on."

Chapter Text

*LOUIS' POV*

There have to be at most three marks branded into the skin of my neck by the time I've gotten the
keys back in my hand. The muscle beneath those bruises are exercised by the work of Edward's lips
sucking and avoiding the use of his teeth. His act of crowding me against the door leaves me
blinded while unlocking the door and shuddering so evidently when he breathes puffs of hot air
between the fibers of my arousal.

When the door flies ope it manages to bounce off the table behind it and make an obnoxious rattling
sound. My files are taken from me and my hand is captured to be led into my own apartment before
the door is sealed. The papers are dumped on the aforementioned table, with no task of completing
them in the near future.

Edward abandons my hand when he corners me between the table and wall bend heading for the
comfort of my living room. My hands fall to the mercy of Edward's belt loops, fingers curling
through them and feeling the resultant smirk against my throat. Teeth scrape my Adam's Apple and I
choke back a whimper when lips seal around it. A small and insufficient suckle is placed there
before moving on.

A hand adequately large enough to circle my neck lands on my thigh, squeezing until the flesh
hidden by my pants is flushed and in pain slightly. I whine from the hot contact and pull Edward
between my legs to where friction is absent but in dire need. My noises are smoothed out by
Edward's lips finding mine but not satisfying the burn of desire just yet.

My eyes fly open from their hibernating state to find Edward watching me, completely still except
for the tapping of his fingertips on the underside of my thigh.

"One is not going to be enough." Edward's paw moves from the door to my cheek, his thumb
grazing back and forth over my cheekbone as his eyes burrow into mine earnestly. "Not with you."
I touch his wrist with my humble fingertips and find the contact deepened by the straining of his
veins through skin. It's as if he's grasping onto something so tightly and fiercely, but his actual hold
on the side of my face is undeniably gentle.

There's a fire somewhere burning like the flames of war that is simply inextinguishable with water
and sand. My ravenous body will be mourning the loss of something far more uncensored if this
does not get a move on.

"I know." I breathily reply, squeaking when my leg is hiked up at an angle to rest on Edward's hip.
"You don't have to stop." Ever.

Edward, in the absent light of my empty apartment, renders a blush to my cheeks when he doesn't
smirk or confidently chuckle. His molten stare softens at the corners like the chipping away of
rounded emerald, and he closes the distance between our mouths.

Having this kiss felt like the break of a fast after starving myself. I moaned involuntarily without
regret and carded one hand through Edward's quiff of hair, tugging on the curly tips and scraping
his scalp with my fingernails. His concentration faltered at the latter deed and his groan flittered
through our union to rupture the small strain of self-restraint I possessed.

His mouth sealed over mine as his hand encircled the shape of my thigh, one nibbling and the other
squeezing. I was panting for breath but he didn't care, his lips moved where mine did. At last when I
was certain I had enough space to do it without tumbling into humiliation, I clasped Edward's
shoulders with both hands and separated from our indecent kiss to jump.

He was pleased with my convenient action and fell forward so I was pressed against the door. My
back arched to make room but his palm pushed down on my middle to reposition me again. I was
too far gone at this point and removed the restriction digging into my stomach to pull him towards
me. The hunger from our kiss spiralled into me shoving off his too exepensive ashen coat, and he
reaching for the hem of my shirt. It got tugged over my head and flung across the doorway
carelessly.

I was forced to keep supporting myself by holding onto his shoulders as his sinful mouth latched
onto the new skin that's free to be his victim. He hitched my thighs higher and tighter around him,
bringing my ankles close enough together to be locked at his back. Moving lower and lower until he
reached the erect nubs of my nipples. By this point my pants were beginning to hurt around the
throbbing of my own erection and judging by the bulge pressing into my thigh, he's experiencing
the same issue.

"Bedroom." I manage to pull from my fumbling vocab, silently screaming when he kitten licked my
sensitive left nipple.

He grunted and pulled my away from the door. When he spoke it was without lifting his mouth or
gaze. "Where is it, petal?"

"H-Hallway!" I raise my voice by several octaves when he suckles on the dusky nipple until
it's pink and raw enough to ache.

His legs move after he's deemed me aroused and sensitised enough to lean completely on him. He
makes the trip to the hallway and I set my head on his shoulder, tilting my chin so I can have access
to his neck. My hand, however less powerful than his, comes up to the other side of his neck where
the race of his jugular is felt.

I let the scent and essence of himself - the cologne, the taste of his skin, the grip he has on my
desperate body - take control of my actions. My teeth sink into the nearest spot of skin and the
reverberations of his groan earthed from his throat is felt against my tongue.

"Keep it off." I whisper when we finally get to my room and he reaches for the light switch, with
the bite of my teeth hanging off his earlobe.

He makes a sound of consent and swings the door shut behind us. "Don't want to see me that much,
petal?"

I shake my head, the heat in my cheeks being another reason to be thankful for no lighting. "Want
you to be the only thing I see."

A rush of air gushes out of lungs when I'm dumped onto my own unmade bed. The impact caused
me to bounce on the springs so slightly that I hardly got nauseous, before the anchor of Edward's
hands on my ankles had me paying attention to something else.

Edward stands at the end of my imported bed with blank eyes and subdued desire as alight and
ignited as my own. His appearance was dullened by the lack of even moonlight coming through my
curtains, as he got ahold of my ankles again and pried my shoes off. Taking this as a divine sign, I
reach for the button on my jeans and undo it.

"Don't." He gets my other shoe off and dumps it somewhere on the floor. "Only I will undress you,
petal."

I find this unreasonable with such painful enthusiasm stamping out logic and thought in my feral
mind. I pout but withdraw my hands obediently.

"Redo it." He instructs me, another unordinary request coming to life.

Tucking my hands at a lower position, I button the metal tab again and notice Edward watching me
do it. He's stopped all that he was doing before and resumed once my hands were safely at my sides
and jobless. The flow of my blood to a region of private standards is driving me mad this time
because it's growing to be uncomfortable. No pun intended.

He peels my socks off and finally bends over me with the crooks of my knees hooked over
his hips. His body leans forward in such a way that I almost predict exactly where he'll stop, except
he doesn't. His arms quiver just the tiniest bit as he lowers himself until the tip of his nose is teasing
the almost invisible fine hairs on my tummy.

His face is pressing into that area with his mouth parted and sharp teeth poking at odd points within
the region he's closed off with his gaping mouth. That touch turns into a kiss with plump and
swollen cushions closing in just above my belly button. I shiver at the wetness of the flesh being
held against me, the skin that's usually hidden in a kiss because it stays inside his mouth.
Edward's nimble fingers take the notorious button of my jeans and pops it through the hoop of
fabric, effectively sliding the tiny silver zipper down its path as well. The relief is minimal and I
feel like I'm burning up despite being so unclothed and bare. Cotton and silk rub against my thighs
from his shirt, leaving my body's goosebumps in its path. One leg at a time he removes the clothing
item from my body until I'm down to my underwear.

"Up." He gestures with his hand for me to move forward. "Kneel on the bed."

I obey with a vain kind of eagerness. The sooner I do as told, the faster we can get this show on the
road. I bite my lip and flick my annoying fringe out of my eyes.

"I think it would be only fair if you got to return the favour." He took my hands and placed them on
his chest where the first button of his shirt lay.

 

My task is completed dutifully. I unbutton each obstruction on his designer shirt - that's ugly as all
Hell - and discard it just as he had done to my shirt. When my hands return to his insanely well-kept
body where the curves were absent or precious muscle, he captures my lips with his again. I wrap
my arms around his neck as is customary, and deepen the kiss with my tongue flicking the stubborn
tip of his.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Edward tilts his head to the side, acqueiscing to Louis' act of creating an even bigger desperate mess
of their kiss. He battles to not use all the instruments at his disposal to keep Louis from hurting
himself but the boy is as stubborn and defiant as he is. He's forced to pull away when he feels Louis
trace the pointed tip of his upper canine.

"Stop doing that." Louis wraps himself around Edward's body and relaxes from the slide of his
limbs when the man grips his behind through his boxer briefs. "You won't hurt me."

"I will-" Edward nips at a corner of the bandage taped to Louis' neck. "-and I'm afraid that I won't
be able to stop."

Louis puts a little distance between their chests at that comment and frowns despite the ache for
pleasure in his groin and lower pits of his abdomen. "What are you talking about?"

"This." Edward bumps Louis' jaw to the side with his cheek and recaptures the bit of skin he'd once
claimed. He sucks for a moment until it's red and pronounced.

"O-Oh." Louis stuttered and sealed his eyelids over his eyes again. He gripped Edward's biceps with
his nails beginning to hurt the flesh underneath it with the strength of his hold.

"Can't stop now." Edward sends Louis plummeting towards the bed again, letting him land on his
back before concealing the boy's body with his own.

*LOUIS' POV*

I'm torn apart by the contraints of something as simple as elasticated cotton around my bulging
arousal. Edward doesn't seem to be taking particular pleasure in my discomfort, for he slots a leg
between both of mine and rolls his body upward. It gets me breathless and raggedly heaving, my
eyes transfixed behind blackness. I grip his hips and silently pray he does it once more.

He does and I forget that other people reside in this building because I'm releasing
embarrasing noises of a high volume. Edward's hips roll so harshly but so perfectly positioned
between my thighs that I can't think of anything besides him moving the way he is. I choke on a
moan that's the result of Edward grinding down in hasty circles with our blocked erections rubbing
off on one another.

The tightening pit in the deepest part of my abdomen begins to quake and I find my back arching as
the climax rapidly approaches. Edward stretches his forearms out on either side of my head and
continues his punishing motions with a lip sucked between his teeth. I can't resist the temptation to
pull myself up and connect our mouths for something sweeter.

His hands grip my thighs as the fabric of his crotch area rubs obsessively over mine and I begin to
cry out in broken sounds, my head rolling back and mouth falling open. The orgasm is threatening
to be powerful after being prolonged in waiting, and I start to roll my hips down against his in fast
thrusts to get it nearer to me.

"Slow down, my petal." He nips at the lobe of my ear and sinks his teeth into the ultra soft spot just
below.

I whine mindlessly when he stops and hauls himself up into a kneeling position. Risking it all, I
reach down to apply pressure to my throbbing and neglected length but Edward's tongue folds
around a 'tsk' sound to warn me. He meets my eyes the entire time he's removing his belt and plants
a hearty kiss on my belly button when my fear becomes visible through my eyes.

He holds out the length of the leather belt and taps my right hip. In a quick act I arch up off the bed
and he slips the belt under me, before allowing me fall back. His vision moves to what he's doing
now instead of my highly confused expression. He sets the belt above my navel and buckles it in
place so it's tight enough to not fall but not strict enough to hurt.

The remaining belt left over after he closes it at the third loop, becomes a type of handle that he
uses to command the movements of my body. I shudder in no complaint and extremely dangerous
pleasure towards the idea. Edward removes his pants after that and drops them to the floor, shuffling
back up the rustling sheets to me.

He comes close to my eye-level and takes the belt handle, yanking on it so my body is curved into
his. I stare into his eyes and try to ignore the clawing annoyance of my nether regions. This
becomes known to him and he kisses me with an open mouth with his fingers loop over the waist
band of my boxers and draw them down my legs.

I try to sit up and get him to kiss me again when he's gome but he pulls on the belt again and I have
to remain flat. When he slivers back up to meet my racing vision, he brings my knees with him until
they're bent nearly to my ears. I hold onto the backs of my thighs when his body weight keeping
them pressed to my chest becomes too much.

I'm so exposed this way, with my body's most guarded region on display for him. He seems
to admire it and I don't miss the lick of his lips when his eyes lower to what I'm thinking of.

"You look away-" He trails a dry finger from my sack over my hole and digs it in just enough to
make me cringe. "-and I'll stop."

We wouldn't want that now would we? He pulls out the fingertip he pushed into me and- Sweet
Jesus this man is a giant tease.
I listen to the urgent breathing rapidly beating in and out of my
as I brought my hands under the crook of my knees to keep them aerial.

Edward lowers himself onto his front at the ideal position in front of me, his hands circling the
globes of my bum until he's gotten them flushes and tingly. I have to fight the urge to collapse into
my sheets to maintain eye contact with him when he seems to be having zero struggle, throwing me
off with a smirk before his mouth is hovering over me.

I feel so much when his hot breath stops floating over my entrance and his hot, wet tongue
takes its place. The weight of my poor erection sitting on my front with droplets of precome
emphasising the heaviness. The thickness of the air that's making it that much harder to inhale. The
second person here with me, lapping at the crease between my cheeks like he can get the sweetest
taste.

A long strip is initiated to follow the path of Edward's finger earlier. He exposes just the tip of his
tongue so his exhales are caught on the wetness he leaves behind, chilling the core of my body. I
watch his eyes blow out to black pearls and I can bet my last dime that I look like a frantic siren
from the Middle Ages.

"Don't look away, petal." He seems to sense my battle and stretches up on the strain of his arms to
kiss me, slow and so unlike him.

I whimper against his mouth and bite his bottom lip in the hopes of earning some mercy. No such
luck. He let's the war within my loins rage on as he drops back down and runs his hands down my
thighs in a way that's almost bloody ticklish.

My back bends in a small fold when he prods at my hole again with his skilful muscle. I ache to
reach between my legs and grab him the hair but I don't see a happy ending for anyone that way. He
follows the rim of my hole with his tongue, over and over and over....

When I forget the numbers of the count I had been keeping, he's lubing up his thumb by sticking it
in his mouth then pressing the pad against the fluttering of my exterior. I feel the sphincter give way
and his finger slip inside, then the wriggle of it against my walls. Biting my lip, I mistakenly allow
my eyes to close and for my body to stew in the satiating processions.

Edward hums and extracts the thumb. I wait for another finger to join the thumb but I shriek instead
at the slap delivered to my left cheek. The tears dampening the corners of my eyes cause irritation
as I blink and glare at Edward.

"I told you not to look away." He admonishes coldly, grabbing me by the belt and yanking me down
closer to him.

I mewl and mumble an apology that even I can't hear. With that, he kisses the head of my length and
comes away with lips coated in the fluid it has been giving off. He swipes his tongue over both
immediately after, lifting my gaze with his again.

He slips his thumb back into me down to the knuckle and the stimulation has my eyes stinging. I dig
my nails into my own thighs to keep them risen and try my utmost best to not implode with the
maddening attention to my high-on-pleasure body.

The thumb is removed again and Edward closes his mouth over my more open rim, sucking at short
intervals as he pushes his tonge past the barrier slowly. His rhythm is meticulous as he sucks and
prods, sometimes getting just the tip in and other times stretching the burn to allow more.

He looks at me the whole time and I find it impossible to uphold his order. There's too much and too
little, a battle that must be sorted out with my eyes closed and racing mind focusing on just one
thing.

"Pl-Please." I lace my fingers through golden strands of hair and tug. "I can't."

"Can't what, petal?" He brings his face up to mine, lips glossy and chin wet.

I lock my legs around his waist just because I can and release his hair. "Can't look."

"You want to close 'em?" He kisses the tip of my nose and I realise that I'm frowning.
I nod slowly. He waits for a moment before nodding and surprising me. My eyes slip shut
immediately and Edward lifts my legs up again, indicating that I must still keep them propped. I
hold them as I was before and rest my head on the pillow.

His index finger slips in one bend at a time and eventually is buried inside me down to the knuckle.
He was marvelously long fingers and I almost lose the hold on my knees. The fire from earlier has
turned into something colder but far more nerve-racking and is circulating my body religiously. I
feel his tongue at me again, as his finger begins to move.

He hits something spectacular on his third pump and I scream with no regard for neighbours. This
pleases Edward into pumping faster and his tongue never faltering against it, the tip managing to
slip in beside the appendage. I pull my legs closer just to feel the stretch in my muscles.

Edward pulls out his finger and locks his mouth around the slightly stretched opening in quick
succession. He sucks the gasp right out of me when he scratches down my thigh and the red lines
turn chilled. His teeth touch my skin and he dares to deepen the catch they have on me, not allowing
the skin to give and be pierced.

My eyes are open at the sensation of him shoving his tongue into me so it burns but burns
just right. I can feel the flicking of his tongue inside me just shallowly and my greedy inner
submissive wants him now. He fucks his tongue in and out me at the rhythm of his finger,
sometimes slipping but not losing speed. I writh and make horrendous noises from all the feelings
rolling out within me.

He reaches up on either side of me and grabs the belt with my waist, holding me firmly against his
mouth and growling. It sent the best kind of vibrations up my arched spine, spreading out at my
shoulders and melting like liquid warmth into my bones. His hold gets tight enough for flesh to be
rubbing against my ribcage but I can't feel anything besides him gathering saliva on his tongue
before letting it drip into me.

I'm left feeling cold and alone when he pulls away for a short moment, kneeling between my legs
and ridding himself of the final article of clothing he has on. I've never seen Edward entirely naked
and hard at the same time. My brain seems to be doing cartwheels at the sight of his size but
my body weeps for the fact that I'm not stretched nearly enough.

He pumps himself a few times just to make sure he's fully hard and I don't even try
estimating the inches. I lie back and when two fingers enter me I sink a little further into a world of
sexual torture. His wrist is a blurred vision as he moves the spit-covered fingers through my body. A
third joins them and I don't get an adjustment period so I turn my head to the side and bite my
pillow to hide a scream.

"You're so tight, petal." He cloaks my body with his again and allows my legs to fall onto his
shoulders. "How does that work?"

I don't know! I stare blankly back at him and he connects our mouths, having to close mine
with his teeth first because I'm a little out of my senses.

His fingers stop moving and he mutters the one word my libido seems to have been waiting for.

"Come."

Unknowingly I'd been keeping my orgasm at bay and now it rips through me, three white ropes
staining my tummy and chest. Edward is gone for a moment while he watches me come with
hooded eyes, teeth poking out as he bites his lip.

I hardly hear him speaking through the raining electricity and blood pumping through my head. My
orgasm has both fired me up and exhausted me. He tugs on the belt around me and I whine.

"I'll go in dry if you don't want to do it, petal." He says calmly, but there's a hidden edge to the crack
in his voice.

Forcing myself up with shaky arms and an unsteady mindset, I make a curious sound that indicates
my confusion. A bottle of lube is presented to me, flavourless belonging to my drawer. I don't waste
energy asking how he got it, and pour some into my hand before touching the hot skin of his
member.

"That's enough." He grunts when he's deemed himself sufficiently lubed.

I fall back onto the bed, once again eager and enthralled as he shuffles up the length of my body
again. Edward effectively keeps me folded in half against him, situating himself so the head of his
erection rubs over me.

"No." I shake my head at the sensitivity that I'd forgotten about and push at his shoulders.

He bites my shoulder and pushes the head in, feeling the pop of its entry and the cry from between
my lips. I sob pitifully and the effort of my legs resisting him is fruitless. He kisses my lips over and
over in small pecks until I relax.

"Hush, petal." He seems to be holding back something too and when I look into his eyes, they're
filled with emotions I can't decipher in the slightest.

My body hasn't recovered from one orgasm and he's pushing into me, inch by massive inch, until
there's another one building. I have nowhere and nothing to grasp so I settle for the sheets, fisting
them in my small hands until I'm satisfied.

"I want to hear your voice." He presses his thumb to my bottom lip and dips it inside. "I want you to
know who's fucking you."

How could I not know? It's impossible for me to not comprehend the monster c*ck inside me. I
accept the piece of him that's in my mouth and experimentally suckle, my eyes peering up through
my lashes for an innocent appearance. Edward's gaze darkens into a beastly lust but he doesn't move
from where he's simply choking my body with his length, resting against me until I'm okay.

Finally my traiterous posterior has stopped jolting and rejecting the intrusion of Edward,
letting the pressure against my insides provide pleasure. I sigh and his hand moves away from my
lips to my chest, tweaking the nipple he'd abused at my doorway. I jolt up into his hand and his face
gets so much closer to me. The position we're in doesn't allow for me to have both him and a great
angle for penetration so I sacrifice the first.

"Better now?" He asks my other nipple, untouched until now.

I squirm beneath him when he tries biting it harmlessly. "You're big."

His lips curve into that signature smirk of his and suddenly I'm being airlifted then dropped again. I
only figure out what happened after my throat doesn't feel so raw from the scream that was punched
out of me.

"Ride me." He takes my place amongst the palace of pillows and leaves me sitting stiffly on his
c*ck.

I whimper and glance around me, feeling uncomfortable with being so exposed and empty up here.
My eye-line meets his again and his stare is so intense it could melt me from afar. I look away shyly
and distract us both by squeezing my eyes closed as I roll my hips across his.
He stops me.

I don't open my eyes and wince when he sits up straight, chest flush against mine and one hand
roaming my back.

"You're insecure. Why?" He hugs me and I throw my arms around his neck, gritting my
teeth at the shift inside me.

"N-Never did this before." I weakly gesture to something between us.

Nothing softens about him. Definitely nothing. He just takes a quick moment to think before
wrapping his arms around my waist, making me feel tiny in them. I lean my forehead against his
and study the magical shade of green he carried everywhere with him.

"Move." I'd like to believe the hint of something was concern.

I lifted my hips and blew out a long breath at the drag within me. Our chests rubbed together and
his arms slid lower, mine supporting me in my movements on his shoulders. It was a structured
system that left each component with a job.

"Better?" He doesn't let me lower myself until I've answered. Maybe it actually was concern.
I nod fervently and sit back down, his body invading mine until I'm filled and the right spots are
combined in one thrust. My fingers press into his shoulders and neck, the head of my member
colliding with the swollen gland of my prostate. He brings his mouth to my neck and rips the
bandage off where his permanent mark lay.

"Gorgeous, petal." He murmured against it, kissing with lifting his lips until he got to my own.
I continue my pace until I'm more at ease and move faster, bouncing shallowly on my knees and
hitting my special spot in every round. Sounds that are loud and some muffled fall from my mouth
and into his, our throats laden with air from one another.

Edward captures my bottom lip with his teeth and I let him have it, already too far lost to the
throbbing inside me to focus on anything besides that. He moans against it as he sucks a little harder
than normal and my wince is lost in the moment.

His hard muscle slams into my hips on every fall, pulling mewls and whines from me. My knees
tire and my thighs begin to quiver but my body is penalising me with the build-up of a pending
orgasm barreling towards me at maximum speed. I become confident enough to speed up and
eventually my hesitation from earlier evaporates as Edward thrust upward and my behind feels
tender with mistreatment.

"Stop." He abruptly whispers harshly, eyes flying to the closed door.

I don't stop. I can't. I'm too close and I can feel it in him too, the groans and twitches against the
clenching of my walls. His arms tighten and he lightly slaps my thigh as incentive but I
can't.

"Petal." He tries to render my motions useless but there's a new build-up within me and it's
more powerful than his reluctance.

The door swings open and Niall's distracted voice enters with him. "Lou, did you get my....-" I can't
see but I'm guessing he looked up at that moment. "Well goodbye then."

The door closes and he's gone, then the front door repeats the sequence.

When the panic in my heart returns to normal, I question why Niall didn't - in his terms - flip his
shit at the sight of Edward in my bed. Movement against me gets me to turn back around, the
feeling of a thumping heart slowly getting back into the cage of my chest.

"You didn't stop." Edward had kept his face hidden - coincidentally or on purpose I'm not sure -
against my chest.

The feeling of suckling around my nipple went unnoticed in my sudden need to keep my best friend
from seeing more of me than he should. Edward resumes his full height here and even now he's
significantly taller than I am. I also forgot about the activity I was conducting prior to Niall's
interruption.

"Disobedient, petal." He rolls us over and I'm plastered to the sheets beneath him, staring wide-eyed
up at him.

The next thing I know my thighs are sacked up to Edward's waist and his hips are pivoting in a
cruel fashion. He punches everything out of me: air, control and sanity. I scream bloody murder
when my prostate is put on a pedestal for him to abuse and my eyes roll back into my skull. He pins
my hands down with his and doesn't attempt to kiss me, just keeps up the bruising pace of pounding
into my weak form.

My thoughts fly out the window and the cartwheels of satisfaction stop in their tracks, flipping over
and landing on a sore arse. Along with my orgasm comes the definite promise of soreness and
marks everywhere when I wake up tomorrow, but that's far from important. Edward's teeth find my
lower lip and he accidentally or not punctures it. The blood trickles and my attempts to escape are
futile.

The pleasure is rapidly destroying me and I have nowhere to run to. I let him leave my hands in
favour of my thighs and at the brink of my end, when I can feel every ridge and bit of his shifting
skin inside me is enough to throw into a mindblowing orgasm, he stops to flip me over.

"What-"

"Hush, petal!" He presses my face into the pillow and I sputter against the fabric clogging my
mouth.

I have nothing to do except clutch the sheets until my nails hurt and skin threatens to start bleeding.
My body is propped up and bum left hoisted in the air with the sting of a thorough fucking and ache
of a gaping hole. I've never had sex as phenomenal as this time. Edward is rough and not afraid of
breaking me, pushing limits to actually achieve that.

The broken skin of my lip leaves the metallic taste of blood in my mouth as I feel his fit himself
into me again from behind. He's deeper this way, nestled against my prostate without needing to
find it. He empties my body of him and slams back in with a loud groan of evident pleasure, the
ripple of his muscles and unforgiving grip on my hips spurring him on.

He continues the pattern of withdrawing and burying himself in the closure my body offers until I'm
a sweaty mess of hormones. I bite the pillow and stain it red with blood, damp with saliva and the
shouts of his name and curses. Edward pulls me up by my hair and I'm allowed to breathe for the
moment that he doesn't bend my neck at a backwards angle so I'm curved completely.

"You're so disobedient sometimes, petal." He says through gritted teeth and a hand gripping the belt
around me.

I moan loudly and with a slackened jaw. "I-I....-"

"Yes?" He holds himself in me, against me, all around me. I shudder violently as I scramble for a
response.

"Sorry!" I manage to push it out of me with an approving nod from my inner conscience.

"Good boy." He releases my hair and his hand settles on my right shoulder, using the control to jerk
my body in time with his. "Will you want this from anyone else, petal?"

I shake my head just to give him the answer he wants. The word floating in my head is
come and it's all I want. I belt out in a loud cry when Edward spanks me instead of
accepting the answer.

"You sure, petal?" He presses his thumbs into the base of my spine. At first it feels like relief and
when the pressure doesn't let up it feels like murder.

I shake my head again because all the words of my vocabulary are lost.

"Say it." He pulls out and runs his hand down my back to the dip between my cheeks, crooking his
index and middle fingers insider me and gripping the wet walls firecely. "Say his name."

I stammered and caught the air in my lungs on the way out, coughing as Edward pile-drove into my
limp form again. There was no time to think about why Edward wanted me to do this. In our time
together and as rooted in intimacy as we are, he's reminding me of his brother.

"H-Harry!"

I feel every part of myself roll over to the raw and delicately sensitive side but Edward is still rock
hard and needy inside me. He fucks as hard as he seems and doesn't stop until he's satisfied by
varying standards.

My skin is red and flushed, heat throttling my senses and keeping my nerves heightened to feel him
and nowhere else. I feel the slap against my behind when he comes forward and the aftermath of
departure.

The need to come has overtaken me and I'm willing to be oh so disobedient to get my release.
Fortunately for me, Edward is close himself and instead of slowing down he thrusts sloppily but
desperately when it becomes too much. I'm seeing black spots in my vision after such a long wait
and suppression of my end.

"Let go, petal." He tells me with his lips on my shoulderblade. "Let go for me."

I release a blood-curdling scream when I come onto the sheets below, ridding my body of the
burden of unreleased come. The muscles in my back take on a nervous shiver and my fingers and
toes curl to withstand the burst of all the colours in my head. It felt truly like every blood vessel of
mine burst at small gaps to contribute to the blow-out proportions of my orgasm, that tore through
me.

My body turns to complete jelly afterwards and I realise that I've missed Edward's release in the
midst of mine bearing down on him. His come flooded my system and my tunnel clenched around
him to milk the last of his offering to me. He emptied himself into me and his length took longer
than any time I know to soften.

Before I could sag into the mess I'd created, Edward rolled us over to the clean side of my bed
without extracting himself from me. Chest heaving and heart racing, I paid attention to the arms
around me as the individual hairs on it came back into focus.

He hadn't pulled out and I couldn't shake the nauseating sensitivity boiling within my body. Tears
were springing to sight on their own accord but Edward brushed my hair aside and reassured me.

"Stay still." He kissed behind my ear. "You've got to stay still, petal."

I twitched with tiny spasms for a bit while my person adjusted to this new stimulus-free
environment. My one hand rest atop Edward's and was soon caught up in the network of his fingers.

"Top ten hardest fucks of your life?" He spoke after a dead silence that lasted ten whole minutes
during which neither of us felt awkward.

"Number one."

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Ah!" Louis cried, tears making the creased corners of his eyes burn and the muscle protests from
his back amplifying the experience of Edward bending him over a table.

His body jerks to the slap of Edward's hips on his ass, lighting the already flushed skin on fire and
leaving a sea of pleasure to crash over him. It forms craters in his mind and physical appetite that
only Edward can fulfil on encounters like this.

"Don't come." Edward growled, his brutality not having eased up during the past two orgasms of
Louis' - the count starting from the night before.

Louis' eyes flew wide open at that betrayal. He was promised release! "Pl-Please! I-I need t'come."

Edward seemed to be taking pity on Louis' shaking form, keeping his body plastered to the boy's as
he rotated his hips. The act caused Louis' body to violently clench around him, resisting the stretch
but wanting it to open him up all the more. Louis' noises altered from screams to sobs that were cut
off by Edward biting over the healed mark he left behind.

"Don't." He warned Louis, spreading his cheeks in one pry that had Louis' hole stretching painfully
with him still pushed in. "Be patient, petal."

Louis closes his eyes and scratches along the surface of the hard wood table, causing scrapes that a
carpenter will have to repair. He reaches back to grab Edward by his hair, harmless splinters of
wood beneath his nails and the skin around the cartilage starting to bleed.

It was becoming too much and Louis wanted to hoard all the pleasure before it spilt and he lost it
all. He panted and tried restraining his body from rolling back with Edward, but the intention was
lost and he came hard enough to see black stars.

Edward expected to hold out and when Louis failed to, he also had his climax stolen from him from
the clamping down of Louis' tunnel of wet muscle around him. He came inside Louis' desperate
little body for the second time, filling him up once again.

"Oh my sweet petal." He extricated himself gingerly and located the plug too large to cause
anything less than soreness on the bed. Without an ounce of sympathy for the boy, Edward pushed
the plug in and pulled Louis away from the table. "You know you disobeyed me and what that calls
for, don't you?"

Louis was exhausted, his eyes already having slipped shut and his body forgetting the probability of
punishment to rest against Edward. He could just about see his blanket of security covering him in
slumber.

"Tired?" Edward combed Louis' hair with his fingers.

Louis made a sound of agreement. He's sure it didn't sound awfully strangled by his exhaustion.

"You're going to stand here-" Edward withdrew from being Louis' upright support structure. "-until
you simply can't."

The worry struck Louis like a brick. He was being punished by being made to stand until he fell, too
tired with weak metabolism to go on.

"Or you can join me." Edward sat at the foot of Louis' bed, as naked as he was when they picked up
their amorous activities this morning. "Last five minutes, petal, and I won't call my brother."

Louis feel motivated after that. At least he would be if he had the energy to be motivated. He glares
powerlessly at Edward and sways on his feet, the distance between them minimal enough to tempt
him. He could fall onto Edward and fall asleep for an hour nap easily before he needs to get up for
work. Even Edward looked comfy sitting unaffected on the bed with his body invitingly open.

Pouting, Louis closed his eyes and battled with tiredness to stay standing. He leaned too much to
the left and almost fell over, but managed to right himself before damage was done.

"Petal?" Edward was calling him but Louis was too far gone to do much other than raise an
eyebrow. "Tired, baby?"

Baby! Louis opens his eyes and his equilibrium unsteadies as he stares at Edward. Will he
be allowed to crawl onto Edward's lap and sleep if he forfeits this trivial game?

He tries to say yes but an awful "Ah-hmph" sound escapes instead. Edward finds it deeply
endearing and even smiles at Louis before expanding his arms. Louis, mindless of the warning of
punishment, scrambles onto Edward's lap and tucks himself below his chin. The comfort is
allencompassing and he finds himself falling prey to his mild fatigue instantly.

* * * * *

Awakening was for Louis, the toughest part of his nap overall. He woke up to Niall shouting and
someone against his back, breathing in shallow gulps down his neck. Hands trailed up and down his
side, over his hip and venturing back up to his shoulder. The respect for his exhausted lower half
was appreciated. Louis tried to extend the time he spent with his face smothered by his pillow and
Edward brushing over the parts of him that were sensitive enough to calm him.

Louis counted to thirty-four in his head, nice and slow, before turning around to face the man who -
Hours? Minutes? - ago had explored the parts of his soul and beyond like nobody else dared.

Harry.

Louis backed away from the dark shoulder-long hair and quickly shallowing dimples. He felt the
end of the bed and stopped himself from falling, clutching the sheets to guard his modesty. Harry
doesn't reach for him or grab him, openly offended by Louis' desperate attempts to escape him.

What did he do?

"Petal?" Harry felt his eyebrows meet in the middle with his frown of confusion and misconception.
Ensuring that any extra skin wasn't showing, Louis heard Niall stop shouting the door slamming
shut. "Where's Edward?"

Harry's insecurity vanished like a stain on a table cloth at Buckingham Palace. He inches forward
and Louis realises that he's fully clothed minus his shoes. Louis was dragged forward by insanely
strong arms maintaining a Hellish tight grip on his arms. His verbal protests are shut out by Harry's
hand on his mouth, the accompanying arm winding around the extremely low curve of his back.

"That was him going at it with your flatmate." Harry answers, dropping his hand to the heaving
chest below. "He called me."

Louis suddenly remembers why Harry would be here in the first place, the only possible reason for
his attendance. Surely it's halfway through the day already? Or at least he's terribly late for work.
They can not do anything at the moment.

"Oh." Louis seems to accept the mentioned prospect of punishment. He let's his hands sink to his
lap and stays especially still to keep from rubbing against the tough jean material of Harry's pants.

"I'll be easy on you, petal." Harry brushes Louis' cheek with the lengths of his fingers until his palm
touches the boy's skin and stops. "You know I will."

Louis narrows his eyes at the man and is drawn closer until the heated skin of his thighs are pressed
against Harry's belt loop. He jumps at the prod of a plug still inserted, jabbing his sore insides and
making him bite his lip.

"Do you fancy my brother above me?" Harry doesn't go near the assaulting object and his fingers
skate across the plane of Louis' back. "Because I try, petal. I really do, just for you."

"You don't try, Harry." Louis puts his hands on Harry's shoulders to brace his balance and lift some
of the pressure on his body. "I wish you would though."

Harry brightens and let's Louis use him as a seated support bar. "You do?"

"I do." Louis sets himself up on his knees and finds a position where he doesn't have so much force
pushing up into him.

"You agreed to give me a chance." Harry points out, his palms digging into the mattress as he
leaned back.

"I have." Louis regards him cautiously. "That's your only chance, Harry."

"Okay." The man returns to his previous position and scratches the itch burning under his skin to
touch Louis. "I intend to....woo you properly."

"Woo me?" Louis tests the possibility of removing himself from Harry's lap when it got too
uncomfortable but the man just preventatively formed a barrier of muscle around his hips.

"Woo." Harry clicked his tongue. "Would you prefer another method?"

From hesitant to confident to suave. Louis doesn't think his head spins enough with this man.

"Would you?" Louis is aware that he's participating in this communication of banter for no
reason other than to provoke another change in Harry's demeanour.

Harry switched from his chilled exposure to an eager child on Christmas morning. "I'd do whatever
you need me to do."

Not entirely shocked by this response, Louis manages a small smile that's weak and strained but
genuine. Harry is completely unlike his brother in the way that he changes with the tide, whilst
Edward remained steadfast and handled everything in one frame of mine. Harry went from seething
to collected when Louis spoke so sweetly to him.

Yes he was here to 'deliver punishment' but neither was entirely aware of what type of punishment
would be dished out. Harry vowed before he got in a car to drive here that he'd risk Edward's wrath
before he hurt his petal again. After hours spent contemplating and something clicking when he
walked in on Louis with Edward, he's decided to be civil about this.

Louis deserved to be treated like a King. A gentle King.

"I-" Edward walks in with as an ordinary an expression as any, indicating against the truth that he
hadn't fought with Louis' best friend minutes ago.

He carried a plate and bottle of water, both objects recognisable as from Louis' cabinets and fridge
respectively. The most stunning thing to be noted about Edward at the time is that he's stark naked
and going about his current business, the impressive equipment he possessed between pelvis and
thigh on open display.

"Where's Niall?" Louis changes his question, concern evident for his companion.

"He left for work, petal." Edward replied simply and with a shrug. When Louis didn't ease up on his
meaningful stare, Edward chuckled. "Do you suspect something of me, darlin'?"

Louis accepted the offering of sustenance and had to slide off Harry's lap to make space. The 'meal'
was grilled cheese but Louis swears he can smell hypnotising garlic made in just the right way.
He shook his head. "No."

Before he's given the God sent moment to bite into his food and regain some of the energy he lost in
barrels since last night, Edward is grasping the back of his neck and kissing him. It's an act that
would have sent Louis' head to hit the wall if it weren't for Edward's hand. The kiss is deep but
short-lived and leaves Louis breathless when the feel of sharpened teeth slides across his lips.
"Eat." Edward gestured towards to the untouched plate.

Louis is tempted to make his tongue stick out at him, but he didn't live nineteen odd years to
become a baby again. "Yes, Sir."

He doesn't see how Edward stares at his side profile in unhindered interest, then over his shoulder at
Harry who ducks his head in time with his smirk.

"Maybe we can make that a permanent fixture in what we share, petal." Edward says, more to
himself than to the ears of others.

Louis tears off a corner piece of the toasted sandwich and bites back his own moan at having food
in his system after so long. It wasn't a whole day but it was definitely long enough.

"Did you make this?" Louis asks after the silence and scorch of four eyes on him got deeply
unnerving.

"Is it so obvious?" Edward leans a bit closer when he supports most of his weight with his right
arm. Harry's shuffling ends when he crosses his legs.

"I did ask." Louis replies, amused.

"Fair point. I did make it, petal."

Louis nods, saying nothing.

It's Harry who speaks next, taking up the position of ice-breaker. "He wants to know if you think it's
as awful as all his other cooking."

There's a giggle holding back in the volume of Louis' pharynx. Edward looks scandalised by the
abrupt remark and scowls at his brother. "I do not."

Louis got a glimpse of something untainted and innocent when he watches them
communicate now, himself involved in the purity. He laughs when Harry insisted on the topic and
Edward got passively defensive.

"My brother enjoys bringing my faults to light." Edward explains, not at all cold in his tone and
manner. He looks.....fond.

"He almost sent Gerard to the hospital." Harry carelessly continues, chin on Louis' shoulder. "Seven
years ago when he tried to make spaghetti."

"Just spaghetti?" Louis has finished his food and picked up the water bottle.

"Yes." Edward said at the same time that Harry said: "No."

"He tried bolognaise, I believe." Harry made Louis turn his head at an awkward angle to look at
him.

"Since then I've stuck to grilled cheese." Edward finishes, hoping this topic of discussion is hereby
closed.

"That's not so bad." Louis supplies diplomatically. "One could survive on grilled cheese."

Where did all the childishness come from? The kindness with respectfully considerate body
language? Edward's willingness to not shut everything down the minute it started? Harry's
bipolarity is not such a mystery to Louis anymore.

"What time is it?" Louis asks no one in particular.

"You're not going to that place today, petal." Edward shakes his head, hateful towards the
Madhouse.

"I have to work, Edward."

"They'll understand." Harry responds first, saying what his brother would. "You have us now, love."

Baby, now love. Louis tries not to be flattered by it all. He could write a book on how to
survive if a lunatic becomes obsessed with you, followed by the conclusion that they were never
mad to begin with. Being favoured by crazy people was not Louis' goal in this life or the next, but
he knows it isn't going away soon.

"Nope." Louis evades Edward's lips when they go for his neck. "I will die if we go again."

"It's a good way to go." Edward has Louis half on his lap during the boy's escape. The slide and slap
of their bare skin creating a perfect soundtrack. "I might accompany you."

"No." Louis wiggles free - Edward let's him - but doesn't move beyond that. "If I'm bunking work
then we're doing something I want to do."

Harry gives him a look to question his mental stability. Really?

"Outside the bedroom, Harry." Louis clarifies, bold as he is about the matter.

"Alright, petal. What do you suggest?" Edward moved to accommodate Louis' legs atop his own.
For the first time since he met the twins, Louis grinned.

* * * * *

"Absolutely not." Edward shakes his head as soon as they arrive in the parking lot of Louis' chosen
activity.

Harry was on board for it and obviously so was Louis. "It could be fun, brother."

"I don't need or hope to seek 'fun' in the foreseeable future." Edward started the Rover again to drive
away.

"You don't have to go on the ice if you don't want to." Louis tried to help stop Edward from leaving
the property.

He was in the back-seat and Harry in the front. Nobody wore seatbelts and Harry tended to twist
around in his seat restlessly during silences. Louis hadn't been to the ice rink in over nine months
because of work and studying. Now might be a splendid time as any to let loose again.

"It's dangerous." Edward waited at the exit for the line of upcoming cars to drive by or yield.

"There's a railing." Louis said lamely. Since when did Ted Bundy Styles care about dangerous
hobbies?

"This establishment is over sixty years old, that railing is older and not going to support anyone."

Harry looks heartbroken. Louis is lost for a cause and pulls out the big guns for his sake, also his
own. "If we're not going to the ice rink then I'm not going on a date with you."

The car jerks with Edward's intention to accelerate but suddenly brakes. Shit. "What makes you
think that's a good bargain? I could drag you with us tonight."

"But you won't." Louis is eighty percent confident about this. "Don't be unfair, Edward."

They wait for six minutes while Edward's mind reels with decision-making precision. The answer
comes in the form of Edward reversing and pulling into the closest parking spot. Harry's hope has
returned and Louis has a sunken feeling in his gut. This isn't over and he knows it.

Middleston is on the warmer side today and Louis need not wear more than a long-sleeved shirt
with random pants. His shoes were an older pair by the way he can feel the pebbles and pavement
beneath them.

Edward doesn't have the decency of normalcy to let Harry get a few paces ahead before crowding
Louis into a tiny kill zone against the Range Rover's passenger side. Louis gasped with a dead chill
settling in the pit of his stomach.

"You just worsened your punishment, Louis. It will be mine to deliver. I'm fond of you but I don't
take threats like yours lightly." Edward spun around on the heel of his boot and stormed off without
a care for the way he shoves Harry's shoulder.

The most frightening thing Edward said in all that was 'Louis'.

When Louis sagged against the door, he discovered that he was trembling. It was deep in pitted fear
and stress, afraid of what's to come his way because of an ice rink. Harry is there before he can
break down completely, capturing Louis' attention and blocking out the sun's rays.

Harry thumbs at the hollow spot below Louis' cheekbone, searching his eyes for something to do.
He worries too, if the darker tint to his powerful green is anything to go by. Slowly, Harry bends
and kisses Louis' forehead. Louis can't do much besides hold onto the man's wrist and close his
eyes.

Louis got the wrong person's promise to never hurt him, and he knows that now.

"Come." Harry wraps an arm around Louis' waist and peels him away from the car door.

The vibe and hope for even a moment's freedom from everything that Louis' world has become, has
been crushed. "I-I don't want to go anymore."

"I know, neither do I." Harry sighs, glancing over his shoulder at something then back down to
Louis. "It will be worse now if you do not go. Be brave about it, petal."

Louis takes some time to psych himself up again and not feel like a perishable good on a grocer's
shelf. Harry holds him with distance between them until they're close enough to the main entrance,
past dozens of cars and mini vans filled families. Finding himself against Harry's side and under his
arm, Louis sighs.

Edward is there, acting not impatient with his hands buried from the wrist downwards in his jacket
pockets. He merely glances their way and Harry's fingers flex on Louis' waist.

"I paid already." The older brother says nothing about witnessing the act. "Let's go."

This could turn out to be the worst outing of Louis' life.

Hiring shoes is simple but Louis finds himself messing it up anyway with the unkind feeling of a set
of eyes staring into his back from the benches. Edward didn't intend to skate so he sat on the cold
wooden benches for the public, effectively removing the only other occupant by his mere presence.
Louis made an active effort to ignore him.

He had to make a deposit, get the shoes and after usage return them for a refund. Despite being told
the deposit amount twice Louis managed to pull out the wrong amount and Harry took over from
him out of necessity. Louis exhaled tiredly and twisted his upper body as he exercised the soreness
out of him.

"Okay?" Harry held Louis' hand and guided him towards the rink itself as if on his own, the
boy might be lost.

"Yeah." Louis nodded, hoping to have been convincing.

Harry examines the shoes - both glossy red and looking suspiciously brand new - with an odd
expression.

Louis takes the bait. "What's wrong with them?"

"Right here-" Harry shows him the left shoe from one of the pairs, pointing at a tiny label above the
blade. "-is our initials."

"These are your shoes?" Louis doubts he'll fit into the second pair if these are custom Styles
shoes.

"Yeah." Harry sounds softer, more thoughtful. "I forgot they were here."

"I don't think I'll fit properly into them."

"You will." Harry says determinedly.

Indeed by the act of elaborate magic, Harry gets Louis to be comfortable in the shoes that aren't his
size. Louis hasn't skated in a long time but Harry's time away from the rink was much longer, so
they're both at a disadvantage.

People are indiscreetly walking past them numerous times to get a glimpse of who the unlucky boy
in the company of Madman Styles is. They don't point and laugh because this isn't high school. This
is the cold, cruel world and such things can get you killed. Besides, the mad man's brother is not too
far away watching the people he arrived here with like a hawk.

"Are you okay?" Louis helps Harry right himself after a tumble right at the entrance of the rink,
giggling when Harry resembles a giraffe.

"I'm fine, petal." Harry says in reassurance.

They have an average of three falls between them both in the first twenty minutes. Louis fell once
and Harry twice, the most recent resulting in both their landings.

"Maybe we should just stay here." Harry blows out his cheeks and resembles an upset child, sitting
on the ice with his knees spread.

Louis was already standing and picked at the ice with his skates as he leaned against the wall. "We
never went to the middle."

"Can you imagine the possibilities of injury if we got there?"

"It'll be worth it, won't it?"

Outside the ice bank where small groups of people were trying to skate around or away from where
they were, Edward sat watching every move of Louis' with his brother. He could play it again in his
head if he so wished. His petal proved to be impressively graceful while his long-limbed twin fell
all over him - purposefully or otherwise.

He caught Louis' eye and the boy looked away within a heartbeat, making Edward frown. It was
called for and Edward knew that, but it still made something distasteful flare in his instincts. Louis
deserved to hear what Edward had told him, but then why was he acting the way that he was?

Louis crouches beside Harry and the man is all too close to him. "When was the last time you did
something like this?"

Maybe it was therapeutic to Harry, but it was definitely therapeutic to Louis. The feeling that soared
through you when you moved freely, feeling professional as an amateur. Louis loved the freedom of
it even if it was in an enclosed arena.

"When I forgot about these shoes." Harry got up to his feet and took Louis' hand, his fingers
slipping into the gaps between Louis'.

Their ambitious drive was driven underground when Harry tripped over nothing and took Louis
with him. Again. Louis fell when the surprise of a hand grabbing his arm caught him off guard. He
didn't have time to shout before he found himself toppled over on Harry's chest, firm hands
safeguarding his weight from slipping off.

Harry groaned and Louis laughed, truthfully braced with amusement. "Wanna go again?"

"Absolutely not." Harry answered immediately, his pitch in voice rising with his urgency.

"It's been a while anyway." Louis' teeth sunk into his thin bottom lip. "Food?"

"Sounds delightful, petal." Harry sat up and Louis moved to be across him. "Do you think we can
escape my brother?"

Louis' surprise at the proposition caused his eyes to widen. "He's watching everything we do."

"The bathrooms are at the other end of the rink. They have windows."

"Big enough windows?"

Harry nods, expression impassive so they don't look suspicious. "Big enough."

Louis was reluctant to go along with this almighty plan. What if Harry did something? To him or to
someone else? What if he had one of his mood swings and made an abrupt turn for the worst?
"What about our shoes?" Louis looks at their feet and isn't shocked to feel a kind of thrill that hasn't
existed within him since his senior year.

"There's a tea garden a short walk from here." Harry looks the other way, past Louis so his head is
completely turned away from Edward. "Say you need to use the restroom, my brother lip reads
excellently."

"I...need to use the loo." Louis says, standing up without hesitation. He's always been good at drama
but for the first time his heart is racing faster than a Bugatti engine.

Harry masks his amusement at the hilarity of Louis' word switch by smirking behind his wrist as he
pretends to rub the tip of his nose. He stands up and avoids where Edward sat completely, watching
them in open concern about what they're doing.

People easily move out of their way when Harry starts weaving the path through the crowds. The
bathrooms are part of a small hut-like structure at the bottom end of the oval ice rink, painted a
sickle blue with a yellow tin roof. This place just managed to escape being one of Middleston's
landmarks.

There aren't many people inside, a mother changing her baby's diaper and a little boy standing
beside her. Louis takes off his skates and walks towards the counter of basins in his socks, trailed
closely by Harry. The latter removes his shoes and once the mother disappears with her troop of
toddlers through the door, grabs Louis' hand.

"It looks small, Harry." Louis chews the skin of his lip in doubt. A bit of flesh is bitten off and stings
close to his sensitive gums. The blood taste reaches his tongue and he frowns.

"You'll fit, Lou." Harry assures him, confident Gonzalez. "May I?"

Louis turns around with his lip sucked into his mouth. "May you what?"

"This."

Harry drops the untied lace of his skates and his palms settling slowly, carefully on Louis' hips. The
temperature kicks into overdrive with the thud of Louis' strongest muscle against his ribcage. He
stares up at Harry, caught and ensnared in the bewildering green of the eyes looking back at him.
His lip falls free as he smothers the ache of desire. He's only human, he reasons.

"Harry-!" Louis exclaims suddenly when he's hoisted into the air and sat on the ledge of the dodgy
window.

"Go." Harry hisses, pushing Louis backwards by his ankles.

One leg swings over before Louis is straddling the window sill, then the other and he's slipping over
the edge. He seems to have landed on cold and sharp pebbles that poke his feet through the material
of his black socks. There's a parking lot - the very same that they arrived through - to his right and a
path leading to the freeway on his left.

Harry hops down next and Louis feels the whoosh of air upon his impact with the ground. He turns
to face him, buried deep in worry over this mission of theirs. The air is salty and smelling of the
typical Middleston soil with corn scent.

"This way." Harry steps forward and holds his hand back for Louis take.

Louis accepts the offer and combs his fringe back from his eyes, jogging behind Harry as they make
their away from the building to the pathway that can't fit two people side-by-side. The grass reaches
Louis' thighs and makes his skin itch beneath his pants fabric just from paranoia.

"None of it is poisonous." Harry glances back with a knowing smile and tugs them along further.
"Oh." Louis purses his lips and keeps it up for a short while longer.

They walk close to a stream but not near enough to dampen their pants and socks. Harry takes him
to the roadside and makes a sharp left turn, hand still locked with Louis'. The tea garden is a lovely
little establishment hidden by glamorous greenery. A sign by the freeway indicates that it's there but
that's it.

Harry releases Louis' hand and steps through the door, a small bell jingling above his head.
"Mrs. Khan." He greets a nice looking old lady at the entrance, but she doesn't respond with half as
much enthusiasm.

"Harry?" She doesn't seem pleased.

Louis' accomplice doesn't waste time conversing with her and her foul coldness towards him. "We
can't stay. Can we see the menu please?"

This woman got a please and kind greeting from Harry but she's making several attempts to dodge
him completely. How disrespectful. Louis can't entirely blame her for the pitying look she sends his
way. Mrs. Khan hands Harry a menu with both hands to keep the laminated fold-up from displaying
her tremors.

"Petal?" Harry retook Louis' hand and flexed his fingers to get the boy's attention.

Mrs. Khan moved away from them and seemed to have generated a strong disliking for Louis as
well now.

"We should stay." Louis heard himself say but not know where it came from within his bravery.
"She doesn't want us here." Harry's smile fell like any hope of survival from a storm at sea. "I don't
want to be antagonised if we do."

There are approximately three other people here, one minding his own business with a bluetooth in
his ear and the other two mindlessly glancing at Louis and Harry every two seconds.

"I've always liked the home-made cookies." Harry is reading off the menu card. "Cookies and tea?"

"Coffee for me." Louis says.

Mrs. Khan is distraught to hear that they'll be staying rather than taking to-go containers on their
way out. She shows them to a table outside where nobody else was around and seated them under
an umbrella near a wooden tool shed. Harry asks her for their orders and ignores her judgmental
look down at their shoeless condition.

"Isn't it peaceful here?" Harry sits back in his chair, pushing his hair out of eyes and all smiles for
some reason.

"It is." Louis agrees, taking in the whistle of water hitting rock and plants giving off an earthy
aroma.

"My brother will not be happy to receive us when we return." Harry sighs, abhorring the thought of
returning to his fuming sibling.

"I wouldn't be either." Louis crosses one leg over the other and shifts to the left when Mrs. Khan
arrives with their tea and biscuits. "We abandoned him."

"He used to love skating, you know." Harry waits for the old woman to be gone far enough before
spitting out.

Louis breaks a reasonably large cookie in half and Harry takes the other portion when he consumes
one. "He looks like he despises it."

Harry's expression sobers and his shoulders cave in on themselves. "I didn't say anything."

Nodding, Louis bites into the second cookie with a sip of some of the most bitter coffee he's ever
tasted. He almost wants to spit it out, but it somehow manages to flow down his throat.

"We shouldn't take long." Harry raises his cup to his lips but doesn't let it touch his lips.

"What?"

Harry takes a slow sip. "Would you have seen us having biscuits and tea at any point in time?"

Louis frames his small white porcelain tea cup with both is hands. "Never."
The answer seems to please Harry and the man smirks coyly behind his cup, pinkie raised like a
proper gentleman.

* * * * *

Harry once again lifts Louis up to grab the window ledge ahead of himself, which he deems a
decent act of politeness. Louis lands with a soft thump and stops short at the person waiting for him.
Edward leaned against the restroom door, keeping it shut with his arms crossed over his chest and
face unreadable.

"I've known my brother all his life, petal. I know his ideas before they come to him." Edward says
terribly slow and calm, head cocked to the side when Harry jumps down.

"Edward." Harry takes up a spot in front of Louis, shielding him anyway whether he wanted to save
himself or actually protect Louis.

"Your shoes." Edward jerks his chin in the direction of their footwear placed at a spot close to him.

"Get it and get in the car."

* * * * *

*LOUIS' POV*

I was dropped off at my apartment without a word being uttered the whole ride here back from the
rink. None of them escorted me up to my door like they had before, and Harry looked sullen when I
jumped off. There was nothing I could do but pace around my home with regret and a terrible selfhatred welling inside me.
Edward was a walking hurricane but this was the calm over the cities before anything struck. He
was tight-lipped about my punishment and I'm not sure if we have a date later tonight. Maybe he
simply gave up on me after my behaviour?

Niall arrived home from an early shift to shout my ear off about why he had to wake up and find
Edward freaking Styles naked and cooking in our kitchen. He was glaringly mad and yelled
at me for every little thing I'd done since our first year on campus.

"Why was he here?" Niall asked plainly, unblinking in his stare directed at me.

"I....-" I wish I had an answer that would make my best friend forgive me. "I slept with him."

Niall appears to have lost his mind when his eyes turn red where it's supposed to be white. He
throws his hands up and groans explicitly. "You can be such an idiot, Louis! Of all the men
who are eligible in this tiny, forsaken town you pick the one who can kill us in our sleep."

I refrain from mentioning anything about their promises made to me, because after my stunt at the
ice rink I doubt I'm in anyone's favour. "He won't."

"Fuck, Louis!" He pulls on his hair viciously. "Do you know what you could have done?"

"Of course I do." I offer him the least impressed look I have. "I am not a child."

"Well thank God for that because five years ago they were out chewing children's hearts."

"Niall!"

"Am I wrong?" Niall turned away from the window. "Maybe they didn't eat hearts but what they did
here was just as bad!"

"They've been to rehab and they-"

"You will not defend serial killers in this house!"

"Oh shut up, Niall. You aren't my parent!"

"No but if I didn't at least take an interest in what you did you'd probably be at the bottom of Lost
Lake!"

"You don't understand, Niall!"

"Then explain it to me." Niall lowered his tone again. Probably everyone I've befriended is able to
do that besides myself.

"I can't." I murmur to my lap where my clenched fist sat. It was for Niall's own safety that I was
doing this. I had to be doing the right thing.

"Fine." He changed directions and barged out of the room with a force behind his movements.

I waited ten minutes, sitting in silence with sobs stretching the rims of my eyes with tears. My knees
drew themselves up to be held by my arms as I thought of a way to end all of this.

What could I do? If I tell Niall he'll be in danger just when I managed to earn a tiny amount of trust.
I can move; move far away and never look back. Will Niall accompany me? If he stays then he's
still in danger. If I stay we go back to square one!

Niall reappeared from his room with a hand against his shoulder like he was supporting a dislocated
joint. I soon notice by looking lower that he's got an overnight bag packed and ready.

"Niall." My voice shakes like it doesn't belong to me.

My only redemption from the pit of self loathing that I've thrown myself into is the sight of Niall's
reddened eyes and wet cheeks. He cried too and that made me feel more secure.

"Niall, please-" I try to get up and follow him but my innards are rooted to the couch.

"Not now, Lou." Him using a nickname for me is a bright bulb of hope. "I'm going to Liam's. He
called today for you and if you check your phone you'll see that he wasn't the only one."

"Ni!" I call after him with a clogged throat. "Please! You're my best friend."

"Best friends tell each other everything, Lou." He gathers up his keys from the bowl at the door. "I
will come back soon."

"Today?"

"No." He makes his way over to me, bag in hand and armed with his keys. He kisses my forehead
and ruffles my hair as a symbol of our earliest years of friendship.

He's gone immediately after and I feel myself, let myself and push myself to drown in my own
sorrow

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Louis had a best friend and great opportunities handed to him when he moved to this town a year
ago. Now he's partially lost the first and doesn't think he deserves the last. Does he? Why should
he? He let himself be ambushed by the infamous Styles twin brothers. Had he? All he really
did was get an internship at the Madhouse.

Maybe he can rectify all of this with a down to Earth honest conversation with Edward and Harry.
They have to understand. Edward at least.

The knock on his door, three rapid taps on the hard wood, gives Louis the hope that maybe Niall
returned. He jumps up, unaware of the time that's already so late, to go open it while wiping his
tear-stained cheeks.

"Niall-" He chops his glee in quarters when he instead sees his mother, rather than his friend.

She looks shaken, absolutely distraught with bags under her dull blue eyes. Louis frowns and shifts
aside, sniffing to prevent a sneeze. His mother was holding her purse against her chest like she's
afraid imaginary hands will snatch it away from her. Her clothes are disarrayed and torn at the
knees, dirty and her lips puffy.

"Mother?" He looks her over head to toe, utterly lost for an appropriate response. "What
happened?"

"Get inside!" She hissed and pushed her way in, slamming the door shut for him but not before
Louis heard an elevator arrive on his floor.

"What's happening?!" He repeated when she grabbed his arm, pretending to not want to shove her
off, and dragged him towards the kitchen.

His heart is pounding with the unwarranted stimulation, but nowhere near as badly as hers.

"Someone's here for me." She answered his enquiry at last, husky soft and eyes darting to every
harmless object present with them.

"What? Who?" Louis implores, studying the change in her expression from scared to hesitant.

"My old.....boss."

"Your bloody pimp!" Louis knows his mother's one and only 'boss' is a ruthless Russian
with no regard for individual self preservation. "You brought him to my apartment-"

Louis leaves her alone in the lightless kitchen to grab his phone and dial the police. This needs to be
taken care off quickly and smoothly with the proper authorities because Louis does not imagine
he'll survive more violence in his life.

His mother stops him. "No!"

"Don't touch me." He bites back, furthered to rudeness by the dark cloud of today.

Her hand recoils but she still tries to prevent bringing the police in. "He's dangerous, Lou. So
dangerous. He'll-"

"And yet you still got involved with him." Louis spits with a narrowed glare, letting her know it's all
for her stupid self.

Someone knocks on the front door. It's hardly human strength that the banging ensues with, but
rather some great monster was trying to break the structure down.

"We're calling the police." Louis states with finality.

* * * * *

Edward flips over the coffee table with a kick. It completes a half-spin and crashes loudly as the
shatterproof glass cracks. The metal framework hardly holds in the shards and along with the pieces
from a picture frame that he smashed earlier, sprays everywhere.

He's not crazy, but spending twenty-six years with the only person he cares for who is in fact
mentally unstable gave him more than a few insuppressible anger issues.

Harry is waiting for the rage storm to pass. He sits on their lounge single sofa closest to the exit and
stares at the fit his brother is having.

"You know how much this damned town hates us and you took him to the place that even
more reason to?!" Edward exposed his bruised and cut knuckles.

"He was safe." Harry tells him honestly. "With me, he was safe."

"Bastard, that's not what I'm talking about. You left me at the rink, Harry!"

"It's been five years and I thought you'd be over what happened by now."

"Are you?!"

Harry had no answer. He bowed his head and sunk in his cheek. "Sorry, brother."

"Yeah." Edward sighed and dragged his stiff crooked fingers through his damp hair.

"Are you done now?" Harry uncrosses his legs and let's his wrist hang limply on the armrest. "We're
late to pick up Lou."

Edward still looks like a demon from Hell. Hair sprouting from his neat style at uneven angles then
his teeth bared unknowingly.

"Shut up." Edward snarls, straightening his back and walking over the crunching glass. "Just shut
up."

"You're angry?" Harry displays his typical don't-care attitude when Louis isn't around. He's
deceiving that way.

"I gave up my life for you, you fucking imbecil!" Edward raves, deeming this the correct time to do
so after a life wasted. "The least you could do is show appreciation."

Harry got to his feet and stopped walking when he was right in front of Edward. A strip of starch
blond hair was hanging over Edward's eye, and Harry reached up to move it. "I never asked you to
do that."

* * * * *

"We're calling the police." Louis states with finality.

"Louis, don't!" She has to make her way past the couch separating them in order to stop him.

His fingers are already sliding across the touch screen keypad to dial Middleston's only police
precinct, when the unwelcome barbarian outside becomes an intruder. Louis blood runs cold in his
body when the door swings open and a body of gym quality stomps through.

His mother was so desperate to get away from this man but she couldn't lock the bleedin'
door.

* * * * *

Liam answers his hotel room door when the concierge calls to alert him of a visitor with blond hair
and brown roots. Niall stands on the other side of the door with a crestfallen look about his face,
creases on his forehead that made him three years older.

"Hey." Liam greets skeptically, moving aside to let his Duckling in even after he sees the black bag.
"Hi." Niall dumps his bag at the foot of the only bed in here and sits on the mattress.

"What's up?" Liam shuts the door and takes a seat next to him. "I tried cal-"

"I know. Sorry I didn't answer." Niall pulls in a sharp inhale. "I left Lou."

Liam begins to feel extremely awkward. "I didn't know you two were-"

"We're not together, fool. He's my best ever friend and I left him crying on the couch."

"Niall." Liam starts, fitting his arm around Niall's shoulders and pulling him in. "What happened?"

"I had a shift yesterday, right?" Niall doesn't pause for the detective to answer. "I sent him a text but
he didn't answer so I went home to check on him. He was with someone and I accidentally walked
in on them so I just left for work."

Liam listens to Niall silently with his support offered in the form of a side hug and a kind, soft
voice.

"I come back in the morning after my shift and guess who the Hell I find naked as a newborn in our
kitchen?" Niall's temperature seemed to rise when he shouted that question, his anger resolved once
again.

"Who?" Liam's been working without breaks on the case Louis offered him, so he really doesn't
want to guess the wrong thing.

"Edward Styles!"

Now Niall isn't the only one who's paying utmost attention to his story. Liam's frown becomes the
focal point of his face as he processes this. He knows Edward, not personally but well enough via
hearsay. What was Louis doing with him? The man was a born, bred psychopath.

"What was he doing-"

"He's the one Louis fucking slept with!" Niall wakes up and starts doing rounds from the window to
the bathroom door and back.

"Fuck. What do you want me to do?"

* * * * *

His mother was so desperate to get away from this man but she couldn't lock the bleedin'
door.

"Go, Louis!" She wraps her hand around his arm and pulls hard enough for him to stumble on the
carpet and the stranger at the door to see them.

The mood gets tense with destructive anticipation and the black sunken eyes of the Russian in
Louis' doorway seem to be carnivorous. Louis ducks under his mother's arm to keep from tripping
them both and doesn't let go of her when she pushes him away. She's his mother. He can't leave her
to face this on her own.

"Johannah!" The curbed accent of a man away from his native tongue lashes out in a
barking echo.

Louis gets an eyeful of the man when he steps into the lounge with them. He's wearing a crinkly
leather jacket and brown crocodile skin shoes, his shirt is black but doing nothing to slim the bulky
structure of his torso. His muscle was intimidating and in excess, a frightening sight to have in a
room with no illumination.

"Ian, please listen." She tries to reason with him, holding her hand out in front of herself.

"Listen to what?" He bellows, not caring in the slightest for the boy standing behind his target. "I
have learnt from Joey that you left town. What of that?!"

"I-I just....-" She takes a step back when he surges forward, tripping on the stupid rug. "I needed
some time!"

"You did?" Ian advances on her and Johannah shoves Louis out of the way to be safe from a fatal
collision.

Louis falls with his feet still planted on the ground, his bout of flight stunted by his mother's weight
landing on his legs. He screams with the weight of two bodies on his knees, crushing him without
thankfully causing severe damage. His head hits the floor with a sickening crack but the universe is
spiteful enough to leave him conscious.

The ringing in his ears get so loud that he unintentionally blocks out the horrific sound of a hard fist
on under-nourished cheekbones. Louis doesn't even muster enough strength to look back, let alone
help, with his vision so blurry and thoughts so scrambled. He's breathing heavily, coughing
a red substance onto the wooden floor.

Behind him is the worst scene of his existence and he can do nothing about it. He has to get his
phone and dial the police, but the device has slid across the room to the far end. Resisting the need
to choke up sobs because of the searing pain of the hurt tissue in his leg, his head having the
sensation of a bomb repeatedly going off in his head.

He pulls himself free from the mass of violence and torturous nature of the treatment his mother is
going through. He's curled up against a nearby pillar, in considerate beats of thick blood racing
through his veins. There's blood on his legs and the foggy moving image of what's happening to his
mother is engrained in his mind.

By crawling he gets to his phone in time and dials the 10111 for the police. His hand his shaking
and his his voice was close to non-existent. Louis swallowed the impulse to just lay there in a
puddle of screeches.

"Pl-Please co-ome t-t-to thirt-thirty-one W-Wo-odh-hurst." He stuttered terribly into the receiver, his
hand holding his body up.

That limb began top vibrate but Louis groaned and upheld himself until the will gave way and he
fell again. He wished for a deep sleep but none was coming, the pain and nausea raking through him
like the devil's pitchfork.

He can hear silence now and blinks close to a dozen times so his vision clears even a little. The
Russian monster has turned towards him and is lacking any form of injury, so he's at his full
physical potential when he gets to his feet again. He's muttering something in his home language
whilst taking the steps forward needed to reach Louis.

The boy knows this could mean a death, a horrible death with all the hurt in the world. With that
motivation he hauls himself to his feet, relying on just one leg for lumbar support. The adrenaline in
his body has reduced to a dwindling figure of insignificance, but Louis insists on at least getting
behind a closed door.

The door was closed but someone still knocked on it, oblivious to the happenings inside Louis'
apartment.

Louis heard the Russian shouting at him, for him, behind his back but he was already in the
doorway. If he could get outside he'd lock the apartment whether it was Niall or the police here at
this time.

It takes three tries to grab the door handle and when he gets it right, there's a strong hand gripping
the back of his shirt. The mobster with bloodied fists tugs on Louis and the boy's stumble
backwards pulls the door open with the force exerted.

It's not Niall or the police.

At the time at Louis sees his demise because of a head-on smack involving his skull and the cold
wooden flooring, he feels relief at the hand grabbing his wrist. It has to be Edward because that's
whose chest he gets pressed up against within a breath's timing. Also the hand on his back is
forfeited by force.

"Petal." Edward greets gruffly.

He cradles the back of Louis' head with his whole hand, fingertips buried in the soft locks. His other
arm comes around Louis' back, holding the boy upright.

"You're safe." Edward pets the curve of Louis' spinal column, reassuring him with his voice filtering
alone into his foggy mind.

Louis just understands in his state of fuzzy confusion and spike in energy that he is safe now and
cares not for the state of Edward's shirt when he holds on tightly. The man looks over at Harry, who
had gotten the Russian's hand off Louis.

"Can I?" Harry was beaming, dazzling smile of charm and hope once again overcoming his
features.

Edward picked Louis up by the backs of his knees and nodded. "Have fun."

Carrying Louis towards the elevators, Edward hears the apartment door shut and his brother's
maniacal laugh. He rolls his eyes. Yes, the Russian he saw is a giant with bark for muscle but his
brother is swifter than anything he's known and has always worked things the hard way. Harry can
take anyone down.

Edward notices the police arrive and park haphazardly, the ambulance as well just shortly after
them. He doesn't stop moving away from the building until he's got Louis in the back seat of the
Rover. When the first officer opens the complex's door, Edward calls Harry.

"Get out." He says and hangs up.

He notices that Louis has passed out laid out on the seat, one arm over his front and his turned to the
side. Edward wishes to tallest order of Divine Providence to give him an answer as to why
he feels this way. Like his body is slowly removing a layer of skin one at a time and letting him feel
the pain of a futile healing on top of the anticipation of a fresh ripping.

An EMT comes to take Louis away to the ambulance station on a gurney, conducting an
examination.

"Does he need to go to the hospital?" Edward asks the jittery paramedic. A young female who is
probably well aware of who is next to her.

"N-" She thinks it over by glancing at her partner. "No."

Her partner chooses to speak next, definitely much older with a tan line on his finger but no ring.
"He doesn't have a concussion and we'll set his ankle now with a simple brace."

Edward nods and let's them carry on, taking three strides away from them, glancing back ever so
often out of a strange nag to ensure the estranged professionals aren't taking his petal away.
Harry comes jogging down the front steps after a group of officers hurry inside, smiling innocently
at them as he passes by. His hands are stuffed into his pockets unsurprisingly as he spots Edward
and makes his way over.

"How's Lou?" He stops to pull in a breath through his nose and not remove his hands.

The wind seems to have picked up in the past twenty minutes and Edward felt the chill set in deep
into his scalp from the breeze wading through the individual strands of hair. Harry's mane was
blowing in the wind, only slightly lifting off his shoulders before being caught by his hand.

"Not okay." Edward said coldly, turning back towards the mobile ER station set up. He's sick to his
deepest bowel in the twisted chords of his soul worrying about Louis. "Who the fuck was that?"

The thin, grim line of Harry's lips turned into a signature smirk as they stood side-by-side watching
a flurry of people work their magic to contain the gruesome drama. A crowd was forming and
yellow police tape was put up to enclose the busy region.

People saw the Styles and immediately jumped to conclusions. They're at it again. They were
just released, weren't they? Where's that boy they're always behind? Why isn't he- oh he is.

"Later, brother." Harry looked at the two new gurneys being carried out of the building, both with
white sheets over them.

The first one was neat and immediately slid into the coroner's vehicle, while the second had blood
stains worsening at the front where the face should be. The red got deeper and wet the white cloth
over a greater surface area. Harry found it glorious and Edward knew why.

"Your handiwork?" He asked, their fight from earlier in the day already forgotten.

Harry held the door open for Edward to carry and position Louis in the back seat of the Range
Rover. The light was dimmed. "You know it."

A minute shy of Edward stopping his laughter to get in the driver's seat, a new car pulled up and
none other than Louis' loud best friend hopped out.

"Oh shit." Niall muttered to himself, not waiting for Liam to get off and pull out his badge.
"Let me through! I live here!"

Liam catches him around his waist and timidly leads him around the side, Edward and Harry
watching everything play out like Gods over a chessboard. Harry closed the back-seat door so Louis
could not be seen by anyone. Niall would have caught a police officer by the ear and demanded a
full explanation if Liam hadn't done it first.

"Home invasion, Sir." The young officer answers them, more Liam than Niall. "Two dead and one
injured."

The blond knew Louis was the injured one because if it wasn't then he was going to bring his best
friend back with whatever voodoo necessary to yell at him for being involved in this. Louis was
resilient as fuck, in Niall's unbiased opinion.

There's no way his friend didn't make it. Niall chewed his thumb and swore himself, internally beat
his better judgment because it resulted in Louis facing this alone. Who were the two that died?
Who killed them?

Niall's gasp gets Liam to pay attention, when the only true conclusion falls onto him. The former
scans the crowd and every busy body moving around this aftermath control team until it lands on
the most attractive vehicle he's ever seen in this tiny town. There isn't even a Range Rover
headquarters here.

"Liam." The man seems to have lost interest and Niall smacks his arm thrice. "Liam."

They both turn their attention to where Niall is all but pointing a giant laser. Edward and Harry
deem it the ideal time to get going before contact is made. Harry makes his way around the side to
the passenger's side and Edward returns to the driver's, shooting a wink Niall's way before finally
getting in.

* * * * *

The first thing Louis noticed when his consciousness became active was that he hadn't woken up in
his own bed. A damn bursts and every memory from the time he spilt ice cream on a fellow student
on campus to the most recent event of watching his mother die in his peripheral comes
rushing in.

He panics at the thought of the Russian man grabbing his shirt and yanking him back. Had he
taken him? Where is he?

"Petal."

Louis' never been - and hopefully never will be - so relieved to hear that pet name he didn't consent
to. He sits up and winces at once was a dull throbbing, now having escalated to a more trashy
blistering pain in his skull. It makes him whimper and cover his face to control the dizziness taking
over him.

The bed dips and Louis tries moving away from the additional person, still experiencing unclear
vision and not trusting himself. His plagued with the images of what happened. He saw it happen,
he watched her skull cave in at the hand of a underground ring leader. Her blood was on his skin
He throws off the covers to check his legs, where the crimson splatters were.

"Petal." Edward was seated on the edge of the bed and the covers didn't budge, he didn't move to
make it easier either.

Edward had sat here, in this room with a dusty ceiling, for four consecutive hours with a bottle of
whiskey and six glass tumblers. He'd broken them all when this feeling got so sensitive, so
raw and so real that he couldn't take it. When Gerard tried entering the room with food he threw a
glass at him, then three more at his brother.

He didn't bother to apologise or let himself regret any of what he did, because this fucking
feeling
was driving him right to the brink of self control. Harry could be very selfish and
Edward wanted to have this time with his hurt petal. He deserved that, he decided.

Louis was disorientated. Edward held his wrists and leaned in so close that his lips brushed over the
baby hairs of Louis' skin. The boy recognised his voice even if he didn't trust appearance, couldn't
see past the disturbing video playing over and over and over in his mind.

"You're alright, my petal." Edward releases a corner of the insulated sheets and brings Louis onto
his lap. "Safe and still beautiful."

Louis broke down in Edward's lap. It was too much for him to keep seeing what he saw long after it
was over. He fisted Edward's unbuttoned and easily creased shirt with small hands, crying without
restraint into the man's neck. His ankle was numb from painkillers and sat uselessly on the mattress.

"You are astonishing, petal." Edward held him back. After these past four hours this is the most
secure he's ever felt. "You cry so softly when you have the right to scream."

Louis can only fold one leg on Edward's lap, the other sprawled out in front of him. He hiccups and
closes his eyes, the whimpers getting worse because of the pain shooting down his spine. Edward
kisses his forehead and let's him lose as much as he can in this time.

The boy sees it again and again. His eyes close and it's on the back of his eyelids. He opens them
and no matter where he looks, he's still locked in his apartment with a bull of a man.

"You can go back to sleep." Edward knows he has to keep his voice low for the sake of Louis'
headache. "Just take the tablets you have to first, Lou."

Louis nods but his efforts are already planted in something else. He presses his nose and mouth to
the inviting expanse of Edward's neck, getting the bitter scent of alcohol but not minding it. Edward
rubs his back a few more times and lays Louis down on the pillows.

"Open." Edward asks him, tracing a cuboidal pill over Louis' lip. The boy parts his lips and let's it
get set on his tongue, then some water for him to swallow. "Go to sleep, petal. I'm not leaving you
alone."

Louis was hesitant and he seemed to stare at the pillow his head would use for two whole minutes
before relaxing. His heart felt like it had become a virus and spread to every part of his body,
sending it all into overdrive. He closed his eyes and didn't let go of Edward's shirt at the tail.
Edward was crazy and temperamental but he's Edward and Louis thinks trust is a common
ground here.

Edward polishes off his whiskey bottle and lays down on the bed behind Louis. "I'm never leaving
you alone."

What's different is that this time Louis hears him.

* * * * *

The doorbell downstairs rings on the galvanised pine wood door. Nobody in the house of the
ownership's bloodline - or their guest - will ever get up to answer it so Gerard does what
he's paid for.

"Good afternoon, Madam." He greets the humble, familiar face he's met with.
Gemma Styles.

Edward and Harry's younger sister with a hearty smile and regular eyes stood there with her
woollen hat and gloves. She's the most dangerous member of the Styles family, in dear old Gerard's
opinion and experience. Gemma is the apple to Harry and Edward's eyes and they listened to
everything she said without investigating. If she didn't like you, they took care of that. Yet she
appeared to be such a harmless young lady with good morals, what lay underneath was conniving
and manipulative.

"Hey, Jerry." She grinned toothily, removing her gloves and wiping her feet on the 'Welcome' carpet
outside.

"Miss Styles." He took her coat and satchel from her, stepping aside to hang them up.
"How have you been, Jerry?" She blows warm air into the oyster-shaped pocket she created with
both her hands.

"Same as always, Miss Gemma. How was Oxford?"

"Monotonous and dreary, but I've gotten the weekend off which I count as a plus."

"I do as well." He nodded and motioned for her to follow him. "A snack?"

"No thank you." She waves away the offer politely. "I'm here for my brothers. Where are they?"

Gerard paused, stumbling over a reason
.
She noticed. "Jerry?"

"Edward is upstairs, Harry is in the study."

* * * * *

Harry was angry and scared and confused, but most of all he was alone.

Edward won't let him go see Louis when he really, so urgently wanted to because Louis had the
power to make him happier. Louis had more control over him than Edward and it's been hardly over
a week of knowing one another.

He's also angry and lost in despair because Louis, who he held in the mightiest regard, was hogging
all his brother's attention. That was not on. Harry used to have Edward to go to when he felt as
unstable and insecure as he did now, which he didn't mind sharing with Louis at times but now he
was left to his own despicable devices.

Louis and he were having so much fun earlier today so how did that happen to them? He even saved
Louis!

He didn't know who to be angry with most. Edward wasn't at fault, simply because Harry knows his
brother all too well. Louis was in a fragile state so maybe he just wasn't thinking clearly. The
demons in Harry's head refused to let him believe that.

How could their petal do this to him? It wasn't fair. If Louis wanted comfort, Harry can offer him
solace as well. But no, those two are upstairs forgetting all about him.

Louis couldn't have Edward all to himself, that's not how things work.

Chapter Text

How do you tell a lunatic you're in love with him? He already knows.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Gerard did not object when Gemma wanted to see Edward first, seeing as she picked up on his lean
towards Harry. With that, he went outside to her Chevrolet to collect her bags while the Styles
princess herself took the staircase two at a time.

She followed the woven carpet down the haunting hallway to the bedroom door that her instincts
brought her to every night of a nightmare as a child. Without knocking, her hand grabbed the brass
knob and twisted it so the familiar ache in her wrist signalled the release of the latch.

When Gemma found her brother sleeping fully clothed around a person, she did not expect in her
wildest dreams for that person to be smaller than him and not share well over 90% of their family
gene structure.

She paused in the hallway and frowned deeply, still grasping the door handle and watching her
older sibling comfort some stranger. "Edward?"

Edward sat up with such sudden gusto it was as if someone administered to him a shot of
adrenaline. He looked at his sister and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. "Sister."

"I don't see you and the halfwit in half a decade, yet I'm allowed to return to this sight." She
gestures distastefully to the figure in Edward's bed, under his covers.

"That's no concern of yours."

Edward wraps his arm around her shoulders and smiles down at her. They haven't seen each other in
such a long while, as stated, and he's missed the only other person of his bloodline he'll spend time
alone with.

"Of course it is." Gemma tries not to be dragged out of the room, as she would appreciate a close
examination of the intruder.

"Do not call our brother a halfwit, Gemma." Edward walks out with her under his arm, careful not
to hurt her while ushering her along.

His mind nagged him, or at least the hidden subconscious within his mind. He shouldn't be leaving
Louis alone but if he stayed then Gemma would stay and he's not fond of his sister harassing his
petal while the latter is in such a fragile state.

* * * * *

Harry hears screams, vicious cries that are deafening even with his ears blocked and soft muttering
to himself. He smoothly jumps to his feet and races out of the study he buried himself inside,
rushing up the expansive staircase towards the passage of their bedroom.

He hesitates at the door, his arm frozen as it was outstretched in the air and his mind struggling to
make itself up. "Why should I go in?"

It was Louis screaming without a doubt and it didn't sound very sensible either. Broken phrases and
names muffled by the fabric of a pillow, so they were most likely triggered by his ill dreams.

"Why did I hear him then?" Harry hates his habit of talking to himself but it's what shoved him past
the barrier of the door at this moment.

Louis was thrashing about on the bed - Edward's bed - and looked to be near death with the sheets
strangling his body. Harry couldn't let him die, or at the very least hurt himself. He cared for this
boy so much even if he's not sure about reciprocation as yet.

He broke the only rule he had with his older twin and grabbed ahold of the sheets clinging to Louis'
body, suffocating him in his desperate attempts to break free. Harry sat on the very edge and yanked
the coverings away, peeling Louis' body free of obstruction.

"Petal." He reached out tentatively but in Louis' sleep fit, his arm was slapped away. "Petal!"

Louis only woke up after Harry scooped him up like a child and ignored the pain of small beatings
against his back, arms and chest. His head was secured and legs parted to bring him onto Harry's
lap. When his eyes sprung open he was being held by Harry, lifted off the bed and whispered to in
his red ear.

Comfort seemed to be key in a situation like this, so Harry tried to do what he could from observing
Edward. He was standing with Louis against, around and across him like a vine. As he walked
around the room, he either rubbed Louis' back or secured his hold on the boy.

"Hush, sweet petal." He banded an arm around Louis' back. The shirt Louis wore was damp with
the pattern of sweat, exposing skin as it rode up. "I used to have nightmares too. They're just
nightmares and all you have to do is open your eyes."

Louis rubbed his nose, cold but red at the tip, and his fingers began to hurt as they gripped Harry's
shirt. The fabric was held in his clammy palms and he still shivered from the imagery of a heavy
Russian fist colliding with his skull. He closed his eyes and whimpered.

"It's over now, isn't it?" Harry brushed the back of Louis' neck with his thumb and forefinger. "Just a
nightmare, it was."

It took six circulations of the master size bedroom for Louis to even loosen his clutches. Harry felt
the boy fall back off to sleep, not having spoken a word since his last bout of consciousness. He
can't be blamed, Harry knows that, and he thinks they've made some progress with their bonding.
Maybe Louis cared for him too, judging by how he held him back.

"My bed it is, petal." Harry spoke to the sleeping boy, laying him down on his crisp sheets with his
head on the pillows and legs under the duvet.

Louis' hands fell onto the pillows beside his head, his lips parting just a little as his exhaustion and
the throbbing of a cruel headache got the upper hand.

Harry watched him sleep for as long as his legs would not stiffen from lack of movement. He didn't
disturb the perfectly tranquil scene of Louis being void of wakefulness, did not lean forward and
just graze the much too tempting sight of Louis' exposed tummy. There should be a victory
for not doing this.

* * * * *

"How's the halfwit?" Gemma's arm was around Edward's waist, and outside near the lake is where
they walked amongst the dry leaves and air.

"Do not call him that, sister." Edward stared ahead, eyes darting every two seconds at the window
of their bedroom.

"So he's the same." Gemma sighs, looking at her boots crunch the soil. "I do apologise for not being
here the day of your release."

Edward mocked her sentiment with a smirk, when in actual fact he'd forgotten all about her on that
day. Louis had been there. Their nervous and slightly - but no longer - afraid little petal with eyes to
contend with the oceans of the world.

"No need." Edward cleared his throat. "You're here now, aren't you?"

 

That's the other million dollar question that's harping on the windmills of his mind. How long does
she plan to stay? He really enjoys his sister's company but neither him nor Harry are ready to
introduce Louis to her. She can be possessive, just as they are, and won't be so accepting of the boy
this early.

"I intend to stay the weekend. Just the weekend." She laughs, carefree. "Who was in your bed
earlier?"

Edward didn't want to answer. He was under no obligation either, but his sister was so precious to
him and he could never lie to her. "My petal. Ours, rather."

"He looked very human to me, brother." Gemma recalls the small and petite form of the person
cradled by her brother's body.

"His name is Louis and he is very dear to both Harry and I." Edward turned them around when they
came to the edge of the yard. "He's been through something of a damaging nature and needed me."

"You comfort him?"

"Of course I do."

Gemma spun out of her brother's hold and stood in front of him, confident presence that she was
even a head shorter than him. She hooked her hands over her hips and narrowed her eyes on his
face.

"You care for him." She stated bluntly, loudly enough that the wind carried the message to all four
corners of the Earth.

"I do." Edward's pockets swallowed his hands. "As I-"

"Not as you care for the halfwit and I. Do not bluff me, Edward." She poked his chest and
her lack of acceptance concerning this new person was abundantly clear in the ferocious
green of her eyes. "You never once shared a bed with either of us in times of need and comfort."
"You never needed it." He told her blatantly. "You were strong from the beginning."

"You prey on him because he's weak?"

The statement turned rude question gnawed on the fibres of Edward's nerves and he stepped closer
to her with the stealth of a predator.

"I do not prey on my Louis and I never did. You should not have met under these
circumstances but now that you have, I will not allow you to turn into something pathetic and
jealous."

"Then get rid of him." She crossed her arms, and said it like she was asking him to take out the
trash.

"No." He glared at his preposterous sister. "You are welcome to stay if you will remain respectful of
Harry's and my wishes to be with Louis."

"And if not?"

Edward failed to feel an ounce or inkling of regret when he stepped around her on his march back to
the house. "I'll have Gerard get your bags packed then."

* * * * *

"It's just after midnight, petal." Harry informs the awake but incoherent boy who has started
shuffling beside him.

Louis slowly opens his eyes and looks up at Harry in bleak trepidation. He remembers waking up
and being carried like a toddler around the room by this maniac until he fell asleep again. It's the
most cared for he's felt in three years.

"How'd you....-" Louis swallows the dryness of his throat, saliva coating the rough edges so he can
speak. "How'd you know I was going to ask?"

Harry gave him a wry smile with the corner of his mouth. Louis stayed curled into a tight ball under
the sheets until he heard the man's voice answer him.

"I didn't." The ominous response didn't seem to belong to such a bland question, but they let it slide.
Taking a chance, Louis extended his arm and touched Harry's arm. He was hoping for more careful
reassurance and comfort like before, as his bones still rattled and he was more than a little shaken
up.

Harry recoiled and Louis' heart broke.

It was a small thing that neither could put a label on to make life easier, but Harry not
wanting Louis to touch him was clear enough. He was filled with, slathered in and swathed by the
thousands of ruthless emotions with cutting edge harsh conditions. He didn't know what to do or
start saying when this happened.

He simply turned over away from Harry with the fresh burn of salt water in his eye, and hoped for a
nightmare so Harry could do what he did. He dreaded a nightmare in the same breath.

* * * * *

Louis woke up to being unable to move whatsoever.

His panic and fright settled into the marrow of his jittery bones and he struggled against the
restraints. He kicked against the weight and wriggled with his horror slipping out of him in scared
noises. The restraints got tighter suddenly and Louis assessed that they were in the forms of human
arms around his upper body.

Harry was holding him, deep into his sleep but his own hands and shoulders were held down by the
man's circled arms. Louis' headache was dimming and the pain in his ankle was hardly there save
for when he tested the muscle.

"My sister hates you." Came a voice from a person Louis didn't think was in the room.

He sinks back against Harry initially, calmed thereafter by recognising the voice as Edward's. His
sister? What sister?

"I-I'm sorry." Louis whispered, temporarily lost for somewhere to look as he spoke.

Edward sat in a sofa suitable for one person, his leg crossed so his ankle rested on his knee, right
across from Louis. It's easy to miss him when he's hidden by the all encompassing shadow of the
room's corner, a glass of something golden in his hand.

"She made me choose, petal." Edward spoke as Harry's arm got tighter, but not uncomfortably.
"Between you and her."

Louis wasn't fully awake and couldn't make proper conversation when he was being smashed into
the finest set of bedding he's come across. He had a man twice his size weighing down on his spine
yet couldn't find a reason to want to move away.

"I chose you and she left." Edward continues, drowning what was left in his glass.
Louis doesn't know what's happening. He feels Harry's heavy breathing on his neck and the shift of
his chest against his back, but that's all he's fully convinced of.

"What are you doing in his bed, petal?" Edward set the tumbler down and stood up.

 

Harry's arm conveniently tightened in a way that it slid off the wider expanse of Louis'
shoulders to over them, the bulging of his biceps blocking half of Louis' face. Louis is beginning to
presume that he's not even asleep. Nonetheless, he took the available excuse and didn't answer.
Looking away, Louis tried to internally drug his heart into slowing down before he got to
experience medical convulsing.

Edward didn't ask again and with the same clothing from earlier, now far more creased and stained,
steps up to the length of his bed. His head lowers into the moonlight and Louis gets an eyeful of the
incredible intensity masked by illness in the man's eyes. Those very same eyes met with Louis' and
Edward's mouth fell open to say something, but he found action would speak thunder.

His hands gripped the mattress of his bed and his knees had a loud impact with the wooden
structure below. He bit his lip to chew off some of the strain, in order to not look away from Louis
who was staring astoundedly back.

Harry was certainly awake for the disrespectful and awful noise of Edward dragging his entire bed
construction forward didn't cause him to be roused. His arms did lower back to Louis' hips,
convincingly gliding like the drawl of his voice.

Louis managed push Harry's arms away and sit up in alarm, the noise from wooden stubby legs on
rickety tile work filling his ears irritably. What was Edward doing? Why is he moving
everything?

It wasn't until the side of Edward's bed, longer in length pressed up and slotted into place with
Harry's, that he realised what all of this was. He looked up silently with a million questions running
at twice the steroid speed in his head, but none needed answering now.

Edward had joined their beds, made one big space rather than two separate ones. Their promise to
never go near each other's beds was intact even now. Louis looked on as Edward got rid of his pants
and shirt, staying in his colourless vest and black Calvin Klein's.

"I've come to a conclusion." He spoke softly, skipping over all the blank distance and lining himself
up with Louis.

Louis took Edward's hand when it reached towards him, his cheek and jaw. Edward smelt ripe with
alcohol but Louis knew honestly that he'd take the booze over having no one where Edward is.
"What's the conclusion?" Louis asked him, soft as a whistle.

Edward took a deep breath and smiled, light bouncing perfectly off the edges of his teeth so they
shone magnificently in the moonlight. "Close those eyes, petal. Get some sleep."

* * * * *

Niall threw himself onto Liam's bed, depicting excellently the religious stubbornness of his
heritage. "You're a jerk, Liam Payne."

"Duckling, I've told you already." Liam breathed a heavy sigh, removing his Tag Hueur watch and
jacket. "This is not my jurisdiction and if the officials here say he went willing with them
then I can't do a damn thing."

"Yeah but-" Niall rolled over onto his back, staring at the ceiling with hatred. "-that's dumb as fuck."

"I agree." Liam situates himself alongside the valleys Niall creates in his bed sheets. "However, I
don't make the rules."

"We should go get him." Truthfully, Niall was rife with guilt and wanted his chance to apologise to
his best friend.

"If he's really there consentually, he won't come easily."

"Yeah I know." When Niall turned onto his side, his elbow propping himself up, Liam followed suit.
"What should we do, detective?"

Liam rubs the sleepiness from his face with his palms, then throwing the corresponding arm over
Niall's hips. "Lou knows what he's doing, Duckling. He's an adult."

"At least-" Niall sucks his lip between his teeth. "-if he doesn't come to work on Monday, you'll do
something about it?"

"I promise." Liam stretches across the foot long gap to kiss Niall, who responds by slipping a hand
into his hair before pulling Liam down over him.

* * * * *

Louis has been awake since the crack of dawn when the ravens outside first started to screech, and
didn't move unless some part of him fell asleep. He was always preserved in the impressive
unrelenting double bars around his waist. Sometimes during his slumber Harry's fingers would flex
could be ticklish if Louis didn't feel anything but paralysing guilt and grief.

It's been a day. A single day consisting of twenty-four hours that has passed and yet Louis felt like
he lived his twenty years in that time.

Niall and he fought, their biggest argument to date. He was attacked in his own home and saved by
the pair of souls he never thought would be the saviour kind. His biological mother suffered a
miserable death and he was too unconscious with a sprained ankle to say goodbye.

Edward and Harry's sister who he never had the pleasure of meeting seemed to have disapproved
him, but the miracle was that Edward stuck with him.

How could he? Why would he?

Louis remembers Edward telling him he was twice as passionate as any man he could have ever
known. Now, courageously caressing the stray locks of near white hair that's gone askew and
listening to the owner's grumbles of appreciation, Louis doesn't doubt any of what he said.

Harry. Bipolar - although not properly diagnosed as such - and mercurial Harry Styles who hated
Louis then didn't want to release him, is the biggest mystery of this world. Louis also didn't want
the world sharing him and that's one of the main reasons he made dozens of efforts to play along
with the man.

Louis' ankle throbbed vengefully under the covers, Harry's leg close to his in the jigsaw puzzle
situation they were compromised with. He never wanted to leave this bed - or beds - but knew he
had to once certainly conscious lips starting placing kisses along the back of his neck.

It was a poor distraction from the inability of him to move his foot but Louis was satisfied with
what came his way. Harry had licked his lips because the moisture could be felt as Louis bowed his
head towards Edward's chest so Harry had more space to work.

"I know I didn't wake you." Harry's early morning rasp sounded off at the closest proximity to
Louis' ear.

Louis holds onto Harry's wrist as he turns himself over, his capable leg slipping when Harry grabs
his fingers and hastens the process. Louis ends up face to face with him, noses bumping
unintentionally from how exceedingly close they were. Harry breathed and still had fresh breath,
proving the point of something Divine personally constructing him. Demon or God.

"For last night-" Harry had an arm stuck around Louis' middle, fingers curled over his ribcage. "-I
apologise, petal."

The enchanting green of emerald that Harry possessed in the jewels of his orbs created tiny homes
in Louis' eyes at that moment. Louis couldn't be at his greatest in the morning - from experience he
knew he wasn't. He had a small bandage on his neck and a more major one on his ankle, most likely
a purple bump on his forehead but Harry still looked at him like he was a gentle, exotic desire.

Louis looked down, not meaning for his gaze to land directly on his squashed hands. They were
pressed and held against Harry's chest, the latter's skin was warm and smelt of toast. Maybe Louis
was hungrier than originally assumed.

"Petal?" Harry tried again, lowering his face in their limited space to regain Louis' attention.
Turning away again, Louis didn't let Harry convince him to look up. He's in the arms of the most
psychotic man in Middleston history, and he'll never forgive himself for feeling so safe.
"Petal, please."

Nevertheless, Harry still hurt Louis when he rebuked the boy. He was intelligent to figure that out at
this moment when Louis won't look at him. He seized Louis' wrists and when the boy turned away,
he followed with his lips and his face twisted into something akin to agony.

"I don't know why I did that to you." Harry sounded too emotional for this early in the morning. "I
won't forgive myself, petal. You're becoming my only weakness and how can I deny you?"

It was enough to get Louis to turn back towards him, his eyes swimming in unshed tears. Where
they came from he'll wish to know until his grave but now they were mostly okay. He parted his lips
to say what he was planning during his silence, a gossamer thread of saliva still connecting them.
It's easily cut when Harry surges forward and hypnotises him with a kind of kiss someone only
experiences once in their life.

The sound Louis makes isn't one he's proud of, but Harry had bitten and sucked on his bottom lip
and he forgets all about it. He closes his eyes and welcomes the kiss like it could be his salvation
from difficult times. Harry's frown mutates into something filled with pain, lingering dangerously
close to physical pain.

He concentrates as he wraps his arm from under Louis' hip across his back, bringing the boy closer
and sliding the muscle of his tongue over Louis' to tempt him. Louis is reluctant even then. When he
tries retracting, Harry groans in deep-seeded want and worsens the condition of their kiss. He
swallows Louis' fear and in return drowns the boy in everything he has to offer.

"I'm forgiven?" Harry didn't withdraw to ask, eyes searching and scorching as they bore into Louis'
crystals. "Tell me I'm forgiven."

Louis can only nod. Nod and bury his fingers in Harry's hair, twisting the chocolatey curls between
his fingers. He didn't initiate the second kiss but it was as unforgettable as the first one, leaving
Louis lost for a train of thought.

"Forgiven, if that's really what you want." Louis spoke with a tender break in his voice.

"That's not all I want, my petal." Harry was conducting the experimentation of rubbing silly
patterns onto Louis' back and waiting for a reaction.

"It's four in the morning." Louis tells him, his lips swiping over Harry's stubble.
"Would I be outrageous to propose a test of my culinary skills?"

Louis giggles into the bobbing motion of Harry's Adam's Apple because he's still easily influenced
by the drug of Harry's charm. He also knows enough about the brothers to be certain that it's a
genuine trait once one got to know them. Thirdly, Harry seems to be the only one who got Louis'
mind off his mother's tragedy.

"My ankle." Louis says sadly with deflation of his enthusiasm.

"I will bring you your pills and then carry you with me down to the kitchen." Harry easily offers.
"I'd appreciate it." Louis' eyes sparkle like newly discovered gems.

Harry goes to their bathroom, shuffling along towards the mirror cabinet above the basin. He fills a
glass with water and takes the grey containers of prescription tablets to Louis, handing both over for
consumption. Louis thanks him after a heavy swallow and when he's about to air-lifted, kisses a
sleeping Edward's forehead.

Downstairs in the kitchen, the Styles family chef is just about getting ready to prepare breakfast
when one of his masters walks in with an armful - both arms in actuality - of Louis.
"Chef Robinson." Harry greets the Scottish cook with a pleasant face and freckles about his nose.
"You're off duty today."

Louis wordlessly wonders why their own staff don't give the twins the kind of fearful reaction that
the general public gives them. He smiles at the chef who briefly tips his hat at him and is slid onto a
stool - with such precision and attention paid to his position it's enough to get him to blush.

"Good day then, Master Styles." Chef Robinson bids his employer, then turns to Louis. "Sir."

"Bye." Louis waves with just his fingers as the third person exits the kitchen.

Harry draws back the curtain over the double sink, allowing the faint sunlight peeking over the hill
and through the clouds to enter the kitchen. Louis studies the place mat under his hands and keeps
his leg propped up on the bar of the stool.'

"We have leftover beef." Harry tells him with the massive Samsung fridge opened to reveal its
contents. "I know what to do with it."'

"Do you?" Louis' toes curl around the cold steel bar.

"Why don't you call me love?" Harry set the white casserole containing the beef, a bell pepper, four
eggs and a block of cheese on the counter.

Louis would be choking had he been chewing or swallowing anything but plain air. Harry made the
question so obscenely natural it might as well be 'How's the weather?'.

"Um...-" Louis picked at the root of the bell pepper while Harry found a grater and glass bowl. "I-I
could...start now?"

Their awkwardness was tangible, and could be sliced with the bluntest knife in Louis' occasion.
This answer however pleased Harry and he smiled brilliantly at the boy. Louis smiled back.

"What are you making, love?" Louis tacks on the endearment to his question, watching Harry pick
up the grater to pick apart the block of gouda cheese.

Harry starts laughing and Louis has to look away from the ripple of his biceps as he grinded the
cheese on metal slots.

"What?" Louis reaches over the marble surface to steal a couple shreds of cheese from the bowl.
"Making love." Harry smirked at him, mirth evident, with a knife chopping up the bell pepper.
Louis burst into a tiny fit of giggles behind his hand. "Why was that- oh I see."

It's such a childish and premature joke to make yet it's hilarious on a man as big and intimidating as
Harry Styles. Master Styles, in Chef Robinson's occupation. Harry chuckled along with
Louis' amusement until he was ready to move onto add a skillet on medium heat with oil. He tosses
the beef shreds onto the skillet and moves it around with a wooden spoon.

Harry starts to peel and shred baking potatoes while the smell of beef releasing some of its fat fills
the kitchen. "Tell me about yourself, petal."

Louis gets to sit with the bowl of leftover cheese grates after Harry adds the peppers, potatoes and
some onion to the beef. The aroma is intoxicating immediately but he still finds the effort to answer.
"What would you like to know?"

"Why did you come to this town?" Harry looks him in the eye when he asks this, so heated is the
intensity that Louis ducks his head.

"The Madhouse was....appealing to me in my uni days." Louis folds his arms on the table and sighs.
"Nobody else applied to intern there so I easily got placed."

Harry hummed, looking back down at the new skillet that was warming up. He cracked the eggs
one by one into the hot oil and watched them sizzle until perfectly sunny-side up.

"Do you regret applying to the Madhouse?" Harry looks at him again, fetching salt and pepper from
their spice rack.

Louis had to think about this one, and Harry seemed to understand that he wasn't hiding the truth
but rather hoping to be completely honest. "Yes."

Harry pauses in his seasoning of the eggs with crunched pepper and the glass utensil its stored in
slams onto the counter like a heavy fist. Louis wants to explain himself before something drastic
and irreversible happened.

"I don't regret meeting you or your brother, Harry." Louis wished he could chew off his lip. "The
Madhouse has not been the ideal place to work. The hours are long and because hardly anybody
wants to do much other than get paid, the work piles up. It's scary no doubt and the people I
spend my day with are all traumatised or traumatising."

His rant did not go unheard by his current company, and Harry listened to every word with a small
smile of satisfaction. Louis sharing his troubles is a tick off his checklist for acquiring affection.

"Why don't you leave, petal?" Harry asked him while he removed the beef hash from the skillet and
served it in two medium-sized bowls, bits of gouda sprinkled on top of each with a peppered egg.
"You've got no reason to stay."

Louis picks up the fork he's handed with a napkin and Harry sits next to him, their knees - Louis'
one capable one and both Harry's - knocked together other until Louis' was between Harry's.

"I do." Louis spoke to the bowl of the best breakfast he could possibly have ever had. "I love my
work in spite of my.....complaints specific to the Madhouse."

Harry nods and picks at the yolk of the egg until it pops and yellow seeps out onto the beef hash.
Louis merely cuts a bit of the white part and feeds himself some of the hot meal.

"I've gotten many compliments about this." Harry says, speaking around his chewing with a closed
mouth. "I'd appreciate your feedback most."

Louis chews and swallows two more bites before he answers with his fork pointed up. "You've fed
me some of the best food of my life."

Harry's grin is infectious and Louis' palette leads him to smiling back just as broadly. When Harry
suddenly leans forward like his sole intention is to kiss Louis, it's difficult for the one he's aiming
for to resist. Tribulations forgotten, Harry wants to take severe advantage of what they're
experiencing right now.

They kiss with shamefully greasy lips until someone other than them clears a throat. Louis jumps
away from Harry but nothing fazes Harry enough to make him lessen his pace.

"Oh don't let me interrupt." Gemma tilted her head to the side, smiling a little disturbingly at Louis.
"You're.....petal?"

Her features were astonishingly resembling her brothers' and there was no doubt about who this
woman is.

Louis twists his lips into a look of surprise and shrugs harmlessly. "I didn't choose the name. You
must be Harry and Edward's sister?"

"Correct." She beams, less threatening now that Louis recognised her and walks up to him with her
arm outstretched. "Gemma Styles, middle name Anne but that's irrelevant."

"Middle name William, also irrelevant." Louis shakes her hand, not at all surprised that her grip is
as firm as her brothers'.

Despite his outright politeness and warm composure, Louis questions whether this is a
hallucination. Didn't Edward say she left? Had that been a lie? Or had she returned? If so, what's the
need to be so generous and tolerating?

"Sister." Harry gave his sister an excellent grin, the winner of any compelling and authentic
dazzling contest.

"Hazza." She embraces him when he reaches over with one arm to squeeze her shoulders. "Doing
well?"

Harry grunts and nods, returning to his food and Louis by re-altering his position. Louis didn't mind
him communicating with his sister because he knows they haven't seen one another in a much too
long time. Harry, however, is not of the same mindset.

Gemma knows to dismiss herself before someone else does it. Louis catches her mouthing 'halfwit'
before walking out, whether to him or to the pillar at his back. He's caught staring at Harry after
that, offended himself that a sister could insult her own blood that way. Jovially is acceptable and
even then it can go too far.

"Harry?" Louis' aim is a little dodgy - sinfully inaccurate if his history is to be considered - when
his lips land at the corner of Harry's mouth, but it's easily assuaged.

Subconsciously, Louis knows he'd fail all his majors as a psychologist in practice if he acted this
way and acknowledged it. He couldn't bring himself to care at the time, just needing to convince
good ol' Harry that he does not share the same opinion as his sister.

Harry kisses back with as much enthusiasm as he always possessed, smiling into the kiss when the
thrill got uncontainable. He licked his way around Louis' mouth and flicked the tip of his tongue
over Louis' to coax him. The boy was breathless already but he moaned and lost the shaken feeling
in his gut to Harry's treatment of his lips.

"You're so tiny, petal." Harry breathes in the voice of Mr. Tall, Dark and unfairly Handsome.
"Deliciously tiny and perfectly suited."

Louis should have known that something was implied when Harry speaks in such a chill-seeking
voice.

With a squeak he's not proud of in any part of the world, Louis is carefully lifted by a high point on
his ribcage that's conveniently just below his armpits. Harry isn't indelicate about setting Louis on
his lap, resting both feet on the bar of the boy's empty stool so the platform is flat and comfortable.
"Have we found ourselves a carrying fetish, love?" Louis brings his bowl of previously neglected
food closer to him.

Harry lays his head on Louis' shoulder, lips curving at his ear. "My fetishes are all profound when it
comes to you, petal."

* * * * *

"Wake up." Gemma doesn't care that it's hardly past five o'clock in the morning and she's throwing
a pillow at her five-year institutionalised brother.

Edward knew she was there long enough to grab the pillow before it hit any part of him. Without
opening his eyes, he speaks with a clear accent. "If you insist on being inconsiderate, I must insist
that you're not welcome here."

"I just met with your....Louis." She says, taking a seat on Harry's warm but vacant bed. "He's with
Harry downstairs."

"I'm aware."

"He is a pleasant lad." Gemma admits. "I can put up with him for the weekend."

Edward smiles and rolls over back to any available darkness. "You will not be allowed near him,
dear sister."

"Well why not?" She whines. "I can tell this one will be around forever and I could tell him all
about your quirks."

"He already knows and regardless, he's healing from a sprained ankle."

"So he can't run then, huh?"

The bed shifts again and Edward is staring at her with a steady glare, before he pushes himself up.
He's got a painfully gut-like instinct that's dissolving more and more into anger.
"Why would you say that?" He gritted his teeth and the hurt travelled in spirals to his jaw.

"Because it's fact, brother." She leans closer to him and kisses his cheek sweetly. "Something also
tells me he'll make no attempt to run."

That's hardly a pleasing thing to hear for the ears of a man who has taught himself to hate of
everything, then developed an undisciplined weakness with the blue-eyed beauty. He can't entirely
say he's forgotten his sister's insult but with that said, he smirks and considers it mild.

"Go away." He hands her back her menacing pillow. "Leave me alone for a few more hours."

"You turn into a sickening little fond boyfriend whenever I bring that Louis chap up, you know."
She stands up and straightens her jersey. "You know what that means, don't you?"

Edward was awake and staring at the blank spot where a curved dip sat on Harry's bed. "Yes."

He knew it even if he wanted to elude him for a little while longer. When his sister left the room in
a hostile silence, he was left alone with his thoughts of Louis who he practically forced into their
home and how to get the boy to love him.

Even half of what Edward was beginning to feel
would be more than the man ever felt he deserved.

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Edward got out of bed when his thoughts morphed from scary to crippling. It didn't make a
difference when he started descending the staircase and he had maintain that much more of his
balance in order to keep stable. His demons that ruled the deepest fantasy of his imagination were
alight and aloof, making him see double when there wasn't even anything there.

He was least surprised to find two of his house-mates in the kitchen, carrying on as teenagers do
when the awkwardness of their first date has past. Ah yes, the date Edward promised.

"Is there a particular reason you and my brother are hidden in our kitchen?" He asked Louis when
he got closer, near enough to the bemused boy to have the scent of his early morning sleepiness.
"Harry cooked." Louis hadn't been able to finish his portion of the breakfast meal Harry prepared,
and so offered some to Edward. "I can't finish it all."

"I can help with that, petal." Edward speaks with an increasing huskiness to his voice.

Louis feels the unwavering singe of eyes staring, open-ended and burning bright as it penetrated all
the walls Louis put up to keep safe behind. Edward swallows hard and turns his attention with
record-breaking speed as soon as Louis looks at him.

"Edwa-"

Edward can't handle this right now, as early as it is in the morning. He abandons all chance of
helping Louis with any eating. "I'm going outside."

Harry catches Edward's line of sight in that moment, about to say what Louis soon will, and stops
himself. He doesn't understand the look in his brother's eye and he knows every look as of
their birth.

"It's freezing outside." Louis comments, eyes squinting but so appealing and soft as they peered up
at Edward.

The latter clenched his fists until he felt the sting of his nails digging into his palms, to keep from
reaching out and caressing some sacred part of his personal holy grail. He didn't know what to
do when his petal looked at him this way, couldn't begin to comprehend the ordeal of what
emotions it rendered highlighted and festering within him. It was beautiful torture.

Edward turns around and leaves before any more reason to not escape to their own yard - thinking
of this place as Louis' home too made him nauseous with glee. He unlocked the glass sliding door
and disappeared behind the curtains that whipped noisily in the new cool air. Edward shut it from
the outside before the indoors got unbearable.

"It's okay, petal." Harry was suddenly in front of Louis, drawing the boy's priceless attention back to
him. "My brother is a man with many faces. He's just trying to protect you from them."

Louis doesn't say anything and when his cheek comes to rest on Harry's sturdy shoulder, his eyes
are trained on the exit Edward made.

He loses his mind to his thoughts for a brief trek down his train of thought's path. Edward had
become so...hostile? Is that an inappropriate adjective? Why was he keeping his distance after
last night when they hadn't even fought with a gruesome outcome.

"We need to ice your ankle, I believe." Harry breaks up the reverie that Louis' concentration zeroed
in on.

Louis could only nod dumbly and hope it was act outside the duty of his vivid imagination. He let
Harry help him off his perch on the maroon stool structure then be lifted entirely off the ground
before laying down on a noisy couch. The fabric was remarkably smooth and turned a shade darker
in brown when he ran his hand over the shiny tendrils of synthetic fur.

"Harry, please don't-" He started to get up when he realised what this man hoped to accomplished.
Louis can take care of himself, even in this decrepit state.

"You're my top priority, petal." Harry kneeled with just one knee on the dark carpet of intricate
design.

He was disabling Louis' ability to respond with full sentences, because even if the boy's focus was
partially elsewhere a good portion remained steady. Green bore into the blue and the latter
succumbed to what lust and offering the former gave.

Harry left him on the sofa to himself for a short while, assembling ice in a large bowl to carry back.
He found an ice pack below the sink and took that as well.

Louis looked around him at the cosy environment he was tucked into. As a small creature on the
couch now, upper body and half of his face hidden behind an empirical pillow, Louis' never felt
tinier. The living room contrasted to the rest of the house so evidently that it was astonishing.
Everything had been renovated and modernised, but this living space seemed to be exactly the same
as when the first steel foundation was set down.

The television hung above an electric fire place, all one hundred plus inches of black LED screen
with no plastic screen to hinder one's visual. The wood of the wall it stood against was deep-set oak
and neatly varnished until glossy. Tall bookshelves with the correct stock of novels and music were
on either side of that, reaching the ceiling with possibly a dozen levels of storage.
* * * * *

Edward made his way around the corner of the house to his sister's window. She had a room here
always, and nobody else slept in it. He saw no movement but also felt like he'd not approach her if
there was. He was so confused with himself, with what his mind told him in comparison to his
body.

There was his mind, perfectly geared for any challenge except this particular one. Yesterday he had
a little too much to drink and watched Louis sleep, but of course that's not what he regrets. He
doesn't regret anything really, although he's not entirely sure.

Last night - or extremely early this chilly morning - he told to Louis what he vowed to never tell
anyone. His affectionate intentions and actions were thrown out in the open, but not rejected by the
boy. Edward wasn't insecure and didn't doubt himself as a bachelor, but he doubted himself as a
worthy lover. Not physically, but with every other little thing that tagged along.

He was also torn like a sail between two opposing ship masts. What was the roaring of his heart
whenever Louis grinned? Or the soaring and swooping in his abdomen when the boy was just
pleased with him? He needed advice and the vicious cycle came back to the part where he only
trusted Louis with that.

* * * * *
accept that he knows what he's doing here. "I need to....see her."

"Your mother?" Harry was looking at him, pupils dilating before relaxing then back into a black pit.
"She's dead, Louis."

Unknowingly, a wretched sound that's remotely like a sob surfaces on Louis' tongue. He didn't want
to hear it even if it was true, not until he had come to peace with what he's witnessed.

"I know that, Harry!" He didn't mean to erupt the way his inner role model was goading him onto
doing.

Harry leaned back with the force of Louis' outburst like the photon waves physically jolted him
aside. "Petal?"

He was back to being harmless and Louis didn't want to hurt someone harmless. Harry wasn't
harmless, in truth. He was Harry Styles with more blood on his hands than most serial
killers that went unknown. It isn't fair that Louis can't help but treat him like an actual relation.
"Sorry." Louis sniffed loudly and wiped the wetness from his cheeks with his sleeves. "Just.....take
me to the hospital. Please."

Harry plunges their communication into a stricken silence. He says nothing and Louis has to take
the only victory in his name as the fact that his ankle is not being completely broken by the strength
of a man of Harry's stature. It's the only win he can pull from train wreck like this.

"I'll take you." Harry rubs over the distinct bone above Louis' foot with the circle formed between
his forefinger and thumb.

He's standing with Louis' leg placed back on the cushion cradle before Louis can remind him that he
doesn't possess a driver's licence.

* * * * *

Edward's got his act together by the time Harry comes to find him amongst the company of the
greenest leaves in Middleston.

Their courtyard could be a prize winning one, something picturesque from the most expensive
gardening and interior design magazines. It was a pity, in their heads, that such an obvious beauty
had to be wasted in the hands of two destructive men.

Edward's going to get his perspective straightened out and in light of not being an average Joe, he
does not need 'distance'.

"Petal wants to go to the hospital." Harry tells his brother in a straightforward timbre.
"What for?" Edward turns away from the water fountain where the coy fish swam freely, orange and
glimmering silver.

"You know what for, brother." Harry's middle three fingers slip into the deep pockets of his track
pants. "His mother. His friend."

"The police will just end up coming here if we don't go to them, I suppose." Edward says with a
leather-heavy sigh. "I'm coming."

He waits for his sibling to leave before releasing a breath from the forts of his lungs. That
apparently doesn't happen and he's looking back over his shoulder at the still present other
individual.

"What else?" Edward turns to fully face him.

Harry shook his head and bit the inside of his cheek. "You're not the only one who knows you're
being a jerk."

* * * * *

Louis has been in the living room flipping through one of the magazines that's on the coffee table.
He's not entirely sure that anyone in this house spent time reading magazines about celebrity gossip
and the latest type of hedge socially acceptable, but the novelty of it was adorable.

He's trying to distract himself of what he may be faced with at the hospital. Should he phone and
burden his father? His sisters? He knows his dad is a decent guy and will take care of everything,
fly down here if necessary. What about Niall? He misses his best friend so much.

"Um...Gerard?" Louis prays that he's reciting the correct first name when the butler walks in on his
way to the kitchen.

Immediately the new entry whips around. "Yes, Master Tomlinson?"

Wow. Such formality. "Do you um- have a phone I could use?"

"Certainly." Gerard disappears into the next room, going down the path he hailed from.

Before he can return however, the brothers who co-own this estate walk inside from the
unimaginable frost of the outside world. Harry meets Louis' eye first and his face breaks out in a
giant grin, for no reason other than seeing Louis tended to bring that feat out of him most
effectively. Louis gives him a smile of half the voltage and a shy wave. No other reason than Harry
can be really sweet if he wanted to.

"Petal?" A new voice was to his right, lowered to his ear and that can't be Gerard.
Edward is sitting next to the water bath, his possessive hand on Louis' calf as his fingers operate
small massages on the stiff muscle. It's his fully functional leg and thankfully Louis is able to retract
it.

"Oh petal." Edward didn't manoeuvre Louis in any way, instead bringing himself closer to the boy
and placing his ear over the rapid thump-thump-thump of Louis' heart. "Forgive me."

It's moments like these Louis forgets entirely what went wrong in the first place. Oh yes,
Edward woke up in the kind of mood that turned him cold and detached. Last night - or very early
this morning - meant a lot to Louis, and he didn't appreciate everything being so simply discarded.
Harry seems to have left the room, and taken Gerard with him. Louis can't see anything past
Edward because his body is frozen and incapable of surpassing the man.

"I....I don't have a decent reason but you don't deserve excuses. The truth is, petal, that-" Edward
connects their lines of vision and it's too electric to allow for Louis looking away. "-my world seems
to end with you and it's so much broader in some ways, but smaller in others."

Louis stammers over something to respond with. What? "Edward-"

"I don't love you, petal." He stated as if that's what Louis was going to say, which it was. "I don't
love you but I can see myself loving you."

Louis did not sign up to be a psychologist in training for this case of affairs. "I don't know
what I'm supposed to be saying."

"You're not obligated." Edward says. "I can go on this way from the cradle to the grave."
"What?"

"Or in meek current terms-" Edward turned his head and his cold lips met with Louis' bandage over
his neck. "-I'd wait for you."

Louis felt like he was floating. Not floating in a way that was entirely pleasurable, floating in a way
that made him want to get the Hell away. His mother died in front of him, murdered in cold blood,
and this man is pouncing on him emotionally. He plans to not entertain these thoughts until way,
way after all is settled.

"I can't do this now, Edward." Louis resists all the contact he had with Edward. "Please just-"

"Of course." Edward nodded, understanding.

"Edward, what you did yesterday......-"

"With the beds?"

"Yes." Louis could trace the lines of muscle with his tongue given how close they were. "Is
this.....why you did it?"

"Wasn't that clear?"

"Abundantly."

Louis smiled weakly, spoke weakly as he touched Edward's shoulderblade. His hand felt tiny on the
man's exterior. He didn't focus on that for long before Edward asked him something new.
"Why do you want to go to the hospital, petal? Harry told me you do." Edward started, sitting up
and helping Louis do the same.

Having been busy removing his foot from the ice bath and keeping any excess moisture from
dampening the expensive couch, Louis only looked up after the process was complete. His face was
convincingly close to Edward's.

"I have to go do this." Louis tells him in a voice below a whisper. "This is my obligation."
Louis is more thrilled than he'd like to admit when Harry returns with a cordless phone in his hand,
wielding it like a secret weapon. Louis pulls himself away from Edward. The seed planted of the
conversation the man wants to have is repulsive at a time like this. Louis just wants to go
home.

"Gerard said you asked for this." Harry held out the Panasonic device. "What for?"

Edward is staring at him and Louis can't shake the chills building a headquarters in his nervous
system. "F-For Niall."

"Okay."

Harry takes the ice and all its associates away to be rid of, while Louis dials the memorised number
as hastily as his fingers will allow. A paler, bonier hand comes over his during the dial tone.

"Don't leave." Is all Edward says before getting up and leaving, never a glance back.

The shudder to his core makes Louis want to throw something at Edward's retreating back.

Something unharmful but will get his point across anyway. He's hardly positive on what his point is
anyway. He wants to shout 'Why don't you just find me mediocre and leave me alone?!' but
there's no voice in his throat.

Someone is shouting however, and Louis realises that he left a call to Niall unanswered in his hand.
He lifts the receiver to his ear with both hands. "N-Niall?"

His best friend erupts into a wail of relief. "Lou?! Lou, are you okay?"

"I'm fine." Louis picks at his pants threads. "I um....- Did you hear?"

"I was there, Lou." Niall has some shuffling in the background that he stops to continue. "I couldn't
find you."

"Yeah, I know. I'm uh- coming to the hospital today to....see her and maybe call Dad? I don't know
but can you-"

"I'll be there. I promise. Twenty-five minutes, okay?"

"Thanks, Ni."

"Where are you, Lou?"

Louis looks around himself guiltily and knows he has to hang up now. "I'll see you soon, Ni."

* * * * *

"You're taking him to the hospital?" Gemma asked Edward as her brother stood in her way while
she tried to unpack her two bags.

"He asked me to." Edward follows her with his eyes, impassive and hooded to reveal nothing.

"No." She laments. "Harry asked you."

Edward sighs. "I wasn't fair to Louis this morning so I didn't expect him to ask me."

"What does 'fair' mean in this context?"

"I ignored him."

Gemma giggles, bypassing him in favour of her hair brush of tie. "How charming."
"I didn't come here to be ridiculed."

"Sorry, brother." She tied her hair up in a skilfully positioned bun. "You came for advice?"

"I don't know who else to ask."

"Of course you do, but you're too mad about him to ask."

Edward stays silent and unmoving, gaze uplifting and frown deepening at his sister's words. He
loved her, it is no mistake that he'd easily give anything for her, but she inherited an excessive
amount of the Styles arrogance. What he and Harry had in fractions, she stocked up on.

"Leave him alone, I say." She finally speaks, making unimportant hand gestures. "Let him grieve
and mourn and don't get in the bloody way."

"How-"

"He's not like us, Edward." Her mood switches from understanding and honest to harsh and
annoyed. "Why you can't see that is beyond me. Don't expect anything from him."

* * * * *

Hospitals have been the subjects of Louis' consistent nightmares as a child for as long as he's
allowed to remember. Them, and the occasional freelance clown running at him with an axe.
Harry was being supportive even if he didn't entirely comprehend why or the proper way of doing
so. He held Louis' hand and glowered at the nurses who had to take Louis away for inspection of his
knee. Edward stayed back in the waiting room of the ER, making everyone stare and just to piss
someone off would wink at a little girl.

"Your ankle should take five days to heal." His doctor told Louis, scribbling a prescription for
painkillers down. "Don't walk on it and ice it everyday at least thrice. We will wrap it up nice and
tight because compression helps with the swelling."

Louis listens to every word and nods at the end. Harry stood at the door, leaning against the sick
white wall with his arms crossed. Niall hasn't shown up yet and Louis didn't try calling him again. If
he didn't want to come, he shouldn't have to.

"These are your pills." The doctor hands him a blue slip. "Take them according to their instructions
of use."

"Thank you." Louis isn't allowed to move yet and he's greatly unnerved by Harry locking the door
after his doctor leaves. "Harry?"

"The police are coming to take your statement." Harry has turned into some type of serious-all-thetime man
with dark eyes and a gun in his back pocket. "What do you know?"

Louis realises just then what all of this meant. They were taking care of him to make sure he didn't
say anything? That can't be. He didn't even see what they could have done!

"I-I....-" Niall's blond quiff appears on the other side of the door, but Harry steps in front of him. "I
don't know, Harry!"

"What did you see beyond our arrival?" Harry insisted.

Louis' headache was returning and he could hardly think without a pained cry wanting to rip
through him. "Nothing! I saw nothing."

Harry was hovering over him when Louis opened his eyes, a chain hanging between them. Louis
gasped from the position and Harry smothered it with a kiss.

"That's what you'll tell them." Harry kissed his lips and his forehead. "Sorry, my petal."

He tries to soothe the boy's shaking first by murmuring such sweet things in his ear. His
thumb brushes over Louis' jawline and earlobe, lips roaming the path of hollow cheeks.

"I just can't let them take me away from you." He explained, sounding like he was speaking through
sobs too. "Not when I'm redeeming myself."

Louis starts to breathe slower and not feel like every ounce of blood within him will explode from
their mediums. He absentmindedly grips Harry's turquoise sleeve while listening, slipping deeper
and deeper into something muddled but promising.

"Don't ever be afraid of me." Harry pulled the thin covering over Louis until his waist as he stood,
getting the boy to release his shirt. "I'll come right back for you, petal. Ten minutes, okay?"

Louis looks at him and nods, before turning around at the sound of boots hitting tile. Harry leaves
Louis as soon as Niall threatens to call the police even faster.

"Louis?" Niall steps into the room before Harry can exit, shutting the door with finesse after the
man. "You okay, Lou?"

"More or less." Louis cracks a smile that lacks any joy, making room on the hospital bed for his
friend to sit.

Niall goes for the jackpot and just crawls onto the mattress with Louis, throwing an arm over his
mate and slinging the other one under Louis' head to rest on. "I'm so sorry."

Louis shakes his head and defeats his tears' mission to make themselves known. "It's okay."

"No. No, Lou. It isn't." Niall strokes Louis' hair the way Louis would do for him after a tough day.
"It wasn't okay for me to leave you."

"You couldn't have known." Louis grabs a tissue from the small table under the window and wipes
his nose

At least Niall can sleep a little easier with that reason, but definitely not entirely. He sighed and
ignored the scowl of a female nurse as she walked in to wrap Louis' ankle.

"You're not allowed on the patient's bed, Mr. Horan." She said clearly, tying up and taping down the
loose end of the gauze.

"Five more minutes, Gracie."

She left without another word and made sure a door-stopper was keeping the door from closing.
"You know the nurses by their first name?" Louis blinks, surprised by his friend.

"Took a guess." Niall admits, his mood suddenly disintegrating. "Where were you, Lou?"

Sighing, Louis holds onto the railing as he gets himself up. "You know where I was, Ni."

"You were really with them?" Niall all but screeches with a sudden skyrocket in his pitch.
"Yes."

"Louis!"

Louis' headache was enough at the expense of his health that the blood vessels in his brain turned to
over-stretched leaking pipes and shook selfishly against the fine membrane.

"Please don't yell." Louis whimpered, the bright lights playing simultaneously with the buzz, flicker
and beep of every piece of present machinery is cruel.

"What were you doing with them, Louis?" Niall changed his tone but didn't lower the volume.
"He said-" Spoke an icy third voice. "-don't yell."

Louis didn't have to turn or even sneakily glance to know it was Harry. The man had a dismal
higher pitch, risen by a smidgen in comparison to Edward's throaty command. He covered his face
with his arm and felt Niall slide off the bed.

"Fucking creep." Niall muttered. "Can you wait outside?"

"Niall." Louis warned slowly.

Niall simply repeated himself. "Can you wait outside?"

"No." Harry barked, arms crossed and the wrist-long sleeve of his shirt continued to strain against
the expansion of his muscle. "The police are waiting, petal."

"What the fuck is petal?"

Harry ignored him. Louis answered. "I'm okay to talk to them."

"They call you fucking petal?"

"Yes, Ni." Louis snaps. "Me. I'm petal. Please stop shouting."

The police walked in on this scene as soon as Harry walked out, feeling relaxed even if two best
friends were at heads because the psycho was absent. All else, they could handle. Three officers
walked in and one face Louis all too well.

"Liam?" Louis couldn't bring himself to rest back against the pillows, and so sat with a noticeable
hunch.

"Hey, Lou." Liam, in black jeans and a grey plaid shirt smiled for none of what he's worth.
The other two present where stocky and local police officers. Liam carried the clipboard for Louis'
statement and he stood with the highest rank from amongst them.
"We're here for-"

"I know." Louis didn't want to hear it again. "Can I see my mother afterwards?"
"We'll take you to her later, yes."

"I'd appreciate it." Louis nods and smiles politely "Niall, can I use your phone please?"
"We'd like to get this statement out of the way, Lou." Liam raises his hand to stop Niall from
rendering free the device from his pockets.

"My statement's not going to change in the five minutes it takes to call my father, Detective." Louis
monotonously points out.

Liam takes a deep breath and releases it with a clap to the side of his clipboard. "Fine. Yeah."

Niall is lost to his rage for Louis' poorly prioritised decisions and silly choices, but he hands over
his iPhone anyway. Louis thinks he can remember the office number for his dad and dials as soon as
he's given privacy by all except the owner of the phone.

"Are you really calling him or was that a ruse?" Niall hikes his knee up and under the other one.

"I'm really calling." Louis holds the ringing speaker up to his ear with one hand, all fingers.
"AT & Co. How can I help?" A very formal, pleasantly formal voice picks up his call.

"I'm Louis Tomlinson. Is my dad around?" He answers, out of reflex looking up at the window.
"Hey, Lou! It's been....what? Three years since I last heard from you." It's Precious, an AfricanAmerican
woman who Louis got to know since the day his mother went into labour.

The sound of her voice brings a smile to his face. It and her reminds him of an easier time and series
of phases in his life when he had an exceptional support system.

"Sorry, Pre." He hugs his middle with his free arm. "I've been busy down here."

"Yeah. Yeah I heard." The lilt to her voice always got more pronounced when she was experiencing
a personal emotion.

"What did you hear?" Louis brings his thumb up to his lips.

"Your Dad orders the Middleston paper every day and it arrives at the end of the week." She
explained in a hushed, secretive voice. "He knows all about those twins and your neck. Your
neck, Lou. How are you feeling?"

"Fine. Fine, I promise. Is he....doing something about it?"

"He's keeping tabs but he's been waiting for your phone call."

"Pre?"

"Yeah, Lou?"

Louis blinks away the itch in his right eye, exaggerated by the swelling of tear glands. "Mo-Mother's dead."

The line goes dead for a whole minute, but it feels like Precious is silent for an entire decade.
"Lou." Precious sucks her air intake suddenly that a whistling side product is audible.
"When, Lou?"

"That's why I'm calling for Dad." Louis hides his unstable wobbling lips behind the piques of his
knees.

"He's going to insist you come home. That place isn't good for you anymore."

"I have a job here, Pre. A paying one. A-A....-" He finds it harder now than ever before to speak
with a clogged throat. "An apartment."

"You don't wanna go back there, baby." She says kindly, in a sweet and sympathetic voice. "He's
just come out of a meeting so I'll cancel his next appointment and transfer you."

"No, Pre. If he's busy-"

"You're his son, Louis. He's not going to be too busy for his son."

Thirty short seconds later Pre's voice is shut out by the relaxing hum of a chime that sounded
whenever a call was being transferred via switchboard. Louis looked at Niall and found his best
friend staring at him as if meeting him for the first time. He can't keep up the contact and turns
away quickly.

"Louis?" Comes the voice on the other end of the call, gruff but respectable and perfect in curved
pronunciation. "Is that you?"

"It's me, Dad." He grinds the flat heads of his teeth together, the meshing system not being flawless.
"Hi."

In his office across the continent, Mark Austin Tomlinson unbuttons the clips of his jacket and sits
down. "How are you keeping?"

Louis breaks down witlessly and pathetically. "Mom's dead, Dad."

"What?" Mark is standing again, back to the door. "Louis, explain yourself."
"I didn't kill her!"

"That's not what I'm saying, boy. Calm down, take some breaths." He waits, walking to his office
door to lock it. "Now tell me."

"N-Not over the phone." Louis can't say the story. He physically cannot bring his tongue to
cooperate without loss of some mental capacity.

"I'll catch the next flight out to see you then." Mark is already tapping away at his keyboard, finding
the soonest booking.

"Don't bring the girls." Louis balls himself up under the white blanket, his injured leg sticking out
from underneath. "They...- I haven't seen them in s-so long and I don't want them.....you know, to-"

"I understand." Mark is nodding, unconventionally thrown at his son's distraught behaviour. "I won't
bring them."

Louis looks up at the sound of newcomers, and adjust the cellphone between his ear and the pillow.
He's met with the breathtaking sight of authority moving aside to let Harry and Edward into his
room, the second ahead of the first.

"Thank you." Louis returns to the conversation with his father.

Mark decides something in the moment of hearing Louis' - his first born regardless of gender -
voice shake. "When I get there, Lou, I want your bags packed. Over my dead body are you staying
in that fuckin' town any longer."

Hearing those words from his father at the same moment save him from sparing the energy to ask.
Edward merely spares Louis a glance before letting Harry step forward. The action gets Louis to
decide with finality and look away too.

"Lou?" Mark tries to get a promise from his son. None of his family is going to remain in a town as
awful as Middleston. "You'll come home with me?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'll come home."

Chapter Text

"Lou?" Mark tries to get a promise from his son. None of his family is going to remain in a
town as awful as Middleston. "You'll come home with me?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'll come home."

*NARRATOR'S POV*
Louis had said it softly enough and to the underside of his palm so that no one else got to hear the
plot. The hospital room was outstandingly silent as everyone did try to eavesdrop on his
conversation, but luckily to no avail. He couldn't have anyone know his plans, maybe Niall but not
at this time.

"I'll be there as soon as I can, okay?" His father told him, a promise hidden by his careful wording.
"Okay. Bye, Dad." Louis studies the fabric of his sheets and cotton-covered mattress with his
fingers.

"Bye Lou." His father hangs up and Louis wishes he hadn't, wanting a bit more time to be distracted
from what still needed to be taken care of.

The twins were standing unaffected and expressionless at the door, Harry keeping himself a small
quantity of two steps away from Louis' bed. Edward was staring at Louis when the boy glanced his
way, failing to pass him by entirely.

Something was entirely off with Edward today and Louis couldn't put his finger on it. His
greatest outcry of today was that he had to have Edward walk into this room and ignore him, before
agreeing to go home. The irony was puzzling.

Niall sighed and scratched lightly at the damp skin of his forehead, pushing his hair back and
getting up on his feet. He was worked up to a serious state and didn't see himself recovering the
ounce of respect he had for this town.

"Oh for fuck's sake." He mutters, rigid as a plank and full of total rejection towards the twins.

Edward looks to be completely unaffected, while his brother was blatantly miffed by Niall's
disrespect. The tension turns to the thickest state of tangibility, hanging in the air while Louis
looked up, first at Niall and handed back the phone.

Louis spoke purposefully to Niall. "I'm um....ready to give them my statement."

* * * * *

After Liam took his clipboard with him out to discuss matters with his two companions, Louis
closes his eyes. Maybe if they stay closed for long enough, he'll discover that this life is just a
nightmare. Harry and Edward did not leave the room, despite being told to, during Louis' statement.
They stayed back at the closed doorway and heard every morsel of information he gave up.

Niall stood on the other side of Louis' legs, glaring at everything that breathed. He's got the right to
be as mad as he is. "What did your father say?"

Louis nervously glances at the twins, finds them also awaiting his response, and sighs. "He's
coming as soon as he can."

"Yeah?" Niall crosses his arms, although it doesn't make it to be as intimidating as two particular
people Louis knows. "That's good."

Nodding, Louis avoids eye contact with absolutely anyone. There's an uneasy stillness lining the
walls and exits of this space, compressing the individuals present until they simply fall off their
rocker themselves. The temptation of succumbing to the predator and pray system of functioning,
where the demons in one's head ruled everything, was a strong case.

"Yeah." Is all Louis manages to push out, and he hates it.

"Liam needs me." Niall says, patting his pockets before walking out of the room.

No harm comes to Louis' best friend while he passes by the twins, both sets of eyes following him
out just to make sure he's gone. Harry notices the door-stopper and shows it to Edward. His brother
nods and says nothing, following in Niall's path to leave the room too. Louis grinds his teeth at the
man's new attitude towards him. It was definitely the best decision he ever made to leave.

"Hey, petal." Harry takes a seat on Louis' bed, his hand landing gingerly on Louis' knee.

Louis looks at him with indignation. "Hi."

The slightly noticeable bob of Harry's head as he nods could be likened to the rhythm of a Jamaican
song. "Edward's not doing this on purpose."

"Oh?" Louis doesn't really care. He's getting out of this town as soon as his father says the word.

"Yes. He's very fond of you."

"I'm sure he is."

"Louis." Harry's disapproval of Louis' tone is a new shade in the collection of his easy-to-flip
moods.

"I want to be alone, Harry." Louis turns away from him with heavy eyelids and an absent
knowledge of why he's suddenly so tired. "Please."

Harry's hand removes itself and Louis feels the bed being enlightened from his weight. That is, until
he hears the click of boots not getting any softer and he curls in on himself to hide, to protect his
chest cavity where his heart struggled to deliver a pulse.

"Are you going to sleep?" Harry's voice is uncomfortably close to his ear once again, and Louis is
burdened by the man sharing a bed with him when he wants anything else.

"Yes." Louis croaks, throat dry and head throbbing.

"Okay." Harry kisses his shoulder. The touch is so sweet that Louis can almost hate it, but he
motivates himself to let happen what may. "I'll be here, petal."

Louis convinces himself that Harry being here is better than his marvellously unsupportive and
critical friend. He knew Niall was right but dammit it wasn't fair. Louis didn't have a choice!
He felt Harry shuffle behind him, against his back. He doesn't feel any pain from his ankle because
Harry positioned it such that it wasn't in harm's way.

"Harry?"

The man makes a pleased little sound and kisses Louis' neck. His lips don't burn on the boy's skin
for the first time. "Yes, darlin'?"

Louis is about to confess it all, but something stops him at the very last second. He has to keep his
mouth from formulating the words that are biting at the edge of his tongue, daring to cause a riot by
spilling out. He sucks in a cold and deep breath, letting the inhaled feeling of ice settle in his gut.

"Petal?" Harry notices the break in his conversation, and shifts slightly to get closer.

Louis pretended to be asleep, shutting his heavy eyelids and breathing through his nose. Forcing
himself to take in only so much air in this act got to be painful at a point, and he had to open his
mouth just a bit to help out. He probably owes another day of his living history to that smart move.

* * * * *

"Malik." Zayn answers his cellphone the way he always does when he's preoccupied. It's work,
always is work keeping his attention away from relationships and social potential.

"Hey, sweetheart." Liam has to turn away from the two officers who resemble helpless, guideless
puppies more than officials who guard a town.

"Fuck right off, Payne." Zayn drops the witness report in his left hand, biting on the cap of his
Pentel pen.

Their relationship was as casual now as it has always been. Liam and Zayn never sought solace and
comfort in each other's arms the way couples do, but more often than not they found the necessary
relaxation their naked bodies provided.

"I need you, Zee." Liam pinches his nose over to tough cartilage and sighs at the ground.

"Um....-" Zayn glances at his watch. "I have to work until-"

"No, not sex." Liam combs his hair back and tries to blink away the burn of his tired eyelids. "How
far are you from Middleston?"

Zayn had been sorting through case files and affidavits. He stops for a moment. "Middle-what?"
"Middleston." Liam repeats, looking around him and over his shoulder.

"Didn't that guy from uni and-"

"Yeah, the same place."

"Quit cutting me off, you fucker."

"Sorry. So how far?"

"Been moved out for a case maybe an hour or less away. Are you trouble, Li?"

"Not me. That kid from uni."

"What the fuck? Do I expect a reunion when I get down there?"

"No, Zee. Just......get down here as soon as you can." Liam notices Niall leaving Louis'

room and the twins going in. "Something is extra fucked up in this town."

* * * * *

Mark deboards the flight, Emirates 627, without holding back for the luggage carousel to come
around. He hardly packed his briefcase before getting on the plane to take him to his son.
After hearing the voice of his son over the telephone, so vulnerable and so in need of his help, Mark
couldn't help but throw his day's work away for an emergency visit. Louis was always such an
ambitious young lad and ready to take on whatever challenge whoever the Hell threw at him. He
didn't deserve to sound so.....so shattered.

Mark made his way out of the tiniest airport terminals he's been under the roof of, grabbing the first
lime green local cab that came to a stop outside the main entrance. The driver is smoking a tobacco
cigar with the resulting grey puffs circling around the confines of the vehicle.

"Middleston General Hospital." He barked at the insolent individual, tapping away a final email on
his iPad before the battery is drained.

"Yes, Sir." The driver with untended facial hair sets his cigar down and hits the accelerator with the
clink of his worker's boot.

Their cab takes a slippery swerve when it rounds the corner, Mark sliding across the leather of his
seat until he's behind the driver rather than the passenger side. He glares at the man in charge
through the rear view mirror.

"Drive decently and drive faster." He says curtly, eyes not lingering on the reflective surface.
The roads are slippery and the storm of a century is due to pass at any given moment, but that's not
all that threatens to keep Mark from ever reaching the hospital and his son.

* * * * *

At the intersection between twelfth and fifteenth street, Zayn's GMC Terrain parks before the stop
instruction painted on the black cobble street. He uses the small break in driving to gulp down some
coffee from the Starbucks travel mug he carried. It's his fourth cup and his head is starting to be as
drained as every other part of him.

Working sleepless nights at the office working on thirty consecutive cases in just his first two years
of being a full fledged police investigator. He looks up and the light hanging above from telephone
wires and other insulated cables indicate green.

Mark hasn't looked up from the screen of his iPhone since he hopped in the cab, dialling and
redialing Louis' number but only receiving voicemail. He sighs and unbuttons the jacket of his suit,
checking for his wallet and other phone again. The light eventually turns green after a forty second
wait at this intersection with foggy windows and the patter of rain surrounding him.

His driver's cigar is not put out and it's too late to just open the window so the smoke escapes easily.
The man at the wheel does anyway, and in that time wasted during a green light fails to see an
approaching vehicle in the next lane. He applies the gas and jerks forward, the wet road causing him
to slide over into the headlights of a GMC Terrain.

* * * * *

"Trauma!" The nurse over the PA system calls out loud and clear. "Dr. Reilly, Dr. Gallecki and Dr.
Parsons to the emergency room!"

The list of names of medical professionals rages on, changing in accents and urgency as different
nurses summon those on break after quarter day shifts. Liam turns around from watching Niall
figure out the vending machine, frowning as he pulls them both out of the way.

"What's going on?" Niall hands him a lidded cup of coffee and packet of generic Oreos.

"Don't know." Liam shakes his head at the God awful coffee and cracks open the packet of cookies.
Edward stood not too far away from them, his extraordinary hearing allowing him to hear from their
conversation what he needed. Instead of waiting for the answer to arrive, he stopped a bustling
nurse in her tracks.

"What's happened?" He asks, fluent and unwilling to repeat himself to the middle-aged woman.

"Car accident at the nearby intersection." She tells him, barely registering who it is she's speaking to
before hurrying along again.

Edward shares a look with Liam over the width of the hallway, one with connotations neither really
grasped. When Liam was about to step forward to ask about what he heard - because he's a bloody
detective and shouldn't be afraid of Edward - his target disappears after the passing of a gurney.
Liam searches for him, coffee cup and puzzled Niall forgotten temporarily, but Edward is really
gone. Was he even standing there originally?

* * * * *

"Petal."

Louis doesn't feel a physical touch nudging him out of his dreams where Middleston was an ant
under his boot rather than a town he can't escape, but the voice is firm enough. He tries hiding from
it for a bleak moment, blocking his face behind the arm of the dozing Harry giant behind him.
It didn't work. "Wake up, petal."

The arm Louis used as salvation is being extracted and he's left exposed to the cold hospital air. He
opens his eye and sees Edward, looking as pleasing to the sore eye as he always does. Stark white
hair that in the right amount of lighting looked golden, eyes hooded by the shadow of his emotions.
"I have something to show you." Edward extends his hand towards Louis.

Louis flinches when the tips of Edward's fingers brush his arm. "I don't want to see it."

Edward tilts his head to the side in his curious puppy mirage. "It concerns you."

"I don't care."

"Your father is here, petal. Don't you want to see him?" The oblique stare that withheld the reason
why Edward was doing this, is unnerving Louis the longer it stays on him.

Louis is more willing to move after that enlightenment, but still insists on crutches rather Edward's
help moving around. He grabs some sweatpants off the table and slips them on whilst seated, almost
tipping himself over when he leans too far forward.

Edward is patient, waiting by the door with his eyes burning holes on Louis' back. How could he
ever neglect a person of embodied perfection? Gemma seems to think he possesses the willpower to
do so.

The crutches are a challenge for all challengers. Louis struggles with them sans any help for two
and a half minutes before he can so much as reach the door. Edward looks him up and down with an
unreadable expression, fingers curling in his pockets.

To Hell with his sister.

He grabs Louis' hip with one hand and drops the crutches with the other. They land with a loud and
heavy clutter, heavy and expensive medical aid instruments how cracking the tile. The neglect gets
Louis to shout but Edward covers it with his hand. Harry doesn't shift in his sleep.

"Shh, sweet petal." Edward lowers himself and picks Louis up in a swift bridal carry. "I've treated
you badly enough already."

Louis tries to break free - as seems to be a tradition now - but the lock-down of Edward's arms don't
relent even when they're passing people they know in the corridor.

"What are you- Edward!" Louis squirms and almost drops himself when he takes shoving the man's
chest too far.

Edward growls in obvious displeasure - his petal is bordering on irresponsible - and pulls him into
the next empty turn-off. It's a small and dark hallway but the wall is all he needs, pressing Louis up
against it and caging him in.

"What's the matter, petal?" He asks in a brusque and forceful manner.

"Put me down, Edward." Louis couldn't control the injured leg because every small movement and
pressure hurt, so Edward held his thigh up against his hip.

But Edward saw through that. There was something pained in Louis' eyes and he knows he put it
there. "I'm sorry, petal."

"For what?" Louis glowered.

Edward can't be called a criminal for succumbing to the need to be burrowed in Louis' soft,
warm neck. His pulse was against the man's cheek and his goosebumps ran free.

"For my behaviour." Edward opens his mouth to speak, the wetness dampening Louis' shoulder. "I
took the wrong advice but I am a man of desire, petal. I can't stay away from you."

Really, is Harry the only bipolar twin?

Louis' chest starts to heave as breathing becomes
difficult. He whimpers at the contact of hot skin on warm skin, his fingers gripping the fabric of a
shirt he should hate. He can only let Edward press their foreheads together and kiss the tip of his
nose.

"Your father." Edward suddenly remembers. "Come, petal."

Liam and Niall are no longer part of the crowd in the hospital's passageway. Louis searches for
them in the small break room as he passes the door, then the space outside the bathrooms. He
frowns as Edward takes him further away from his own room and towards the waiting room outside
the ER.

"Edward?" Louis tries to understand but Edward shakes his head and pushes through the double
doors.

The emergency room is alive, as when a home is established hundreds of years ago it develops a
life. People - doctors - are working feverishly to take care of, operate on and sedate those who were
involved in the car crash not too far away from here. Three victims, one dead.

"Louis Tomlinson?" A doctor in white scrubs, clean of blood but he seems to be the only one.

"That's me." Louis waits to be put down but the doctor seems to understand when he isn't.

"Your father is Mark Tomlinson?" His name tag reads Dr. Stewart and he looks uncharacteristically
energetic with puppy dog brown eyes and untidy hair.

Louis takes a sharp and freezing breath. "Yes."

"He was involved in a pile up just two blocks from here." The doctor fails to slow down and let the
blood gushing through Louis' arteries stop from hurting him. "He was severely injured and we
managed to stop any fatal internal bleeding."

His father.

Louis can't lose his dad, that's all he's got left to rely two hundred percent on. He
can't hear this but he has to.

"Mr. Tomlinson is in a coma." Dr. Stewart taps his clipboard and offers Louis a sympathetic smile.
"We'll have to keep him here in Middleston until he's stable enough to wake up."

Chapter Text

"Mr. Tomlinson is in a coma." Dr. Stewart taps his clipboard and offers Louis a sympathetic
smile. "We'll have to keep him here in Middleston until he's stable enough to wake up."

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Petal, calm down."

Edward held Louis the only way he seemed to know how. He knew how to handle many things, but
he knew how to do very few things properly, and this was one of those things.

Louis was breaking apart in his arms, weeping the way he shouldn't in the hospital waiting area that
was slowly filling up. Edward was uncomfortable here but when he tried to move Louis wouldn't let
him. He sighed irritably and ran his hand through Louis' hair, straightening out the knots and curls.
After his heaving fit of throttling and troubling sobs ebb away into soft sniffles, Louis takes solace
in the warm pulse of Edward's neck. He doesn't have the energy or the willingness to pick on who it
is exactly who's holding him.

"Better now, darlin'?" Edward gets up off the chair and carries Louis with him away from the
developing crowd.

The hospital is building up a swarm of attention for themselves, local media for news coverage due
to the accident. One of the world's biggest CEO's was involved in a car accident and nobody outside
this town will ever find out because no one and nothing gets out of Middleston.

Louis has a splitting headache and shakes his head when he's offered the chance to visit his father.
He's not ready for that yet, because he wants to be able to walk in there and walk out on his own.

"Edward?" Louis didn't want to go into his own room yet, didn't want to face the whirlwind of
questions that would undoubtedly accompany Harry.

"Yes?" The man shoves open the heavy door blocking him from Louis' wing of the hospital.
"Can you reassure me?"

Edward stops walking and almost causes a nurse to knock over her cart of supper meals for the
recovering patients. She moves around him but not without a glare thrown his way, then easily
swallowed after she sees his face.

"What type of reassurance would you like, petal?" Edward took a step forward, tentative as he's
forgotten where he was going.

"Can we sit over there please?" Louis points to a vacant row of cushioned chairs drilled to the
ground and wall.

Edward doesn't seem to have capacity to conjure up a reason not to, so he grunts his consent and
makes his way over there. Louis gets his own seat and Edward sits beside him, eyes on everything
else. Their awkwardness seems to become palpable because there's never been a scenario where
they simply sat together.

"Tell me my dad's going to be okay." Louis has fingers laced together over his thighs, his watery
eyes watching his thumbs go back and forth.

Edward's head snaps in his direction. He's thoroughly at a loss for words with this boy. How
unarmed and uneducated he feels whenever Louis said something so.....simple to him.

"Please." Louis peers through the corner of his eye at his present companion without turning his
head.

The nurses and doctors, surgeons and specialists were racing around trying to save lives and give
hope. What did Edward have to lose?

"He's going to be....just fine, petal." Edward adds dramatis to his words by reaching over
and grasping Louis' hand.

"Yeah?" Louis finally spares him a glance and Edward can hardly breathe with those
magnificent blue eyes staring at him like he's worth a damn good thing in this world.
"Of course." Edward manages to shove out, almost wishing that he sounded half as much corrupt as
he was inside. "Of course, petal."

Louis smiled at him and Edward gave the boy a forehead kiss, breathing in deeply when he was
close enough. Louis was so precious to him, with or without reciprocation.

"We should go back." Louis withdraws and wipes his nose on a deteriorated tissue from Dr. Stewart.

"You can't possibly be in need of sleep again, petal." Edward's light humour gets Louis' mouth to
twitch.

"We can.....-" Louis bites his wet lip and tastes the salty aftermath of his tears. "Can we go to the
cafeteria?"

Edward thinks about where the cafeteria is and how long it will take to get them there. "Sounds like
a plan, petal."

The cafeteria is the least delightful place one wants to go when trying to lift the dribs and drabs of
your spirits up from six feet under. It is, unfortunately, all the choice Louis has until he's discharged
from here with a certificate of aftercare.

They have to pay for everything they order but Louis isn't allowed to argue because Edward seats
him at a table and goes to get a tray of food. He returns with a small carton of chocolate milk, a
sealed serving of pasta salad and another of a colourful sandwich.

"Who's the chocolate milk for?" Louis uses the serviette Edward brings to wipe his eyes and nose
rather than his hands.

"I've been a chocolate milk enthusiast for fourteen years, petal."

Louis' eyes grow wide as Edward's stay solemn with dead seriousness. "Really?"

"No, petal. The chocolate milk is for you."

Louis laughs before he can register that he is and refrain from doing so. He covers his mouth with
his hand and Edward observes that even with his eyes so tired and skin dry, every inch of the boy in
front of him remained all that Edward wanted from a world that hated him.

"Thank you." Louis says gratefully, taking the carton and jabbing the short straw through the silver
tab. "Have you....been a pasta salad enthusiast at any point in your childhood?"

Edward stares at him for the greater portion of a minute, making Louis turn away first. "No, petal."

Louis' second smile is brief and quickly fades as he picks up the plastic container. He uses the black
plastic fork to poke at the food, seeking his appetite, while Edward watches him in disdain.

"You have to eat." Edward tells him after a while, meeting Louis' eye. "I will not allow you to get
any thinner than you are now."

Glancing down self consciously, Louis frowns and gathers that he'll never be able to eat after today.
He pushes the food away and Edward catches his wrist.

"I'm not asking, petal." Edward slides the container back into Louis' perimeter. "Eat."

Louis tries taking his wrist back but he'll walk to the moon before that happens.

He speaks quietly. "I'm not hungry."

"Irrelevant." Edward nearly stops all blood flow in his arm when he tightens his grip, then releases
him altogether. "Eat or I will feed you, petal."

 

It's enough motivation to try as Louis likes to eat in small bites, and won't appreciate food
being shovelled down his throat. He stabs a cold pasta piece with mystery white sauce and sliced
pepper, bringing it to his lips and chewing slowly.

"It's not fair that you're not eating." Louis says to Edward, gesturing to the neglected sandwich.

"That's also yours." Edward replies casually.

"I can't eat all of this, Edward." Louis protests with a slump in his shoulders and more pasta on his
fork.

With an overly confident smirk, Edward pushes his hair back into line. "You will."

Sighing, Louis feeds himself more pasta that's relaxing to his clogged throat after he chews and
drinks some cold chocolate milk. He sets his elbows on the steel table before speaking again,
sounding shaky just to himself.

"Why were you so....cold with me this morning?" He imagines that if he has just this one answer
then one of today's mysteries will be extinguished.

Edward tries to avoid Louis' eye line but the boy just to keep his attention directed at him with no
intention of prying, and Edward finds himself looking back. Those wide and gorgeous sources of
blue light were brimming and swimming in explicably intricate emotions of a raw and less teenage
nature.

"I took the wrong advice." Edward repeats his reason from earlier, breathing out in a rush.

"What does that mean?" Louis has successfully eaten half of his pasta salad, his hunger steadily
increasing.

"It means I wasted time doing something I'd like to take back."

Nodding, Louis lowers his gaze back to his food. He begins the search for chicken pieces amongst
the pasta and peppers. Edward sighs dejectedly and Louis watches from behind his hair that's
blocking his view somewhat, as the man's hand gets closer to his. At the end of the brief journey,
Edward's hand slides into place with his over the table.

"I'm going to ask about what you plan to do after you leave here." Edward's nail, blunt and
harmless, scrapes over the papery texture of Louis' knuckles.

"You mean-" Louis looks up, his fringe falling in his eyes. "-where will I stay?"

Edward's nod is hardly noticeable. He wants to make sure this is an appropriate time to ask, but he
has no way of checking.

"I'll stay in a hotel." Louis scrapes the last of his pasta into his fork. "Niall is with Liam and I'm
fairly certain he doesn't want to see me ever again."

"I don't know if that is true, petal."

"It is." Louis says curtly, regretting his tone immediately after. Something dawns on him. "How did
you know my father was in the ER?"

The expression of arrogance that Louis hadn't seen on him since the Madhouse resurfaces. It's the
look the richest Pharaoh had and the cruellest king that gave sanctity to the worst of the torture
methodists. Louis hated it.

"I know everything, petal." Edward brings Louis' hand closer to him. The boy's elbow sits on the
table with his fingers captured by Edward's. "Even the things you think I don't know."

When Edward said that, his eyes were focused so perfectly on the confines of Louis' eyes that they
were unmistakable. Louis found himself frowning as he thought. Why did Edward have to speak in
riddles sometimes? Could he possibly know something about Louis' plan to move away?

Upon returning his gaze to Edward's, there's a haunting look about him. It chills Louis' bones and
ices the liquid blue that everyone got to see when he blinked. Something told him, real or
not in the deepest vault of his subconscious, that Edward really did know everything.

"Oh." Louis let's Edward trace and outline the contours of his fingertips. "People believe only the
Devil knows everything."

Edward chuckles, his pointy teeth peeking out against the near maroon shade of his sinful lips. "But
you don't believe that, petal."

* * * * *

"Fuck!" Liam's fist slams into the vending machine's glass, rattling the contents inside with his rage.

"What? What's wrong, Liam?" Niall pleads with him so he can be told something useful. He grabs
Liam's bicep and turns his focus away from his splitting knuckles. "Fuckin' Hell. Tell me what's
wrong, Liam!"

"Zayn!" A guttural sound leaves Liam's chest and throat, sounding hurt and restrained all at the
same time.

"Who is Zayn, Liam?" Niall asks calmly, framing the man's face with both hands.

"I called him down here to help me." Liam's eyes turn stone cold and hateful, but Niall
knows it's not aimed at him. "He shouldn't have been in that fucking crash!"

"Hey now." Niall steps a little bit closer, needing to look up more and more. "Louis' dad was also in
that accident, Li."

Liam tips over the edge, his anger taking the reigns over from his self control. He grabs Niall's
wrists and shoves him off. "Louis' father wasn't my best friend! Louis' father didn't put his
God damned life on the line for me!"

Niall is flung out a window of surprised as fuck when he's witness to Liam's lack of anger
management. He wants to have that vending machine between them because he fears that could
hold Liam back from throwing a punch or worse for a good amount of time. His heart pounds and
his pores dampen with sweat, the blood in his body betraying him as it retreats so he looks ghostly
pale.

"I don't care about Louis' father, Niall!" Liam shouts, calling the attention of everyone present down
either side of the hall.

That's not even the scariest thing, when the security officers start making their way towards the two.
No, the scariest thing is when Liam's hand lifts into the air in a backwards oscillation and Niall trips
on something in his eager attempt to step away.

"Liam, stop!" He shouts in a plea but that's not what stops the advancing maniac.

A hand that belongs to an arm significantly more muscular than Liam's does, catching ahold of the
man's forearm before he can deliver any blows. Niall's shock is further extended with sour pliers
and an ill strain his mind, when Harry happened to be the one who stopped Liam.

Maybe it's the air in this old, old town that made every sane man a lunatic and every lunatic a
feared sane man.

Liam identifies his antagonist and lowers his arm on his own, stiffly yanking the limb free of
Harry's ridiculously strong hold. He'd feel greatly emasculated if he didn't get himself free the first
time. Harry didn't seem to have an issue however things played out, the black abyss of playful
demons grinning out at him from behind the evil twinkle amongst green.

"Why did you do that?" Niall dusts off the back pockets of his jeans as he stands up all on his own.

Harry watches Liam walk down the hallway as pressurised human can of rage and poorly fitted
agitation. He ignores Niall and turns back to Louis' room.

"Wait!" Niall's hand just manages to not slip off Harry's arm when he reaches for it.

"Let me go." Harry snaps and shakes Niall off, not half as violently as Liam had.

"You could have let him hit me." Niall continues when Harry turns around to look at him, his mouth
forming a grim line and jaw tense. "You could have."

"I didn't do it for you." Harry frowns as if the suggestion itself is foul and in poor taste. "I did it for
petal."

"What?" Niall's dry lips hurt as he parts them. "How was that for Louis?"

"If Liam hit you, petal would insist on staying with you rather than coming home with us." Harry
explains fluidly without a hitch or knapjack in his deep voice, finishing off with a dimpled grin.

Niall is derailing from proper human responses when he realises that Louis deals with this psycho
everyday now. How was he still capable of being a functional member of society after having a
conversation with Harry? Harry, who had enough strength to stop a fucking bullet and
dimples to paralyse a cougar; possibly turn someone into a cougar.

"Wasn't that just for yourself then? And not Louis?" Niall folds his arms and raises an eyebrow.

Harry thinks about it, his frown making his brows lean towards one another. "It could be both."

"Not really."

Harry glares at him, that special glint reappearing from behind the master cloaks of emerald. "I
saved your life just as easily as I could have let it slip away."

"He wouldn't have killed me, for your information."

"A correctly projected tickle to the right place can kill you." Harry lowers his voice until it's
as smouldering as his eyes. "Don't underestimate a man who has had something taken from him."

* * * * *

"I told you you'd eat the sandwich too." Edward wasn't mocking the empty state of their food and
beverage containers, as he was quite appeased to have Louis finish it all.

"You weren't eating it and I felt sorry for it." Louis half-heartedly jokes, standing up after an hour of
only getting a quick shift in his seat.

"The reason doesn't matter." Edward is glad to see that Louis fails to resist his advances when he
tries picking the boy up.

"I admit defeat then." Louis yawns into his third serviette and wishes he had more than plain socks
on.

Edward passes by the ICU and NICU before finally arriving at the double doors that were in
abundance at this hospital, this particular pair guarding Louis' room on the other wide.

"May I confess something?" He pauses before Louis can push against the metal tab and open one
half of the doorway.

"Okay." Louis retracts his hand and fidgets with the strings of his sweatpants through the thin
hospital gown he wore.

"When I asked what you planned to do after you were discharged, I meant that-"

"I know what you meant." Someone walking in the opposite direction almost knocks Edward and
Louis down when they burst through the doors. "I.....I can't-"

"Don't say no." Edward steps away from the doors completely now, drawing their party of two into
one the small corridors again. "Say you'll think about it but don't say no."

Louis' lips fish mouth with his lack of words to put out there. How deep does whatever this
is run for Edward? He's staring boldly into Louis' eyes with such open begging that the boy fears he
can see the reluctance at root level in his soul.

He also doesn't think living alone in a hotel room would be good for him, because his mind won't
let him function outside worrying about his comatose father. He needs to try and kick some of the
grief away, which he can only do in the presence of other people, before it all became too much.

"I-I will. I will-" Louis gets softer as his voice trails off. "-think about it."

Edward's rattled sea of calm is settled for this temporary moment in time and he conveys his
gratitude by pressing his lips to Louis' hair and feeling the boy relax against him as well. They had
to break apart some time because Edward's arms will eventually give out, but for now this was good
enough.

"I feel you're entitled to some sleep now, petal." Edward says to him in a warm as toast voice.

Louis surprises all the people passing by who have worked in and around here for five, ten and
thirty years when he wraps his arm around Edward's neck. He doesn't shock himself anymore with
these minute acts, as they've become a mutual understanding.

He chews the dry and rough skin right off his bottom lip, wincing when he got too close to the
inside of his mouth and it started to bleed. "Actually, I-"

"May I?" Edward had watched the whole thing and even got to see Louis swipe away a fresh drop
of blood with his tongue. He was not above depravity.

"May you what?"

"Kiss you."

Louis' tongue goes over the open wound one more time and Edward is both captivated by it and
revolted by it not being his tongue.

"My lip is-"

"That is the very reason I want to kiss you right now, petal." Edward becomes more and more antsy
as he notices the blood flow dwindling.

"O-Oka-" He's got the main syllable out and that means Edward's mouth crashing down on his.

With a tiny whimper, definitely not a sound that fits in Louis' big mouth, the boy is dragged into a
dark corner - hospitals really shouldn't have such things - and improperly situated before Edward's
lips are sliding across his again. He knows what Edward is going for and parts his lips to give him
all the access he needs.

The lip that's been cut by his teeth is exposed to newly unleashed savagery as Edward sucks the
dark pink between his both and draws out every last drop of blood he can get. His teeth are subtle at
first, hands securing Louis' thighs so he doesn't slip, then the sharp molars puncture the existent cut
to make his mission more effective.

Louis moans in muddled pleasure and pain, his lip caught in the mix of Edward's. He can only hold
on and stick the prick of pain when Edward starts suckling on the tiny wound. The blood stops
escaping eventually and the salty sweet taste is but a memory on Edward's greedy tongue.

Edward has only gotten that taste once before and to have the recollection reimbursed is his ultimate
fantasy. He pulls away with wide blown and wild eyes, matching Louis' though the boy's is a little
more tired. He kisses Louis innocently one more time.

"Did I hurt you?" Edward has to check. He won't allow himself to go on assuming that every single
time he gets close ravishing Louis, the boy enjoys it too.

Louis shakes his head after a breath, looking more than a little frazzled as he licks his lips. "N-No."

"It's alright." Edward brushed his unruly state of hair down to be tamed, bringing his lips close
enough to Louis' undoubtedly very sore ones. "Always tell me if I hurt you."

As he finished the sentence, he slotted his lips back into their home against Louis'. This kiss was
slower and Louis didn't feel like his heart would leap out of his chest and thrash around on the
waxed, polished floor. He sighed into it as an unspoken sign of submission, and when it got a little
more heated his tongue was drawn in Edward's mouth for a short-lived battle for domination. He
lost and when Edward withdrew, his tongue was poking out just the slightest with the man's taste
still on him.

"This is not going be like before, petal." Edward assured him. "I will never take it too far."

Louis preened at this new development. Now that he's stuck in Middleston and back to square one,
except that he's fretting over his dad's health, he needs to be promised some preservation.

"Thank you." Louis whispers, out of breath and volume. "That would...make me feel safer."

Edward smiled briefly at him before deciding they needed to get a move on. "I will leave you with
your father and come back in an hour for you."

"You don't have to come-"

"If you protest, I'll shorten that time."

Louis sticks his bottom lip out, swollen and slightly cut as it is. He pushes open the door when
Edward presents it to him once again, finally making it past the barrier into his own wing. It was a
short trip from here to his dad's recovery room, but there's a sight worth seeing that gets him and his
carrier to nearly tip over.

"Oh my God." Louis gasps, hand covering his mouth.

Edward's stature becomes rigid against the softness of Louis' exterior. His arms tighten and his jaw
screws shut with a murderous look in his eye, while Louis just can't find it in himself to be anything
except betrayed.

"I will murder my own brother today." Edward grits out in a voice that shouldn't come from him.

Niall's body was no more than zero millimetres apart from Harry's, with those hairless and just the
perfect kind of pale hands gripping the man's jacket lapels. Their outwards appearance not the most
traumatising part, but the part where their lips are meshed together.

It's hardly a relief to watch Harry suffer through the opening of the kiss before frowning his deepest
and angriest, shoving Niall off him. He hadn't even seen Louis and Edward so he didn't push Niall
off for their sake.

It could be an appealing thought that Harry genuinely didn't want anything to do with Niall on that
level - or any other level - but there's always the heartbreak from the deed itself of his best friend to
drown out that joy.

Chapter Text

Niall's body was no more than zero millimetres apart from Harry's, with those hairless and just
the perfect kind of pale hands gripping the man's jacket lapels. Their outwards appearance not the
most traumatising part, but the part where their lips are meshed together.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

When Harry shoves Niall off he's a splitting image of a human raging bull. It sickenly settles the
mini explosion in Louis' chest to know that his friend's efforts at diving headfirst into something
that will end up harming him, has been fruitless.

Edward isn't any less happy about it, and Louis starts to take his threat to Harry seriously. He looks
at Edward in the middle of his prayer that he isn't dropped. He's disappointed and furious, all rolled
into and divided into fitting both eyes that become more and more soulless.

"Maybe not today." Edward's clenched jaw hardly allows for his words to be squeezed out.

Harry hears him now that he's not distracts by another person trying to fucking climb him.
He turns to his right and that anger dissolves into helplessness. He doesn't want his petal to think he
chose anyone above him.

How dare Louis' supposed friend try to get between them? He belonged to his precious Lou
and nobody else.

"Harry, no!" Louis almost falls out of Edward's arms when he sees Harry grab Niall by the arm.

"Edward, stop him."

"No." Edward looked at everyone else around them, daring them to set foot near his brother.

Harry's sudden grip jerks Niall's whole body forward, letting him stumble but not fall as he got
closer to Harry. His eyes were widened by the fearful tears that were building, regret from his awful
decision surfacing for all to see. He couldn't fight off Harry - the man who saved him - on
any good day.

"He'll kill him. Edward please!" Louis began pushing Edward's shoulders and trying to break free,
but he might as well be shoving iron.

Edward saw a win-win in this situation if he just let play out what may, but he wasn't his old self
anymore and couldn't allow for his petal to be heartbroken. "Give me the answer I want to my
question."

"What?!" Louis was watching in shreds of horror as Harry nearly cracked Niall's clavicle with the
force of his clamping down hand.

"Say yes." Edward told him.

"Yes!" Louis shouted, long lost to any hope of knowing what he was consenting to.

Immediately, Edward's voice met Harry's ears down the passageway and got him to cease his attack.

"Harry!"

The intended man drops his hand from Niall's neck and arm, screwing his mouth shut from its
frightening snarl, and looks over his shoulder at where he was called.

Everyone in the hospital was dead silent, nurses and others frozen in their phone calls. Every object
was brought to a standstill and a pin drop could be heard dozens of rooms down the hall. All eyes
were on them, even the security guards and present police officers who seemed to forget what they
were here for.

Harry left his space of crowding Niall into his last corner, and made his way over to Louis. There
was no loss of attitude or authority, because he still walked with his head raised to the level and
eyes scanning everything. People shivered even if he didn't look at them.

"Petal." All that stone cold exterior melted when he reached Louis, eyes searching Louis' for the
rejection that would end him.

Louis touches Harry's wrist when the man cups his cheek, unable to bring himself to smile. Feeling
like an infant he is passed to Harry by Edward, filling up the space between his shoulders and
against his chest. He looks right into Harry's eyes, totally unafraid.

"I'm not his, petal." Harry starts, leaning his forehead against Louis' and his eyes fought to nestle
amongst the blue ocean of Louis'. "I'm yours, darlin'. Always."

"I know." Louis speaks in a tiny hushed tone. "I know, Daddy."

Harry was smiling so widely it had to hurt some muscles in his face, but he didn't show any of it. He
held Louis close and around a low point on his back like nothing was wrong.

Louis wants to lie to himself and keep repeating that he tacked on the only word that can make
Harry grin like a schoolboy because he's protecting Niall from getting hurt. Going through what he
had to is not something he wants for anyone, especially not the person he set out to save in the first
place.

The truth made him feel bleedin' guilty and he had to confess it before it got him to scream or lash
out.

He spoke so affectionately to Harry because these two psychopaths are his and he hates that
everyone - Niall - suddenly thinks they can handle them.

If everyone could, he would not have evolved into being able to tolerate the pain in all facets that
came along with the twins. It was a neurotic ideology and he wasn't proud of it, but when Harry
kissed his forehead and those notorious dimples reappeared he didn't care.

"Mine." Harry kissed the corner of Louis' eye. "And I am yours."

Louis has to slide an arm around Harry's neck to keep himself upright and away from the threat of
falling. He's uncertain at first but Harry let's him take his time and eventually he gets to resting his
head on the man's shoulder. His fingers found their way into Harry's burgundy curls.

"Take him to his father." Edward suddenly says, standing really close to Louis' side.

"Room?" Harry hasn't been to the ER today and didn't know where he'd be going.

Edward tells him the room number and Louis spies his eyes on him rather than Harry just before
they leave. He wishes for the ability to walk more than a fixed car at the moment. Harry starts
walking and Niall is obviously not where Louis last saw him, no matter how hard the boy searches
for him.

"You smell like lavender, petal." Harry casually remarks, his thumb doing circles on Louis' thigh.

"Really?" Louis hasn't been around any lavender or lavender scents for him to smell like it.

"What happened to your lip?"

Harry stopped just outside the emergency wing's collection of patient rooms. His finger grazes the
split corner of Louis' lip investigatively, frowning at how predominant the injury is.

"Bit it." Louis admits, staring at the third door next to a whiteboard with visiting hours on it.

"Who bit it?"

"M-Me."

"Evidently." Harry chuckled, amused by the damage done because of such a small act. He knows
Louis couldn't have done it.

After being brought to a closer radius where his father was the central point, Louis' breathing
morphs into rapid and short pants. His panic is in a small dose but the large glass window that
allows him to peer into the room his father was in, made him feel far more unstable.

He is taken closer to the door and allowed to peer in ahead of time like this reality isn't his, and he's
a kind of outsider watching a boy's father sleep without ever rousing. It's the closest thing to death,
but at least in death you know what's in store for you.

His dad is lying on this single bed, propped up just enough so Louis can see his face. His ageing
visage and all its features in such a calm, tranquil state. Mark always worried and worked, stressed
until his hair turned grey over something or the other.

Harry sets him down on a chair close to his father's bedside. "An hour, petal."

When Harry leaves, Louis takes his father's hand from his chest and holds it between both of his.
He watches his father until his eyes get blurry and he can't focus without squinting.

"I'm sorry, Dad." He speaks hoarsely and with a giant lump in his throat. "I'm so sorry I brought you
here."

He resents himself and his irresponsible decision to drag his father down here, but at the time he
had no other choice. He needed his father and his father came running. This isn't how he saw it
going down however. Mark now remained still and oblivious to everything around him, but maybe
it would be one of those miracles where the coma patient can hear what the people near them said.
"I'll be here everyday, I promise." Louis leaned closer to him and brushed back his thin head of hair.

"You're going back home."

In his hour of waiting, none of the time feels wasted or useless. Louis sits in his chair with his
healing leg out in front of him, his father's hand on the other knee. He sits hoping with dire need
that something will start beeping soon so his parent will wake up and look at him. He's lost one
parent and even if this one stays alive but unconscious, Louis doubts that it counts for anything.

"L-Louis?" Someone clears their throat in the doorway and it isn't one of the twins.

Louis looks up and his weepy expression turns distasteful before switching to exhaustion. There's so
much to be tired of, and his best friend standing nervously at the door just adds to the pile.

"Not now, Niall." Louis doesn't even extend their eye contact. He's that hurt by the other
male.

"Louis, I want to apologise." Niall perseveres, stepping into the room with bags under eyes and a
red nose.

"I know you do." Louis shakes his head, looking down at his lap. "Just don't do it now please."

"It's been eating me up-"

"And trust me, I know it has-" Louis futilely wipes his nose again. "-but I don't care for your
apology now. My dad is in a coma which is more important than you kissing Harry."

He spoke the truth. Whether he said it convincingly or not is of another issue. Niall looks about to
break down when he looks at Mark's condition on the bed, finally perceiving what he's been
avoiding.

"I'm so sorry, Lou." He says, not about his earlier lack of judgment this time. "What did the doctors
say?"

Louis seems to be as willing as Niall is to put this aside for the time being. They can return to it
later but for now, Louis just needs his best friend to be there for him.

"They said he'll be fine when he wakes up." Louis can only smile weakly in the general direction of
Niall's silhouette.

Niall approaches the chair alongside Louis' and gingerly touches the back. "Can I sit?"

Louis nods without looking his way again, and Niall slides into the cold seat beside his friend. He
sighs when nothing more is said for another two hundred and ten seconds, but his courage gets him
to make a move first.

He slowly lowers his head until it's on Louis' shoulder, his internal organs failing at the small twitch
in the other direction his friend has. Louis settles finally just before Niall feels he'll combust, and
his cheek rests against Niall's hair.

"How long have you been here?" Niall asks as something lower than a husk.

"Less than an hour. I'm not sure how long." Louis replies slowly, breathing in deep.

"Are you going back to your room later?"

"Yeah." Louis hopes he will be alone this time. "The doctor said I could get a slip from him when
I'm ready to leave."

"Oh. Okay good."

"What?" Louis glances at him speculatively.

Niall blinks innocently at Louis with undoubtedly a proposition behind all that worry. "What
'What'?"

"You have that look again." Louis tells him, something imaginary making his nose itch.

"Where will-" Niall's sigh is hardly audible. "-you be staying?"

"With-" Louis finds himself pausing before the names can be given. He doesn't care if it offends
Niall anymore, even if he should because it does. "With Edward and Harry."

"Okay then." Is all Niall says, an unreadable expression on his face and a sad look in his eye. "Did
you hear anything about the apartment?"

Louis was shattered with guilt after his companion asked him that. He only had the choice of
returning to the apartment? That's enough to make any person sad.

"No." Louis responds truthfully. "Maybe you could book a hotel?"

"The bar's been slow." Niall cracks his knuckles. "I wouldn't have enough cash to last me until
everything was sorted out."

"What about Liam?"

Louis didn't know about Niall and Liam's fall out just recently, and so he didn't understand the way
his friend's shoulders tensed up even with bruised muscles. He waits for an explanation at least.

"He....I don't trust him anymore." Niall gushes out in one long stretch with his exhale.

"Why not?"

"He tried to hit me." Niall plays with his fingers, the memories flying back violently. "Almost
succeeded."

"You got away?"

"Harry stopped him." Niall convinced himself that he was merely answering the questions Louis
posed to him. "He said he did it because if you were with me after Liam hit me, he wouldn't get you
to stay with them."

It's a cruel rush of relief to Louis' system when he hears the elaboration of Niall's story. He shouldn't
be feeling this....this possessive over two men he couldn't hope to control. Yet, he does and
he's failing at bringing himself to regret any of it.

* * * * *

"Duckling?"

Two hours into their patient wait, after it being officially declared that either twin was late to fetch
Louis and the boy fell asleep with his head on the hospital bed, Liam came knocking. Niall looks up
from where he's guarding Louis' closed eyes from the poke of stray hair.

"What do you want?" Niall sighs upon identifying his visitor and goes back to carding Louis' hair.

"I'm so sorry, Ni." Liam sounds so sincere in his apology that he could convince anyone of
his innocence.

Niall has to stop him from stepping into the room because their drama didn't belong in Louis' dad's
presence. He stood up and walked outside into the hall, arms crossed over his chest to preserve his
body warmth and guard his front.

 

Liam looked torn up after just being away for two hours. He has hollowed cheeks with bitten lips,
cracks and red slits all over them. His shoulders were hunched and hair disorderly.

"I never meant to hurt you, Duckling." He says honestly, all the comprehension from what he'd just
done to frighten Niall influencing the break in his voice. "I-I don't know why I did that, who I
became in that time."

Niall jerks out of his way when Liam tries reaching out for him, breaking the man's heart with the
way he plays it off by rubbing his arms. Liam retracts his hand and looks at the ground, his boots
scuffy and knuckles a little more bruised.

"What the Hell happened to you?" Niall found himself asking as he took in the nature of Liam's
appearance, gasping at how obscene it is that he should be so dysfunctional.

Liam is the most boring person Niall knows - or knew, rather. He never got into fights and certainly
never displayed any signs of a short fuse. What brought this on then? Niall wants to know if all is
well up in that complex muscle organ that is Liam's brain.

"Punched a wall." Liam shrugs like it's really no big deal. "Three or four times."

"Liam!" Niall impulsively reaches out and captures Liam's fist, examining the damage under the
ideal lighting.

Liam watches Niall study his cuts and bruise marks, internally cursing himself for ever
thinking of bringing harm to this boy. "Sorry, Ni."

"Yeah, yeah. Shut up." Niall clears away the blockage in his voice box with a small cough. "Let's
get this bandaged before the whole damn thing turns blue."

* * * * *

"What if he doesn't like it?" Harry asks his brother, who was flattening and straightening where it
was needed on their new purchase.

"We get rid of it." Edward passes him by.

"And bring back the old one?"

"Is there a reason you're asking pointless questions, brother?" Edward displays his
disapproving glare while on his hunt to locate the Rover keys.

Harry frowns in offence, shifting the focal point of his vision from his rude sibling to the beige
threads that is part of the sofa he was seated on. Edward finds the keys under a pile of linen, as his
brother was the lesser organised of them he tended to hide every valuable belonging under rubbish.

"Can we leave?" Harry stands and cracks his knuckles against both sides of his neck.

"Of course. Are you okay?"

"Fine."

"You don't seem-"

"Well I am, so can we go get petal and come back now?"

Edward's hand claps Harry's shoulder and the force behind it stops him from moving any further.

"You'll have to watch the tone for that. What the fuck is wrong?"

Sighing and just fleetingly glancing his brother, afraid of what disapproval may lie in those
matching eyes of his, Harry opens his mouth to fess up. "Petal's friend.....touched me."

"We're aware." Edward's hand got a little more unforgiving. "We have moved past that."

"Are we?" Harry pulls himself free and walks deeper into the room, hand stuck in his hair. "I can't
forget it."

"Why not?" Edward followed him only with his eyes, hiding his fear of what Harry could say.

"It was foul and I've tried not thinking about it but I can't. Help me, brother. Help me
please."

Edward remains quiet for a minute, an empty unspoken communication shared through their stares
but a pregnant silence. He rolls his tongue against the inside of his cheek as he thinks, hollowing out
the other side of his face so the structural bone was explicitly defined.

"You'll have to close your eyes for my help." His words come out in the silky treat of a voice he
possesses, but his lips don't seem to move.

Harry gives him an exasperated look but obeys diligently immediately after. Nothing happened for
much too long and he was tempted to open his eyes again to find out whether this was a ruse or not.
Louis' friend made him feel like every chip of effort he's put towards making himself Louis'
has been wasted. It's horrifying.

There's warm breath fanning out over his forehead and eyelids. Edward wasn't taller than him and
the mystery of how his lips got that high made Harry want to look, but he controlled the pungent
urge.

Edward's mouth landed on his in a fury and the unsealed lips were already damp, pulling apart
Harry's to make for a greater space. He caught Harry's hands when the latter tried to touch him,
pinning them with unnecessary force to the solid wall, hearing the slap of skin hitting cement. His
nails scratched Harry's wrists and Harry easily surrendered to the forbidden nature of their kiss.
Harry's head hit the wall and Edward groaned into his mouth, the younger lapping at all the sounds
given to him. The temperature rose over a dangerous limit and the air was too thick to breathe, but
neither needed oxygen. Harry moved his lips down Edward's neck to praise the muscular frame of
his brother, trying desperately to leave marks.

Edward halted his ministrations by grabbing Harry's face at his chin, inflicting slight pain over the
jaw when he squeezed. He stared into those eyes that were a reflection of his own. "Better?"

Harry made a depraved noise. "Not entirely."

"Too bad." Edward released him and rotated his body but Harry wasn't allowing that.

"Wait." He took Edward by the back of his neck and held on. "More."

"You're a greedy bastard."

Edward growled, clamping his jaw shut when Harry got to his throat again with harsh bites and
nibbles. He furiously worked to release Harry's fly and push him back against the wall, biting down
on his neck with force he'd never use on Louis. Not anymore, at least.

"You don't fucking deserve anything." Edward contradicted his words and slipped his hand down
past the waistband of Harry's Calvin Klein's.

* * * * *

Louis woke up from his nap in a shock after hearing the heavy roll of a gurney past his dad's door
and the shouting that went with it. The first thing he noticed was the painful kink in his neck,
spreading his fingers over the swollen spot and massaging the stiffness out. He slowed his heartbeat
after the noise past, and looked back at where his father was resting. There was no progress and he
wasn't any closer to waking up.

"Please don't kill me when you wake up." He couldn't reach Mark's forehead so he settled for
kissing the back of his hand.

Straightening his back, Louis felt something slide off his back and land bunched up on the chair. He
blinks a few times to relieve irritation and picks up the jacket in the dim lighting, noting the
upmarket label and perfect insulating material. He draped it over his shoulders again as the evening
has gotten dark and cold.

Why was he here when it's dark and cold?

Thankfully, his answer arrives in the form of a new person's shadow blocks out the light from the
hallway. It could be Niall but Louis knows this person with a different speciality.

"I didn't want to wake you." Harry walked in slowly, making his way over to Louis before ignoring
the vacant chair and kneeling by him.

Harry looked better than when he left, in the sense that his mind wasn't in two places. Those glassy
but captivating green eyes seemed to be all on Louis, and Louis alone.

"It was an uncomfortable nap." Louis admits to him, a small part of his brain huffing and puffing at
the fact that Harry was lower than him but he didn't have to look down.

"Was it? Sorry, petal." Harry neatened some of Louis' hair and smiled at the jacket.

"Is it yours?" Louis held the lapel of the coat, his fingers spreading out slightly.

Harry nods silently, and Louis swears he leaned forward for a blink before going back. "Do you like
it?"

Now it's Louis' free turn to nod. He really did like the coat that seemed to swallow him just
perfectly, the faint hint of past colognes clinging to the heavy material.

"I just might keep it for myself." Louis smiles, crinkly eye corners and thin lips turning pinker.

"You're welcome to." Harry flips the collar so it sticks up on either side of Louis' face, covering his
ears.

There's a soft and generous giggle from the boy that Harry gets the pleasure of hearing. He
does lean forward this time and rests his head on Louis' chest. The boy freezes from the
sudden act but ends up fiddling with the curls of Harry's hair soon enough.

"Ow." Louis' thumb is brushing back and forth over a bright bruise on Harry's neck.

Harry chuckles and nuzzles Louis' softness, turning his face into the wonderland of Louis' body.
"Sometimes the least pleasant things are the most gratifying."

Louis almost double checks to ensure that the poor lighting isn't deceiving him and this is actually
Edward trying to bury himself in his chest. Harry finds it amusing that he does but doesn't comment
when Louis tugs a little on his hair.

"Petal, are you okay?" Harry is brushing Louis' thigh with no indecency, merely rubbing the fabric
of his loose pants because that's what he can reach easily.

"Yes." Louis exhales loudly. "Yes and no."

A disgruntled but curious sounds makes its way up Harry's throat. "Tell me. I want to know."

"Later." Louis promises. "I need to get out of this chair now."

Harry is a worthy gentleman when he helps Louis stand up and keeps from ogling his behind. The
coat falls down to Louis' knees and that amazing view is stolen from him. He wants to give Louis
the opportunity to walk without hurting himself so he sticks to his side, letting the boy lean all his
weight on him.

"There must be something unappealing about this injury." Louis can't keep to the silence at the
moment, limping as he is, and has to speak.

The arm around him got more secure and Harry's lips curled into a smirk. If those weren't so
aesthetically pleasing, Louis would label it an ordinary amused reaction.

"What?" Louis and he come to a stop not outside his room which is confusing.

"You're insecure about your ankle." Harry gave him a sly grin, a small dimple showing up.

"I'm not." Louis would know if he was. He's a psychology major.

"There's no need to be."

"Good because I'm not."

"I believe-" Harry laughs enough for the gesture to be seen but not heard. "-those painkillers are
wearing off, petal."

Louis takes note of the fact that his injured ankle is indeed in a tremendous amount of flames but
also probably swollen under his heavy cast. He bites his upper lip and uses the wall as a support
beacon until Harry finds his humour dying down. The man pities him when he knows he probably
shouldn't, and pulls Louis into the circle of his embrace.

"You're getting discharged today." Harry cares to rub Louis' back with his flat palm.

"It's been a long day." Louis mumbles, tense but not displeased with his current state.

"It has been. Poor petal." Harry kisses Louis on his forehead. "We even have a surprise for you."

"I don't want any surprises, Harry."

"That's just tough luck then, petal."

He sees Edward walking towards them from the company of Louis' doctor. Edward stops before
them and looks at Louis who can't see him, not changing his expression as he cleared his throat.
Louis peeked out from behind his own arms and scowled.

"You can sleep when we take you back, petal." Edward listens to the rustle of Louis' attire shifting
as Harry scratched too hard.

The fingers of Harry's right hand started out rubbing the dimples at the bottom of Louis' spine, then
escalated to much more recognisable pinching and scratching. A sharp electric click would sound
off whenever Harry's nails scraped or snapped past one another.

It was bound to leave behind more than a few red marks but it was a stress reliever for the man, and
couldn't be stopped.

"Back?" Louis squirmed when the actions against the sensitivity of his skin got too damaging.

"Back home, petal."

* * * * *

Harry encouraged Louis to use his crutches because he could not be carried everywhere. He'd
happily give in if Louis openly asked him but the boy didn't - which was a disappointment to
Edward. Louis took the heavy instruments from Harry and tried to figure how they'd work well with
his system of movement.

"I will be right behind you, darlin'." Harry felt Louis' eyelashes flutter against his cheek when he
kissed his forehead. "I'll catch you if you fall."

"He won't fall." Edward locked the Range Rover and stepped around them.

Gerard wasn't needed to open the door when they arrived, Edward watching his brother turn into a
mutated mother hen over Louis. It was a puzzle to focus on the crutches whilst watching the ground
to ensure that wherever he was walking is safe, but Louis managed it for the time it took for him to
reach the staircase.

"He's back then." Gemma didn't stand up from her pretzel position on the lounge L-shaped couch.
Nobody had seen her up until that moment. Members of the Styles family did not lay around
watching TV, ever since the birth of their bloodline. Louis didn't understand if he was being hated
on or it was just another snide comment from another person.

"Can you handle the stairs?" Harry asked Louis, who was seriously doubtful he could manage
anything other than flat ground.

"I'm going to try." Louis responds nervously.

Edward leaned against the wooden banister at the base of the staircase's railing, twirling the ring of
keys in his hand over and over. He watched Louis' every breath and twitch, memorising it all for
future reference. His keys stopped any sound they caused when he suddenly grabbed them wholly,
Louis having tripped on the first step.

"You can ask for help, petal." Edward reminds him, a smirk painted on his ashen skin.
Louis almost did. "Or I could stay on this level."

Harry started to cackle the way he did the day he entrapped Louis in his arms in the Madhouse
interview room. Edward however was not amused when he saw that Louis had an all-serious
manner about him.

"Such spunk even at a time like this, petal." Edward shook his head like he has an argument going
on in his head. "Drop them."

"What?" Louis looks at him like he's crazy. Well, in a more societal manner reserved for people
with preposterous proposals.

"Drop." Edward takes the crutches away from Louis as his strength is superior, and leans them
against the railing.

Louis doesn't last long, as predicted. He starts to fall backwards when the lack of one leg's support
means loss of balance. His arms are caught on the downfall, elbows secured by the twin that was
behind him.

"It's alright, petal. I got you." Harry whispered in his ear, planting a very unlike him kiss just below.
Being lifted will always be Louis' least favourite part of being carried. He's hoisted into the air
swiftly - he does not think about how many times they have done this to the living and dead alike -
and Harry almost drops him. It's a quick save before Edward glares reprimandingly and Louis
squeaks.

"Do you trust me, petal?" Harry asked on the fourth step towards the second level.

Their footsteps were muted by the thick carpet, probably hand woven in a sweat shop somewhere in
the world. Louis has nothing to do with his hands so he studies the fine hairs between his first and
second knuckles.

"Do you want me to trust you?" Louis asked back to him.

"That question answers itself, I believe." They're finally at the top and Louis feels tired for Harry.

"Maybe it does."

After the horrible happening at his apartment that he can never set foot in again, Louis realised that
he had placed a great amount of trust in the twins to not harm him above what was already done.
They not only delivered on that, but protected him and that's the bit he'll never forget.

"Now for the surprise." Harry kicked the door to the bedroom open with his knee, waiting for it to
slide open fully before stepping in.

"Surprise?" Louis can't see anything in the darkness of the room.

Edward flips the light on at the switch when he passes the white panel, stripping off his jacket at a
sofa chair by the curtained windows. Louis thinks everything looks exactly the same until his eyes
land on the centre piece of the room.

He stares at the single bed for a while, not comprehending what they were trying to tell him. Instead
of two single beds pushed together or even in separate vicinities, there was one massive bed
with fresh linen and bedding right in the middle. There were so many black and grey pillows - all
useless - and black covers.

"Do you like it, petal?" Harry didn't set Louis down, proud to show off this new feat.

"I-" Louis opens his mouth and closes it again. "Depends on what you.....did this for?"

It came out as a question more than a statement because towards the second half of the sentence he
was riddled with confusion. After the day he's had he arrives at the victory of this. Not that it's
unfulfilling, Louis does feel a twinge of satisfaction.

"I like it." Louis promises the worry on Edward's brow before they force out an explanation for him.
Harry smiles widely and Louis tries to return with half as much gusto. These two crazies are his, as
profoundly and boldly as he is theirs. It was abundantly clear now.

Wait. Louis runs his tongue over the caps of his teeth, thinking about the time it takes to acquire and
obtain a new bed of this quality.

"Is this why you were late?" He asks either one of them, a tiny string of amusement showing.

"No." Harry answers too quickly.

Louis makes a small humming sound and is placed on his feet carefully. It always felt good to touch
the ground. The carpet is soft and the fine tendrils feel like clouds on his socks. He doubts the
mattress is much more comfortable than this anomaly.

"Come on." Harry slips his arm around Louis' waist, relaxing at the hardly visible but evident proof
of swelling from his mistreatment at the base of Louis' spine. "We're going to shower."

No choice is given - he knows there never is - and Edward goes into the majestic adjacent
compartment of their closet. Harry helps Louis into the bathroom in the meanwhile, turning the
lighting on the knob to a dim setting.

There's the point of undressing when Harry reaches out to Louis eagerly but suddenly stops himself.
Without a word to the boy, Harry leaves the bathroom with the door open. Louis finds this both
interesting and a little baffling, but he goes on to remove his clothing himself.

The option of a shower is tempting but there's no support railing in there for him. He blows out a
tired breath and picks at his short nails while he considers the two methods. Two minutes after his
departure, Harry returns as abruptly as he left.

"Clothes." Harry sets a neat pile on the counter between the basin and the wall.

Louis needs more time to think so he grabs a towel and waits for Harry to leave. Nothing happens
and they end up staring at each other as Louis blocked his chastity with the ends of the towel,
feeling grimy and exhausted.

"I need to do this alone, Harry." He finally says, not entirely convincing himself.

"You'll fall." Harry turns to close the bathroom door slowly, hearing the click of the latch and then
only feeling satisfied.

"I can handle myself."

Harry was stubborn and refused to leave when Louis insisted. He'd rather strip Louis of the towel
and start taking off his own clothing than listen. Louis' annoyance shone through his need for
Harry's support, so he remains as steadfast in it as he can.

"You have a strong mind, petal."

Harry was pressed against him, chest-to-chest and breathing down the side of Louis' throat. He
noses along the path of a strong pulse over Edward's bite mark, and supports Louis' head with his
hand.

"That doesn't matter though." He pressed a warm kiss to Louis' jaw. "Petals need their Daddies."

Chapter Text

Harry was pressed against him, chest-to-chest and breathing down the side of Louis' throat. He
noses along the path of a strong pulse over Edward's bite mark, and supports Louis' head with his
hand.

"That doesn't matter though." He pressed a warm kiss to Louis' jaw. "Petals need their
Daddies."

*LOUIS' POV*

A shower is a blessed thing when you've been treated like a sack of onions all day. The water would
glide down my skin and never turn cold even when it reached my feet. Steam fogged up the glass
walls of the shower section, adding a misty ambiance to the entire atmosphere.

There was naturally little time to appreciate all of this, because Harry's set of hands found their way
to every part of my body. It wasn't misuse of the sponge and body gel in his hands, because he was
damn near reverent when he took over the job of washing.

He made me face him first, the shower spraying hot water directly onto my back. At the very low
point, a burn was initiated on probably blistered skin, but it was a mild and brief experience.
Harry ran the sponge over every part of me, adding and spreading warmth as he went. Over my
shoulders and around my neck, under my arms and on my chest. He never noticed me watching him
with astounding confusion. Why would he care to do this? He's being so careful and gentle
about it.

"Talk to me, petal. I want to hear your voice." Harry broke through our silence to say, his eyes
lifting to meet mine.

I suck in a breath, licking over my lip that was earlier abused. "Why are you doing this?"

The air gets suffocatingly thick when he slips his arms around me, standing to his full over six feet
height. His arms were diagonally across my back, his palms landing just above my behind. I gasp at
how close he gets just by this, his face less than an inch away and his wet hair sticking to his face.
"If I can, petal, why shouldn't I?" He spreads out his fingers and grips me more firmly, causing the
chain reaction of me falling forward.

"Have you done this for many lovers?" I ask quietly, partially dreading the answer.

"If you're asking because the thought repulses you-" Harry's mouth curves at one end as he smirks.
"-then I have done this before."

I roll my eyes and breathe in more of the steam, feeling nothing when Harry starts to hum some
slow tune with his fingers combing through my hair. He does the unordinary when he places a line
of kisses down the side of my face, holding the damp hair out of the way. His fingertips trace the
skin where my fine hairs stood attentively, compressed by the impact of his lips that makes me
shiver.

"Do you like my kisses, petal?" He asks with his hand slipping lower, lower and lower.....
A sound much too close to a moan races like a wild horse from my mouth, pushing past the barrier
of my lips when Harry's finger dips into the crevice of my bum. My nails hit home on his neck,
causing him to groan as he rubbed fruitfully over my hole.

"You like more than my kisses, petal?" Harry applies more pressure and speeds up the motions of
his finger.

The soap remnants burn but the application of pressure against my traiterous body is enough to
shroud that. I hear myself breathing in ragged moans, long exhales and sharp inhales. Harry controls
all of me with that finger, not even yet trying to slip inside me.

"I can give you more than my kisses." Harry brands my neck with his lips, sucking a little on my
skin to stain it a little red. "I can give you everything."

I have lost contact with my higher brain power, even the numbness of my ankle has been
overshadowed by the prowess of Harry. He grips one cheek of my behind and his nails get too close
to penetrating skin, my eyes flying open to greet his searing ones.

"You're my special one." Harry says in a terribly gravely voice, cupping the side of my face and
tilting me upward. "You can tell me to do anything."

"W-Would you do it?" My voice shook than I appreciated, but I wasn't used to constant erotica.
"We'll find out." He withdrew his hand from my face and wrapped that arm all the way around my
neck.

His arm was heavy and I could easily be swallowed up by how large his bicep becomes
when pressed against something. I can only stare up at him with wet lashes and an open mouth,
fearing what I could possibly look like to him.

"You've had a long day, darlin'. I can make you forget it." Harry seemed to be promising me that he
could take away all my troubles, leave behind just filtered pleasure and satiation.

Could he really? Or was he just hoping to achieve it? I wanted to know either way, if he could make
me forget even for an hour. One eventually comes to learn in a catch 22 like mine, the only way out
is to head for your entrapper.

"Okay." I whisper as low as he did, turning my face to hide under his chin. His pulse raced beneath
my fingers while I'm certain mine stopped altogether.

"Yeah?" He drags his hand, dripping in water, up and down the length of my back at a leisurely
pace. The other hand hasn't moved from my posterior yet, in fact his hold hasn't loosened mercifully
either.

I nod slowly, my mind combing through any reason to say no and just go on living. Instead, Harry is
producing a very realistic growl against the skin below my ear with his teeth sunken into it.

"You need Daddy to take care of you, petal?" He squeezed me where he held on to such an extent
that I almost thought he'd tear the flesh right off.

Wincing as a result of the pain, I groaned and tried to get him off. Why I try, is beyond me, because
he has me pinned and pliant in no time. I whimper into his chest when he starts the sequence of
palpating on both sides of my behind.

"I need you to tell me, petal. I can't have you getting hurt again."

More nodding on my part. I fear that I've become the least vocal of all my times exposed to this side
of Harry's dominance. I quiver on the inside thinking about all the things that could be made
possible with that particular trait.

"Want it." I squeeze out from my hollow lungs.

The hands cupping me released their cage and glided up to my back, spraying water away from my
skin and against the flow of the shower. I find a tiny part of me missing that hold and with one leg
partially off the ground, I'm licensed to express my unhappiness.

"I'm afraid you'll have to be louder, Lou." Harry taunts me by skimming over the wet state of my
skin - each knob of my spine, shoulders, hips - then they're suddenly gone.

It's not fair and I whine to complain about it. "Want you, Daddy."

"Oh my sweet boy." Harry pinches my chin between his thumb and index finger, his wet eyelashes
and hooded eyes sinking into mine. "We're going to make you want us and hate us. You'll never be
allowed to leave me or my brother for as long as you live."

I draw in a long and shaky breath, my libido turning a ball of burning flame. I want to scream and
have someone stop me, muffle my shouts and make me obey. It's turning into a miserable need
that's festering and rapidly growing into the slowly dominating part of my brain.

Harry hauls me into his arms so that no weight rested on either leg, spreading my thighs wider and
wider as I was settled on his hip region. I kept my hands on either side of his face, my thumbs
digging into his cheekbones and able leg wrapping around him. Left on the ground is my
willingness and ability to say anything except words of consent.

"You'll be enough temptation to convince Edward." Harry switched off the shower behind me,
goosebumps racing to the surface of my skin. "He's scared of hurting you."

I wrap my hand around a thick lock of Harry's hair and tug on it, incidentally bringing him close
enough for him to shut up and kiss me. He responds to my initiation immediately by stepping
forward a little clumsily and slamming me against the wall with no care for my present injuries. His
hand flattens against the tile to the left of my head and he pulls open my lips to deposit his tongue
alongside mine.

Our indecent make-out session ended with one of my legs slipping and the other being held by
Harry. I pant into his mouth and the fruity essence of his breath is breathed into mine. Instinctively,
I had found a place on his arms for my hands to grip.

* * * * *

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Niall moans but his body goes rigid, his hand gripping the door handle even if it was locked already
just to be safe. He combats the jerking of his body against the door with Liam blocking
every and any hope of escape with his body between his legs.

"I'm so sure we're going to be in trouble because of that." He says breathlessly, facing the ceiling
with Liam's mouth at his neck.

"Doesn't matter." Liam nibbled on the pale stretch of thin skin of Niall's throat, avoiding the use of
his teeth.

"You're a police officer."

Liam lifts his head out of Niall's bodily hideout and bumps their noses together. "I'm a
detective, Duckling."

"Ugh." Niall groans and crosses his ankles so there's no chance of Liam pulling out against his
wishes. "Li, did you see Louis?"

"Really? You're asking me that now?"

"Well I didn't see him when I went back to his room or his dad's." Niall bites his lip, troubled.
"He's probably with the twins." Liam says dismissively.

He's not so concerned about Harry and Edward anymore. As bruising as it is to his masculinity, he'll
admit that they've been more protective of and respectful towards Louis than he has been of Niall.

"It shouldn't be bothering you now, Ni." He continues. "It's just not our business now."

"Yeah, you're right." Niall convinced himself that if Louis needed help, he'd come to them first.

* * * * *

"Go on, petal." Harry patted Louis on his bum, encouraging him into the closet where Edward
swapping clothing.

His aim was to entice Edward enough to bring him back to bed without being entirely obvious,
which would defeat the purpose. Harry set him upon the quest with an encouraging - and bruising -
kiss after checking that the boy could in fact walk with a small limp for this short distance.
Louis released Harry's arm where he was gripping him for support. Harry chuckled at his pale
anxiety and gave the boy a kiss on his cheek. "See you soon, darlin'."

Looking at him blankly, Louis felt his nerves relax into something covered with the smoothest of
silk. The slightest contact with them will undoubtedly cause him to react with intense context.
He walks - wobbles uncertainly - into the closet and is met with the explicit sight of Edward
shirtless. The gaping double doorway allows him full access to an R-rated view of the man not see
him while he strips off his trousers. Louis feels the palpitations in his chest from a racing heart,
unable to stop himself - and really not wanting to - from admiring Edward's physique.

Edward's skin was even everywhere and stretched just the right way over the toned muscle sticking
to his skeletal structure. His body was well proportioned and everything seemed to work, function
in a seamless system. Louis has seen this body before, had this body against him in the darkest of
ways. He still wants to give in to lust and run his tongue along the dips and ripples of Edward's
body.

"Petal?" Edward had turned around in the time that Louis was trying to be discreet.

Louis panics at being caught but there's no way out from under Edward's arm when it comes around
his waist. He looks up into those two timeless emerald orbs, glowing with the dim lighting. Bare
chested and pressed up against Louis' without the smallest intention of sex is a little heartbreaking.

"You're not supposed to be walking." Edward's frown is forceful and powerful.

"Sorry." Louis rushes to apologise, not wanting the plan to spoil so early.

Edward just kisses his forehead and makes an angry grumble. "Irresponsible bastard, he is."

"No." Louis shakes his head and when Edward leans in closer, takes his chance to connect their lips.

It stays unwielding of anything more passionate for the first few seconds, Edward masking his
surprise and Louis nearly hanging off his lip to get attention. There's a drop in noise levels until
complete haunting silence is achieved, then a skyrocket in temperature when Edward picks Louis
up and holds him against the door.

"What are you doing, petal?" His scorching gaze burns its path into Louis' calm composure,
scratching beneath the surface.

Louis is silent and he tries turning away but Edward won't be having any of that. He slaps Louis'
thigh and the boy mewls, head snapping back towards him.

"Did that hurt?" Edward checks, not for sympathy but for reassurance that it did hurt.

Nodding lazily, Louis refuses to sacrifice the eye contact they have. He crosses the distance
between them and his lips land on Edward's again, eager and anticipating. His thighs are upheld
against muscular legs and he whimpers when Edward bites his tongue. It's a shock of something
elicit that turns Louis into an addict.

"What do you want me to say, petal?"

Louis' confusion shows through his frown. "Say yes."
"Anything for you, petal."

* * * * *

"So Zayn......and you are friends with benefits?" Niall has deemed this hospital his second home by
his sixteenth hour present in it. "Or co-workers with benefits rather."

Liam rubs his hands together for warmth, accepting a sip from Niall's Rooibos cup. "Were. I have
you now, duckling."

"Damn straight, Payne." He curls a bit of Liam's hair behind his ear as he gets softer, briefly
amused.

"Would you mind if he was here?"

"No." Niall said honestly. "You're working together and that's okay."

Liam leans over the chairs' armrests to kiss him quickly. "You're so brilliant, duckling."

"Of course I am. Where will he be staying?"

"After he's discharged, probably in the same hotel as us."

"Us?"

"Well yeah. You can't go back to that apartment ever, not you or Louis." Liam says firmly.

Niall smiles at him tiredly. "Thank you, Li."

* * * * *

The lights were completely off and Louis could barely make it to see his own hands in the darkness.
Curtains drawn and doors locked meant he had nowhere to hide from what he's started. He's never
been more excited or exposed to an atmosphere more electrically charged with arousal than this. It
should be lethal. It should turn him to pudding and leave him a spilt mess on the Styles bed.

"Here, petal." One of them takes Louis' palm in theirs and he follows mindlessly until his bare feet
touches the cold stub of a sofa's leg. "Bend over."

It's not an ordinary command that all it does is make him shiver. The culprit had touched his thigh
and that hand slid up to his back, a chest pressing against him and making him fall forward.
He'd made no noise and his hands were positioned properly on the sofa's back rest.

A cold breath flew out of his body when a second pair of hands - it had to be because someone was
slipping something around his eyes - landed on his calves. His legs are lifted and spread, his knees
digging into the seat of the couch. He could really see nothing from the blindfold over his eyes,
adrenaline pumping into his veins.

When he dared to straighten up, an arm would press around his front and push him back,
make him submit. He loved it so much and his lips were always parted in case he forgot to
breathe.

They weren't done with the restraints because something slipped around his wrists, cold and thin
plastic of the cable tie. His hands were given separate ones, a threat lingering over the entire act. He
could scream and shudder from the raw, unmanageable energy soaring through him.

"The rules, petal." Edward stepped up behind him, holding his hips and lining their bodies up with a
honey warm voice against his skin. "Don't resist. Don't come until I say."

"We punish, petal." Harry was somewhere in front of him, feeding his dependence when he cupped
his face and kissed him roughly. Louis kissed him back with eager notions in his head, suffering a
whimper when Harry withdrew. "We love to punish."

Edward's lips made contact with Louis' shoulder, travelling across to the other and dipping into his
neck. The skin that was sliding against his, made Louis dig his nails into the couch's fabric, the hot
and hardening length of that twin slipping into the crack of his behind where it was exposed and
stretched.

Louis shivered and Harry recaptured his lips, bringing the boy up to his level. When Louis followed
him higher, arms circling the man's neck, he cried out from a smack to his bum. He fell back down
and almost hit his chin, blood turning to lava and switching over to ice. Righting himself once
again, he wished he could see something at all.

"Open your mouth, darlin'." Harry pressed his lower abdomen to Louis' lips, the boy's kisses
landing on his abs.

Obediently Louis did so and he he knew what was coming, his inner conscience doing somersaults
from the fact itself. Just as Harry's hard member touched his lips, moisture from precome drippling
onto his teeth, Edward shoved two fingers into him.

It was unceremonious and hasty the way Edward forced his fingers past the barrier of Louis' rim,
letting them sit as deep inside as they'd reach. He had Louis spread out and could abuse his hole all
he wanted, but he was going to be patient.

Harry filled Louis' mouth with the size of his stiff shaft, the girth causing Louis' cheeks to puff out
and his throat to clench when it passed his gag reflex.

Fingers threaded through his hair and Harry's hips pulled out before jerking forward and pushing all
the way in. Choking, Louis coughed and tears formed in his eyes but he took it like a champ. He
hollowed his cheeks and flicked his tongue over the entire surface, unable to touch but trying to
please anyway.

Edward finally moved his fingers after Louis' body loosened to accept him, creating muted
squelching noises with his pumping motions. He jabbed Louis' tunnel and lubed everything up with
the saliva he had used, digging in mercilessly to find the spot he sought. Louis moaned loudly and it
sent vibrations up Harry's spine, getting the man to groan appreciatively.

Everything was too much but too little. Louis' greedy body, sitting with loads of lust, wanted to be
held down and fucked until he couldn't see clearly. He had to be patient, he knew that, but he didn't
want to be.

Louis got to suckle and swallow around the head of Harry's member when a third finger was joining
the first two inside him. He rolled his hips back whenever Edward retracted his fingers, but that
wasn't allowed and Edward would grab his ass like a naked handle and shove him forward. He got a
second spanking, this time one on each side, and Louis' skin was prickling with the static sting
afterwards.

Harry pulled out at the same time Edward did. Louis got eager again and in his blinded, bare state
wanted to scramble onto someone's lap. He stayed in position with a mildly tender bum and
insufficiently stretched entrance, waiting for the next best thing.

"You're so eager, petal." Someone petted his hair and tightened at the base of his neck, forcing him
to look up even if he couldn't see. "I can feel it. Your body doesn't know what it's gotten itself into."

Louis didn't answer because he feared he'd say the wrong thing. He drew in long breaths when the
warmth of another body knocked his feet apart to stand between them. His own erection was
neglected and hanging heavy between his legs, getting no friction but weeping a salty substance that
stained the couch and cushions.

His back was arched by a hand flattened over it, causing the curve to dip even more until it was on
the brink of painful. It's all he concentrated on, welcoming this aspect. Nails gyrating against woven
fabric, Louis felt the head of a fully erect length against his hole. It teasingly pressed in before
pulling out, just to do it again. Again and again. Once more then again.

He got annoyed with the teasing, impatient to have the whole thing buried painfully deep in him.
Without thinking, his body fell back onto half the full length, a gasp filling his ears as it slowly
stretched him. His body expanded after a fingering that wasn't enough, trying to accommodate all of
this.

"Greedy." It had to be Harry who was behind and in him, now biting his shoulder and slamming all
the way in. "Daddy's got a greedy boy?"

Louis listened to the voice of his present lover, their bodies matching in stance. He didn't know if he
was allowed to speak but he was tempted to.

"I asked a question, petal." Harry hasn't moved, hasn't started the rhythm that will have Louis losing
his mind.

"N-No, Daddy." He stuttered unimpressively, hating how cracked his voice sounded.

"You're allowed to be greedy, baby. Daddy will give you anything."

The protective shell of Harry's body over Louis' is suddenly gone and he's left with a rush of cold
air winding all around him. He shivers and blinks behind the blindfold, wondering where Edward is.
He's not supposed to be thinking, as that is proven seconds later when Harry empties his flushed
body.

A brutal pace is set as it beats the thoughts right out of Louis' scattered mind. He gasps and pants
and chokes all at the same time, compiling a soundtrack of mindless sounds that fill his sense of
hearing. His body jerks and back lashes with Harry's thrusts, hands securing his waist and keeping
him bent as it gets worse.

The worse is better and Louis feels the pounding against his prostrate, as deep as it can go and
wanting it to split him open. Edward didn't open him up enough but even that burn is a strong
constituent towards why he feels like he's just a trembling mass. He scrapes the couch and his knees
itch but that's not important, nowhere near as vital Harry's c*ck invading his body the way it is.
Hips slam against his ass and Louis feels the repercussions of earlier flooding back, adding more
sensitivity. He groans through clenched teeth, taking it all and burying it safely.

Harry is pleasured by him extensively, loving the tightening of Louis' walls and the sometimes
rough dryness of tissue that wasn't lubricated enough. He grips Louis' bum so it fills his one hand
and continues to pound into the boy but not letting him sag in exhaustion.

"Missed me, petal?" Edward was at Louis' ear, moving over to be in front of him. "I know you want
to come. Don't or I'll have to stop you from coming at all."

As if catching a hint of something Louis missed, Harry's hand creeps around the front and grips his
needy erection near his sack so he can't come. Louis whines pitifully and gets the head of Edward's
dick in his mouth, warning him before slowly slipping more in.

"Take it, petal. I can tell you want to taste all of it."

Harry doesn't let himself come either, using Louis' body to get really close but stopping before his
release. The fast bucks stop and Louis uses his hand to take all of Edward in his mouth. He doesn't
want the amorous processions to stop, so he pumps the area he can't reach before gagging and
purposely trying to take that in too.

"Good boy, petal." Edward adores Louis' preen from the compliment. He's not unaffected by this
boy, and having his mouth on him is destructive enough.

"He's always a good boy." Harry kisses Louis' hole, leaning down to do it. It's bruised and if the
lights were on he'd be able to see the reddened state of Louis' tunnel from his inability to close up.

"Oh yes. I know." Edward chuckles - Louis wants to glare at him - and almost balds Louis with how
tight his grip is on his hair. "You can come, petal."

Harry unleashes his tongue on Louis' hole, fitting some of it in easily and forming a steady suction
around it. He knows Louis doesn't need much stimulus, that he'll come apart any time now. In this
frame of mind, he starts to taste what he's left behind in Louis and with a sudden shudder, Louis
screams as he comes onto the cushions. Edward let's him ride it out, pleased when Louis takes him
back in his mouth before the wave of a climax has even passed.

Licking and suckling, Louis even left pecks on the length as he tried to bless every inch with some
contact from him. He feels like marshmallow inside and Harry isn't removing his mouth from where
he's getting higher and higher with nerves.

"Enough, petal." Edward pulls him off, Louis' thin lips having turned red and puffy. "You did very
well."

Louis licks his lips and it's obscene, tasting both brothers on them as Edward watched transfixed.
He surges forward and slots their lips together for a kiss that bumps Louis' nose and makes him
keen.

"You need to take us both, petal." Harry is biting on his lower back, making Louis hiss from the
small injuries that were already there.

Yes. Louis, overcoming the shivers of one orgasm, prepares his body for another. He makes
a tiny upset noise when he isn't once again taken control of.

"Hush." Edward pecks his lips and let's Louis rest against his shoulder. "Harry."

Harry's mouth detaches from Louis' sweaty skin like a stubborn leech and he circles a saliva coated
finger around Louis' hole. He can fit three in easily, which he does without hesitation. He rapidly
pumps those appendages in and out of Louis' quivering body until he's satisfied, adding a fourth and
continuing.

The friction against Louis' raw walls is intoxicating and exhilarating, catching Louis between
wanting to run and stay. He starts kissing Edward's neck and sucks on his Adam's Apple to give
himself a distraction from the burn, his wrists held by one of Edward's hands. He makes it to
Edward's chest before Harry's thumb slips into him as well and suddenly he's plunged forward into
a well of something dark and dirty.

With a whole hand fitted within him, Louis can no longer focus on anything else and ends up
mouthing weakly at the dip between Edward's pectorals. He moves with the thrusts of Harry's hand,
filled to a maximum point until it hurts and he falls in love with it. It feels like Harry's
punching his prostate to get his member to fill up with blood again, repeatedly prodding at the
swollen gland for a response. Louis feels himself twitch and latches onto Edward's chest, keeping
himself grounded that way.

He's breathing thick air and exhaling icy remains. He is left to primal instinct and lost in a
wonderland of erotica. There's no turning back even when Harry pulls out and he's left a gaping
mess between them.

"Now, petal." Edward is gone and so is Harry. Louis knows they're there, can hear even their heavy
breathing.

Out of nowhere - and because he's at a heavy disadvantage with blindfolded eyes - he's grabbed
around the middle and hauled to his feet. He barely touches the ground before he's yanked into the
air, settling in a perfect fit against someone's chest. His legs are held apart by being bent over the
bend of their elbows, the strength they possess holding him well above the ground.

"Make all the noise you want, baby." Harry tells him from behind, lined up with Edward and him.

Edward was holding him like a floatation device, Harry stepping up behind him to straighten his
back and sandwich him between them. His back to Harry's chest and his chest to Edward's. He
holds the nape of Edward's neck and when Harry kisses his neck, his too.

There's no chance of Louis slipping in the slightest because he was held together so tightly, so
possessively by them both. He enjoyed the compact heat from their bodies and felt hopefully
endeared by how both their hands found spots on him to hold. The stretch of his body down
there
was not forgotten, for every moment that past he got more needy.

First was Harry, and as he sunk in Louis threw his head back in the limited space he was allowed.
He let out a long moan that winded up in a whimper once Harry was fully seated. Teeth were at his
neck, and sharper ones at his nipple. He curled his fingers and toes, his body ready.

Edward was guided in by Harry, going slower than Harry did. Inch by inch he buried himself in
Louis alongside his brother, feeling like this is the only place in the world he should be. He
separates his jaws and bites down around Louis' nipple, causing a faint trickle of blood and shriek
from his victim. His tongue lapped at the metallic taste, removing his mouth so his fingers could
coax more out.

Harry rolled his hips against Louis' ass, blowing out hot air into the boy's neck. He fucked upward
when Edward did and they took up every bit of space within him, not letting Louis breathe properly
once. Louis cried out and his jaw went slack, letting himself feel the slow rhythm getting captured
by his insides.

They thrusted together and each found patches of skin to mark up with their nails, teeth and lips.
Edward left bruises with how tight he was grasping the boy's thighs, Harry by how demonically
harsh his grip was on Louis' waist. They were sheathed inside their lover and found no more peace
in life besides what lay here. Louis gasped and plucked at the air, needing it but not wanting it from
anyone but the twins.

He bit his own lip and sold his soul to the burning sensation of his thighs and where his body was
widening inexplicably. It was so good and so ruthless.

"Fuck!" Harry muttered as he stilled and tensed, shooting his load directly at Louis' prostate which
in turn made Louis screech and come onto his tummy.

He'd never felt that before, the splash of warm seed on his insides so deep that it milked him of an
early orgasm. Edward grunted, muffled by Louis' collarbones that he religiously worshipped. He
felt his brother's seed leaking onto him and had to fight the bloody devil to keep his own release
contained.

"Felt so good, petal." Harry nuzzled him beneath his ear, nipping at the bone.

Louis knew Edward was going to be mad at him and he clenched around them both, causing a groan
in unison. "I-I'm sorry. I-I-"

"Shh." Edward sealed his lips with a kiss. "You're forgiven."

Relaxing, Louis finally gets to the massacre below his waist. He doesn't want to check on himself
because he knows he's ruined down there. He breathes harshly and tries to control his own
sensitivity but it's close to miserably impossible with the way he's spread open by two people.
Harry pulls out his softened length and Louis is left clinging to Edward to keep from falling.
Edward has much greater willpower than Harry does and Louis sort of wants to break that. If he
could make Harry come, he can certainly try with Edward.

His sensitivity makes him complain whenever there's an unjustified movement affecting his lower
region. He very bravely squeezes his eyes shut and brings himself closer Edward, sliding his arms
around his neck and his chest slipping lower until he's got the man bottomed out.

Louis feels ticklish where something dripped out of him, falling down from his thighs but the
majority of Harry's come staying plugged in him. He was being moved again, and this time towards
the bed hopefully. His back hits the cold bed sheet and he sighs contentedly, happy to lightly scratch
his chest and turn into something malleable.

He arches his back when it gets too uncomfortable for his bum, Edward's hand sneaking its way
there too. Rather than easing pressure, Edward starts to play with him where he's leaking and enters
a fingertip into the boy.

"N-N-No." Louis pushes at his chest. It's too soon after two rounds to go again.

Edward starts to rub him there and it's so vigorous that Louis can't fight him anymore. He
goes pliant and Edward retracts his hand, pressing it to Louis' lips so he can taste.

The man isn't done with him though because a minute after pulling out, he's cloaking Louis' body
like a canopy and cradling his head with his arm. "We have to do something about my brother's
disobedience, petal. Will you help me?"

Louis' interest picks up at this question and wishes he could see Edward's face at that moment. He
can only feel the slow trickle of warmth escaping him between his thighs and squirms at how open
he feels.

"I-I'll help." Louis surrenders, knowing even now it's a dangerously alluring choice.

"Yeah, petal?" Edward's lips press a warm and rewarding kiss to his cheek. "You'll help me, baby?"

Louis nods as many times as he thinks it will take to convince Edward. "Y-Yes."

"Daddy."

Louis goes blank. "H-uh?"

"Yes, Daddy."

Louis wants to scream from rooftops because he gets two Daddies and it makes what alter
ego may reside in this powerful hidden personality very happy.

His higher brain power is overcome with the need to obey as he was tucked into a perfect little cove
of submission. "Yes, Daddy."

Chapter Text

His higher brain power is overcome with the need to obey as he was tucked into a perfect little
cove of submission. "Yes, Daddy."

*NARRATOR'S POV*

The blindfold was removed and the colour under Louis' eyelids turned from black to grey. Louis
stares up into the eyes of the man hovering over him like a net of human weight and emotion. He
felt like cornered prey between Edward's arms and underneath him, wrapped up by body heat or
unimaginable rampant hormones make his green eyes black.

Waiting for a response, Louis took the time to check his body and emotional state. He was on fire in
the latter, his thoughts flying by without giving him the right amount of time to think logically. He
did as told because of this, relying on the twins to tell him the right thing and keep him safe.
His body was feeling better, completely fired up on adrenaline he didn't think he could store. The
surface of his skin felt magnetically inclined to Edward's or Harry's, his lower half pleasantly sore
but nowhere near being sated if there's more in store for him.

"Come here, petal." A voice off to his left called out to him, and his ears pricked at the sound.

He turned in that direction and pre-braced his palms on Edward's chest, ready to push him away if
the motivation was great enough. Harry was waiting for him to obey at the other end of the
Herculean bed, his hand outstretched in beckoning.

* * * * *

"He's awake?" Liam double checked by asking the Dr. Parkens who came to find him and Niall
exiting the cafeteria.

"He asked for Liam Payne." The doctor replied, tapping his clipboard and smiling politely.

"That's me. Uh-" Liam threaded his fingers through his hair, looking at Niall. "Can we both go?"

"What?" Niall interrupted.

"You both may." Dr. Parkens says anyway after Liam doesn't offer an answer. "Nothing too loud or
bright. He's just had a mild concussion and a few broken ribs so he'll be capable of speaking as
normal."

"Alright, thank you." Liam reached out and shook Dr. Parkens' hand. "Come on, duckling."

"Hey Crazy, I'm Niall." His partner pulled his hand free of Liam's when the surgeon left. "I can't
come with you in there."

"Why not?" Liam's smile was crooked and adorably sexy but that's not the point in Niall's head.
"Because I don't know him? He doesn't know me? He could die because he'll think a stranger is-"

"Calm down, doll." Liam smacks a kiss on Niall's temple. "Zayn will learn all about you."

"What if I don't like him?"

Liam smirks to a secret knowing he already has about Zayn's physical charm. "Everyone loves
Zayn."
center
* * * * *

Louis knew he had to escape Edward's hold, but it wasn't too difficult when he was allowed to go
freely. He crawled out of the enveloping presence and made his way over to Harry, getting scooped
up off the mattress immediately.

Harry cradles Louis' face on the right side, pushing his hair back and directing his attention in the
process. Louis was so captivating with his wide eyes focused all on him, obediently doing as told.
Harry patted Louis' thigh before securing it with his hand, a finger dipping between his cheeks to
where the boy was growing sticky over the pink skin of his darkened hole.

Edward got to disrupting their moment when he'd figured out what he was going to do. He made
Harry set Louis down on the floor, leaning against him for support, and smaller hands than his
holding his waist. Edward circled a heavy arm around the back of Louis' head and kept him
immobile, kissing his forehead.

"Lie down." He told Harry next, nodding towards the bed.

Wordlessly, Harry did so. Louis watched with innate curiosity and squirmed a little in Edward's
arms at how lonely Harry looked. Edward leaned down and nipped at his permanent bite scar on
Louis' neck.

"If you go to him, petal, you can't come back until I'm done." He pressed his wet lips to the shell of
Louis' ear as he spoke in a husky monotone.

Louis was willing to take that deal, because Harry was looking at him with unreadable eyes that told
him to at least try. So he did. When Edward unwrapped his arm, Louis made his way
carefully onto the bed and straddled Harry's hips gracefully. It was like having an angel on his lap,
and Harry thought himself to be the darkest demon which made this experience all the more
religious.

Harry touched Louis' soft, delicate hips, marking some of the skin with his nails and wanting to do
more. Wanting to carve his name everywhere and bite deep enough with blunt teeth that Louis
screeched loud enough for the whole town the hear. He withheld that deep fantastical nature to
watch Edward lean closer and whisper in Louis' ear.

The boy giggled and rolled his hips in a very subtle manner that could have been an accident, but
Harry's c*ck took notice and started to harden again. He bit down his groan and squeezed the bone
of Louis' pelvic region, getting the boy to whimper and hide in Edward's neck.

"Shh, sweetheart." Edward kissed Louis' cheekbone, sharp as a blade, and moved away. He
regarded Harry with a familiar look representing the fire hot want. "Hands above your head."

Harry raises his arms over his head and Edward stands to knot them to the bed railing, tossing
pillows aside to make room. They were tight but getting tighter as Edward finished, hurting Harry's
wrists in the most pleasant way.

Louis hasn't stopped shifting, grinding or simply twitching on Harry's hips over his fattening
member. All the stimulation from a God-like creature perched on his naked body was more than
enough to get Harry to respond accordingly.

"What are you doing up there, petal?" He asked when Louis actually wiggled for a purpose, to
move onto Harry's thighs so his pulsating hardness slapped against his abdomen from it's home
nestled against Louis.

"Petal?" Edward called second, but Louis looked to him first anyway.

He must have done something silently because Louis never answered Harry after that. Edward
retired to their closet again where a large gap of shelves and cupboards lay empty to accommodate
Louis' phantom clothing. Soon enough.

* * * * *

Liam knocks on the hospital room door with his knuckles and is still trying to keep Niall from
outright running away. He keeps him caged with his arm as a security measure.

"What the fuck?" Niall whispers in the voice of a ghost.

"I know." Liam chuckled.

Zayn was on his back but his face turned towards the far wall, only the deadliest structure of jaw
and cheekbone on display from where they could see. His skin was such light brown with facial hair
developing in the perfect order on his chin. The hollow of his cheeks was evident without being
ghastly and his eyebrows were bushy to complement every perfectly carved feature on his face.

"Hey, Zee." Liam wouldn't be having any more trouble getting Niall through the door.

Zayn 'Zee' Malik looks at where the voice came from, instantly the sad line of his lips turning into a
smile. "Liam, you fucking bastard."

Liam nudges Niall into the room - he's still a flight risk - and follows after him. "How are you
feeling?"

"Like I was hit by a fuckin' car. Oh wait-"

"Shut up." Liam narrows his eyes and frowns. "You know how bad I feel, Zee. I never would have
asked you to-"

"No, it's alright. It's none of your fault." Zayn's smile moves from Liam to the person hiding behind
Liam. "And who is this that is afraid of a hospitalised person?"

"This is-"

Niall can very well introduce himself to Greek Gods. He steps out from behind Liam but still holds
the man's arm. "I'm Niall. Liam calls me duckling which you cannot."

Liam hides his amusement by sitting down, letting Niall take the reins on this animated
conversation. Niall ignores the other chair and labels it a spare as he sits on Liam's lap. He deems
himself a possessive duckling.

"I'm Zayn." Zayn's laughter is as magical as every other profoundly sculpted feat and trait about
him. It's loud and musical and makes everyone want to listen. "And aren't you adorable, ducky."

"Ew." Niall's nose scrunches up on his face. "That's a terrible rendition, Zayn."

Liam takes the small white remote that controls the positioning of Zayn's bed. He gets him into a
more upright angle and he can tell it's far more comfortable for Zayn.

"I quite like it. Sorry, ducky." Zayn licks his dry lips and reveals his arms from under the hospital
blanket.

They're a little thin but the muscle from the physical check of a police detective is still evident,
easily marking him as someone dominant in the world's society.

"So what did I come down here for, Liam?" Zayn was eager to start work. He was told that after two
or three days he'd be out of here.

"Don't worry about that now." Liam shakes his head instead, Niall tucking his hair behind his ear.

"You need to recuperate."

"Seriously, Li. Why did you call me?"

"And I'm serious too. Drop it."

"I'm not a cripple."

"No but you were in a car accident." Liam allows Niall to rest his head on his shoulder, facing the
wall instead of them. "We're going to keep incidents to a minimal."

Zayn glares at Liam's idiocy. He's a grown fucking man and he can handle any damn thing. "I've
been in the field as long as you have, Liam."

"Yes and that's why I'm most qualified to tell you to simmer down."

"Simmer down?" Zayn's heart monitor gets a little louder.

"Yes." Liam points to the ECG screen and sighs. "Please just take it easy, Zee. I can't have you
dying on me."

"I'm fine. Don't treat me like a baby, Payne."

"You are in fact a giant baby, Zee. Everyone knows that."

"I don't know that." Niall chirps from his small presence in the room, going back to Liam's hair
immediately.

"You'll learn all about me in good time, ducky." Zayn responds with that glint of something amused
but also admiring in a lesser reputable manner in his intention.

Niall takes protection against Liam's chest again, hiding from this new person's dark brown and
alluring eyes. What is wrong with him?

"I don't think your love over there likes me very much." Zayn comments off handedly, picking up
the pudding cup from his food tray.

Liam looks at Niall fondly and Niall in return scowls at him like he's crazy. "He's a tough one.
Worth it though."

Niall cooes in Liam's ear and pecks his cheek. "How sweet, Li."

He soon spots Zayn going to throw away pudding in the bin though and all that affection for anyone
flies out the window.

"What kind of person throws pudding away?" He sounds more outraged than he should be about
pudding.

Zayn seems to be caught off guard and doesn't know if Niall is serious about the glare he's passing
to him. "Uh...-"

"You're not allowed to throw pudding away." Niall wakes up from Liam's lap and goes to Zayn,
taking the plastic cup from him. "It's a criminal offence and you, of all people, should be knowing
that."

Stumped, Zayn looks at Liam who shrugs and cracks his knuckles as he stretches. "I'm going to get
some coffee. Want anything, Ni?"

Niall shakes his head, peeling the metallic tab off the pudding cup. Liam asks Zayn and gets the
same response, just a little more frozen. He's going to get a beverage for Niall anyway so that it
doesn't end in him sacrificing his drink.

Zayn clears his throat after Liam leaves, the dryness growing. "Would you like a spoon, ducky?"

"I'd appreciate it." Niall's attitude towards him seems to have changed completely, smiling sweetly
as he took the plastic utensil.

Thinking through his strategy to figure this person out, bright and able to emit a light in any dark
room from within, Zayn straightens up and winces only briefly at the pain in his mid-section. Niall
was carefree but he had a struggle, that much was obvious. He shifts to the side away from where
Niall is leaning, making space for the boy to sit on.

"Don't I get a thank you?" Zayn asks, smirking at Niall's face with a spoonful of pudding in his
mouth.

Niall takes the now clean spoon out. "You really want one?"

"It has no meaning if I have to ask for it."

"Good thing I won't say it now then, huh?" Niall grins at him, scooping up more chocolate pudding
from the surface. One should savour pudding at all times.

"No manners is unattractive, ducky."

"I'm not trying to attract anyone, Zayn-ul." Niall adds the last bit to make it more emphasising of
the Islamic heritage. "I'm eating pudding."

"I find that very attractive."

Niall rolls his eyes. "Don't flirt. I'm already taken, mister."

Zayn makes sure he's extra close to Niall, hurting his ribs in the process but not caring. "Liam and I
have shared before."

Niall will probably be kicked out for it but he slaps Zayn anyway, freeing his hands of pudding and
cutlery to storm off. He is not meat that can be shared or even- wait. What about Louis?
Wasn't his life split in two?

He stands outside while Zayn rubs his cheek, tapping his foot on the floor and getting more worked
up.

Was he justified in being outraged and slapping Zayn across the face? He sure was. What Louis did
was not his business anymore beyond the care of a best friend. He didn't want what Louis had or
wanted, and having two boyfriends will kill him.

Maybe he should talk to Louis? Ask him what it's like?

No. That is not for him. He wants one other person in his life, just a single one.
It's an outrageous thing to even think about, but the seed has been planted and it won't leave him
alone. As it germinates, he's dragged to a frame of mind where this is a real and accepted thing.
Two boyfriends? Would Liam be okay with that? He's only just met Zayn and the idiot could
be a complete psychopath. Dammit Louis.

Niall huffs and crosses his arms, rattled with thoughts of opportunity and choice when Liam comes
back with two cups of steaming coffee.

He notices Niall's expression and walks faster, concerned about his duckling's well-being. "You
okay, Ni?"

"No." Niall snaps, getting embraced for comfort. "Your friend is an imbecil. I hate him. He's not
your friend anymore."

"Oh?" Liam frowns as he tries to think of what Zayn could have done. "What did he do, love?"

"He flirted with me."

Two boyfriends. Diabolical bastard.

Liam's broad shoulders are shaking with laughter rather than the usual jealous boyfriend vibes.
"Zayn flirts with everyone, duckling. It's just a thing about him."

"No." Niall holds onto Liam's jacket. "He said you and him....-"

"Me and him?"

Niall gets a small moment to think it over. If Liam isn't objecting then....what could it mean? He
might have a chance at one Hell of a fling or something more. The rational half of his mind sneers
at him. Yeah, something more being walking down the street holding two hands and kissing
two mouths.

"Share." He mumbles it into Liam's chest. "He said that you and he used to share....partners or
whatever."

Liam does tense up and it gives Niall such hope because he's honestly scared of considering
an option that's out of his comfort zone. Liam, however, is troubled by another demon of his past.
He has too many demons, it seems.

"That's....-" Liam starts but his voice dies out.

This wouldn't be sharing to him, oh no. If such a thing could happen, like Niall finding anything he
desires in Zayn to keep him around, it would simply mean more love and affection for his duckling.
"Li?" Niall rests his chin on Liam's hard chest, looking up at him. "What are you thinking?"

"I'm thinking-" Liam gulps. "-would you consider it?"

* * * * *

Harry's breath whistled through his teeth when he inhaled sharply, the contact of Louis' hand on his
member causing it. Louis experimentally ran his hand from head to base, twisting his wrist and
repeating the motion. He loved the feel of hard and hot skin in his hand, Harry bucking up into it
when he did the right thing. It gave him power to please his Daddy.

"Fuck, petal." Harry strained against his tie-ups to watch, getting close to popping his shoulder from
the stretch. "Like that, baby."

Louis kept up his pace, taking his time when he wanted and never using his mouth. He bit his lip
and looked at Harry through his lashes, resembling the minx of Harry's dreams with such
unconventional innocence. Harry wanted to swap places with that purity and pound into it until it
became seared with his claim.

"P-Petal." Harry was finding it difficult to hold on to his fast approaching orgasm.

"Yes, Daddy?" Louis was all sweet sugar voice and batting eyelashes. He'll be the death of Harry.

"Can you get me inside you, petal?" Harry tugged on his restraints but they were perfectly tied.

Louis shook his head and continued jerking Harry off, moving faster and teasing the swollen head
with his thumb. He circled the slit and dug his finger in, making Harry's hips stutter and for a loud
groan to erupt from him.

"Wh-Why not, petal? Daddy wants to come inside you, baby." Harry tried again.

Taking pity on him, Louis thought an appropriate reward for Harry holding out this long would be
to bend and kiss away the droplets of salty precome from his shaft. He traced his tongue over the
swollen slit, kissing a path down, down and to his balls. His lips engulfed one and suckled on it
sloppily, his nails on Harry's thighs.

"F-Fuck!" Harry threw his head back when Louis switched sides and licked over the length of his
curved erection, missing one swipe over the head.

Edward reappeared at last when Louis just stopped his less than innocent activities, the assault on
Harry's body being a powerful muddling agent. Louis made his way back onto Harry's pelvis, the
man's desperate length fitting between his cheeks and rubbing against his hole. Louis scratched up
Harry's torso, delivering full grinds with his sinful hips that made the bulbous tip catch on his rim
most often.

"Knees spread and bent." Edward told Harry next, Louis not stopping to acknowledge him.

Harry did as asked after three tries of failing. He gave Louis a his knees to sit back against and
Edward snapped something cold and stiff around each ankle.

Edward moved to the middle of the bed's end, and grabbed Louis' waist. "Petal?"

The boy paused again and lifted off Harry. He turned around quietly and got caught up in Edward's
lips, his teeth clashing with Edward's and tongue getting sucked into his mouth. He moaned and
held Harry's knees, moving closer every chance he got.

"You've earned your reward, petal." Edward dropped Harry's legs and crawled between them.

"Make yourself come anyway you want."

Louis whispered a word of gratitude and pecked Edward's cheek. "You'll come in me, Daddy?"

"I promised, petal." Edward harshly grips Louis' bottom lip with his unforgiving teeth, listening to
the boy's helpless mewl. "Don't ask again or I'll get angry, baby."

His words to the boy got Louis to bump his chin against Edward's and turn back to Harry. He
shuffled up to the man's chest, knees bracketing Harry's armpits and explored the tough muscle with
his fingertips. Harry bit his middle finger when Louis reached his lips, sucking the whole finger into
his mouth and biting hard.

"Get to it, Lou." Edward rushed him from behind, between Harry's legs and doing nothing.

Louis noticed him and looked down at Harry with a small pout, withdrawing his finger feeling
demotivated. Harry kissed Louis' palm and chuckled when the boy covered his face with his
inadequately sized hand.

It wasn't that Edward didn't know how to handle their petal as a Daddy, it's just that Harry knew
how to do it differently. He could comfort and be reassuring while Edward remained a master the
entire time. Harry's eye could peek through two fingers of Louis' and he spoke with that contact
maintained.

"Come up here, petal. I'll take care of you." He tasted Louis' skin when his tongue darted out.

 

Louis smiled and removed his hand, kissing Harry's nose and doing as instructed carefully. He had
to spread his legs a bit more on either side of Harry's head but once Harry's mouth touched ground
on his glistening entrance, all the worry was gone.

He gasped and gripped the headboard to keep from falling forward, pressing down on Harry's
tongue. His rim was just beginning to heal and now Harry shoved past their recovery to delve into
Louis' sweet body with his tongue. He lifted tastes of the boy and himself, shooting vibrations
through Louis as he moaned.

"O-Oh, Daddy." Louis was gyrating his hips, grinding as he rode Harry's tongue with tiny
thrusts.

Slowly his release was getting closer, barelling towards him and bursting the veins they travelled in.
He felt Harry's heavy breathing against him, felt the spreading of saliva and sweat on him. His body
was tearing itself apart and his sack tightened up, ready to release what come was left.

Edward knocked Harry's legs apart further, screwing the bar restraints so they kept him spread
eagle. He couldn't resist pressing one kiss on Louis' shoulderblade before fanning his fingers out
over Harry's ass and pulling the pale globes apart. Harry responded by sinking his teeth into Louis'
rim, the few from the top layer making it past the muscle and internally applying pressure.

Spitting on his fingers, Edward pushed his index finger into Harry's body past his rim and
scratching his clamping walls. He pumps that finger in and out, burning Harry's insides with lack of
proper lube and adding a second. He watched Harry stretch to accept him, the thighs on his left and
right quivering.

Hastily - he's only ever careful with Louis - he extracts the fingers and sticks it in his mouth, getting
them wetter for three this time. He uncovers Harry's prostate on the second try, watching clear
liquid fall into his brother's belly button from where he's painfully aroused.

Louis screams when he comes, the headboard rattling with how he shook through a thunderous
orgasm that tore him to pieces from his core. He shot white ropes onto the pillow-less mattress and
some on Harry's hair, every ounce of strength being finally depleted. Harry wishes for his tongue to
not turn purple from the way Louis' walls close around him, pushing him out but keeping him
prisoner.

"Good boy, petal." He let Louis sag against him, shivering through the invasion of his body but
trying to get Louis comfortable first. "Good boy."

His eyes slipping shut, Louis sighs and settles on Harry's chest like a content kitten. He absorbs
every thread and electric shock of pleasure and satisfaction that accompanies his mind blowing
orgasm, tiring him out inexplicably.

"Give me a kiss, petal." Harry tried once again to break his binds but they were so stubborn.

Louis mumbled against Harry's pectoral and lifted his head to meet Harry's lips with his own, his
kiss lazy but genuine. He tasted himself on Harry's lips and wet tongue, whimpering at the
domination of his mouth. Their kiss turned deeper when Edward withdrew his three fingers and
substituted them for his own angrily throbbing manhood.

He hasn't come once tonight and it's ruining him. He wants to fulfil his petal's wish - originally his
life's mission - to fill him up with his seed and then Harry's when he made him come.

"Lou?" Edward's length slid in smoothly, extra spit from his fingers and palm aiding the movement.

Turning his head, Louis swallowed his whine to complain about the vivid soreness of his bum.

"Daddy?"

"Can you come again, petal?" He feels the ritualistic shudder of Harry around him, fully sheathing
himself in him now.

Harry curled his fingers until they pained at the knuckles and muttered a curse under his breath,
concentrating on clenching around his brother in a rhythm that he liked.

Louis shook his head to answer Edward's question. He made the man stop in his cruelly slow
retraction when he brought himself closer to him. "C-Can't."

Edward held Harry's legs down with both hands, bringing his mouth to Louis' as he pulled out and
slammed back in when Louis moved backward. He grunted into the boy's mouth repetitively, his
waist pivoting in and out, back and forth. One hand touched Louis' middle, then yanked him
forward to press their chests together.

He continued thrusting like a man on fire, snaking an arm around Louis' slender waist and not
letting the boy escape when he started resisting. His kiss broke Louis' fight and forced him to
submit to Edward's will. He reached down and tested how stretched Louis was, wet and open
although strongly sensitively.

"N-No, Daddy- I-I-" Louis was stopped by his body being thrown down in a degree, impaling
himself on Harry's c*ck as Edward intended.

"Don't." Edward caught him by both sides of his face. His black eyes were turning bloodshot as he
ordered Louis' to stop tearing up. "Just one more time, baby."

Louis had no choice but to take only a minute and let himself adjust. It would hurt. It would hurt so
badly because he's ready bet every dime he has that he doesn't have anything left in him.
He couldn't wait for that to be sufficient as he sniffled and rejected Edward's kiss when he lifted his
hips. They struggled with his exhaustion and he wanted to fall asleep more than anything else. He
wasn't even getting hard again.

"Be still then, petal." Edward changed his mind out of sympathy, seating Louis on Harry's member
rather than making him move. "Let him come inside you."

Harry was close, Hellishly close with the way his tunnel was swelling up with moist glands and
accepting the punishing thrusts of Edward's pounding. It beat against his walls and bruised his
insides but he let it happen because he deserved it and loved the pain that would make him sore
tomorrow. Louis kept his length warm, not shifting too much, and it was a sensation that was
rapidly spreading to every inch of him.

"I'm sorry, baby." Edward framed Louis' cheek, kissing his forehead and chin to cover the distance
in between.

Louis gave him a small smile to convey that he was a little okay with it. He. held onto Harry's
knees, digging his nails into the bone when he man twitched inside him. Edward thrusted once,
twice and again with strength that would bruise Louis externally and cause damage in him if it were
used on him.

"F-Fuck- Close!" Harry shouted, neck arching with his back so the thick artery under the skin
reached out.

He came as soon as Edward stopped, buried to the hilt inside Harry and against his spot that was so
much deeper in him amongst the folds of tight tissue.

Harry's body was wrecked with shudders and violent shaking, ending not even after he gave Louis'
body everything he had. Louis hissed and cut skin with his nails when Harry came against his
abused insides, filling him up where he was empty.

Edward pulled out and pushed Louis down onto his front, landing on Harry's chest. Freeing Harry's
dick of the boy's confines, Edward replaced the softened appendage with himself. His fists pressed
into the mattress as he covered Louis' sprawled out body with his own, pushing in so deep that
Louis cried out and shifted upward with him.

"Be still." He secured Louis' flushed, overheated skin as it squirmed between his and Harry's. "Be
still, petal."

His growl was branded into Louis' neck, eyes screwed shut as he bore the brunt of his overly
anticipated orgasm. It hit him like a truck and he suffered in trying not to hurt Louis as he released
copious amounts of his seed into the boy. He didn't move for a whole minute, his come flooding
Louis' system after waiting all night to do so.

Louis felt like everything from his waist down was drenched in come, soaking it all in to be taken
over by the mark and ultra protectiveness of his unique lovers. Internally and externally he was now
belonging to them.

Harry shifts first, unable to move beneath the masses of two bodies and his arms tied up. "Edward."

Edward is close to knocked out cold on Louis' back, the soft skin and sweet scent getting under his
nerves and soothing them to sleep. "Yeah."

He gets up, pulling himself out of Louis with a cautious attempt. There's a drawer to their left that
moves as he shuffles around in it, searching for that one thing that will serve a good purpose. It
comes to him in the form of a dark purple and glitterless butt plug, small enough to keep Louis from
leaking.

"Petal?" Edward tries to rouse the boy before he puts it in.

"He's asleep." Harry answers, having watched Louis pass out minutes ago. "Let him sleep."

Edward lubes up the plug by sticking it in his mouth after a short trip to the bathroom to wash it.
Everything they used on and with Louis was brand new, never having let someone into their
bedroom before. He inserts it with a confident pop at signalling it's now snugly fitted in place. Louis
makes a sound in his slumber as Harry separates them after being untied.

"Go to bed." Harry tells Edward when his sibling tries to continue with the duties of a clean-up. "I'll
wipe him."

"We can't sleep on the bed." Edward messes up his hair with his fingers, combing through it
afterwards. "We need to get it cleaned."

"Okay."

Harry knows all the pillows and sheets are clean from when they removed it earlier, so he lays out a
flatter version of their bed on the floor with more blankets from the closet. Two thick blankets on
the ground and somewhere near a dozen feather pillows at the side that would be the head.
He uses a warm flannel from the bathroom to wipe Louis down thoroughly. The boy had marks at
the base of his spine where Harry scratched and pinched earlier, teeth marks also blossoming on the
supple skin. They were evidence of Harry's darkest secret.

"Not those." Harry hates black panties, especially the ones Edward got out from the closet as a
result of their shopping earlier.

Edward loved them but Harry refused to. They were awful because all boxers were black and Louis
wore those enough. Panties should be pink and light blue, maybe even sheer. Louis would look so
beautiful in light panties.

"Pink will scare him, brother." Edward reasons. Black is essential for Louis' first time, he believes.

Edward slips the underwear up Louis' legs and fits them on the curve of his bum, the straps sitting
nicely on his hips and front. He then lifts Louis off the soiled portion of their brand new mattress
and onto their makeshift bed on the floor.

Louis is dead to the world as he sleeps now, made to lie on his front with his own two pillows
beside Edward. Harry draws up the comforter only after he's found a comfortable spot on Louis, his
head resting on the curve of the boy's back just above the panty's waistline. Edward kisses Louis'
neck and pulls him in close, while Harry can't sleep despite his dwindling energy reserves and goes
back to destroying more of Louis' perfect skin.

It's an impulse for him, a hidden talent and obsessive compulsion that hasn't come around in
years. This part of him was sadistic and needed to put it's name on Louis' body.

What is beautiful he wants to taint with his own hands enough for pain but lesser than death. It was
a beast and monstrous feeling but it was so powerful. It would take over him one day.

Now, he nuzzles Louis' back, kissing some of the unmarked tanned skin and rubbing his thumb over
the broken skin where his pinches got too harsh.

"Mine." He whispered to himself, tracing the word on Louis' lumbar region where he would one day
engrave it into the flesh without anything other than his bare hands.

Chapter Text

You will know pain. You will see the true face of panic.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Louis wakes up with the most broken of feelings running freely from his shoulders to his ankles, the
latter now conforming to the thrilling ache of worn off painkillers. The only reason his head wasn't
in a pit of misery is because it feels comforted and cradled by a fragranced pillow.

He didn't wish to turn around and put himself under anymore effort-requiring actions. Instead, his
arms conceal his face as he blackens the space around him, just a sliver of light passing through the
gap. Someone blocked his chances of getting up anyway, and it was Harry fast asleep in the curl of
a millipede. His upper body was on Louis' back, a hand spanning out over his hip.

That's not all. Edward, the one making Louis' body surrender to his, was an all encompassing space
heater pressed up to Louis' side. He had one of Louis' hands mixed up with his, held to Louis'
beating heart and their fingers kept warm with the speedy rhythm.

Louis closed his eyes and welcomed more darkness, slipping into a fitful sleep right away. His
energy levels needed replenishing and at the moment the last bar on his reserves was flashing blood
red.

The next time he woke up he could move his legs a little to the side and let them breathe. The
darkness of the room has not lifted one bit and Louis realises that their curtains are excellent shields
against the sunlight so it could be any time of day now.

Sighing, he inspects from a distance the state of his ankle. It's a little more swollen that it should be,
but there pain has subsided and he has a small amount of feeling now. He folds his arms under the
perfect pillow he's occupying, careful not to knock Edward in the face as he does, and hears a
satisfying 'pop' in his back.

He relaxed again down amongst the pool of sheets that had been suspiciously laid out on the floor,
not at all disgraced with himself on how he got here. Harry is holding onto Louis' lower mid-section
for dear life, all Louis can see of him is his head of unruly curls and then some. It's not a painful
kind of tight that he gripped him with, more of a don't-go-away kind of tight.

Louis couldn't reach him when he stretched an arm out behind him, so he shuffled a little closer to
Edward. He couldn't sleep so he decided to examine what he could while the man was asleep.
Extending his hand meant a sharp muscle pull in that limb, but Louis continued anyway.
His body was not going to be ignored, it seems. He was sore and sensitive and everything that
anything to do with it was a delicious drug to him. They've made him greedy for something that
ended like this, and he refused to be guilty about it.

Who would have ever thought his high school's sassiest student would be waking up in bed with
two murderers?

Edward was peaceful when he slept, all calm features and deep breaths. Louis touched the planes of
his bare chest, over the tattoos of quotes in ancient languages and images of forbidden descent. He
felt like a criminal merely touching the upside-down cross or the skull with a top hat and the teeth
of a siren.

When he drifted further upward towards the curve of a jaw that should be banned, Edward's hand
caught his. Louis' heart plummeted. The man opened his eyes like he was never a victim of sleep
after a night of physical exertion - the best kind - and brought Louis' hand to his lips.

"Good morning, petal." He nipped at the underside of Louis' wrist, kissing the warm pulse right
after.

"Hi." Louis had his arm thrown over Edward's shoulder and his body brought closer to him.

Staring into the deepest shade of green that held lies and truth in one glance, Louis minded Harry's
unmoving figure while he leaned towards Edward. His forehead was resting on Edward's and his
other hand was squashed between them, caught in a cage of bodies.

Edward touched him first and it burned like ice. He thumbed gently over Louis' cheekbone,
studying the skin as he did so and feeling like the most powerful man on earth. He could press a
little harder and leave a mark, put something in his hand and he'd shatter a skull.

Yet, he's losing himself to hypnotic blue eyes as they shined through the black atmosphere and spent
that energy worshipping his petal.

Louis said nothing and brought his hand back from Edward's nape, tracing over the jawline that
went on for miles. He grazed over where the infamous Styles dimples would pop, and got his index
bitten harmlessly. His eyes got a little crinkly at the corners when he smiled, going easily when
Edward pulled him forward with a hand on the back of his head.

Their lips connected but something else somewhere hidden was ignited, Louis' useless arm getting
bent over his abdomen as his eyelids slipped closed. Edward didn't remove his hand from the cradle
of Louis' head, afraid of letting go as he concentrated with a frown on this kiss. He'd pull away with
puffy lips and push back against Louis without letting themselves breathe.

Louis whined a low sound and Edward swallowed the pleasure like he didn't need anything but it to
survive. He invaded Louis' mouth with his tongue, tasting what he hadn't last night and leaving his
scent behind. He sucked Louis' tongue into his mouth and didn't care for biting too hard, knowing
the boy's likes already.

His hand moved to Louis' neck and he took a deep breath through his nose, blowing out into Louis'
mouth before pulling away so his petal could breathe.

"I should inform you-" Edward says softly, face unreadable. "-you are never seeing the outside of
this room. I hope you said your farewells, petal."

Louis found it in him to giggle. He pressed his palms over Edward's chest and experimentally
pushed himself away, but the man's strength overpowered his and he was held back.

"Behave, petal." Edward buried his face in Louis' neck and bit a suitable patch of skin that wasn't
already red or purple. "You're never running away from us."

"I'm not that scared." Louis nosed at Edward's jugular. "Will you ever hurt me, Daddy?"

Edward's lips curve downward in troubled concern, then uplifts itself into a smug smirk. "No, petal.
I'll fuck you until some part of your lovely body bends the other way but I'd never hurt you."

Louis knots his fingers in Edward's hair and hides his wild blush urgently, both elbows propped up
on the man's shoulders as he fits himself onto him.

"Petal?" Edward holds on with just as much dedication, if not way more. "How is your ankle,
baby?"

"I think I can walk on it." Louis mumbles, eyes closed. "Downstairs....for food."

Chuckling, Edward pinches Louis' hip near the panties that Louis hasn't noticed yet. He's pretty
oblivious after mind blowing sex and a good rest but before food.

"I hear you, petal. We'll wait for my brother." Edward answers slowly. "He hates waking up alone."
"Everybody does."

Louis still has Harry attached to his middle like a vine and wonders how he can sleep so calmly
when in such a position. He looks over his shoulder and finds that Harry is being roused somehow
but very leisurely. He twitched or grumbled something short, sometimes an indecipherable version
of "Petal".

Something black catches Louis' eye because it's on his body and a wide enough contrast to be
visible. He gasps.

"Wh-Where did those come from?" He can barely see the full thing but they're soft and small on his
body, concealing where necessary and revealing where it must.

"They're all brand new, darlin'." Edward's hand touches the waistline, slipping a finger underneath
and snapping the elastic.

Louis shivered and touched the fabric, wonderful silk, with his own fingers. They were warm from
being on him all this time and could be branded some of the most comfortable undergarments ever.
He halts his investigation and delivers the verdict.

"I'm not wearing them in public." He simply says, stretching his arms out over his head.

Edward could lift his whole body - such a lovely little body - with one hand should he wish. He
grasped Louis' waist and smiled crookedly as he kissed the boy's neck. "You are not leaving the
room, petal."

"Oh sure."

Louis lowered his stiff arms and could lie on his back now with Harry's face in his tummy. One
hand went to flattening some of those mad curly locks while the other stayed jobless. He felt like he
ran a marathon, his body exhausted but mind fully active.

"Yes." Edward growled and vibrations as short as small wave fronts were passed into Louis'
nervous system. He stuck his face in Louis' neck and blew out a warm breath, easily excitable by
the thoughts racing through his head. "You're going to stay in our room, on our bed, wearing
panties. Just panties all fuckin' day."

"I'd get cold." Louis smartly replied. "What would you do then, Daddy?"

"Take off the panties and replace it with me." Edward groaned like the fantasy was enough to rile
him up. "Harry and I will always take care of you, petal."

"Yeah?" Louis was with breathless lungs and flushed red skin already. "You're so possessive,
Daddy."

Edward hums but it cracks and comes across a little less soothing with a deep voice and small
rumble. "You're possessive too, petal. How's your bum?"

Louis scoffs and goes back to massaging Harry's scalp with his fingers. His hair is a little damp on
the inside but it flows so easily onto his shoulder when Louis straightens them out. He winces when
something presses into him, into his hypersensitized walls that were still experiencing aftershocks.

"A-Am I-"

"Yes, petal. That's a plug." Edward doesn't seem much affected when he admits the truth. "If it had
leaked out of you I would have been very disappointed."

Louis' cheeks were bright pink again but he hid the flames in his face well by looking the other way.
"You're always so insecure about these things, petal." Edward brings Louis' face back to his. "I don't
know what for."

"Two weeks ago, I hated you and was terrified of you." Louis sighed as he recounted the past,
holding onto Edward's wrist. "Now I'm here."

"People find pleasure in different things, petal. Even you knew, from the beginning, this would
happen to us." The man's eyes bore into Louis' like unholy stakes.

"I don't regret anything." Louis tells him quietly, chewing the inside of his cheek.

Harry thankfully began to stir more noticeably, and Louis had something new to focus on. He
watched Harry lift his head up drowsily, clearly still partly asleep, and look at him with a storm of
green. Louis gets an extra covering when Harry crawls nearer, bending with his hair forming dark
curtains to block the sight of their kiss.

"Hello, petal." He spoke with a scratchy and extra husky morning voice, lips moulding to Louis'.
This is his home, he's certain of it.

"Hi." Louis smiles up at Harry, a hand on his chest and his legs bent over Harry's knees.

He gets another kiss, deeper and full of a meaning he can't comprehend. Harry kisses Louis' lips like
he's been deprived of any mercy or passion all his life, yet he wakes up to a sinful-looking angel in
his bed.

"Are you sore, petal?" Harry asks, politely scoping out just the area of Louis' ludicrous bum with
both hands.

Louis moans when the touches turn to kneading. He's too weak to do this or have anything done to
him. "Yes, Daddy."

Harry's sound of approval for that answer a prolonged grumble of appreciation. The way Louis'
behind seems to fill out his hands and make him feel unconditionally attached is a real favourite of
his. "Good."

Temporarily freed because Harry pecks his lips and moves away to the side, Louis doesn't think he
can encourage his own body to move more than what the twins make him do. He's utterly fucked
out and in no hurry to recover.

"Breakfast, petal." Edward reminds him as his body commences a shut down routine. "Shower too."
"I can't move." Louis turns to him and murmurs.

Harry is amused on Louis' other side, but he's supportive and wraps himself around Louis' sleepy
form. He'll always take his petal's side if he saw a logical reason, which would be any reason said in
Louis' voice. He kisses Louis behind the ear and says goodnight, despite it being near noon.

* * * * *

Niall knocks on the ancient and immaculately carved door that stood twice - maybe thrice - his
height. He was intimidated by the damn thing but not enough to deter his task and reason for
coming to this stupid place.

"Can I help you?" A middle-aged man with silvery hair answered the door, looking like an authentic
chauffeur. What the Hell is this?

"H-Hi. I'm here to see Louis. Is he here?" Niall folds his hands in his pockets, around the piece of
paper with this property's address on it.

"He is." The chauffeur man dropped his smile. "He's with the Masters. What do you want to see him
for?"

"He's my best friend. I'm Niall, you can uh- tell him that. He'll know who I am." Niall begins to
doubt that he said the right thing.

"Come in." He's welcomed by the stranger and Niall must really be off his rocker because he goes
in. "Wait here."

He nods and watches the butler go in search of his best friend. Good luck to him because this place
is massive enough to get lost in twice over. Why the Hell do the twins live in a place so
lavish?

"Who are you?" A female voice from somewhere above him calls out.

Niall looks up and at the staircase that spread out into two passageways in opposite directs. A girl
stood at the railing with her arms crossed and a frown steadied on her brow as she looked at him.
"Niall." He answers, then swears himself because she won't know a Niall. "Niall Horan."

"What are you doing here?" Her strawberry blonde hair comes into view as she descends the
staircase. Niall thinks she looks familiar.

"I'm here for Louis." He replies quickly, moving back when she stops two feet away from him.
Her mouth turns into a grin from an unimpressed line. "Taking him away, are you? I'll give you a
drink if you do."

Well damn. "No, just came to talk to him."

"Oh." She wets her bottom lip. "What for?"

"That's personal."

She shrugs and walks away to a small table near the cosy sitting room with a freaking
fireplace.
There's an assortment of glass bottles and cups on a silver tray and this young woman
fills one halfway.

"Walls have ears here anyway." She takes a sip on her way back to the staircase. "Don't give up on
taking him away, Niall."

* * * * *

When the knock from Gerard comes through their door, Louis is well on his way to being asleep
again. Edward just having finished his shower, is pulling on appropriate pants for the day while
Harry stuck like glue to their sleeping petal.

Edward goes to answer the door but doesn't open it more than a crack. "Gerard?"

"Master Styles, there is a Niall Horan here to see Louis."

"What for?" Edward brushes through his hair to dry it with his fingers.

"I'm not sure, Sir. He's downstairs in the foyer."

"Thank you." Edward seals the door again and turns around to the mess of their bedroom.

Louis wakes up after the interruption and hears everything, so he sat upright in the sheets with a
wince when he listened to Niall's name. He couldn't let his friend be alone in this house for long,
especially since he doesn't know the reason for his visit.

"Petal?" Harry stays down while Louis gets to his feet.

He wavers a little bit but Edward catches and secures him, waiting for the boy to be completely
okay before letting go. Louis didn't want to move a muscle now that he's standing up, because they
all seem to be locked in place and his behind was prey to a world of tenderness.

"Let's wash up first, petal." Harry chuckles, redirecting Louis' path to the bathroom.

Louis is taken to the en-suite bathroom and made to stand at the counter with both hands braced on
the surface. Harry closes the door and dims the lights so Louis' eyes can adjust without harsh
conditions. He hands Louis a toothbrush with a tube of toothpaste, standing behind him the whole
time Louis brushed just in case.

"Why do you think he's here?" Louis asked, maybe it was to himself, after splashing water on his
face so he's a bit more awake.

Harry simply escapes the world by burrowing a home in Louis' neck again. "Do you have a
hypothesis, petal?"

"It must be serious for him to come all the way here." Louis worries his bottom lip as he considers
this.

Brushing his own teeth while Louis rinsed his mouth, Harry speaks around the object in his mouth.
"Maybe not."

Louis rolls his eyes. He won't admit to his small squeak that comes out when Harry isn't ashamed to
slap his left cheek.

"Harry!" He exclaims when the sting just adds fuel to the burn already present in that zone.

"Shh." Harry grabs his chin and plants a kiss on his lips, some foam getting on Louis' chin.

Pouting, Louis finishes up with the basin and tries to tame what he can of his hair. It's futile after a
while and he gives up, inspecting all the marks presently scattered sporadically on his body. His
chest and abdomen were properly marked up with bites, bruises and most other skin was still red.
He touched a few to check the pain factor but they weren't unreasonable.

"You must be uncomfortable." Harry stepped up behind him, once more blocking him in.

Harry takes the hairbrush off the granite counter and puts the handle in his mouth, while his fingers
work through some of the knots in Louis' hair. The latter male has no choice - he really needs to
stop lying to himself - but to stand there and be groomed.

"Little bit." He admits, trying not to squirm too much with the feeling of dryness between his thighs
when it shouldn't be there.

While Harry combs his hair into some semblance of order, Louis fidgets with cologne bottles. There
are less than half a dozen and it still seems like too much for two people.

"This one smells funny." Louis' nose scrunches up at the heady scent.

Harry gets a whiff too. "It's Edward's. He wears it with another one sometimes."

"That sounds a little weird."

"It actually works." Harry is finally done with the neatening job of Louis' hair. "Let me clean you up
then you go to your friend."

By 'clean you up' Louis didn't expect him to start pulling off his feminine underwear. He jumps out
of Harry's hands when it starts happening, but seems to have forgotten he was boxed in.

"Relax." Harry whispers in his ear and rubs over his hip, their eyes connecting via the mirror.

Louis freezes and let's Harry strip him of his panties, not thinking too much about them while Harry
lifts him onto a cleared space on the counter. He pushes Louis down a little onto his back, spreading
his legs and hoisting them over his shoulders. Louis is pressed all up against him so Harry steps
back to make some space.

"Is it possible that your friend is here to help you move?" Harry wets a face cloth with warm water
and brings it down to where the plug is still fitted.

"N-No." Louis gasps when the cloth makes contact with the skin around his hole.

"Sure?" Harry dabs the skin, frowning at some marks that are redder than they should be and could
possibly be scratches.

Louis is shivering against the granite but his legs are bursting with flames. He squirms and Harry
pinches him somewhere, he whines and Harry kisses his calf. Harry cleans around the plug but
never extracts it. It fills him with great joy to know that Louis will walking around with his brother's
and his seed all day.

However, the come can dry and cause more damage than necessary so he forfeits that joy to pull out
the plug. He sticks it in his mouth like an erotic pacifier and gets a wonderland of taste on his
tongue.

"You look beautiful." Harry tells Louis like a pilgrim to a deity after he sets the plug down. His
finger runs over the bruising and tiny cuts. "You're still open, petal. Fuck."

Louis fears Harry will try something and that fear becomes a reality when the man yanks his body
upward to the sky. His bent knees end up higher on either side of Harry's head, the backs of his
thighs braced against Harry's shoulders. Only his head and shoulderblades were left on the counter,
his hands supporting himself as he's picked up into a slant.

Harry dives right in even if the come was moving North now. He abandons the towel and hungrily
licks, bites and sucks whatever he can. Louis releases a loud moan that dies into a whine, his toes
curling and knuckles whitening. The tongue at his hole gets more desperate to consume him,
fitting itself into him and lapping at every drop of come it can get.

Starting to violently shake with his body thrusting itself towards another orgasm, Louis clenches
around Harry's tongue and sends more come his way. Harry groan is muffled by Louis' thighs, only
his hair visible between the mounds of flesh.

"O-O-Oh!" Louis closed his eyes and bit his lip, clawing at the cold granite as sounds left him. "DDaddy!"

Harry stretched him apart and got another gush of warm come, all that Louis had left in his spent
body. With a heavy length on his tummy, Louis saw his own body prepare to climax unexpectedly.
He crosses his shins behind Harry's head and tossed his head back, elbows dropping and come
leaving him in weak splatters.

Louis is well past awake after that. His legs are lowered and he pants up at the ceiling, eyes wide
and blinking to fast. Harry leans over him and they kiss languidly until Louis needs air to fill his
dying lungs. Then, he lies absolutely still while Harry actually cleans him up.

"Petal?" Harry left for less than a minute and returned with something navy in his right hand, but
other clothing over his shoulder.

"Hmm?" Louis rolls his head to the side.

Harry fits his hands under Louis' body and slowly drags him towards the edge. He kisses Louis'
belly button and unfolds the squashed ball of navy, revealing dark blue panties with no exceptional
designs. Louis' legs are on his shoulders again, the panties sliding up his legs until they're properly
in place.

"Sit up for me, petal?" Harry takes Louis' hand and aids him in the rise.

Louis patiently allows clothes to be put on him. First is a white vest, then Harry's thin black sweater
than showed what skin it could beneath. Black shorts that ended at his knee with a neat fold upward.
"You okay, petal?" Harry roped his arms around Louis' body, tucking him in under his chin.

"Yeah." Louis nods, speaking a little more clearly. His hands found their way to Harry's shoulders
where they settle.

"Did Daddy I make you feel good or bad, petal?" Harry found himself asking, breathing in the scent
of Louis' hair.

"Good." Louis bit his lip just thinking about it. "Good, Daddy."

"Sure?" Harry rubs Louis' back.

Louis nods to tell him that he is sure and is allowed to hop down from the counter. Harry gives him
half the dosage of his painkillers and Louis promises that he's okay to walk around a little bit.
Leaving the room, Louis finds his way down the hallway on plush carpeting until he reaches the
staircase. He sees Niall from there, in the company of Edward who wasn't even speaking to him.
Edward was on his phone two couches away from Niall, looking up only when Louis walked into
the lounge.

There was a small gait in his step but it was manageable with minimal pain. Louis got to hug Niall
the second he appeared, smiling in greeting as he hugged back. "Hey, Ni."

"Petal?" Edward stood up and cut in between them to check on the boy.

"My leg is fine, I promise." Louis tells him, earnest in the truth. He wraps his hand almost all the
way around Edward's wrist, closing his eyes when lips touch his head.

"When I call, I want you to come. You need to eat."

Louis nods his consent and brightens at the thought of food. He's starving, he won't lie about that.
Edward leaves them alone and Niall pulls Louis down onto the couch again with him. "God
dammit, Lou. This place is creepy."

"I thought the same thing when I first came here." Louis laughs, folding his able leg under his body,
keeping the other one at his side.

Niall looks around him like he doesn't trust a damn thing. Louis giggles at his paranoia. In his red
shirt and blue jeans, Niall sits back but still looks uneasy.

"What's wrong, Niall?" Louis is worried for his friend, as he always is. How could something
bother Niall so much that he had to drive here to see Louis?

Leaning forward again, Niall prepares to tell his story. "I met Liam's detective friend."

"He's okay?"

"Yeah, he's okay." Niall judges Louis' reaction to this before going on. "He flirted with me when
Liam left the room."

Louis' attention is all on him, not knowing to be angry or be utterly shocked at the audacity.

"I slapped the friend, Zayn is his name." Niall clears his throat, that worried look returning to his
features. "He-He said that Liam and he have shared before. Shared, Lou. What the fuck?"
Going for scandalised, Louis closes his mouth after it falls open a little bit. "Idiot. What did Liam
do?"

"That's why I'm here." Niall leans closer with his arm on the back of the couch. "Liam isn't all that
opposed to the bloody idea."

"What?" Louis is positively annoyed with Liam. His best friend is not a doll to be shared. "Did you
leave him? I would-"

"No, no. Hang on." Niall waves his hand to dismiss that option. "I...I took the time to think about
something like this and you were the first person I thought of."

"Oh."

Louis lowers his supportive and outraged vision back down to the overlapping of his fingers on his
shorts. He knows why Niall thought of him first and he also realises that he's not offended because
he'd also turn to him if the situation was reversed.

"So am I your guru now?" Louis tries teasing, finding a nice enough position for his hiney to not
suffer.

"You're my guru, Lou." Niall nods, laughing as he does so. "I just....what's it like, I guess?"

"Niall." Louis suppresses his smile. "This is not an audition for a house musical. It's a lifestyle but it
doesn't define you. Don't be afraid of what people will think."

"But-"

"Petal." Edward interrupts them from the entry way of the living room, his phone in his hand and
gum in his mouth. "Breakfast. Now."

"Coming." Louis motions for Niall to join him as he wakes up off the couch.

Harry comes jogging down the steps two at a time and with such lean legs he has no issue. He's also
whistling a tune that sounds too much like the Freddy Kruger lullaby.

Three, Four. Better lock your door.

The air thickens as does the intake of oxygen Louis breathes with everyone else in the room. He
locks eyes with Harry and the latter throws him a wink just because. It would have unnerved him
once upon a time, but now he's caught rendering Harry's cunning little smirk by crossing his legs.

Five, six. Grab your crucifix.

That's not all there is to Harry's arrival of course, because he's wearing nothing besides Nike navy
sweatpants. He's also twirling what looks like a blade of sorts in his right hand. The navy colour
makes Louis sweat ironically, particularly around the hip region. The knife doesn't bring much of a
response.

Seven, eight. Gonna stay up late.

Ignoring the presence of his older brother and Louis' curious best friend with eyes at the back of his
head when inside this head, Harry heads straight for his petal. It's almost like he didn't just see
him
not ten minutes ago upstairs where they did things they shouldn't on a bathroom counter
top.

Nine, ten. Never sleep again.

Harry ends the tune as soon as he's as close to Louis as can be. He's a foot taller and staring down at
the boy who peered up at him with a kind of goading.

Niall watched when Harry bent down and captured Louis' lips in a kiss too gentle to be right. The
knife he held was a safe distance away, behind Harry's back when he dipped low enough.
There's a bubble that drew itself around them at moments like these, but it didn't feel like a whole
lot of intimacy more than it felt like a gilded cage. Harry also mumbles a short greeting against
Louis' cheek before pulling away.

"What?" Louis doesn't look too happy when he's allowed to pull away, his eyebrows knitting
together.

Niall takes this as his cue to step backwards twice so nothing flies in his direction. He watches in
fascination as hushed whispers break out between Harry and Louis, Edward standing to himself.

"Petal." Harry doesn't hold too tight when he grabs both sides of Louis' face. "We have to."

Niall would combust if it was him in Louis' role. The blade from earlier was inches from Louis' eye
but it didn't even strike the boy as a danger. It should, but it did not.

"No." Louis won't try and fail in pushing those hands away. "You can't just go pack my things and
bring it here, Harry."

"You're going to be staying here." Edward now intervenes on call, speaking soft and kindly to
Louis. "Would you like to wear our clothes at all times then?"

Louis gets himself freed by force. "Do not bring my things here."

"You don't want to go back there, Lou." Harry snaps the knife closed and shoves it in his pocket.

"That doesn't matter." He crosses his arms over his narrow chest. "You didn't even ask me, neither
of you did."

Edward sighs, raking his paw-like hand with talons and all through his head of hair. "Darlin',
whether you said yes or no today would be happening."

"Really?" Louis looks more upset by this now than angered by it.

"You know we do it for you." Edward reels him into his bear arms, protecting Louis from the world.

"You know that, don't you?"

Niall thinks this is too intense for him. But then again, not every set of boyfriends will be bat-shit
crazy.

"Fine." Louis surrenders, getting two kisses right on the mouth. Well there's a pro. "Just my clothes,
okay?"

That dilemma is put past them after the discussion, Harry departing through the front door with car
keys in his hand. Edward apparently doesn't plan on going because someone has to be with Louis at
all times, for whatever reason they're using to justify their disliking for Niall.

"Go have breakfast." Edward sends Louis off in the direction of the kitchen. "I'll be in the lounge
when you're done."

Louis gives him a farewell kiss on the jaw. He at last turns to Niall wearing a guilty
expression with a tiny shrug.

"I think I'm gonna go for the extreme-" Niall walks behind Louis to the most beautiful kitchen he's
ever laid eyes on. "-and become asexual."

Laughing in a quick burst, Louis goes to the stove with two plates. He puts eggs, salted hash browns
and chicken fillets onto their plates before taking them back around to Niall.

"Don't be so dramatic." Louis slides into a chair at the slowest possible rate, taking his time on his
unforgiving posterior. "Besides, something like this isn't an option on some kind of poll. It's not like
getting advice on how to wear a bow instead of a tie."

"I get your point." Niall chews and swallows. "What do I do about it?"

"Are you even open to 'it'?"

"Possibly." Niall avoids Louis smug little smile. "Stop that."

Rolling his eyes, Louis goes back to his food. "Try. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, you tried."

"Really?"

"Really. It's honestly not that different to seeing one person."

"That's a lie, Lou."

"Yeah it is. It's very different. A good different though, I promise. What's Liam's friend like?"

Niall finds himself ready to gush like a teenager at a concert's after party. "He's so evil with all these
good looks. He's Indian-ish but it's kinda hard to tell. Same ranking on the job as Liam. He almost
threw pudding away. I hate him so much honestly."

"Well-" Louis isn't fazed by his friend's outburst. "-if you're attracted to him and Liam's okay with
it, where's the harm?"

"I've never done this before, Lou. Help me."

"Ni, my circumstances are nothing like yours. There's no game plan for a relationship."

"I mean like-" Niall scrapes the last bit of egg off his plate. "-what if one of 'em starts asking for
more time and shit?"

"Then this kind of relationship isn't for them. Break it off with them and you're back to where you
started."

Niall passes food down his oesophagus as he processes this, hearing ever little word. "What's it
like? Fair enough our circumstances aren't the same but still."

Louis clears his throat and uncaps a bottle of water from the centre of the kitchen island. "It's really
sweet sometimes, tough at other times. I haven't....done this for very long, Ni."

"No, I know. I just have nowhere else to really.....check?"

Offering his water to Niall, Louis loses half the volume to his pal of two plus years. "I'm not lying
then. There's nothing more endearing, for me, than having both sides covered when you're sleeping
or...or even dancing, I guess."

"You three have danced?"

Louis' shoulders rise and fall. "Yeah."

"What else have you three done together?"

There's no hiding his blush. Niall sees it and laughs but not in his usual mocking manner. "Here I
was, thinking my best friend was so very innocent."

"Hey!" Louis snatches his water bottle back as revenge for that remark. "You can't be mean to a
guru."

"But seriously-" Niall's cackling only stops after his eyes water up and need wiping. "-since when
have you become so comfortable around them?"

Louis looked down at his empty plate and answered in a voice that hopefully told of his reluctance
to discuss this. "Since they saved me."

"From what?" Niall drops his fork accidentally, picking it up and casually asking.

"Doesn't matter." Louis shakes his head, drowning the memories from that night with his mother as
fast as he can.

"No, Lou." Niall sighs tiredly. "Please tell me."

Shaking his head more firmly now, Louis stands up and prevents a stumble by swiftly walking to
the sink. His limp is back but it's so slight and hardly hurts.

"Lou-"

"Stop, Ni. I don't want to talk about it." Louis knows Niall's just trying to release what he's bottled
up emotionally, but....just not this.

"You have to, Louis. You're-" Niall's voice was making Louis grip the counter tighter and tighter,
bloody imagery flooding his mind once again. "-hurting yourself."

He wasn't. Louis knows he isn't. Staying here, away from that place where he watched his
mother die
is not hurting himself. He's protecting himself and the twins are helping him do it.
His head starts to throb at the temples where the weakest spots in the human skull were, and he feels
sick.

"Thanks for coming, Ni." He takes deep breaths to lessen the attack on his body. "I um-"

Louis chews viciously on his bottom lip when a fresh wave of Hell comes up from his gut, tear
ducts swelling up and he doesn't know why. Except he does know why. He's not ready to handle the
trauma and physical distress that comes with PTSD and every opportunity it got, the symptoms
would throw themselves at him.

He can see it all again and closing his eyes doesn't help. It just gets brighter and clearer. Opening his
eyes, his vision is blurry and it's not because of tears. By Niall's head across the island from him he
can see a burly Russian and he's got blood splatters across hisLouis' crumbling to the ground before he can catch himself, as if hit by the deceased Russian. He
scrambles for the bin as Niall rushes to him, bringing the empty desirable closer so Louis has
somewhere to throw up. He brings up everything he ate and dry heaves with a painful bitter taste
hibernating at the back of his throat.

"Louis!" Niall supports him because Louis feels like dead weight. "Oh God, come on Lou."

"E-Ed-Edward." Louis stammers, body riddled with shivers even if it's humid outside.

"Yeah, okay." Niall helps Louis to his feet after he's certain the nausea has passed, taking all of
Louis' weight to be his responsibility.

He tries to make Louis drink but the effort is wasted, so he just half-drags and half-carries Louis to
the living room. It's thankfully a very short trip and Edward is already making his way out with a
peeved look for Niall.

Edward takes in Louis' appearance and forgets that for the moment, lifting him up into his arms
with his heart sinking down to the graves beneath this house. He doesn't let Niall near Louis, the
latter's head already falling back lifelessly as energy leaves him.

"Fuck, petal." Edward walks into the lounge and situates Louis on his lap when he sits, propping the
boy up against his chest.

But it's not just that. It isn't.

Because while he whispers in Louis' ear, he's encouraging him to stay awake and listen. While he
forces him to drink, he's nourishing the boy's drained body with what little it will accept. When he
rubs Louis' back, he's comforting him in such an affectionate way. He kisses Louis' sweaty forehead
like he's still willing to only love this one creature of Earth, and that speaks for itself.

Louis starts to shake his head with a hand covering his mouth, choking on the water that hasn't
made it down his throat. It's an obvious sign that he's going to need that bin again but before Niall
can grab it, Edward's gets a steel version from under the coffee table and holds it for Louis to heave
into.

The assaults on Louis' small body find themselves to be so violent that it lands him on the floor,
clutching the bin with both hands. Edward goes with him of course, keeping Louis as clean as can
be with his arms always around his waist.

It ends finally when Louis' stomach stops cruelly tossing itself up on him, and he's left tired with
sweaty and red skin. Louis has his eyes half closed and his body sandwiched between Edward's legs
that guard him. Edward's using his sleeve to wipe off the perspiration, a crushed feeling surfacing in
the pit of his stomach when he sees Louis like this.

Niall hears bits and pieces of Edward's words to Louis, petnames and gentle motivation, and he can
finally understand how they managed to save Louis.

Chapter Text

All I know at the end of the day is you love love. There ain't no other way.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Duckling?" Liam stood up from the hotel room floor as soon as he heard the click of an electronic
lock.

Niall looks bummed out and exhausted, having just come back from Styles manor with the
conclusion that he's a worse friend than Harry and Edward Styles. The blasphemy was
uncouth and it made him feel inadequate, drowning in self-pity.

"Love, I'm so sorry." Liam takes the jacket over Niall's shoulder and the car keys, tossing them

away so he can cradle the boy's face in both his hands. "I shouldn't have thrown something like that
on you."

Starting to shake his head, Niall realises that such a movement would be futile due to the strength of
the man standing taller than him at the moment. He braces his own hands over Liam's and smiles
tiredly.

"It's fine. I'm fine." He insists, authentically drained more for the reason of his own stupidity than
how idiotic he let Edward make him feel.

"What happened?" Liam pulls Niall into his arms, placing his chin on the darkening blond tint of
hair. "Where did you go, Ni?"

"To see Lou." Comes Niall's muffled response against Liam's chest. "I fucked up, Liam."

"What? How, Duckling?" He leads Niall towards the nearest bed that was one of two, sitting down
and pulling Niall onto his lap.

Niall doesn't seem fit to talk about it with Liam. Nobody wants to bring themselves down in the
eyes of someone else by speaking a blunt truth. What would Liam think of him if he learned that
Louis had a panic attack but only Edward Styles could pacify him?

"Not now then." Liam brushes aside some of Niall's nasty knots out with his fingers. He kisses
Niall's nose. "Later, okay?"

"No." Niall whines and hides from the dull sunlight. "Never."

Liam chuckles to himself, knowing that he'd get it out of Niall sooner or later. The blond lad was
terrible at containing himself, whilst Louis could go on hiding the truth forever.

* * * * *

Louis had been forced into isolation so he could think about everything that was going on his head.
Edward had a difficult time admitting it when his petal only complained that there was too much, it
was too loud and too scary in his own head.

"No, Edward. I don't want to be alone." Louis was taken to the guest room in Edward's arms
because he didn't want to walk.

"You must, petal." Edward stood at the bed but Louis didn't climb off him. "You refuse to talk about
it and I can only help with this."

Louis found himself dropped onto the bouncy mattress, the micro-fibres fitting around his weight.
He was overwhelmed and maybe time alone would help but it could also do more damage, so he
scrambled off the bed when Edward started to leave.

"Don't." Edward's voice boomed through his eardrums and Louis froze, looking distraught.

"Stay with me." His voice shook. He even reached out slowly, the loss of energy causing his hand to
shiver. "Pl-Please."

Edward stepped closer and gave Louis hope, emerald green turning shaky blue into ash. He slapped
Louis' hand away and when the boy choked on something as dreadful as a sob, Edward grabbed
both sides of his face.

"Hush." He pressed his lips fervently to Louis' forehead, their height difference making it easy.

Louis' hands, smaller and weaker, gripped Edward's shirt with all the begging and pleas showing
through the act. His desperation made his back arch when Edward grazed over it with his
comforting hand. He felt safer here, warmer and less like an explosive. Being this reassured by
Edward's presence, Louis allowed himself to be calm.

"Four hours, petal." Were the torturous words, slicing right through the bubble of happiness Louis
created.

He looked up into those crystal clear eyes depicting a storm behind them, and knows that it's not the
easiest for either of them. Edward's still leaving him and that's unforgivable.

"No." Louis wraps his arms around the man's waist, hurting his ear against tough muscle.

Edward displayed a show of weakness too. He sighed, closing his eyes briefly to kiss Louis' head
and hold him back. He's just as tight in his embrace, having more physical strength he all but
burrows the boy into his chest.

"Stay here, petal." Edward pains himself when he withdraws, picking Louis' hands off him.

Louis looks crestfallen when his arms fall at his sides. He stares at Edward silently, every word still
reaching the man with how raw his gaze becomes.

"Take this." Edward pulls out a cellphone that isn't his from his pocket and presses it into Louis'
hand.

Louis is angered when he looks at the device with a glossy black screen. He's being treated so
callously.

Edward walks out immediately after that, not looking back even when he feels free but cold in the
hallway and closes the door. If he did, he'd have gone right back and made a home beside their
petal. Louis glared at the door as it shut on him, releasing a scream of agony even though there was
no pain. He flung the phone at the door and listened to it bang into oak wood, before falling and
shattering. It was expensive and now it felt as broken as Louis did.

Hearing the scream had Edward touching the doorknob again but the sudden slam of something
against that barrier had him growling. A strange feeling of longing and another thing welled
in his chest, causing a backlash that was him colliding his fist into the door. It almost sprained his
wrist but he didn't care. He didn't mourn the phone when he withdrew his knuckles and they were
bloody, red slivers left as evidence on the white paint.

What were they doing to each other?

He had to leave. He should turn on his heel and go downstairs so he could put distance between
them. His nostrils were flaring and his head hurt like a connection had been severed.

Fuck it.

And just like the promise to never touch Louis made a lifetime ago, Edward felt himself blatantly
disregarding the nag of logic and rationale. There was no rationale when Louis was regarded, just
Louis.

Throwing open the door, Edward stalked up to Louis without closing it again. Louis hadn't moved
and he was thoroughly surprised to see Edward again, beautiful sniffles coming out from that
perfect mouth. Edward ruined it when their lips crashed together and he held Louis like he held onto
salvation.

His fingers made red lines on Louis' cheeks and neck, their kiss sloppy and desperate. Louis
mewled and granted Edward access to everything, wanting to be allowed to forget. It's not
healthy but he doesn't care, doesn't bring himself to stop when he's hoisted onto the bed and his
clothes yanked off.

Piece by piece their attire disappears, leaving them bare and surrendering to one another. Louis
gasped and curved his back off the bed when Edward dipped his tongue into his belly button, teeth
gripping the flesh. When he kissed any part of Louis it was like a feeding frenzy with bites and
sucks so harsh, so wonderful.

"Take me apart, Daddy." He held his legs open and Edward spat on his hole, eyes feral as he dove
in.

Edward's chest rumbled and Louis felt it everywhere. He flipped Louis onto his front without
delicacy and slapped his left bum cheek. "Mine."

"Yes." Louis tried pushing himself up, needing air but not wanting it.

Edward slapped him again, his lips working Louis open in cooperation with his tongue. He didn't
stop, didn't give in to reason. He kept hitting Louis where he thought would be beautiful with a little
more pink, open-palmed and not particular.

"Yes." Louis threw his head back when Edward gripped his hair unkindly, snapping his head
back sharply.

"I'll make you forget, petal." Edward kicked Louis' legs apart and worked his length to full
hardness.

He positioned himself and slammed into Louis' body, not a proper stretching leaving the boy to
shriek and tears to spill over his face. It was the best feeling, ecstasy in its purest form racing like
demons through his veins. Edward started thrusting immediately, grunting as he bit Louis' shoulder
and fucked feverishly.

A train of 'daddydaddydaddy' was leaving Louis' lips, his body trying to run from this burn and
brutality but his head needing it. He pushed back with a tender arse brushing Edward's thighs, the
heavy length inside him filling him to the brink.

Edward pressed him down into the mattress with a hard hand, Louis' head just managing to turn to
the side so he could breathe. The head of Edward's c*ck was pounding barbarically into Louis'
prostate, making it swell and throb and blood raced to the boy's erection. He loved the pain and
hated that it would end soon.

"Gonna fucking ruin you." Edward cursed filthily in his ear, his hands holding Louis' bum in
the air as he rammed into it.

Each thrust was like a bullet, causing damage that would make him sore forever. Louis felt
shattered, Edward fucking the stress out of him in broken scatters. He screeched and fisted the
sheets, his body convulsing as he came. Edward's hips were beating against him, stinging like the
tears in his eyes. A short jerk later and Louis felt the warmth of come shooting into him.
He wasn't finished. He wanted to forget and there was too much detail concerning the
nightmare he was escaping.

"Wanna ride you, Daddy." He panted, hips still in the air with Edward pressed along the length of
his body.

Edward nosed at his hairline and he latched his teeth onto Louis' skin at the base of his throat. He
could feel the blood in his arteries and he fed off the life it seemed to have. His teeth felt the
pulsating motions and his tongue lapped at the sweat that was gathering on Louis' body.

* * * * *

"Come here." Edward beckoned Louis to the other side of the room, something black creeping up
his arm in a spiral.

He was on edge with a new, fresh kind of wildfire ablaze in the harbour of his testosterone. Edward
was not pleased when he saw Louis stand up.

"Crawl." His voice was commanding and crisp with the threat of punishment.

Louis swallowed, tasting blood as he did so. Excitement bubbled to the surface of his libido, getting
on all fours obediently but gingerly and making his way forward. His thighs were wet with come
leaking out, every thought of worrying over the faulty state of mind he was in slipping out.

"Answer me!" Edward barked.

"Yes, Daddy." Louis couldn't look up if he wanted to because of his neck craning, so he bowed his
head in submission.

"Look up." Edward made him see the jet black leather object coiled around his arm like a snake.

It was a pricey-looking whip with a handle thicker than door knob. Louis liked it because it wasn't
an actual whip that would leave awful marks under his skin. He got to brush it with his fingers,
marvel at its smooth texture and blush when he met Edward's hooded gaze.

"On your front. Hands behind your back." Edward commands and Louis does so, his chest landing
on the soft carpet with an 'oof'.

Louis' knees were knocked apart and cold air blew like a breeze over his exposed hole, swallowing
his moan at how chilly it felt. Edward tied his hands with the whip curled around his wrists half a
dozen times, the leather driving heat in and out of Louis' body in flushes. The inability to move was
making Louis squirm with want, wanting it for so many reasons.

"Do you know what you do to me?" Edward spoke gruffly in his ear, warm breath fanning over his
cheek. "Because I fucking don't."

Louis opened his mouth and over it closed Edward's. They kissed with untidy movements and
unimpressive noises.

"Open wider." Edward said before sticking the handle of the whip in Louis' mouth.

He gagged on it when it pushed too deep, sputtering but not giving it up. He needed this, so he
welcomed the taste of plastic and leather, the metallic feel dancing on his tastebuds. His lips pursed
around the width, sucking loudly with hollowed cheeks.

"You're such a slut, petal." Edward sounded huskier, more worked up.

His nails, sharp as nails and his teeth, dragged down Louis' back without relenting on the merciless
pressure. Louis arched into it with desperate little noises coming out around the whip's handle. It
stretched his mouth so well it made Louis fanatical.

Edward's middle fingernail didn't stop like the rest did when Louis' back - an object in itself of sin.
It continued, scratching down a vicious line between his cheeks on his perineum, satisfying the itch
deep in the pit of Louis' abdomen. The boy breathed raggedly and loudly, whining so tragically as
his shaft prepared to come. He came across the floor with such a hard front that he was thankful he
didn't black out.

"You must be sensitive now." Edward extricated the handle from between Louis' slackened jaw.

He doesn't allow for Louis to answer, because he closes in on Louis' clenching rim with the
generous girth of the whip handle. It's widest at the tip and Louis jerks his head up, eyes wide and
heart racing as it slowly pops in. His hands pull him back as the other end of the whip disappears
inside him, drawing him into a perfect C for his back.

"D-Daddy!" He cries out, the handle being too big for his sensitive walls to grasp.

Edward sinks his teeth into Louis' cheek right beside where the handle vanishes. He watches it
make Louis' puffy muscle flutter and his skin blush. He's been enraptured completely by this boy
with a rare personality and lay on his floor with his belongings on and in him.

The handle goes too deep and not deep enough. It pushes past the folds of his walls to jab evilly,
relentlessly at his abused special spot that's swollen into a zone. The tissue is red and exerted, torn
and taken apart so thoroughly.

"Shh." Edward kneeled over him, his own length hard once again. "Learn to enjoy it."

Louis thinks he already loves it. It's so ideal for turning his brain to pudding at a time when it's
muddled with problems. Niall. His father. His deceased mother. The Russian. They're all gone to be
locked up somewhere else. Here Edward claims the victory of his conquest.

He's about to come again, surely promising a monstrous break from all this. Louis awaits it eagerly,
clenching and twisting in his restraints. He breathes heavily and curls his body up, feeling breakable
at the edge of a cliff where he controlled nothing.

Except someone new walks into the manor and follows the sounds of such blatant pleasure that it
brings him to their opened door. It really shouldn't be open.

At first Harry doesn't see them because they're on the floor on the other side of the bed, but when
Louis shrieks like he's being captured he rushes inside to flip on the light.

"What the fuck?" Harry does not waste a moment glaring and anticipating.

He crouches by Louis' face head and wipes the sweat off his brow. There's a glassy look in his blue
gems, staring at Harry but through him at the same time. Edward doesn't have a thing to say while
Harry releases Louis' trembling body, covering him with a sheet from the bed.

"Oh petal." Harry holds Louis like a baby in his arms, bent over his elbows as he steps away from
the mess on the floor.

Louis is inside his head but it also doesn't feel like his mind. It's empty and slowly filling up
like a hot with images of Harry, whose face is before him now. He wants to touch him but doesn't
know how. All he knows is that he's exhausted beyond a healthy measure. Hungry too.

His tummy hurts with pangs of hunger. He has to feed it which meant feeding himself, but the giant
who held him up so high and close won't let him down.

"You promised not to fucking use that damn thing on him!" Harry is shouting and Louis doesn't
understand why. What thing?

"Well fuck, I forgot!" Now Edward's yelling too.

Louis can't keep his eyes open any longer. He hides himself in the giant's neck and tries to fall
asleep.

"Forgot?!" Harry raises his voice several octaves, letting Louis nuzzle his neckline. "You
don't fuckin' forget things like that!"

Edward felt miserable inside. He felt miserable everywhere really. It was ghastly how terribly he
wanted to slice his own throat. His lovely petal, as much as he wanted it, should never have been
made to do all that.

"Don't fucking touch him." Harry was a seething lunatic now. Nobody would touch Louis
for as long as he was like that. "How could you be so brutal? He's going to hate us."

He won't. He wanted what Edward did to him, but that does shit for making anyone feel better.
Louis is asleep finally with his body dirtied with bodily fluids and dust. It's despicable but
God is he magnificent.

"Bathe him." Edward swallows around the massive lump in his throat, his eyes fixed on a beauty
he'll not touch. "Feed him when he wakes up."

Harry frowns deeply, worry lines on his forehead as to Edward's change in tone. "Where are you
going?"

Edward leaves room without anymore words, his body boiling with self hatred. He goes first to their
bedroom to get clothing, slipping on what he finds darkest. There's a pit in his lowest depths that
hasn't come about since Louis did, but it needs reimbursing after being dormant for too long now.
He pulls on jeans and a navy satin shirt, leaving it undone from the last two buttons upward.

Grabbing the first set of keys he finds in a pile of junk at a corner desk, he ignores his reflection and
storms out of the room. The door creaks with the energy that buzzes around him, too loud to let
Harry's voice carry through.

"Chef Robinson." Upon entering the kitchen he found their employee chopping up something that
was resembling an eggplant.

Edward watched him look up and smile, hating on himself a little less even if he was ruining dinner.

"I apologise." Is all he said before he swung out his right arm and the key he particularly chose from
the ring of about three cut through skin, flesh and jugular.

The eggplant was ruined and so was every other chopped vegetable on the counter. Blood sprayed
on the first impact onto Edward's shirt and face, landing on his lips before he licked them. His key
dripped warm crimson onto the white tile flooring, his hand feeling a familiar kind of warmth that
sex couldn't bring him.

Blood hit the frying skillet on the stove and sizzled before splashing back out again. With the
crumble of Chef Robinson's body to the ground, disgusting choking noises filled the air above their
heads. Lungs filled with blood and not oxygen, clogging them up into drenched sponges until it died
from drowning in what supplied it with a purpose. It was sinister and ironic.

"You're safe, Gerard." Edward wiped his mouth, smearing the red stain across his cheek.
The butler walked in completely composed and set his tray down. He's seen this before, and he's
unaffected besides for the sliver of a chance that he could be next.

"Clean it up." Edward motioned to his mess, a new stature and attitude over-ruling him from before.
"Find someone to replace him. Clean the guest room yourself. I made quite a mess."

* * * * *

"You're awake, petal?" Harry is speaking gently into Louis' ear, keeping the boy bundled up and
warm. "Can you have a bath now, Darlin'?"

So many nice words are used on him. Why can't Louis do the same for him? "Daddy."

Harry is pleased by the endearing term. He grins, craters in his cheeks where his magical dimples
are. "Hello, petal. We can take a bath together, okay? I need to clean you up."

He's a bit concerned about Louis' subspace since it was so sudden a drop. He isn't experienced in
the field either so he's going minute-by-minute here trying to bring Louis back.

Louis nods to give his consent, eyes uncharacteristically half-lidded and short nails pawing at his
chest. Fingerbuds are rubbing Harry's chest, where his boy was making himself as small as possible.
"Come on." Harry slides off the organised sheets. "Up, petal."

Up? Louis frowns and looks at the ceiling. Harry chuckles, obviously amused, but Louis doesn't
know why. He gets the sheets stripped from around him and knows he doesn't have to hide from this
specific giant. Harry kisses Louis' tummy where the precious pudge sat stained with sweat and
sticky come.

Harry lifts him up off the bed and carries him to the bathroom. The tub is cold when Louis is placed
on one end, the tap coming on and water filling up. Louis draws his knees up to his chest, keeping
himself warm and looking up at Harry.

"I will be right back."

Harry kiss his forehead and leaves him alone to watch the water level rise and rise.....

"Knock knock." Louis hears someone say from the door.

He doesn't know how long he's been watching the water but he's warm enough now and isn't exactly
sure how to make it stop flowing.

Gemma stood at the door with both hands in view, a smile on her face. "You look dead, Louis
Tomlinson. Are you okay?"

Louis nods and turns back to the water, worrying about it rising too high.

"Here." Gemma leans over the lip of the tub and switches off the tap for him. "You're welcome."

Louis smiles. "Thank y-you."

"So-" She sits precariously on the edge of the tub. "-what's up, Lou?"

Shrugging his shoulders, Louis watches the water's surface ripple from his movement. How cool.
Gemma shakes her head at this fellow's childish responses to everything. Whether he was being
purposely stubborn or just is a little unbalanced as well, she's not entirely sure.

"You know something, Louis?" She fidgets a bit because her seat is uncomfortable.

Louis looks up at her expectantly, silently as he wishes for bubbles. Bubbles are cool too, aren't
they?

"My brothers are.....big fans of arbitrary." She exhales a loud breath, puffing out her cheeks. "You
know what arbitrary means?"

He nods. He's sure he's seen that name on a harbour somewhere before.

"It means-" She explains because she just doesn't trust that look in his eye. "-that they make
decisions without factual basis. You were one of those decisions."

Louis stops creating waves to watch the ripple effect visually and frowns at her, not understanding.

"You're a decision, Louis." She emphasises. "A decision they made because they were
getting out and needed a....means of occupation."

He's slowly getting what she means and it's a very deadly definition that he does not appreciate.
"So-" She claps her hands on her thighs. "-now that I'm here, they won't be needing you."

Louis starts to wish the tub was a little wider so he could shift away from her and the intentions that
hide in those bleak eyes.

"I mean there's the sex. I can't give them that but they'll figure it out." She supposes, reaching for
her back pocket.

Gasping when the object from the sheath of her pocket is revealed, Louis makes to get out of the tub
as quick as possible. He's weakened, however, by lack of food nutrition and hydrating agents so he
slips and ends up sloshing the water right out of the tub.

"Oh relax, I'm not going to kill you with it." She says about the carving blade in her hand, twisting
it in her palm.

Then why did she need it?

"I'm just gonna reduce my brothers' interest in you to a degree I'm happy with."

Before he can react, her hand plunges into the transparent water that remains and grabs him where
he's most sensitive. He screams when her cold hand wraps around his soft length, gripping it tightly
with her nails even poking into the skin. His resistance is futile. Her other hand meets the first,
armed with the carving blade.

She slices right through him and the pain is unbearable. He cries out from the cruel pain and
blood starts to take over the water's clear shade. The burn of hot water cleaning raw flesh, his blood
draining out where his private appendage used to be.

The water turns red and he's shrieking with a forceful amount of excruciating throbbing. His tears
flow into the bath water and also turn crimson, red like Gemma's lipstick.

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"You're awake, petal?" Harry is speaking gently into Louis' ear, keeping the boy bundled up and
warm. "Can you have a bath now, Darlin'?"

Louis had bolted awake with such a stricken sense of self awareness that he kicked the cocoon of
sheets away in an angry tumble. His throat caught him mid-scream and he started to fuss with the
sheets when they didn't budge. His crotch area was hurting and he remembers what Gemma did. He
wants to see it, wants to make sure.

"Petal?" Harry lay back, confused but not interrupting, as Louis battled the bedding.

The look his boy gave him was a sad, hurt one. He sat up then and stilled Louis with a simple kiss
that kept him stagnant while he untwined the sheets. Louis had gotten them in more of a knot and
tangle than what it was before.

Louis' first act of freedom is to surprise the fuck out of Harry and touch his limp penis during an
inspection. He thinks it's really there so he relaxes and situates himself in Harry's lap on purpose,
not accepting any excuses when he wraps himself around the man.

"What was that, petal?" Harry never thought he could stupefied in his life. His petal proved him
wrong.

Hiding his face, Louis begins the trying duty of unbuttoning Harry's shirt that could fall as a blouse
too. Harry let's him of course, peppering innocent kisses all over Louis' blushing face whenever the
boy looked up at him.

"Sweet petal." Harry lifted Louis' face with his chin and kissed his nose. "What will you do to me?"

Breaking into laughter when he discovers why Louis wanted his shirt open, Harry unintentionally
makes Louis feel silly about what he was doing. After the last button had popped, Louis made it
obvious that he wanted to share the warmth of Harry's skin so he opened the halves and cuddled up
against him. He tried closing the shirt around him but the task was unachievable.

"Oh sweetheart." Harry takes Louis by both his wrists and pulls him back onto his thighs. "You can
do anything you want with me, petal."

Louis brightens like a ray of sunlight when Harry's the one to hold him close and wrap him up
under his shirt. It still doesn't button up but this is progress anyway.

"Why were you so scared, petal?" Harry can feel the trembling on Louis' body even now, the
aftermath of a frightening dream.

"B-Bad dream." Louis manages to say, looking over Harry's shoulder and out the window into the
backyard.

"What happened in your bad dream?"

After his tremors hit a boiling point because of Harry's question, they settle and Louis' teeth no
longer chatter. The boy hugs Harry around the neck and reassures himself that he's safe now.

"Wanna cuddle." He tells Harry, doe-eyed and honestly hoping that the man will adhere to his
request.

Harry gives him a tight squeeze around his shoulders and Louis almost doesn't let his awful dream
bother him anymore. It's still there though, the last lingering hanger in a coat closet down a hallway
nobody will venture. The squeeze ends eventually and Louis wishes he was a feline so he could
purr, blocked from anyone ever seeing him in the castle of Harry's big biceps.

"After a bath, okay?" Harry smacks a wet kiss on Louis' neck. "We have to make sure you're clean
and warm, petal."

Louis can put up with that he supposes. He nods when Harry asks again to make sure he's okay with
it. Louis appreciates the task of asking, and does not hesitate to lock arms around Harry's head when
he's hoisted into the air. It's like a rollercoaster sometimes, and other times it was a little less fun.

"I remember having bubble baths as a child." Harry tells him in a drawl that captivates Louis'
attention. "Right up until I was an adolescent."

When Harry doesn't go on to tell him why, Louis huffs quietly and tugs on a curly lock. Harry's
chest rumbles as he either hates it or is passionately fond of the deed.

He's in the adjacent bathroom when Louis starts to freak out. Upon seeing the tub, he wiggles and
gets himself out of Harry's arms. He won't go in that tub ever. Harry tries to grab him but
Louis' graceful enough to dodge any attempts at catching him.

"Petal!" Harry races after Louis' retreating form like he's chasing his heart with ten seconds to
capture it.

For someone of Louis' build, the boy is fast and easily evasive. He's a clever little minx, avoiding
Harry at every chance. Louis reaches the top of the stairs and before his first step downward Harry
encircles his waist, heaving him up off the ground. Louis doesn't like that he's been caught and
pushes down on Harry's forearms, scratching fruitlessly and his eyes tearing up.

"What was that, petal?" Harry's emeralds are blown wide with his recent sprinting.

He places Louis firmly on the ground but that's not near as enough as what's needed for the boy to
stop resisting him. Harry has had enough of Louis by this point and shoves him against the railing
post, crowding the boy in with both arms.

"Be still, petal." His fist slams into the wooden furnishing. "Stop trying to run away. Damn it,
Louis!
"

Louis immediately stops at the tone of Harry's frightening voice. He whimpers when he meets the
man's eye and they're filled with vile anger, boiling rapidly to bring him this close to physical
violence. To apologise, Louis slips his arms around Harry again and lays his head over his beating
heart.

"What the Hell is wrong with you? Why did you run?" Harry won't have it.

He seizes Louis by his arms and yanks him backward where the boy can look him in the eye and see
how conflicted he's become. It's all this boy's fault that Harry couldn't think straight
anymore, or Edward either.

"Sorry, Daddy." Such a sweet voice, such kindness that it thaws a little of Harry's fury.

"Answer the question, Louis." Harry's neck vein pulsates in rhythm with his anger. "Now!"

"D-Don't yell." Louis isn't looking at him, staring at his naked legs like they're new to him.

"Louis!"

Louis breaks free and shouts back. "Don't yell!"

He hates screaming so much and Harry won't listen to him. He's scared and how can he tell anyone
that when they're shouting? Louis doesn't let Harry hold any part of him when he takes off down the
opposite end of the hallway, running away from everything and everyone.

"Fuck." Harry painfully pulls his hair back. "He's not supposed to go in there."

Harry chases after him because he's guilty but too loyal a man to let his own crime go either. He
heads on down the path Louis took, following the heavy breathing as it becomes darker like
disappearing down the throat of a giant monster. Louis' not himself in his subspace. He can't defend
himself or take care of himself. Harry has to find him.

But the further in he goes, the more he thinks that Louis just vanished.

This part of the house is not renovated like every other wing. The wallpaper is still as it was a
generation or two ago when it was first built. There was no electricity in this wing and only lamps
went up in the afternoon just like the general public did in the seventeenth century.

Harry has to brush back more of his hair with his fingers, too familiar with this part of the house to
need light. Louis isn't though and he needs to make sure the boy isn't fallen over somewhere.

"Lou?" He calls out to the darkness on either side of him, unafraid of anything that could be hiding
in its bowels. "Petal? Come out, darlin'."

He doesn't get a response and keeps walking, now extracting his phone to use the flashlight for the
first time. A door creaks somewhere further inward and he follows the sound.

* * * * *

Louis escapes to the tunnel of pitch black safety. At least he hopes it's safety. It doesn't smell like
anyone has been in here for months, if not way more. He can't see anything so shuffles his bare feet
along the carpeting to make sure he's walking on solid ground.

The ventilation is poor and Louis finds himself feeling chilly almost instantly. He hugs himself and
walks in small steps, wishing he'd stolen Harry's shirt right off his shoulders at the very least.
There's the sliver of light to his left and he can hear movement inside. Maybe it's Edward? He hopes
so because he really needs a shirt. He steps toward the door that's cracked open and reaches his
hand out, touching cold wood that's splintered and pushed it open.

Peeking inside, he discovers a brass tub that he's sure went out of any store centuries ago. How old
is this home? He frowns at the little lion legs the tub has, standing all alone in the middle of the
room with the windows boarded up and a rocking chair by the far wall.

"Master Tomlinson?" Gerard's voice comes from his left.

Louis jumps in a fright towards the right, trying to conceal and guard his chastity.
He can see a table where Gerard is working from with a leather apron on and huge rubber gloves.
Unfortunately, unlike regular tables that have spoons and apples, this ancient wooden artefact has
one wax candle at the corner and an assortment of darkly shaded glass jars. Each jar contained acid,
all the same but varying concentrations depending on how fast they wanted the body to disintegrate.
Louis can't read the labels from where he's standing but he can see a skull and crossbones very
clearly. He looks at Gerard, scared and confused.

"I don't know if the Masters want you in here, Louis." He says disapprovingly, hid bald head
creasing up.

There's something in that tub and Louis can see it fairly well from here. He gasps when the face of
Chef Robinson is made clear to him. There's a bed of liquid around the chef too but it's milky and
definitely not water judging by the way it's sizzling, eating his flesh without being hungry.

"No, no, no. This is not good." Gerard is chewing his lip trying to figure out what to do now.
Louis watches him with a shocked and honestly disbelieving demeanour. He trusted Gerard to be
sane.

"I could keep a secret." Gerard finally concludes, clapping his hands together likes he's discovered
uranium. "Can you, Master Louis?"

Louis doesn't like the term 'Master' at all. He's a petal to Harry so why is he a Master in here? He
likes 'petal' better anyway.

The mad man look on Gerard's face is making him very uneasy and he wants the man to stop
looking at him that way. Staring with wide and frozen eyes, Louis doesn't notice Gerard
move towards him.

"Louis?" The butler steps forward, hands raised with remnants of acid on his gloves.

Louis sees him just in time to bolt in the other direction, completely avoiding the touch of light acid
on his skin. He races around the room, circling the tub before getting to the door with Gerard on his
tail.

Shaking with fear and horrifying images of what could be planned for him, Louis desperately
dashes past the table to exit. He hits the table's edge and cries out in pain when solid wood collides
with his hip bone, but he can't go down now. The bottles rattle and the weakest ones roll off the
table, smashing themselves as they free-fall to shattering deaths.

When Louis enters the passage again, he deftly avoids tripping over the long runway carpet. He sees
a flashlight coming towards him and fears the worst so he runs in the opposite direction. It gets
colder, darker where he goes. He squeezes down a much too narrow hallway and comes to a dead
end.

A window taller than him overlooks a part of the forest at the side of the house, and a bit of the lake.
It's getting darker outside as night falls. He can see the shadows of trees that invade the house in tall
black ghost images. They leave him petrified but bursting with adrenaline.

"Petal!" Comes Harry's voice but it's too frightening a circumstance for him to know where the
voice came from

He can't find his own voice. What if he calls out and something else gets to him before Harry? His
heart hammers in his chest and his throat is gulping down air to just breathe. The window has no
curtains he can hide behind and there's no carpet here for any warmth.

As hope abandons him for higher ground, Louis sucks up his crying and sits down on the ground
with his legs under him. He curls up against a wall, picking at the wallpaper with his fingernails.
They eventually start to bleed because the plastering medium was hard, sticking under his nails to
puncture skin.

He covers his scream with his hand when a rat races past him, only recognisable by its scurrying
rodent feet. It's unafraid of him and tries squeezing behind him and the wall. Louis falls over in his
effort to get away, rubbing the part of his hip that made contact with the disgusting hair of that
vermin.

It pursues him for a minute after that, never letting Louis be alone to ferment in his fear. Near the
window, it follows him. Louis can't even see how big or small this creature is, just its whiskers
poking his thighs and hands. When it's finally gone to the hole in the wall it created years ago,
Louis hits his head against the wall and waits.

When someone does find him, it's the last person he ever thought would discover him hidden so
deep inside this establishment.

"Knock knock." Gemma raps her knuckles against the hollow dry-wall.

Chapter Text

"Knock knock." Gemma raps her knuckles against the hollow dry-wall.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Louis looks up at her filled with dread, mounting his nerves and arteries like hot mercury. He curls
up even more as he tries to disappear into the wall. Maybe she's just taking a guess? How can she
possibly see through all the blackness engulfing them?

"I can see you, you know." She sounds bored, stepping out of the obscenely narrow passageway to
almost crush Louis' vermin friend's tail.

He remains quiet and motionless. His body is freezing and he's starting to stiffen in all his joints and
muscles where the cold got to be too much. He wasn't a space heater - nor did he have someone
who was present - so he began the terrible process of being chilled to death.

First, his teeth chattered.

The cold got to the calcium-rich molars via his sharp intakes of air, letting it heat up in his mouth
for a long time before exhaling. He didn't want that much cold air so he took a few breaths.

"It took me-" Gemma takes up crouching in front of him, staring at his nude state with eyes of
disgust. "-a whole year to find this spot. Wanna know why?"

Next, his ears and nose turned frosty red. He hated the cold here and wondered why suddenly it was
so abundant. Even his eyelids got heavy, his eyeballs drying up and burning when he blinked.

"It's not meant to be found." She whispers to him, some voice lurking beneath her own and making
it scratchy.

Louis turns his head and meets her line of vision. It's as cold and twisted as he feels inside. His
fingers and toes were surely numb now, unable to act on command from the nervous system. That
rat was about him again, but this time it offered warmth so he didn't care when it found a home
against his abdomen.

"Look." She pinches Louis' waist and he's too close to shutting down his system to flinch. "Look up
at the heart and soul of this house."

He's made to look up by the harshness of her thumb jerking his chin in the direction she aims. A
sound meant to be a scream is born as such but dies a low gasp in his throat when suddenly light
fills the room and he's staring at writing on the wall.

Writing in blood on the wall because it'd red and dripping even after so many years, decades
of having time to dry up. Louis' scream gears up but Gemma smothers it with her hand, still smiling
as rivulets of red dripped down onto the floor.

'It was better in Hell.'

Following the red droplets as they gravitated towards the floor, Louis' gaze falls on the source of the
blood. At least a dozen rats lay split, cut and possibly chewed open by a hole in the wall too big to
be their own home. The blood is definitely bound by some spell, for it doesn't stop rolling until
Louis feels it strike his feet.

"How cute." Gemma touches the blood, rolling it between her fingers.

The rat that followed Louis was not trying to harass him. It was just as terrified as him and sought
safety in a creature bigger than it was. The rat turned out to be much smaller, a white mouse with
long pink tail. It burrowed into Louis' tummy without harming him, squeaking when Gemma caught
it.

Louis used what strength he had left to take the creature back, protecting it in the cradle of his
palms away from her.

Is this what death felt like? Was it finally over? Louis hopes so at this point. It's too exhausting to go
on when every move he made meant a new enemy, a new trap to death.

Edward was unhappy with him. Harry was sick of trying to help him. His mother is dead. His father
won't miss him after he wakes up and realises whose fault it is that his coma came about. Niall
resented him as a friend. He had a mouse in his hands he couldn't protect and his sisters hardly
knew he existed.

No one would miss him. He hoped so. The last thing he wants is more misery caused by his actions
and his words. He's surrounded by monsters but considers himself the worst.

So now, with the flickering of a brief light interval that was awarded to him, Louis' vision began to
dim. His internal organs were shutting down and his mind was becoming too slow to function.

"I want you to scream." Gemma sits down cross-legged, snapping her fingers by his ear. "Scream
and let my brother find you."

Louis couldn't. He was too charred inside, too spent and broken. He hasn't eaten or drank all day
and his sleep was little. The mouse in his hands didn't let him give up, sniffing his fingers when
they loosened just the slightest.

The writing on the wall was flickering now, but not the light. Like an illusion or mirage it began to
fade. Louis watched the blood drain away and the wallpaper come back clean. The hole in the wall
was still there but the mutilated rats were gone.

Suddenly a scream was heard. It was his voice but it wasn't him. The disembodied
voice wasn't shouting a name or any word other than a long, unrelenting cry. Gemma was gone as
quickly as she came and Louis fell onto the floor. His side got stuck on the sticky wood, hand
falling open and the mouse tumbling out. It crawled back into any crevice it could find.

"Louis!" There was a voice that answered and warm air tugged on Louis' ear.

A person breathed over him but Harry only arrived after ten heartbeats, and Edward wasn't there
until Harry shouted for him. The hot air was gone as soon as Harry fell to his knees, speaking with
just moving lips but no sound as he urgently removed his shirt to drape over Louis.

Edward did the same when he arrived. They both looked so worried that even in Louis' dehydrated
and uncomprehending state, he wondered why. He felt a heavy coat being thrown over him and
closed his eyes. The mouse never released him, feeling indebted to the boy who couldn't save
himself but protected it.

"Shit! He's so cold." Harry got to his feet and picked Louis up into his arms carefully.

"Get him out. Now." Edward chased his brother down the narrow hallway, getting them both out
before the darkness seemed never-ending.

Harry didn't stop running until he saw their bedroom down the correct hallway, then never pausing
once before he got Louis to the bathroom. Edward was running too, rushing to keep up with his
brother with bloodstained clothing and hands.

And if he heard someone behind him, felt something breathe down his neck he made sure to not
turn around.

* * * * *

"He's warming up." Harry ran his fingers over Louis' cheek that was finally its healthy pink
complexion.

He had Louis in the large tub with him, on his lap and knocked out on his shoulder. They filled the
porcelain construction with hotter than warm water and each worked on rejuvenating the body heat
that Louis needed. Edward sat opposite them with the boy's feet in his lap, massaging them very
haphazardly due to inexperience.

"Thank fuck." Edward kissed whichever part of their petal he could reach and his lips landed
squarely on his knee.

Harry was burning up in the water with sweat on his brow and every part of him that wasn't under
water. He couldn't bring himself to care though, so he pressed his mouth to Louis' neck and rubbed
the boy's tummy some more.

"What was he doing in there, Harry?" Edward kept on working his hands over Louis' legs, slipping
closer so he could lather up the thighs of his fantasies.

"He just-" Harry pinched the bone of his nose. "He fucking ran and I couldn't catch him in
time."

"Why did he run?" Edward permanently placed his mouth on the point closest to Louis' knee. He
tasted the water and the lavender skin.

"He had a bad dream." Harry's fingers combed through Louis' wet hair, the trickle of water now a
soothing sound. "I didn't listen to him when he said he wanted to cuddle."

Edward repositions Louis against his brother's chest so he's more comfortable and least likely to get
kinks in his neck. He takes Louis' lifeless hand and holds it like he's conscious. His lips separate to
suck a little of the taste on Louis' skin into his mouth.

"I hope he's still in subspace." Edward says, sounding a little regretful. "If he is, when he comes
back he won't remember anything."

Harry agreed and nodded to show that he did. He set the sponge and soap down, feeling the first
signs of his petal waking up by the twitching of his fingers against his hip.

"He's waking up." He told Edward, them both preparing for something - anything - positive to come
from this.

Louis slowly slipped out of the glove he had been packed into where everything was cold and walls
dripped with blood from centuries ago. He awoke with a gasp and not a thrilled one, his arms
flailing and splashing water in an unhappy accident.

"Shh. Shh, petal." Harry's voice shook like he was caught spending his slumber in a demon's
home.

It wasn't easy to calm Louis down. He resisted them with all his weak might, causing even Edward
to sound pained when he had to pin Louis down. Blue eyes had turned red with strain and fatigue,
the panic within the boy's small body turning toxic and terrifying.

"Look at me." Edward forced Louis to stop pushing Harry's arms away. "Look here, darlin'."

Louis had to be held and made to look at Edward. His expression told of a horror inside him, a new
memory that will cripple him in some way. Neither twin could help him if he ever remembered that
room.

"I'm real." Edward put Louis' hands on his face. "I'm not going to hurt you, baby."

The arms around him weren't Edward's and when Louis finally settled at the reminder of knowing
this man, he scratched harmlessly at Harry's forearms. He made a tiny noise of discontent when he
couldn't turn around.

"He's real too, petal." Edward watches as Louis relaxes into Harry.

Unfortunately the peace didn't last long for Louis was suddenly frantic all over again. He tried
standing up but Harry wouldn't let him. Louis was searching for something and he got very
unsettled when they weren't letting him look.

"What is it, petal?" Edward had Louis in the curve of his arm, his bicep and forearm trapping the
boy against his shoulder. "What are you looking for?"

Louis held onto Edward like a child. He breathed quickly and in short pants, his head turned to the
side and hair untidy on his head. All that ended when Louis got see a small white furball rustling
amongst his clothing.

"Sweet, sweet boy." Edward had become shaky himself, overwhelmed all on his own by such a
violent outburst. "You're safe now, petal. Do you know that?"

Instead of answering, Louis looked down at his lap. He couldn't find his voice. He didn't know
where to begin searching for it or how to figure it out. Something he saw in that room, the breath
that blew puffs into his ear. It all took away more from him than any amount of conventional
trauma. What was in there was evil and he lived under the same roof as it.

"Petal?" Harry leaned forward.

When his chest pressed along Louis' back the boy jumped towards Edward and checked over his
shoulder to see who it was.

"Oh no, petal." Harry was so depraved in his voice, as if anguished by this behaviour.
Edward felt it too, and to no lesser a degree. He felt like someone lodged an eternally hot poker in
his chest. Watching Louis who met as so fiery and assertive, broken down by a pile-up of misery is
cracking to the toughest of shells.

"He's not talking." Edward pointed out when he held Louis' head in his hands, searching those eyes
but they were blank and giving nothing away. "Why isn't he talking?"

Louis wanted to shout that he was lost in his own mind, his own body. He couldn't get a grasp on A
from B anywhere and he's become totally dependent. For now he struggled to think and breathe at
the same time, talking could kill him.

"I should have made you talk." Edward groaned, the poker going deeper. "I should not have what I
did. Petal, I'm so sorry. Baby, talk to me."

"What?" Harry frowned as he crossed an arm over Louis' chest protectively. "What did you do?"

Edward sighed in disgrace, giving Louis another kiss on his forehead. "When you were gone he had
an attack. A panic attack. He slept and awoke completely blank for a few seconds." He stopped to
breathe, memorising the look in Louis' eye that he sees now as he saw it before. "I wanted to leave
him alone to think but I couldn't and.....you found us."

It was his fault Louis was like this, and he knew it very well. If he'd gotten the boy to talk about his
mother and the Russian then maybe he'd be better equipped to handle this. Maybe he'd be talking
and willing to comprehend. Now looking at Louis was heartbreaking because the boy was pushed
and pushed, finally at breaking point.

"Fuck, you bastard." Harry wasn't going to let Edward hold any part of Louis now.

He watched over him like a baby and protected him like he should be protected. Edward didn't
deserve to have a piece of someone so beautiful when he wouldn't appreciate it.

Louis started to shake but it wasn't from a fever or a horrible recollection. Harry stood up in the tub
and stepped out with Louis trying not to fidget in his grip. Louis only fussed when he walked
straight into the bedroom rather than going for the white furball amongst his clothes.

"Okay, okay." Harry let the boy wrap around like a vine as he comforted him in his ear. Louis was
so committed to that mouse and nobody but he understood why.

"He can't touch that thing." Edward tied a towel around his hips, eyes on Louis. Always on
Louis.

"Wash it?" Louis was still trying to reach for the creature and Harry had a Hell of a time restraining
him. "Can we do that with mice?"

"Think so." Edward flicked his hair to the side when it crept onto his eyelashes. "I'll do it."

Edward isn't too careful with their petal's new pet. He hates the sight of it and snatches up a pair of
surgical gloves from the mirrored cabinet before he even touched the poor thing. It tries escaping
him so many times but he'll recapture and re-do the process of washing a million times if it means
Louis will be a little closer to happy.

Finally the damn thing is clean with sneezes from near its whiskers and looking like a newborn bird
with its pink skin visible from under the fur. Edward dries it without snapping its neck while Harry
gets Louis dressed in appropriate clothing.

"Do you like this?" Harry was internally begging with Louis to start talking, those prayers visible in
the way he stared so intently at the fidgety boy.

Louis wasn't even looking at him, focus wandering to everything else as he stood with a towel over
his shoulders.

"Petal." He said firmly but softly and his target looked at him. "Take off the towel, baby."

Feeling fuzzy as he tried to process the command, Louis dug his nails into the fluffy white towel
around him. It was wet but warm and he couldn't stand the cold even for a beat.

Harry sighed and walked up to him, taking the towel off Louis' body and dropping it to the floor. He
thinks briefly about how he'd let his own mind drift into getting distracted at the sight of Louis'
body. At this point in time he's riddled with less physically pleasing thoughts.

"Up." He says as he raises Louis' arms for him, pulling a large sports jersey over his head. He put
them down. "Good boy."

Louis was content to be dressed this way and go fetch his pet from Edward in the bathroom, but
Harry had underwear in his hand he had to put on. Harry got on his knees and tapped Louis' right
leg with his whole hand.

"Up." He said, hoping the boy will understand.

He feels a very small victory when Louis does lift his foot quickly enough for the underwear to slip
on. The process is repeated with the second leg and Louis gets the reward of a kiss on his cheek.

"My good boy." Harry delays a little bit longer and embraces Louis tightly, wholeheartedly.

His nose buries itself in Louis' drying hair and he breathes in deeply what he can salvage from the
smaller male. Louis in return touches Harry's biceps with cautious grazes, settling in a firm hold. It's
good enough for them both. Louis' left stranded in the whirlwind, hurricane but also desolate
isolation of his empty mind. He's walking from wall to wall in a body he's had since birth, feeling
utterly foreign in it.

Wall to wall, crevice to corner and nook to cranny. Nothing to find and nowhere to go. He wants to
scream at the top of his lungs and tell Harry that he's miserable but fighting it. The battle's
becoming harder because his mind is draining itself of what intelligence it once had. It was
dwindling and he had to get it back before it was all gone.

Edward appeared from the confines of the bathroom still wearing surgical gloves and holding the
rodent in his right hand. While the creature displayed no signs of appreciation towards Edward,
once given to Louis it wrapped its tail around the boy's finger and sniffed his hand. Louis is happy
to see him, another survivor of the memory he wants to erase.

"Let's feed you, petal." Harry says slowly, taking Louis with him to the door so Edward can be left
alone to put clothes on.

It's a sound kick in the teeth for Edward with a deafening crack to top it all off. Louis wasn't at fault
for this and he knew that, but he couldn't bring himself to admit that he was an idiot today and
might have prevented all this if he controlled himself. He turned into a beast with no willpower
around Louis, wanting always and taking even when he wasn't offered.

He netted up those emotions for later and joined them downstairs for a meal he's been craving. The
kitchen is spotless and no employees are to be seen, or Gemma for that matter. In the lounge sat
Louis cross-legged on a sofa directly facing the television that he ignored, his thumb brushing back
and forth over the mouse's body. He was gentle even then, not pressing too hard or scratching.

"What are you giving him?" Edward asks when he walks past his brother to the fridge.

"Future Life." Harry responds, mixing in the high protein cereal with cold milk in a deep bowl.

That will put weight on Louis quickly and healthily. It's a good choice and Edward let's Harry know
this. He takes a bottle of water with him to the lounge and sits on a couch alongside Louis'. The boy
had taken the largest, but he didn't use any extra space.

Louis didn't seem to take notice of Edward. He sat with his legs like a pretzel on the couch's
cushion, unaffected by everything around him and it scared his companions. Should this be
happening at all? They weren't able to handle something like this no matter their desire to.

"Petal?" He tried speaking through the break in his voice, sitting forward with his elbows on his
knees.

It took thirty seconds for Louis to realise that it was him being called. With his head bowed,
he moved his eyes to his peripheral and looked at Edward without turning towards him. It could be
cute if it wasn't because he was terrified it might not be Edward.

But it was. It really was Edward studying him like a priceless framework and he smiled because he
knows Edward. He sits up straighter and his teeth peeked out from behind his lips when he smiled
with familiarity. It made something pleasant and painful swell in Edward's chest.

"Hey, petal." Edward extended his hand towards Louis, hoping this could work.

It did. Louis was happy to accept that gesture and wake up to go where it took him. Edward sat back
and made room for the boy on his lap, helping Louis to position himself comfortably.

"What are you doing?" Harry did not look glad when he skipped both descending stairs to stride up
to them.

Edward had to calm him down before he made Louis afraid further. "He's fine with it."

"No." Harry' hands sealed so tightly around the bowl of cereal that Edward thought it would break.

Louis buried his face in Edward's shirt, holding his mouse friend close so it didn't get hurt either. He
fisted the plaid and faded material as he tried to ignore Harry because he was comfortable here. No
need to move.

"You're scaring him." Edward covered Louis' one exposed ear. "Shut up and give me the cereal."

Harry huffed out in dire exasperation and sat down beside his infuriating sibling, not surrendering
the food. He mixes it one more time before trying to talk to Louis.

"Hey, petal?" He traces Louis' delicate cheekbone, and Louis only flinches once before raising his
head. "There you are."

Louis started to eat but not with his own hands because they were still very uncoordinated. Harry
fed him by the tablespoon, each one full and Louis swallowed without almost bringing the food
back up. One bowl was polished off but Harry wouldn't be appeased until Louis made him stop, so
he got another and then another.

Louis' body had been starved and needed the energy back. Just this menial type of food had him
feeling a little more welcome in his own body suit, starting to remember these little things as they
happened. He shook his head when he was full and sat back against a cushion. Edward kissed his
forehead and the boy smiled broadly.

The mouse sat on Louis' tummy over his shirt, eating a cube of cheese without a care much for the
jostling around it.

"Petal." Edward placed his hand over Louis' thigh, rubbing back and forth his thumb.

Louis looked at him and his eyes weren't so empty this time, void of a sense of mutual intelligence.
It was coming back but the worst of the memories had yet to resurface so the hardest hurdle was yet
to be passed.

"Do you know where you are?" Edward doesn't think Louis spent time trying to figure that out yet.

Louis' eyes darted to every wall in the room and when it reached the window he made a noise. An
unpleasant sound before cowering his way into the fold of Edward's arms. Harry woke up and drew
the curtains, shutting out the shadows of tall trees that were growing on their floor.

"Better?" Edward made Louis look, just a set of cerulean jewels peeking out from his shoulder.

Louis liked the change so he nodded and smiled gratefully at Harry when the other brother returned.
Tree shadows are monstrous and he's glad Harry came back to him.

"What do you think he saw?" Harry watched the mouse abandon Louis' shirt and crawl up into his
hand.

Edward shook his head, eyes closed as he shoved the possibilities out. "We're closing off that place.
It never should have been open."

"What about-"

"It'll have to wait." Edward cut him off.

His brother was going to question whether or not they'd still keep doing what they did before the
Madhouse, as the promised. They couldn't until Louis was back with them.

"Look at him." Edward cupped Louis' cheek and his fingers slipped out to behind his head. Staring
earnestly into picture perfect blue eyes, he spoke ominously. "What did you see in there, petal?"

Louis was emotionless and he looked back at Edward without depth like he used to. Every look,
each touch and any word from their boy had meaning. It still did but now it was much weaker, far
less impressive.

To Louis it was like being stuck in a cage with not even a door fantasize about escaping through.
The bars had thickened and now he's just locked up on a steel cube that's cold and where writing
appears on the walls. He's terrified and cold and alone.

He sometimes sees a door but it's a mirage and doesn't last long to even grant him the mercy of an
illusion. With nowhere to go and nothing to hide behind, he sits in the center of this cage. All he can
do is listen to the voices he heard in that room. See the dead rats and the bleeding walls.
Louis wants to shout for help and maybe reassure the twins that he's here, not completely gone.
He'll come back if he knows how to, has enough energy to do so.

All that comes out is a tear. One tear that slips out of the corner of his eye and dies at the pad of
Edward's thumb.

There's still meaning, Edward convinces himself. He wipes the dampness away and brands a kiss to
that spot. Louis has to come back. He has to find his way back.

"Come back to us." Edward's words are throttled by what he's trying to contain and not scare Louis
with. "I have something to say and I won't say it until you can say it back."

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Petal!" Harry roared, unintentionally sounding very lethal.

It's been two weeks. Two weeks since Louis' stumble into a forbidden part of their house
and since then, that entire adjoined hallway has been closed off with two huge doors. Only Edward
had the key.

But that's not why he's angry. He doesn't mind at all that he had to stay up with Edward for over
twenty-hours and put in those doors, working through manual labour until his body was sore and
done for. He adores their petal and would never be angry because he had to do something to protect
him. What made it all better was Louis sitting on the floor watching them for hours at a time
installing the double doors.

Louis always had that damn mouse with him nowadays and even when he didn't, it followed
him. Today he sat on the course carpet in one of Harry's T-shirts, drinking from the bottle that
Edward brought up. He was discreet about it but the man saw anyway when he wasn't looking,
however didn't take the bottle away.

"Hello there, darlin'." Edward came to crouch near him minutes later. "Did you eat?"

Louis nodded and smiled. Everything about him was the same except those eyes, which told
anyone of the prison the whole personality of the missing boy was locked within.

"Did you like it?" Edward coaxes, rubbing Louis' hand between his palms.

Another nod and a bigger smile. Edward chuckled and leaned forward, planting a firm kiss on
Louis' forehead. "Good boy, petal. I miss you, baby."

It was as if he spoke not to the Louis anyone else can see, but whatever their Louis was
blocked into. He let the boy know everyday that he wanted him back and that it was vital to keep
trying. Usually right after these moments, he'd get a small indication that the Louis he lost was still
there.

This time it was Louis' signature smile. Not a shy, kitten-like one that he recently got in
abundance. The smile he saw now was beauty and a little high on raw confidence. It creased the
corners of Louis' mouth and was gone in a heartbeat. That was always the toughest time.

Edward leaned forward again and with burning eyes, laid a firm kiss on Louis' forehead. The
kind that paid no mind to gentility because he wanted to convey his devotion more than not leave a
bruise.

"You're breaking me, petal. I don't I'll survive it."

He forced himself to depart from Louis and return to working, nailing and drilling to hoist two
heavy duty doors into place. Harry fixed the door handles with the lock, making only one key on
purpose. With the silver object in his hand, he made his way over to Louis and sat with him on the
floor.

"Hey, petal." He circled Louis' shoulders and kissed his cheek. "You look beautiful."

He got a blush but it wasn't the blush he was looking for, with wrinkled eyes and a shy smile.
Louis now only tilted his head his cheeks got a little rosier.

"You're going to be safe now." He said, motioning towards the doors. "Nothin' will harm you
anymore. You know that, yes?"

Louis looked at him and inside he was pulling his hair out, because this is not it.
Despite all these years of psychological conditioning and tutoring, here he was stuck in his own
head. He needed a nudge, something to convince him that it's worthwhile coming back because his
subconscious was stronger than his ability to withstand its brutality.

With every push from him gave a shove back and it ended in a punishing recollection of that
room where he was made to feel helpless, cornered, preyed on. He looks at Harry but the
same light he knew Edward had and gave him hope with, did not reside in this man's heart. It was
still too early for a man one level away from sane to cherish truly.

Harry nuzzled Louis' neck and it was sweet, gentle. It was not enough though.
"Why aren't you here, petal?" Harry pleaded his question, keeping his voice low. "Why aren't
you with me and Edward? Did we do something wrong?"

No! Louis wanted to shout it but it was futile. He instead nuzzled back and took control
of his hand, just the right one, to grip Harry's shirt. He didn't want them to give up but he felt like he
was giving up on himself.

However, after all that strenuous work that left Harry feeling one step below a pile of manure, he
does not want to walk into the kitchen and find a broken fucking glass just after he steps on
it.

Louis has been irresponsible lately and it's forgiven by everyone because he's fragile at the moment.
Every day that passed, he showed a few more signs of coherence. It's what made life okay when
he'd crawl into Edward or Harry's lap with his mouse pet and just cuddle.

"Louis!" Harry removes the glass piece from his foot and curses to himself when those light
footsteps run upstairs instead of towards him.

This is becoming too much for him and he won't dare shy away from admitting it. He never thought
this would happen and maybe he's been successful in caring for a completely helpless Louis thus far
but he doesn't have the temper to keep on doing it.

He storms upstairs, taking the steps two at a time. He's well aware of where Louis will be now that
he's scared and walks straight to the bedroom with blood dripping everywhere he walked.

Whenever one brother was remotely upset with him, Louis ran to the other. If both were angry he
made a valiant attempt to run away from them both.

Edward was in the bedroom when Louis had ran in just before getting on his lap, making himself as
small as possible in the hopes that Harry won't find him here.

"Hey there." He clears his throat and mind of the reverie he was in, looking down at the bundle in
his lap. "What happened?"

Louis whimpered and hid his face behind both his hands, his pet mouse falling to the creases of his
shirt where it lay at rest like nothing was wrong.

"Louis?" Edward made to remove the boy's hands from his face but he just wasn't allowed to.
"Come on, baby. What's wrong?"

He heard his brother shouting Louis' petname and muttered a swear word, rubbing Louis' back as he
made him sit more upright. His lips found a sweaty point on Louis' hairline and he kissed it,
winding his constricting arms around the boy as a steel band.

"Do not ever fear anything, petal." He spoke soothingly, and Louis heard every sincere word. "Not
my brother. Not that room. Not any nightmares. I'll protect you from them all."

The door nearly come apart on its hinges when Harry stormed through it, the barrier falling back
and hitting the wall. He looked positively beside himself in fury.

"Harry." Edward stood up from the bed's edge, stepping between Louis and Harry protectively.
"What happened?"

"He broke a fucking glass, that's what!" Harry's terribly loud voice made Louis wince, holding onto
Edward's arm with one hand and his pet with the other.

"How is that something to terrorise him about?"

Harry's eyes narrowed to beads. "Because he left it on the floor and I had to bloody walk on
it."

Edward sighs deeply and thinks back to when the Hell he started becoming the mediator in these
issues. He used to simply either let Harry go crazy or not on a person if and when said person
offended him. Now, he's standing between the beast that lingered in the green saucers of Harry's
eyes and Louis who behaved much less like a twenty year old.

"Fuck. Fine, okay." Edward rubbed his temples and tried not to yawn. "How's your foot?"

"Stopped bleeding." Harry hasn't lightened his mood since he walked in. "I'm going to shower. I
don't want him here when I come out."

"Who the Hell said you make those decisions?" Edward forgot about the boy holding onto him and
glared daggers at his brother.

"I don't want to see him for the rest of today, Edward." Harry turned his back to walk away.
"You lousy son of a bitch." The other muttered, too loudly not to be heard.

Harry froze in his tracks and looked over his shoulder. "What?"

"You're the one who fucking nagged me about wanting him in the first place!"

"Well I've taken care of him up until this point, haven't I?" Harry was feral in his glower,
both males now forgetting Louis' presence as it shrunk back further and further.

"You're the one who wishes he wasn't here!" Edward seethed, something telling him to stop but he
couldn't.

Louis gasped and looked between them, even the major part of him that was locked up stood to
attention. Psychopaths didn't want him. How deep of a nuisance was he?

"You don't even look at him until he wants actual attention." Harry snarls, eyes turning black like
man-made pits in his skull.

Edward was not succumbing to his exhaustion only to lose this fight. "He's not a motherfucking cat,
Harry!"

"No-" Harry stood up in Edward's face challengingly. "-but you know you wish you could back and
make sure you didn't even meet him."

Louis wanted to run away at this point. He couldn't even hide under the bed until the shouting
stopped, so he sunk to the floor and concealed the mouse he held on his shoulder. It squeaked and
sniffed at his ear, settling down when he recognised the environment.

Edward was red in the face with his rage and Louis felt so insecure thinking about how much they
really hated him. What did they want him for? Why did they treat him so specially? He should have
known.

But it wasn't over because Edward was at his wit's end when he pushed Harry back. It wasn't an
easy task considering his sibling was over six feet of muscle, but then again so was he. Louis
watched only because he couldn't turn away, was too afraid that they'd grab him and throw him out.
"Don't you dare point a finger at me!" Edward's convicting, accusative thunder made Louis'
ears ring. "Fuck you, you ungrateful idiot! I'd go back and relive the day I met Louis a thousand
times if I could!"

"Oh really?!" Harry reorganised himself and with the stealth he used to recover his spot in Edward's
close proximity, Louis feared that he'd walk right through him.

He didn't. Edward stopped him because Edward always stopped anyone who got too close to the
edge.

"How much time do you spend with him everyday?" Harry ventured into the dimension of testing
Edward's patience.

"How many times do you wake up a night to sit for two fucking hours downstairs with him?"
Edward bites back with a hiss. "You see him when he's like this but I see him when he's bloody
ruined."

Harry does thankfully sober up a bit from his fit of anger but it's a short-lived moment of peace.
Louis is back to covering his ears and wishing they never found him. He never meant to bring them
difficulty. He wants to leave so badly but he's useless outside this house.

"Don't look me in the eye and lie, brother." Harry said through clenched teeth, his teeth appearing
sharp as well. "You resent him and you know that's the truth."

"You're as unappreciative now as you've always been!" Edward shouted, deep sincerity. "You take
and take and suddenly Louis isn't good enough for you because he can't suck your dick."

"I care for him as much as you do, Edward. You wake up with him for two hours a night but I had
bloody carried him for an hour straight everytime he had a nightmare about that room!"

"It's not a contest and I thought you said I didn't care at all!" Edward's voice cracks when he reached
the last two words.

"Because you don't-"

Edward took an oscillating swing at Harry and it landed him square in the jaw. Harry stumbled but
was too firmly planted on the ground to fall over. His suddenly violent brother didn't regret it until
his rant was over.

"Enough with your childishness!" He raved, continuing immediately afterwards. "Louis is
important to me-" He proclaimed without restraint. "-because I fucking fell in love with him
and I don't know how to deal with it! You can complain all you want but I'll walk over all the damn
glass if it brings him back!"

Edward was dog tired by the time he realised what he'd done.

Chapter Text

"Enough with your childishness!" He raved, continuing immediately afterwards. "Louis
is important to me-" He proclaimed without restraint. "-because I fucking fell in love with
him and I don't know how to deal with it! You can complain all you want but I'll walk over all the
damn glass if it brings him back!"

Edward was dog tired by the time he realised what he'd done.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Everyone in the room is staring at Edward like he's a new life form. Harry who had staggered back
from a punch to the cheek and used the wall for support. Louis who was no longer hiding in his
little shadow by the cupboard's legs.

Edward didn't regret saying it. He wasn't just tired from physical labour, but from two weeks
of waiting and getting nothing when he wanted everything. He didn't count on this mental
headspace lasting as long as it is, and now he's hardly a put-together man walking on two feet.
He's miserable and he wants his petal to love him, God damn it!.

For Louis this was it. He finally had that push he was counting on but was kept from all this
time, letting his demon of a subconscious drain him of everything. There was no reason to stay here
when he could finally sacrifice every ounce of will he had to break free.

Harry was flabbergasted. He could only stare at his older brother with his hand frozen on his loose
jaw, trying to mend things as the cut got deeper.

"Edward?" Hands slipped around the man's middle because Louis was behind him. He held on
tightly when the man spun around, fortunately shocked and glad.

He got Louis back and the boy looked awful in ways not many could see, but that didn't matter.
Where Louis during these two weeks was bright and dapper, now he was baggy and slightly
malnourished. Nobody brought up how medically impossible it is to simply switch minds and
become this way, but this wasn't science.

Louis had given himself something close a bleeding aneurisym in his struggle to resurface. His legs
were wobbly and his knees knocked together when he walked shiftily, but Edward secured his
stature with both hands and it made his heart race.

The boy's clothes were the only things that were the same. What had overcome Louis now left him
half his regular size and twice as emotional. Under his eyes were swollen blue bags of exhaustion,
his fingers were shaky and pale, his ribs were visible through his skin and his hair was lifeless. The
sharpness of his cheekbones had sunken to something unappealing, and his lips were so dry that
they hurt.

"Petal." Edward held both sides of Louis' face and kissed him deeply. The state of breathe and skin
was of no concern to him.

He had Louis for two weeks but it wasn't Louis. His Louis was trapped inside his own mind and
body, each day clawing at a rope to get free. The mind is that powerful, that terrifying a force. It's an
unspoken truth that the mental capacity of Louis not all that played a giant role in keeping him
locked up and away from these twins.

Such things in evil have existed for millennia and like all old things, there was a secret to be told. It
existed on this land for generations before the first Styles found it. Here it was again overtaking
something important in their lives because after years of being dormant, it had to taste flesh too.
Louis was crying when Edward pulled off the kiss. The man smiled despite that reaction and wiped
away Louis' salty streaks. He kissed those stains over and over until he's certain they were on him
too.

"Come on. Shh. Don't cry, my petal." Edward kissed Louis' wet lips as the boy sobbed, hugging him
close and feeling the jittery vibe from him.

A door slammed and Louis was spooked but it was nothing harmful, just the realisation that the
room was now empty of Harry. Edward couldn't bring himself to chase after him at the moment. He
held Louis' face and smothered him with affection because he could, because he will. Louis was
breathless after his crying, his head thumping and stomach growling.

"Food, petal? Are you hungry, baby?" Edward checks, needing to bend his knees so he could look
Louis in the eye.

Louis' too weak to nod now so Edward decides to feed him anyway, and hurriedly picks the boy up
into his arms and let Louis fall limp in them as he carried him downstairs. The boy was barely
managing to keep his head up, falling into unconsciousness as his body betrays him.

"Stay here, petal." Edward said more to himself than Louis as he set the frail boy down on the
couch. "Can you chew, baby?"

"N-N-N-" Louis tried. He wanted to get better for this new reason.

Edward left Louis alone in the living room while he raced to fix one of the water bottles with the
weakest form of a high protein cereal. It had a nozzle to make swallowing easier for the boy without
choking him. He mixed the cereal with cold milk and shook it up in the bottle before returning to
his petal.

"Open your mouth, petal." He said gently but firmly.

Louis parted his paper dry lips with a strangled moan and took the nozzle of the bottle in between
them. He choked on the first try but there was enough to try again. Edward held his head up
supportively and whispered in his ear about how good he's being.

Maybe it was the mangy placebo effect but Edward felt like Louis was physically getting better
already. His eyes were able to open fully and his coughs were more alive, drier and made a hoarse
wheezing noise on each out-take. Edward was uncaring towards such things and fitted himself
behind Louis' pulling him up between his legs and just holding him.

"God, petal." He pressed his face into Louis' neck and wrapped his body around the boy.

Louis held him back, his fingers around Edward' bicep as he released fresh tears on his sensitive
skin and and wiped them on a shirt that wasn't his. His body shivered with each sob and Edward's
face was moulded to a steady frown, clinging to the boy because what if this is a dream? He won't
stand for it. He closes his eyes and takes in everything Louis surrounds him with.

"E-Edw-Edward." Louis said against the tides of clattering from his teeth.

"Shh." Edward brought his bent knee up under Louis' body, the boy's thighs resting over his femur
and their feet aligned even though Edward's legs were bent while Louis' weren't. "Shh, don't talk."

"I-I-I lo-love you t-t-too." Louis didn't let him ignore it, and smiled for a small skip of Edward's
heartbeat.

"Fuck." Edward plasters himself to Louis and has never felt so full of belonging once before. "Fuck.
Fuck. Fuck, petal."

Louis knew it was a happy string of swear words and found it in him to fall asleep, but it was not an
easy process with flashing images of reddened wallpaper and headless rodents.

* * * * *

Harry hears his brother's confession of love he feels like smashing something connected to
his body into a wall. He wants it to hurt on the outside as much as it hurts on the inside. His nails
scrape the wall and uneven paint dents get under his nails, aiding him in his rise and escape route.
He knows they don't even notice him as he barges out into the hallway, filled with emotions he
wished he could banish along with all his efforts to rule Louis' heart.

He tries. He really does, but maybe he isn't doing it right like Edward is? Was? Louis is so
important to him and he wanted to have a revelation too but it wasn't coming. It wasn't in his heart
that he loved Louis yet.

Where he finds himself is outside Crawlers nightclub giving the bouncer a hundred bucks without
making a flinch and going in ahead of the queue. He had to pass up his hurt and remorse with
alcohol, maybe more but mainly alcohol.

Harry didn't understand himself well enough yet to know that the state of his mind is nowhere near
as stable as Edward's and love will come harder to him. There will be more bonding needed, more
time together and he was on the right track but also couldn't communicate well enough to learn that.
He'd throw it all away and become aggressive when he learnt that this was his foolishness.
The cycle was repetitive amongst psychopaths. They wanted it all and they wanted it now. If
it didn't happen, they'd act out.

He places his order at the bar with an unsettled but - lucky for her - calm about it bartender. The
first glass arrives and he downs it in one go, burning his throat and liberating the space between his
lungs. He slides it back to get refilled.

This club is well known in Middleston for being one of the best night hangouts. People always
packed up this place and the lights were same neon blue every night, black smoke where that didn't
reach. Laser pointers with green and red strobe lights focused on the dance floor where bodies were
packed together. Dancers moved against one another irrespective of identity and gender, the music
too loud and too fulfilling to be ignored.

He does this for a very long time, taking sips of his alcohol and absorbing the atmosphere of
shouting and stimulation.

And of course, at every club he's ever been to, there's a group of girls who want in his pants because
he is who he is. Notorious serial killer who suddenly changed his ways? They think they can be the
person who he favours above every other living creature.

It's far too bad he's already found that person. He breathes, sleeps and lives that person. That person
who he heavily insulted while they were at their weakest point.

He let's them have one glance of his while he consumes the next glass of unnamed glorious amber
liquid. It soothes his flaming heart and lights his old instincts on fire. His smirk grows for no other
reason than the thrum of heavy blood in his veins is a good anchor, keeping him rooted and aware.
It could be that the woman behind the bar counter was warning those girls not to come any closer
but one look from Harry and she's silenced. He screws his jaw tightly shut when they finally
surround him. Scantily dressed and high heels is what he needs right now. Not blue eyes and
big clothing.

"Can I help any of you?" He passes them an unimpressed look, genuine from his heart because fake
brunette does not float his boat.

There are three of them with - matching? - red shoes and varying degrees of 'short' dresses. One of
them - the redhead with small blue eyes - just about manages to cover her arse. The rest are a bit
more decent in that department.

"You can actually." The one with blonde hair and well taken care of skin steps up to his side, her
overpowering fragrance making him cringe. "We've heard about you."

"Have you?" He doesn't try moving in the opposite direction. He's not intimidated by a damn thing.

"Your brother too." Came the redhead chiming in, disabling his liquor arm by stepping into its
curve.

The reminder of Edward brings Louis with it and he can't handle that right now so he tightens his
arm around the redhead and ignores the blonde. Competition got anyone great sex. Not with Louis
though. Louis gave him something to want again, not just use as fuel for a dying flame.

He tried to drown out the images that were clouding his memory by sending his glass back and
wrapping his arm properly around the redhead. She seems to like it but Harry's brain doesn't. He's
haunted by Louis' face and Louis' touch and Louis' everything. It makes both his head spin and his
pants tighten.

The girl on his arm took this as a salutation to her efforts but when she tried putting her hands on
him, he pushed her away and her friends seemed thrilled with this.

"No! Fuck, get off me!" He shoves them all back when they practically try climbing on him.

The girls are stunned and quite openly outraged that they didn't get a taste of Middleston's only
living attraction - one half of it - and leave him there to return to the booth of friends they arrived
with.

"Fucking Hell." He mutters to himself, pushing his way through people to get out back.

He takes out his phone and sees thirteen missed calls from Edward, and nobody else. Clearing his
throat he slides down with his back against a wall and rubs his temple to ease the pressure build-up.

"You look like you need this." Some voice on the other side of a dumpster speaks to him.

Harry ignores them and the gesture of their hand sticking out, a cigarette between two fingers.

"Take it." The male encourages, finally tempting Harry to look up from his phone screen.

It's dark out and he can hardly make this person's face fixed but they're very light skinned with
silvery hair. He snatches the cigarette and let's it be lit up by this stranger. Today has been a
gruelling one and he hopes this will help settle his nerves. He hasn't smoked in five years and it
feels like home again.

"Who are you?" Harry asks, taking a puff and blowing out an almost perfect ring of smoke.

"The ex-boyfriend of the girl you just kicked aside." The youngster replies, not at all perturbed by
it.

Harry gets to his feet and manages to stand a head above this male, but he doesn't use intimidation
on him. Bringing the cigarette to his lips, pinched between two fingers, he leans against the cold
stone wall and blows out a long grey trail. The smoke in his lungs is sweet and sour and bitter and
perfect.

His phone starts buzzing again in his pocket and he fishes it out with the cigarette in his mouth,
pulling his lips in as he reads the caller identification.

"What's wrong with answering it?" This new acquaintance of his questions, listening with him to
the annoying ring tone.

Harry finds himself telling anyway. "He told someone that he loves them, while I love them too."

The teenager starts to snigger. "You'll have to share that one, mate."

Growling at his loose terminology regarding his petal, Harry also glares at this particular idiot.
"Sorry." He raised his hands in defense, his baseball jacket wrinkling at the shoulders. "My bad."

The screen goes blank again and Harry sighs, disappointed in himself and the useless alcohol he
took and this cigarette for not doing shit. He sets his head back against the wall and blows smoke up
into the air, finishing his whole cigarette before mustering up the courage to call back.

He re-dials the number slowly and watches the screen fade out as the tone begins.

"Here!" The teenager stops him from walking down the alley to his Rover, tossing the pack of
cigarettes into the air and Harry catches it. "Keep it."

Edward answers at the second ring and Harry just turned away from his gift giver. "Harry?"

"Yeah?" Harry says cautiously, getting his keys out and fumbling a bit as he inserts it into the
driver's side lock.

"Where the Hell are you?" Edward is busy by the sounds of shuffling and rustling in the
background.

He's safely in his seat by this point, sitting with the ignition off. "Just coming back. Why?"

"Louis was worried. I was worried. Are you okay?"

Harry tries not to let his breath hitch and heart stammer. "I'm a grown man, brother."

He wants to really say: 'Louis? Let me talk to him!'

"Yes, I know." Edward sighs and Harry can hear a zip being closed. "Harry, can you come home in
ten minutes?"

"Ten minutes? Why?"

"We're leaving." Edward explains, dropping something heavy on the ground. "You, petal and I.
We're going on a spontaneous road trip."

"Road trip?" Harry shoves his key in the ignition and pulls out into the street.

"We'll explain- Actually, Lou will explain."

Harry's about to protest and just cut the call because he can't bear to hear Louis' voice in his ear
right now. He doesn't want to feel that trigger of self deprivation and constant reminder from the
person he cared for. It's far too late though because Louis has taken Edward's phone and after
napping for two hours, is rejuvenated enough to speak clearly.

It doesn't stop Edward from delaying the packing process by hovering over him like a big grizzly.

"Hi Harry." Louis says, sweet as the most sugary of treats and not sounding as near death as he was
before Harry left.

Harry has never been stumped before. His throat goes dry, ash from cigarette smoke leaving the
passage unsanitary. "H-Hey, petal."

Louis is smiling. He can hear it and he holds the phone with both hands, closing his eyes to
conjure up a mental visual. "Where are you, Harry?"

"A- um....I went out for a drink."

"Oh." Louis is silent for a fraction of a second. "Are you coming-"

"I am. I'm coming home, petal." He rushes to say just in case.

"Good. I was scared when you left." Louis got softer, quieter at the last bit of his statement. "Are
you angry with me?"

"No. No, petal." He wants to fling himself onto a street for creating that in Louis' head.
"You- You're wonderful, baby. It's not your fault."

"Yay." Louis smiles into the receiver, hugging his bare knees. "I know you think I don't want you
around or that I don't care. Harry, I'm sorry I did that if I did unintentionally."

"Petal. No, baby. I didn't-"

"I missed you too, Haz." Something was making Louis' voice less clear. "When I was....stuck in that
part of myself I missed you so much even though you were right there."

He's gone from the phone for a time span that Harry dies a thousand deaths between the width of.
He holds onto the steering wheel with such strength as if upsetting the cosmic balance by himself
and the crying he can hear suddenly doesn't become Louis'.

Harry can't take it and he hangs up, hitting the heel of his palm into the dashboard and appreciating
the pain. He rubs his eyes with more force than necessary.

He drives home like a maniac on steroids and hasn't been this pleased to see Styles manor in his
twenty-six years. His haste doesn't allow for the shutting down of the engine as he races into the
house that's centuries old, kicking sand and stone and he bolts upstairs.

Their bedroom has never been so far away and the hallway seems never ending but he pushes on,
his shoes sliding against waxed wooden floor. He reaches the end of the passage and finds their
door open, bags at the front.

Inside is where his treasure lies though.

He steps into the bedroom and there he is, sitting on the massive Egyptian bed with his legs crossed
and Edward's phone in his hand. Louis doesn't notice him come in nor does he look up, and when
Harry's brother walks out of the bathroom he stops him.

Edward respectfully stands in the doorway, although having his own score to settle with Harry he
won't do it at the expense of Louis' happiness.

Harry kicks off his shoes first and makes his way towards Louis, his heart bursting each time it beat
in a slow rhythm. He knelt down by the foot of the bed and gingerly, actually nervously, places his
hands on Louis' wrists to pull his attention away from the phone's screen.

Louis' eyes went obscenely wide when he saw Harry, lunging at him and draping himself over the
man as best he can. He thought Harry hung up on him and wouldn't answer his phone
anymore because of a reason he dreaded imagining. But he's here now, chuckling even though he's
trying above all else to mask any sign of tears.

"You oaf." Louis muttered spitefully, pinching Harry's arm and falling back with him when Harry
sat on the floor. "You hung up on me."

"I had to." Harry breathes in Louis' scent and discovers that he's freshly showered, the cigarette
paling in comparison to this living drug. "I was going to come right here and apologise right to you,
baby."

Louis looked him in the eye to determine whether or not this is the truth. It satisfies him and he
smiles with watery eyes. "Don't ever leave again, okay?"

"Okay, petal." Harry accepts Louis' embrace, laughing wetly into the boy's shirt.

"Ever. You're not allowed to leave us."

"Yes, darlin'." It was a vow to Harry, much deeper in meaning than a regular promise. He was never
going to down a road like this again if he could help it. "Why the road trip, petal?"

"Because I hate this house." Louis emphasised the third and last words, making Edward laugh
breathily as he picked up two bags to take outside to the Rover.

"Do you?" Harry frowned, confused. Why would Louis- oh. "I'm sorry, baby. A road trip.....to get
away?"

"Yeah." Louis sat up and wiped his eyes, his legs bracketing Harry's knees where he was perched.
"Wanna go away."

"That's understandable." Harry reassures him, taking care of the loose strands of hair. "That's okay.
"
Harry took a moment to really look at his petal and he finds that the results are very
perplexing. Louis has rings under his eyes were the black bags were just started to go away, untidy
hair that was slowly getting its life back. His skin was a little less pale but still needed some
complexion besides the page white shade he had.

His eyes. Oh his eyes.

They were nets of entrapment that could ensnare him any day. Harry watched them turn from
glowing navy to relaxed crystalline blue. It was miraculous and outrageous all on the same token.

"I'm not ready to love you." He suddenly blurts out, wishing immediately after to claw his heart out.

Louis is mildly taken aback by this abrupt confession but he refrains from going further than a little
squirm of his hips. "I know."

"You do?"

Shrugging, Louis gives him wry smile. "I do and it's okay."

Now, Harry feels an amount of his confusion inflating to something more misunderstood. Louis was
okay with the rejection? So soon? Was Harry not good enough at this point?

"Hey, hey." Louis caught his attention and sustained it with a good measure of eye contact. "Don't
even think about it. I'll never last another fight. It's not you in any way, I promise. It's us and we'll
figure it out, okay?"

Harry can believe that and he gives Louis' forehead a sound kiss from his lips, smacking them on
the boy's skin for extra effect. It works because it amuses Louis enough to giggle, sighing
contentedly immediately after.

"If you leave again I'll hate you forever." Louis lightly adds, surprising a cackle out of Harry.
He stops once he sees that Louis is not joking about this, his expression serious and voice levelled.

"Sorry, petal."

"Petals need their Daddies, you know."

Edward walked back in after Harry's third silent inhale, the time spent wasted as he held that air in
his lungs. Louis sat on his lap and he wasn't entirely sure it wasn't a hoax yet because two weeks of
trying to stay firm in a belief that was slowly being stripped to weakness is crippling.

"We can reach there by tomorrow night if we leave now." Edward snatches up his phone from the
rumpled bedsheets and helps Louis stand now that he has nothing else to haul.

Harry is sad to see him go but Louis can stand without wobbling or falling over and that should be
celebrated.

"Where is 'there'?" He asks no one in particular, but staring unashamedly at the way Louis' small
hands looked microscopic where they were held by Edward's.

"Dynasville." Edward is the one to answer, supporting Louis around the middle because he's a
paranoid man. "The state over on our left."

Dynasville. That would be a real road trip because it was nothing but pure road for miles
and miles, occasionally a farm or garage. The mountains were beautiful going that way and they
should be topped off with snowy peaks this time of year.

"That's a smaller town than ours." Harry remarks casually. "What about that place with the
pumpkins?"

"Dynasville has pumpkins." Louis supplies, fingering one of Harry's shirt buttons.

Harry gives him a chaste peck on his and forehead takes the remainder of the bags without being
asked to. Louis doesn't even have to move forward much to return his a kiss on the cheek.
"And then there were two." Edward seizes Louis by his waist and brings him into the fold of his
arms, smirking at the blush he finds on his petal's cheeks.

"Do you know anything about being a boyfriend?" Louis curled one of Edward's starched white
locks of hair around his finger.

"Where did you get the idea we were boyfriends?"

Louis rolls his eyes, unamused. He leans into Edward's chest and feels the most protected any
mortal ever could feel.

"I'll have to teach you, I suppose." Louis says, one octave below a whisper.

"You may certainly try, petal although I can assure you-" He brings his face down to Louis'. "-I'm a
much better Daddy than I am a boyfriend."

Louis breaks out into muted laughter that stunts his ability to recall anything traumatic as it crept up
on him, threatening as slowly as the shoreline, to overtake him again. He looks up through his
feminine lashes and fits himself against Edward.

"I don't find that hard to believe." Louis welcomes the man's lips against his own, warming up to
the kiss quickly.

"Would you prefer a boyfriend?" Edward asked, mocking the entire issue as a whole. "Boyfriends
don't fuck like me, petal. You'll be putting yourself at a disadvantage."

"Well now you have me convinced." Louis gives Edward's lips one peck and smiles when the sharp
molars come into view. He missed them.

* * * * *

"What if the hospital calls?" Louis asks himself, chewing up his bottom lip vengefully.

He's sat in the back-seat of the Rover at a petrol station while Harry stood outside with the gas hub,
but that's not enough distance from the center of town to ease his worries. The car door on his side
was wide open, allowing for him to chat with Harry.

"My phone is off. Edward has his." Harry says about his brother who took pleasure in standing in a
queue with other people to smile broadly when they looked his way.

"Yeah but....-" Louis' cheeks puff up as he exhales, studying the meter as the reading escalated.

"But?"

Harry came close enough to kiss Louis on the lips, smirking with his dimples solidifying when the
boy is surprised but willing. Louis' four fingers fan out on one cheek, his thumb just under his chin
as he tried to hold him back with a giggle.

His kisses were innocent this time and thrice repeated just to make sure. Being unwilling to lose
Louis to whatever darkness overtook him before, both twins worked hard to make sure Louis was
still with them at all times. Thus far they've been reassured each time by the steady and warm look
of familiarity present in Louis' eyes.

"How are you feeling, petal?" The length of Harry's thumb ran down the curve of Louis' cheekbone,
their faces close enough to impart his well-earned concern.

"A lot better." Louis admits, having already answered this for Edward. "It was the worst possible
feeling to go through but now I'm.....better."

"I missed you, petal." Harry's clenching heart confesses. "More than I thought I ever could."

"I know." Louis put both hands on Harry's face and they were small enough to not run from hairline
to chin. "Daddy, I know. I missed you too."

"I'll slaughter the whole fuckin' town before I let you leave us like that again."

It was not funny to an outside ear but Louis heard himself giggle and kissed Harry's red nose. "I
don't know if you're serious."

"I'm always serious with you." Harry's hard stare taking apart Louis' softer, more recovery-prone
one is getting cracked at the corners.

"Hey, Mr. Serious." Louis' smile curves upward to one side, bringing his face impossibly closer.
"The petrol's leaking."

Harry turns his head and finds that indeed the petrol is dripping out of the nozzle all over the floor.
He curses loudly and pulls away to remove it and cap it.

"Fuck." He describes the spillage on the floor, stepping over it to get back to Louis.

Louis, who is laughing to himself. It's bewildering how flawless a creature of Earth can be, Harry
knows they found the answer to any and all mysteries with Louis. God is real because Louis can
giggle like the finest music and smile like the sun.

"It's not that funny, petal." Harry scowls, albeit playfully.

"It was." Louis shrugs for him, downing his laughter. He pats Harry's jacket pocket before slipping
his hands inside just for warmth. "You smoke?"

He unveiled a white cardboard pack of cigarettes, turning it over to read the label. Harry let's him
look, thinking back to the teenager who gave it to him.

"I used to smoke, well before the Madhouse came into my life." The man tells him, watching
intently from the start for Louis' reaction.

Louis winces at the mention of that plagued place. "So this pack is five years old?"
"No." Harry barked a laugh. "I acquired it today."

"Okay." Louis puts them back and his hands stay buried in the lining of Harry's jacket pockets.
"Where is Edward?"

Harry looks over his shoulder and between two petrol hubs at the garage store that's not very packed
with people. He can see his brother at the trembling cashier's till, paying for a whole lot of junk.
"Scaring people, as I see it." Harry laughs hoarsely. "It's an art. Isn't it, petal?"

"It could be." Louis plainly reasons, too tired to actually think about it. "I'm sleepy."

"Get in then." Harry gets the idea to make a decent bed in the back for their petal. "I'll tuck you in,
baby."

"This car is not meant to be comfy." Louis complains when Harry slides into the seat with him.
"Shh." Harry ends all his arguments.

He remembers something and hops back out, using the car's sense of presence to open the boot.
After grabbing the pillow and two blankets Edward had packed because he's a McGyver
when it's time to haul ass, Harry closes it before returning to Louis.

Louis let's him set the pillow from their bed down and shifts around when one blanket is folded
lengthwise in half, spread over the seat from door to door. It brings a bright smile to Louis' face,
seeing this make-shift bed.

"Thank you." Louis hugs Harry and the latter male drops the second blanket to hold onto him.

"You're welcome, petal." He closes his eyes and basks in the comfort of Louis' tender embrace.

When Louis kicks off his shoes and lies back with his head on the known pillow, Harry covers him
with the second blanket and tucks in all the loose corners so he stays insulated. He looks so
tiny with blankets enveloping him from all angles, just his face peeking out into the cold
night air.

"Any complaints?" Harry asks with one hand braced on the back of the seat, his body generating
more heat above Louis'.

"Cheeky." Louis mumbles, eyes already slipping shut. Mercurial Harry made him sleepy. "No
complaints."

"Goodnight. Dream only of us, baby."

* * * * *

Louis wakes up to open windows in the front seats and the smell of coffee. He hates his travel
companions for not waking him up. After a fitful rest that was void of any dreams - good or
malevolent - he wants to gobble up breakfast and these are the people to not be classy with.
Edward is driving and had a coffee cup brought to his lips, Harry being in the passenger seat with a
cigarette out the window and the smoke rising from his lips. Louis admires the domesticity of their
circumstances, certainly not brought about by anything cute or reputable.

"You're awake, petal?" Edward speaks a little louder than usual because the wind is blowing so
strongly at the speed he drove.

Louis doesn't respond until after he's taken the man's travel mug and had his dose of caffeine
from it. "Disappointed?"

Edward laughs and turns his head for a millisecond just to kiss Louis' cheek, risking their lives for
that affection. Louis turns a little pink from it. He sets his elbows on both seats, freeing his mind of
a sleep-induced haze.

"Hey, petal." Harry greets after Louis puts his head on his seat.

"Hi." Louis replied, smiling at him with the exterior mirror. "I slept until morning?"

"Ten hours, yes." Edward answers him, just one hand on the steering wheel because of the calm
road. "Are you still tired?"

"No." Louis takes the coffee with him when he crosses his legs on the seat, sitting back and closing
his eyes briefly.

He blinks himself awake again and reads the time on the radio, feeling the recognisable thrill of
coffee settling into his system. Around him the mountains were slowly passing while trees from
random shrubbery and mini forests flew by.

Mountains in these regions are breathtaking. There were ranges with almost identical dusty brown
sharp mounds, then the tallest and most dangerous with snow on their caps that stood above the
clouds. Today that sky was cloudless save for the odd white pattern here and there, the sun shining
down on everything beneath it.

The air was fresh and unpolluted out here. Wildlife roamed areas away from the road and he saw
many grazing animals from farms on the hills. Middleston was far behind them and he felt relieved,
which is not something most people would consider.

"Food, petal?" Edward asks as the Rover starts to slow down, his foot easing up on the gas pedal.

"Yes please." Louis didn't really think of the prospect of food but now that it's presented to him, his
tummy grumbles.

A lime green sign on the side of the road alerts them of the presence of a diner further up an offroad path.
Edward pulls into it smoothly with one hand while the other picks at his lips and
Louis admires his driving, feeling the skill become reason enough to kiss him unconscious.
Louis kind of hates him all over again.

"Are we eating here?" He asks, pointedly at Harry.

"We will be." Harry takes Louis' hands, pulling them around his shoulders from the back. "We've
come here before."

"You've driven to Dynasville before?" Louis feels the silky texture of Harry's new shirt. He notices
that Edward also has fresh clothing.

"Thrice." Harry holds up three spaghetti fingers and Louis grabs one, holding it in his fist.
"Niall and I usually eat at the lodge further on."

"Edward hates the lodge." Harry sighs, ditching his cigarette by putting it in the ash tray.

"Why?" Louis asks, turning towards the other brother. "It's lovely up there."

Edward sobers to reply, drinking coffee alternately from Harry's cup. "They stare for too long."

The dirt road ends at a caravan diner with a huge windmill right beside it. Louis opens his door after
the central locking gives in and hops down onto the sandy ground shielding his eyes from the sun as
he adjusts. Harry goes ahead to walk past the other gathering of motor vehicles and get a table.
Edward is locking the Range Rover with the SUV's key and walks around the front to find Louis
waiting. "How polite of you, petal."

"I-" Louis starts to say, his cheeks getting a lot redder from a blush on top of this heat. "-wanted to
compliment you on your driving."

"My driving?" Edward quirks an eyebrow at him, leaning back against the car door with Louis
naturally close to him.

"Yup." Louis is willing to have Edward's hands on his waist when he man bends down.

"Darlin', I've seen and heard many strange things but it seems you're teaching me something new
everyday." Edward chuckles, bringing his mouth to seal over Louis'

Louis doesn't bother for replying and locks his arms around Edward's neck, taking in the kiss he's
being given. He waits for the appropriate amount of time to pass before parting his lips. That
imminently allows Edward to invade his mouth as well as hoist him up to wrap around his waist.
Louis' back hits the car when they're flipped around and smiles when Edward's huge hands allow
for a grope of his behind while licking the confines of Louis' mouth.

"You've made me a desperate man." Edward pulls away after he'd gotten to Louis' neck.

Breathless and definitely properly awake, Louis tightens his fingers in Edward's hair. "Good."

"Baby?" Edward calls Louis' attention back to him when the boy doesn't look him in the eye for a
whole minute. "Lou!"

"What's wrong?" Louis gazes at the man between his legs in concern, brushing Edward's cheek
when he sighs and kisses his wrist.

"What will happen to me if we lose you again, baby." Edward frames Louis' worried face and rests
his forehead on the car door, relieved suddenly. "It's terrifying to think about."

"I'm sorry." Louis arches his back to make space for Edward's arms winding around him. "I'm so
sorry. I love you."

Edward goes a little more mellow and nods to say it's okay. "My heart beats for you, petal. I love
you."

Chapter Text

In the middle of the night when the wolves come out, headed straight for your heart like a bullet
in the dark.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"They don't serve waffles." Louis says after a thorough inspection of the menu, twice over. "They
really don't."

"I know." Harry amusedly replies, one of his legs folded on the seat with his arm over the back of
Louis' seat beside him. "I still haven't gotten over it either, petal."

"Well why don't they serve waffles?" Louis does not find his question odd, but Edward finds it
worthy of a laugh.

"It's not that grand of a deal, darlin'." He tells Louis, who rolls his eyes because it is as a matter of
fact.

"Hi there." The waitress comes by with her lip-smacking gum and notepad when Harry puts his face
in Louis' neck.

"Hi." Louis greets back, knowing that neither of the twins will. "Can we have waffles?"

Harry's laughing into Louis' shoulder, teeth biting the boy's shirt so his shoulders don't shake with
the rhythm of it. Louis has a serious hopeful glint when he asks the kind waitress.

"Sure thing, sweetheart." She jots something down.

Louis all but announces the treachery when he's handing back all their menus despite only he
having ordered. "Thank you."

When she's gone and the noise of the diner takes over again, Louis looks so confused by what just
happened. Edward rips through tissues, three at a time and not stopping just so he has something to
do with an object so fragile.

"So they serve waffles then?" Harry removes his chin from Louis' shoulder, pecking the boy's
heated cheek before fully pulling away.

"Apparently." Louis fans himself with the place mat that was under his elbows.

Edward pauses his shredding process and meets Louis' eye, winking from behind the thin white
covering. Louis could have blushed but it's too hot to tell.

"You know-" Harry suddenly says to them both, lacing his fingers together on the table. "-
Dynasville will be having their Halloween festival this time of year."

"Oh yes." Edward sits straight up against the back of his booth chair. "What do you think, petal?"

Louis sets the mat back down and looks away from the people having a late breakfast, each of them
from different places and circumstances. Nobody knew the twins and not a single person stared at
Edward like he was an abomination.

"I don't have a costume." He replies, salivating when he sees the waitress coming over with their
order.

He could clap when he sees that she brought them milkshakes without them asking, and decides
now that she's getting a big ol' tip from him. They've all gotten waffles and a small selection of
dessert sauces that comes in a tray.

"Thank you." He tells to her after she's dictated the order and left.

"Petal, I don't remember wanting waffles and milkshake." Edward tells to him, frowning at the plate
before him.

"It's banana." Louis shrugs, pouting around his shake's straw.

"Regardless." He lifts his hand and calls the waitress back, reciting an order of bacon sausage and
scrambled eggs.

Harry is taking up over half of the sofa seat that he and Louis share, the latter piling his knee on top
of Harry's just so he doesn't have to risk falling over the edge. Harry finds this amusing and
sometimes his left hand will gravitate towards Louis' knee, massaging the cap of it as he ate.

"We should stay in a shabby motel." Louis says in contribution towards a conversation, swallowing
after chewing.

Harry's fork and knife freeze. "Why?"

"It might be interesting." Louis pushes his plate away when he's done and sits with his warm hands
wrapped around the glass of milkshake, condensation cooling down his hot skin.

"I'd rather live in the Rover, petal." Harry responds frostily, hating the idea of living in a run-down
and disgusting establishment.

"Hear me out on this." He hardly notices the waitress when she comes to deliver Edward's new
meal.

It's an appealing idea to him to stay in a motel, to escape the possibility of a luxurious life and just
live hour-to-hour. They don't even have to leave the room if they're content with lying in bed and
watching crap television because that's what he wants this trip to be about.

In his twenty or so years of living, this past month has been the one to destroy him. He wants to
forget it temporarily until he's ready to face the issues that await him back in Middleston. For this
trip, he wants to escape who he is - as deliberately irresponsible as it sounds - and be the calmest he
can be.

"No, petal." Edward shuts him down before he's begun. "A motel may be cheap but it's filthy and I
won't step foot in one."

Louis is stricken with the blow to his idea. "Harry?"

Harry shakes his head as well when Louis looks at him pleadingly. He really needs this.
In a hotel the fees are high and everything is so quiet, so organised. He wants a motel where people
just do what they got to do without caring for noise complaints or irrational arguments.

The screaming and barbarism. The leaking faucets and rusted pipes. The holes in the walls and
peeping Toms. The lovers from different backgrounds, forbidden for different reasons. Maybe it's a
sick plot but it's Louis' idea and he will have it. There's life in a motel filled with diverse
people and that's what Louis wants for himself to experience.

"Fine then can you leave me at one?" Louis changes his idea to suit himself only because he's not
sacrificing that plan.

"No." Edward shovels a bit of egg into his mouth, chewing with his mouth set in an unamused line.

"Are you still hungry?"

"No." Louis mimics him being stubborn, which does amuse Edward enough smirk while he eats.

"Are you going to take this far enough to be angry with us, petal?" Edward asks when Harry's
finished with his plate of waffles and he's close to done with his.

"Yes." Louis doesn't look at him, feeling authentically bitten - no pun intended - in the arse about
this.

"Would you like me to turn us around?"

Louis' eyes narrow and the emotion of frustration that they carry ends up focused on Edward. "I
won't have a point for this trip so I don't care."

"Petal." Harry starts to say. "We'll find the cheapest hotel."

"It's Dynasville, Harry." Louis sighs in exasperation. "There are no cheap hotels."

Well there was no argument for that. Dynasville was during peak season now because of their
festivals always being a real blast so nothing was cheap nor would it decrease for the next three
months.

"We're leaving. Get up." Edward slides to the edge of his seat and stands up all in one breathless
move.

Louis hugs his glass tumbler of banana ice cream milkshake and resists moving even when Harry
comes up to be pressed against his side. "I'm not done."

"You are." Edward removes the cup from both Louis' hands, his strength dominating the boy's.

"Stand up, petal. If I have to ask again it won't be with words."

Now people were looking at them because even if Edward was speaking lowly it was purely
disgruntled and small townsfolk enjoyed battles like these. They'd be getting a show while they ate
their food.

Harry rubbed Louis' hip comfortingly and whispered in his ear. "Come on, darlin'."

Louis feels outright disappointed and does not wish to continue this trip any longer. He'll trudge
back to Middleston and put his work face on - yet another thing he left behind - and start his life
again after this tiny hiccup. Why did he even think they'd listen?

He's ready to stand up on his own but Edward is far too impatient to see it through the curtain of
irritation bubbling under his pupils. Bending down he ceases Louis by the waist and hauls him to
his feet with force. When the boy's hip threatens to have a painful impact with the table's corner,
Edward places his hand over so he embraces the collision with no more than grimace.

"Edward!" Louis crows when he's upside-down hanging off the man's broad left shoulder. "Put me
down!"

The diner's caravan is too small and short to handle Edward carrying a person, especially not with
tables and booths scattered all around. Harry sighs and gets to standing too after laying down the
cash to cover their bill, enough for a decent tip as well.

"Shh, darlin'." He tells Louis when he follows Edward out, forced to tolerate Louis' lethal glare.

"Edward-" Louis whines in discomfort and squirms in the hopes that he'll be put down. "-please let
me go."

"I'm not going to put up with you behaving like a petulant adolescent so-" He all of a sudden
drops Louis onto the ground, landing him on his feet and barricading him against the Rover's back
door. His eyes pin Louis' with how feral and no-nonsense they appear to be. "-you will get inside
the damn car and utter another word about a motel. Am I clear?"

Louis doesn't feel anything more than rage rapidly developing emotional walls and his scorching
eyes turn from sapphire to pure fire as he gulps down that feeling of helplessness. Edward always
made him feel that way and most times it was comforting, appealing even. Right now it made Louis
want to physically push him away and walk back to Middleston.

"Am I clear, petal?" He asks Louis again, earning his clarification as he tightens his hold on
the boy's thigh painfully.

Louis doesn't think he can answer without either breaking into a sob or succumbing to a violent
urge, so he sniffs and turns around to yank the door open. Edward has to back away to keep from
being hit with the heavy steel contraption but deftly side-steps it to grab Louis by his ankles.

"Edward don't." Harry discourages, placing his hand on his brother's shoulder to stop him. "He's
angry now. Just leave him alone."

Due to the small warning, when Louis wiggles free Edward let's him go. The door slams shut which
is surprising for it had come from a body structured as Louis.

"He's going to ignore me now." Edward doesn't turn around and stares at the glossy reflection of
Harry standing behind him, a little to the side.

"I know." Is all Harry says in reply, squeezing his hand briefly and pressing a supportive kiss on that
shoulder. "Only for a little while though."

Driving to Dynasville becomes as cold as revenge is now. Edward stays silent at the wheel with
both hands on it while occasionally glancing at the rear-view mirror to see Louis staring at out his
window. The boy is folded up on the seat with headphones for Harry's iPod on, the music being a
tad ridiculous but silence becomes insufferable after a period of time passes.

Harry doesn't say much other than to ask whether he can switch on the radio. The service out here
was pathetic and he eventually had to turn it off after failing to find a decent network. The trees
flew by and their trunks formed a brown sheet with the frequent black sliver as they sped past.
Louis sat in the form of a ball holding onto Harry's white iPod in its case and listened to the music
switch from reggae to ballads to rock 'n roll. He leaned his head against the glass window and when
the windows rolled open, pulled one of the two blankets from his mobile bed around him.

He couldn't bring himself to feel bad about the incident at the diner, although they would have been
able to do without it. Edward was angry at him and he was mad at Edward, nobody would ever
budge on that argument. Maybe he should, Louis thinks. This road trip hasn't been recalled and
they're still coming with him to a county way out of town.

He could be stuck in Middleston now, inside his body with no chance of escape if it weren't for
some effort on their part. Louis sighs to himself and looks at his lap, agreeing with the part of him
that says he must apologise to his infuriating newest boyfriend.

The sun was beginning to set when he finally plucked up the courage to act on his bravery.
Everyone has been silent for two whole hours now and Louis has run out of snacks to feed himself.
He'll probably lose what silhouette he has now to marshmallow robots and gummy worms.

Edward sees him shuffle but doesn't expect to have Louis' head on his shoulder a moment later. The
boy fits his face over the seat and the headrest, invading the driver's seat section a little nervously.

"Hi." He first speaks, watching Edward lean back closer to him and loosen his grip on the steering
wheel.

"Hello, petal." Edward doesn't sound like he's smirking or even less tense than before in the
slightest.

"I'm sorry." Louis moves his arms from his legs to wrap around Edward's shoulders and the seat. "I
was being melodramatic and I'm sorry."

It takes a short while for Edward to process this because he doesn't get sincere apologies many
times, so this is not expected. He does reach up to his clavicle and holds onto where Louis has his
hands locked around him, feeling comforted by his petal being so considerate.

"It may not have been appreciated then but this makes me feel better." Edward angles his head for a
quick breather from the road, pecking Louis' cheek. "Your inability to do as you're told seems to
make me love love you all the more."

Feeling smug from this, Louis returns the kiss but doesn't move away when he's smiling into
Edward's neck. He presses his lips to the corner of the man's mouth and gets to feel a dimple. A
camera's flash goes off to the side and Louis scowls at Harry, the culprit.

"Harry!" He hears Edward's chuckle in his ear, watching Harry lock his phone.

"Oh please, petal." Harry throws his cigarette out the door, only halfway through. "Did you expect
me to lose a moment like that?"

"It won't be forgotten." Louis pouts, a little bit of his moist inner lip sticking out.

Leaning over the leather arm rest, Harry kisses him and swaps the taste of banana with sugary
treats. He stays there long enough for two more kisses to be shared. Louis nips his lip and Harry
pokes at his grip with his tongue, getting him to let go.

"I ran out of candy." Louis informs them both.

Harry laughs as he shakes his head, kicking off one shoe to bring one leg up onto the seat bent in
the air. "You shouldn't be eating so much candy for the sake of your teeth, petal."

Edward is drumming his fingers on the back of Louis' hand, still just under his chin. "We'll stop for
something that doesn't have so much reason for high cholesterol, okay?"

"Deal." Louis rests his cheek on the seat, watching the night get darker and Edward switch on the
headlights.

The road seems to be never ending from this point of view, the twinkling of lights in the distance
signalling some kind of civilisation ahead. For now though, they're stuck between an open field and
towering trees to their left. Louis flips on the light inside and illuminates the car's innards.

"We need to fill gas." Edward says after looking at the red light flickering on the dash.

"I think there's a gas station up there." Harry points at something not too far away, a giant shelter
over ten petrol hubs and a small structure for edible purchases.

"It looks new." Louis comments when Edward pulls onto the path that will lead them up there. "It's
so busy."

There were queues for petrol. Cars sat in lines for the ten sections, no less than three in each
one. The station itself had permanently open electronic doors with people filing in and out every
five seconds. The lights were bright and one would never remember that it's nearing a night hour.
"Do you need us to be here while you wait?" Louis asks the driver with obviously tired eyes as he
rubbed them continuously.

Edward pulls into the second queue and sits back with a sigh, his head leaning back and shakes his
head. "You and Harry go get those snacks you want."

"Okay." Louis withdraws and slips his shoes back on, unlocking the door before hopping out. He
stops at the driver's window when the back of his shoe doesn't cooperate. "Do you want anything?"

Harry has made his way out and stretched for no other reason than his back is a menace. He puts his
hand on Louis' lower back to steady him before he falls over.

"Something to keep me awake." Edward replies, checking the time on Harry's phone that his brother
left behind.

"We have to stop somewhere." Louis says, zipping up his jacket and taking Harry's hand away from
his back to hold onto it. "You can't keep driving."

"He's right." Harry interrupts before Edward can mutter a word of protest. "It's at least eight or ten
hours more."

"Or I could drive?" Louis suggests, pulling up the sleeves on his hoodie.

"No." Edward is quick to say. "Because if I'm sleeping, petal, you're sleeping with me."

The car ahead of Edward gets to move one up and he nods to them before pulling forward too. They
decide to pick up the conversation again later, when the cold isn't making Louis' cheeks
redden. It's the temperature, he swears.

Harry leads Louis towards the station house, slipping in behind a family of three. Louis is glad to be
out of the cold but the stupid garage is freezing. Air-conditioners keep everything at a chilly
temperature and he tucks himself in under Harry's arm to stay warm.

They spread out though to cover more ground between the shelves and Harry gets to hold
everything the pick out.

"Cashews?" Harry picks up a packet of salted cashews.

"I like cashews." Louis tosses a small Padkos packet of nuts and raisins, which Harry effortlessly
catches.

Louis bumps into people and excuses himself more times than he'd care to. Harry does the same but
he doesn't apologise so Louis assumes he's doing it for them both. He gets to the cold drinks section
and finds energy drinks in a vast abundance here. Harry grabs a red version of Monster that has the
word 'Assault' stamped at the bottom and Louis disapproves.

"That is awful, Harry." Louis tells him, putting a bottle of water and a Red Bull in his own
two hands. He's envious of Harry's large hands.

"It is." Harry agrees but makes no move to put it back, cackling when Louis huffs and keeps on
walking.

People continue to enter and leave, making enough of dreadful noise that Louis has to gesture for
Harry to bend everytime he wants to say something. He always got a small kiss on the neck though
and that's.....well, perfect.

"We haven't had lunch or dinner." Louis says when they're passing the bakery, his pace slowing
down immensely and leading to Harry almost hitting his back.

"Edward hates pies. I hate pies." Harry says in a matter-of-fact manner.

Louis raises his eyebrow for all of ten seconds before asking the woman behind the heated racks to
give him a burger pie. Now it's Harry's turn to huff and go stand in the line to pay.

"You are extraordinarily ridiculous, petal." Harry tells him when Louis returns to his side with a
branded grease-proof packet.

Tipping his head back, Louis accepts when Harry gives him a kiss that has them fitted together like
one embodiment. "I'm yours."

"And I, petal,-" What cuts Harry off is a shrill and high-pitched scream from somewhere outside the
garage station.

Even though they both from the only establishment in the world where screaming is as common as
birds chirping in the early morning hours, both their heads snap towards the sound. There's not
much commotion outside so there can't be a problem big enough render such a horrific noise but
Louis can see between two teenagers that are walking towards the garage's doors what makes even
them turn around.

He worries for Edward but under a whole different set of reasons. Outside a woman who is
supposed to serving someone as an assistant, instead shrieked and jumped away.

"Shit." Louis dumps everything in Harry's hands and bolts out the doors as soon as he can squeeze
through.

The sprint towards the hub where Edward stood took years in Louis' mind and he forced himself to
run there despite any ache in his muscles. The tar beats on his feet with each fast-paced step he
takes.

When he comes to a halt, he has push through a gathering crowd to get in the circle. Edward didn't
seem to care much for this attention but the woman who had seen his teeth when he spoke refused
to do more than step a few inches back.

"Lou." He looks relieved at the sight of Louis, eyes scanning everyone else just once like his mind
was documenting each presence. "Tell the woman to do her job and give me the God damn card."

Louis is relaxed knowing that it was no fault of Edward's that this crowd was building, so he took a
step towards him but someone held him back. Edward's eyes darted to the stranger and Louis was
released, the individual who pitied for some unexplained reason regretting their purpose.

"You're just a show-stopper, aren't you?" Louis approaches the female with the card to access the
hub and swipes it out of her hand. "Did you have to smile?"

People were moving away because nothing fanatical and worth filming was taking place, just Louis
holding the Rover's keys and smiling when Harry waved from the fresh stop store.

Edward plugs the gas feeder into the Rover's petrol tank and waits. "I didn't smile. The bitch tried
flirting with me."

Louis turns his head to look at her shaking in her boots, and giggled. "Eh. She tried."

* * * * *

"We are not staying in a fuckin' motel, petal." Edward curses as he argues for the thirtieth
time with Louis.

They're back to that again, as was inevitable.

It's a little after six in the afternoon and Edward needs to stop driving before he falls asleep at the
wheel, so they have a choice between a trailer park and motel with a flickering neon light. They'll
pick up their trip again in the morning after everyone's gotten some rest.

"I will jump out of the car, Edward." Louis sounds deadly serious when he threatens this, proving
once more that the Monster energy drink Harry let him half half off was a bad idea.

Harry reaches across the console and clicks the central locking button for child lock.

Louis groans. "That's not fair! We can't sleep in a trailer park."

"We won't." Edward replies and this time even Harry looks at him a little in disbelief.

"Edward, you can't drive for that long." Harry says, bordering on angry himself.

"Fucking fine then!" He starts to slow down to contradict his high speed when reaching the motel's
misspelt name tower.

He's really angry when he has to park outside the motel's filthy office and watch Louis jump off
after him to get a room. Louis knows this is the right thing to do irrespective of Edward's ego.
"I don't care how angry you are at me." Louis casually states, opening the flimsy gate with the
salted cashew nut packet so he doesn't have to touch it. "You can go on brooding in your sleep
because you need it."

Edward gives Louis a look of indignation but it slowly passes when he becomes amused by his
lively little boyfriend - the term freaks him out in the best and worst ways. The manager is a dead
beat teenager who Louis calls Norman Bates just because he's convinced he is.

"He was too calm." Louis explains his reasoning to Harry later in the car when they're driving to the
block with their room. "Twitchy too though. He's easily scared and he seemed intimidated."

"Can't imagine why, petal." Harry says with a crooked smile.

"And-" Louis continues when they're taking one bag each just for essentials up the stairs. "-he smelt
decent which is odd enough, isn't it?"

"I felt like that was a stereotype." Harry's eyebrows come together in a frown.

"It wasn't." Louis walks in ahead of him after Edward. "Men with murderous tendencies are twitchy
but they rarely look presentable because of their erratic behaviour."

"Oh?" Edward dumps the bags on the second bed and teases Louis on his way to the bathroom.
"What about us?"

"Well-" Louis chews his thumb as he thinks. "-you're calculated and precise enough to be careful.
Harry has it in his blood and usually, instinct doesn't mean neatness."

Harry only smiles at Louis with his dimples popping and shakes his head enough to shift the shape
of his hair when he stands up. "Wash up?"

"Okay."

Their room is decent and Louis loves that it is. There are two double beds and a bathroom with a
leaky faucet that he pretends not to hear. The carpet is a bit sticky at some parts and the bedsheets
are dusty but Louis does not complain.

Edward falls asleep as soon as he's on the bed and Louis covers him with the other half of the duvet.
Harry grabs and balls up the accompanying bed's sheets for them to use.

"You've smoked six cigarettes since we left Middleston." Louis sat on Harry's hard abdomen, back
against the man's knees while his feet were planted on the mattress on either side of Harry's
shoulders. "Is something wrong?"

"I just remembered that I enjoyed the habit." Harry blew out grey smoke from between his lips.
"Petal, I want to talk to you about something."

"Okay." Louis flattens his palms on Harry's sparrow tattoo, the birds' tails still peeking out.

"Outside. Put on some pants."

So they find themselves just outside their room leaning against the balcony railing and staring at the
open parking lot. Cars were scarce on these roads but this motel had a relatively good number of
guests anyway.

"What's wrong?" Louis leans his back against the railing when Harry starts to pace, worriedly
following him with his eyes.

Harry's not got a shirt on but he seems marginally unaffected by the cold, while still he blows of
white wisps of air when he exhales. "Do you think I'm afraid of anything, Lou?"

"Yes." He replies, crossing his arms for warmth. "Everyone is afraid of something."

"What do you think my fear is?" Harry seems to be asking this question so that it leads to something
more, possibly an explanation.

"Um-" Louis stops when one of the other tenants comes up the stairs, walking heavily and drunk.

The man is in a formal suit and acknowledges them only for a few seconds before he goes into his
own room down the passage. Harry looked like he didn't even see him, something troubling keeping
his frown on his face as he moved closer to Louis. His arms shot out on Louis' two sides, boxing
him in with a steel grip on the railing.'

"Your answer?" Harry's seriousness is compelling Louis to answer him because there's
something in those eyes of his.

"I don't know, Harry." He breathes, his voice barely making his words comprehensible.

"You." Harry presses rocks forward and Louis gasps, the railing behind him digging into his back.
"I'm terrified of what you can do to me."

"Harry-" Louis can't get the words out, desperately trying to match subliminal messages to actual
fact. "-I'm not understanding."

"I don't fucking understand either. I just-" Harry pulls on his hair and backs away like Louis burnt
him. "I want it stop, Lou. Make it stop!"

"Okay, okay. Harry? Look at me." Louis makes sure there's nobody else in the passage with them,
holding onto the man's shoulders to get him to be still. "What does it feel like, Harry? Talk to me."

He wasn't their therapist any longer but he's advanced to a position in their lives that held so much
more responsibility and trust. Harry takes Louis' hands and tosses them over his shoulders so they're
fallen onto his shoulderblades. It's clumsy the way he digs his fingers into Louis' behind and hikes
him up around his waist.

Louis hisses when his lower back hits the balcony guards again, looking over the edge and praying
Harry doesn't let him fall. The hurricane of emotions he sees and gets lost in when looking at Harry
is enough to silence anybody.

"It feels like I know what you're thinking." Harry's gravely whisper makes Louis whisper. "I'd never
drop you."

It's uncanny enough to make Louis stare unblinkingly at Harry, mouth open where he breathes in
and out slowly. It sure felt like Harry could reach into his mind and pull out the thoughts, the
expressive feelings and locked secrets. As scary as it was to be an open book to Harry, Louis also
knew without thinking it that he'd not feel pain whenever Harry did the deed of picking at his brain.

"How can you.....-"

"That's just it, petal. I don't know how or why." Harry was imploring, begging for an answer to no
longer feel so frayed at the corners of his mind.

"Well I-.....I- Harry, I don't know what to tell you." Louis is made to sit on the cold metal bar.
"Harry, stop. I'm going to fall-"

"Shh. Just-" Harry catches the side of Louis' face, straining the muscles in his neck when he
makes Louis look up at him. "Just let me.....-"

Louis' head is tossed back and his jaw aches from how the angle becomes less and less comfortable.
He has to gulp down air to keep his blood pressure from dropping and knows he must be
hurting Harry with how unrelenting his grip is.

Harry starts with closing his eyes with the eyelids squeezed enough with the internal trainwreck he's
experiencing, that they only lighten up when he's pressing his face to Louis' pale neck. He's
breathing heavily and his mouth opens to press wet lips against Louis' skin. He looks ravenous in
the way he gropes and feeds on the aura around his petal.

"You make me feel calm when there's nothing to be calm about." Harry moves his praising mouth to
Louis' ear. "You make me feel like a riot when everyone is asleep."

Louis can just about make out what he's saying above the heavy beat of blood pounding through his
body. He gets to right himself and clings to Harry until he's brought back over the ledge and safely
pressed up against their room door.

"Your body." He fans his fingers like nets over Louis' waist and pushes him up higher, needing to
raise his head in order to look at him. Louis gets to slowly slide back down, pressed to him and their
eyes never disconnecting. "When I touch it, fuck when I'm inside you. It's all mine for that
time and it makes me feel like you have complete control over me."

Not knowing what to say or even think, his brain abandoning him so he can stare and hope words
come to him, Louis cups Harry's jaw with his hand and sees him close his eyes. Harry
shivers at Louis' willing contact and the boy is lost.

"At the Madhouse, when you first came to see us, I thought you were going to let us do what we
wanted. You made us fucking work for it and you still do." Harry's throwing so many things
at Louis that the latter doesn't know what to process first. "I want to spend my life working for it."
Louis' grasp on his own voice surfaces and he knows he can't let Harry continue. This conversation
is beginning to overwhelm him and that's not what this trip is supposed to be about.

"Harry, you have to stop." He tries.

"No, petal. I-"

"No, Harry!" Louis whispers his resistance, fighting to get Harry's hold off him. "Harry, let go of
me."

Harry suddenly releases him like he's been cut and Louis scrambles to get away from him, needing
the fresh air and the space. He had fallen to the ground when Harry dropped him and his ankle gave
way, harshly breathing as he stared at the man.

"Don't." Louis snaps when Harry steps forward and kneels.

"Please, petal. I'm so-"

Louis doesn't want to hear it. He gets on his feet and runs before Harry can continue, the pained
voice of a man so lost following him. He's unaware how diligently he's wiping tears from his cheeks
and keeping up his speed until he's gotten to the bottom stair and someone is following him.

"Louis!" Harry calls out to him in the dead of night, croaking when his heart gets in the way.

"Leave me alone, Harry!" Louis pushes on, making it across the parking lot but the splash of water
puddles haunt him.

Harry races after him as Louis keeps going, not knowing exactly where he's running to but knowing
that he can't stop. Louis slows down to a jog when he's around the corner of the motel's first
building and can't see Harry.

"Someone following you?" A voice frightens him and makes him jump, just missing the wet grass.
It's the teenage manager leaning against the wall looking pale as a ghost against it. What's he doing
out here?

"No." Louis steps back when this fellow comes out from the shadows.

"You're creating a ruckus in my parking lot." The teenager wiped the tip of his nose with his finger.
"Stop doing that."

"U-Uh okay." Louis says distractedly, the soundtrack of shoes on tar getting closer making him
panic.

He realised that he shouldn't be running from Harry the way he is. The man was completely honest
and still chased after him post rejection. Louis leaves the creepy teenager alone again to walk on the
wet stone ground, wrapping his arms around himself.

As he walks he deliberates, thinking about whether what he did was a good thing. Harry opened up
to him and he ran away from the sweet words, promises and all the things it was hard for the man to
say. Louis noticed Harry hanging back by the staircase where Louis descended, sitting on the
second last one with his head in his hands.

That's not what got Louis to walk faster and eventually start running again. It was that Harry's body
was shaking like he could crying and it distorted Louis' heart.

"Harry!" He witnesses no reaction from the man who was tugging on his hair as he blew cold air
into the night.

Louis moved around an unreasonably large water puddle - a result of the rain from the night before
probably. There's an ocean drowning him in the probabilities and mathematical possibilities that
could come his way once he's in front of Harry.

Harry is two feet away and he knows Louis is there but can't bring himself to look up, just turns to
the side momentarily before letting his neck hang at an awkward angle.

"I'm crazy, Louis, but I'm still human." Harry stares with empty eyes at Louis' shoes that have
turned ratty and aged in one night.

It feels to Louis like Harry's lodges chainsaw in the same cavity as his vital organs. They all cough
up their contents, a tightening in his throat to keep the pain enclosed.

Harry stands up and for once isn't trying to protect or intimidate Louis with his height. He has tear
tracks running down his face, wetting his skin as they went further down like he didn't bother to
stop them.

"I feel for any man who gets his heart broken by you." Says he, his humiliation, desire and
heartbreak all rolled into one then divided to suit both eyes.

Louis' eyes are burning but not releasing any tears themselves, refusing to show weakness when
he's supposed to be strong. Nobody sees Edward standing at the balcony, all of his physique
blocked by the midnight's mistress shadows.

When he decides that Harry's name and torn face has to stop racing through him; in his blood and in
the air he breathes, Louis speaks. "I ran, Harry, because you were scaring me."

"Scaring you?!" As his thunderous voice booms to a close, the pitter-patter as the tell-tale
sign of rain hits them both.

Two deep breaths later and a whole sheet of rain comes crashing down on them. Harry makes no
move forward or backward, staring at Louis with eyes so passionate they might out-do any poet's
ballad. He has his hands fisted at his sides.

Louis opens his mouth and tastes the rain water seeping in, swallowing to quench nothing. "You
said-...You said you weren't ready to love me!"

The structure of Harry's jaw moves under his skin like naked art on crystal waters. Raw temptation.
"I'll never tell you I love you, Louis!"

And Louis waits because Harry's mouth is still open meaning he has more to say for himself.
Edward made a move to get down there when the rain started but withheld that protectiveness.
Harry had to do this for himself and once he begins, Louis' heart convulses.

"I'll never say it-" Harry licks his lips, eyes black as coal. "-but I'll tuck you in at night and hold you
while you sleep! I'll kiss you when you want me to and even when you don't. I will kill man,
woman or animal for you and I will give up every ounce of dignity I have to fall at your feet."

With the end of each sentence, to emphasise the traditional meaning behind every single one Harry
would take a proud step forward until finally he was preventing any rain from landing on his petal's
face. His hair fell as a black curtain on the sides of their faces, dripping the icy water all over them.

"I will never say I love you, petal-" Harry framed Louis' cheek with his palm. "-but everything I do
in your name will mean much more than that."

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Are you sure, duckling?" Liam asks Niall for the twelfth time since they've exited the elevator.

Niall has decided to give it a shot but not exactly chance anything this early. He told Liam of his
plan to agree to a date only after Zayn is discharged and Liam has to come as well.

"Yes but if you ask me again you aren't allowed to come on the date." Niall replies, passing the
nurses and headed to Zayn's room.

Liam ignores that last part and worriedly follows Niall to Zayn's patient room, thinking if maybe he
pushed too far this time. "Duckling, you really don't have to."

"Maybe I'm doing this for me, Liam." Niall counts the doors from the third hallway.

"Okay fine." Liam stands outside because he's too terrified about this going all wrong to go in. His
Duckling is so darn brave.

"Hey, Zayn." Niall enters the through the open doorway and passes up the opportunity to sit on a
chair.

Zayn looks taken aback by Niall's sudden act of appearance, but smothers that surprise with a
crooked little smile. Niall hates him for it because his cheekbones are from Hell where a demon
carved them perfectly himself. Brown eyes, darker than Liam's and a little less friendly, watched
Niall.

"Hello, ducky." Zayn invites Niall to sit on a portion of his bed. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

"I want to give you a chance." Niall swallows and bends one knee - the fully able one - as he sits.
His last word sounds like 'chonce' but it's out there now.

"Do you really? What changed your mind?"

"I hated you." Niall scowls powerfully. "Now I hate you a little less."

"I'll take it." Zayn blows out with puffed up cheeks. "I get discharged tomorrow. What do you and
the man outside say to a fancy date?"

* * * * *
"I will never say I love you, petal-" Harry framed Louis' cheek with his palm. "-but everything I
do in your name will mean much more than that."

Louis stared into the black stones that had replaced Harry's eyes. He felt like he was drowning and
that water, the rain, was destroying the calcium in his bones and turning them to dry ice. The
thunder was nearby but neither of them could hear it, adhere to precaution. They stood beside a
metal staircase under the worst circumstances, facing each other in a fix or conflict situation.
It's not Louis' choice anymore and he's come to terms with that. He's offended Harry too many
times for him to be the one who deserves to choose. Harry could walk out of what they have and
Louis would let him go because he deserves some freedom from the misery Louis brings him.
"I want you to choose me." Louis' lips move in accordance to his heart now, no longer his brain.
Harry rested his forehead on Louis' and completely shielded him from the rain except for the rain
pelting against his back. Louis inhaled the air with a sharp breath and tilted his head to the side,
upwards, anything to get their noses to brush.

"Petal?" Harry moves his hand to the back of Louis' head, pulling him so much closer like he
survives on the breath Louis exhales.

Blue met black and there's a new story to be told. "I don't deserve you, not after what you just said
to me."

He sees Harry open his mouth to say whatever will put him back beneath Louis but that's not where
he belongs. Louis puts a hand over the man's mouth and waits for him to stop, borderline emotions
making tears cross over the red rims of his eyes. His lips quivered and his fingers shook, steadied
only when Harry held onto them.

The rain beat down on Louis painfully, hitting his skin and clothes like a gruelling punishment from
the being above the clouds. He deserves it all and he hates himself for not knowing what to say.
Near to releasing a sob, Louis heaves a deep breath and looks earnestly into Harry's pits where
black turned green.

"You're a captivating man, Harry. Inside you might be a little frightening but you're scared yourself
too and that's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." Louis looped his fingers through the soggy
loops of Harry's pants and it had to be peeled off the clothing with a wet slap before he could. "I
want you to choose me. I need you to forgive me because I'm sorry, Harry. I'm a deplorable
person for rejecting you but you deserve better and you can say no to me now. You can push me
away because you're worthy of someone who will love as passionately as you."

Heavily breathing and on the verge of breaking down to the ruins of history's record books, Louis
let's himself fall with the weight of his worry. His head is bowed when he feels Harry take his
hands, but not wrapping them up the way he should. Louis' head snaps up with water droplets
landing in his eye but that's not the worst thing that is happening.

He may have said that it's okay to say no but he finds himself filling with dread when Harry
removes his hands from his shirt. The man's facial expression is unreadable as Louis implores that
he think this through. His hands are dropped and Harry stops touching him everywhere that
he was.

"Harry?" Louis goes to touch him again, fighting the possibility that this is happening to
him.

But Harry is serious because he turns away from Louis to leave him there, wheezing and stuck in
the rain. He can't breathe without an awful noise too much like a sob leaking out with it.
Louis' palms still feel the fabric of Harry's soaking clothing under his fingertips and it made his
heart mourn.

"Harry!" He calls out to the dead night when Harry's almost to the top of the staircase.

Louis stops himself from following after the other male. He knows Harry did a good thing for
himself because Louis could never love him the way he deserved after a life like his. Nobody else
could get as close as Louis did either and it hurts to think Harry might settle for dying alone.
Harry was a bout of hurt and agony when he reached the top of the staircase that rattled with every
step of his. Gravity pulled him back and it was harder with each effort but he kept it up because he's
not doing this for nothing.

What he never expected is to find Edward still standing there after having seen the whole ugly
thing. His arms from his elbow to his wrist were wet as they jutted out under the rain.

"You s-saw?" Harry took a cautious step forward, shivering in his current soiled state.
Edward glanced at him out of the corner of his eye, hanging his head low. "Yes."

"I-I'm sorry." Harry rubbed his arms for body warmth rejuvenation futilely, cold hands on even
colder arms.

Shaking his head, Edward pushes off the railing and pulls his brother in for an embrace. How could
he not? Harry was still shaking after that but this time from crying, the wetness of his tears meeting
Edward's dry shirt. His older brother comforts him all that he can with rubbing his back and kissing
his temple.

"What do you want me to do?" Edward asks softly, naturally his eyes begin to gravitate towards
where Louis was. He wasn't there anymore.

Edward has to ball his fists into a tight clench and keep from leaping down stairs to find the boy.
His brother needed him and blood came before anything.

"What?" Harry managed to pull away with a blotchy face and a reddened nose.

"I'll do anything for you. You know that." Edward tried saying it without reciting a single word.
Harry's realisation made him hard. "Y-You'd leave him....for me?"

"You're hurting and I've given up many things for you, for us. So have you. I won't lose that
dedication now."

"No." Harry shook his head and frowned. "No, I still mean to choose him like he asked. I want to
make him feel what he made me feel after he ran away first."

Edward locks his fingers in Harry's hair and squeezes, water falling down his hands and to the
ground. He respected his sibling's decision to be so ruthless in his payback without knowing it
because even if he loved Louis with all his being, he's done that for a much longer time with his
brother.

"You love him?" Edward gets as much excess moisture as he can out of Harry's knotted hair.

"I-I think so." Harry is nervous to admit. "It's so much more than that for me, Edward."

"Scary, innit?" Edward removes his own shirt to unbutton it and dry Harry's face with the soft
material. "Most fuckin' terrifying thing there is, to love him."

"Is it the same for everyone?"

"God. I hope not."

* * * * *

Louis felt so far off the emotional spectrum that he was a victim of crippling numbness.
He couldn't keep standing there where he'd been rejected and left alone, nor did want to move so
that he could feel the squelch of his heart beneath his shoe. His legs moved though and he found
himself wandering because the activity kept him warmer than being still and he could focus on
things on the ground.

Harry said no with his body language and Louis never imagined that it would hurt more than the
spoken word. He earned this pain and he will learn to tolerate it for as long as he needs to. He also
doesn't expect Edward to stay with him so he prepares a small 'Okay' with a voice that doesn't sound
completely uprooted for after the man's let rip his speech of breaking it off.

The uneven and pothole riddled ground turns to smooth tar and he's appreciative because he's been
tripping every two stops thus far. Now, he swallows air instead of breathing it in and battles to
swallow the saliva that gathers in his mouth.

Harry's not a psychopath to him. He is a man with green, green eyes that reveal their true depth only
for him. No more, he shakes his head to himself. The man is he who cuddled and cut throats without
making Louis resent him and that's a cruelly beautiful miracle.

Thoughts of Harry has Louis' chest tightening and his throat closing up with a chain of painful
coughs. He sees a spot on the ground that looks comfortable and drops to the ground there
immediately. It's hard on his bum but the rain cools any burn reminiscent of that.

The ground seems to understand what confused state of mind he's in and agrees to discharge any
thoughts of the outside world. Louis hugs his knees and listens to the crickets, wishing he were
something so perishable where nothing but instinct was important.

Emotions messed up his mind and he couldn't even analyse himself to find a way to fix things
internally, so he sat sobbing on the ground like a teenager after their first heartbreak. Harry's eyes
haunted him, the way they seemed dusted and glazed with nonchalance like he didn't care
how deep the talons got when they clawed at Louis' chest.

I'll never tell you I love you, Louis!

He could see it again, could comprehend those sour feelings as they beat against their cage walls in
his chest. His lungs were shrinking and his heart wrinkled, neither able to carry on their burdens
when their possessor was so distraught.

The mental video played in his mind over and over again, blocking out sight and sound so he could
focus solely on it. Louis realises that he's going to see his sisters again after he returns to
Middleston and gets his father transferred to a hospital at home.

He didn't hear the truck approaching and he didn't see the white line he was a foot away from.
Up on the balcony the twins did see that though and while Edward took a moment to believe that
Louis would wake up, Harry threw himself down the stairs and manipulated the burn in his legs
when he ran towards the road. Edward followed with as fast a speed in his muscles as he could
handle and they both saw the truck coming closer, faster.

"Louis!" Edward shouted but the storm drowned him out.

It was honking loudly but Louis wasn't able to take heed. Harry was having muscle cramps already
but he cursed and kicked the stone parking lot as he reached the edge of the road.

He didn't stop until he'd gotten Louis lifted into his arms and onto the other side of the road, hitting
his elbow and scraping his knee with how fast he did it to manage avoiding the truck's
bonnet. The truck driver sped past with his hooter loud and clear, deafening Harry's ears as he fell
on the grass and panted heavily into Louis' neck.

His knees had given out after shaking so violently, landing him in a strange position on the ground
holding Louis like a baby. The adrenaline faded and he didn't withdraw from the boy, shutting his
eyes and murmuring Louis' name like a prayer.

"Petal." He circled his legs around Louis and got a little hug back around his neck, a sneeze in his
neck. "Fuck, petal. What were you thinking?"

Louis did not pull away like his gut told him to, trembling after his reverie had past and he realised
what could have happened. "Sh-Shouldn't have done that."

"What?" Harry said between gasps, rocking back and forth with Louis clinging to him.

He doesn't get an answer from Louis. The boy on his lap and under his oath of protection is slipping
away again.

"What are you saying, petal?" Harry presses a furious kiss to Louis' temple, grounding him again.
"Tell me, for fuck's sake!"

"Sh-Sh-Should've-" Louis' tears of fear drip one by one onto Harry's bare skin, burning on contact.
"Should've le-left me."

"Oh God." Harry could only choke on his own spit and breath, screwing his sore eyelids shut and
hugging Louis with maddening strength as his denial fell out of him in the tears of his ugly sobs.
"Oh no, petal. Fuck. Baby, how could you do that to me?"

"De-Deserve b-better-"

"Oh shut up." Harry snaps, angered by Louis' foolishness and his incorrect response. "You're my
baby, petal. You're not leaving me or Edward. S-Silly boy."

"H-Hate me-e-"

"No!" Harry shouted at the star-less night sky. "No, petal. Stop thinking that."

"Y-You have Toto." Louis tries resisting. He's doing the right thing here. "I-I'm not g-good."

Harry cried without shame into Louis' neck against the territory of his neck, digging his fingers into
cold skin and shoulderblades. He shook his head and Louis gave up fighting, accepting Harry's
watery kisses on his throat and choking when it became too much.

"Mine." Harry vowed to the Gods. "Not even you can take what's mine away from me."

"B-But you said-"

"Don't worry about that." Harry tried to stand up but he could hardly see straight and he fell
back down, a fresh burn on his stinging cheeks. "I want you always, petal. I know you're sorry and
that doesn't matter now. I-I....- You're my beginning and end, petal."

Edward stood on the other side of the road, deeply conflicted but also immensely proud. His brother
always hid behind him if he wanted something and for once he's taken a stand, which makes
Edward's heart glow. He smiles from all the way here and watches Harry struggle to just get on his
feet.

Love, however deep or whichever circumstances, will always be hardest for his younger brother.
Harry would get on his knees but not allow Louis to separate from him by even an inch, and
therefore stumble when he tried standing up. It was the most fulfilling thing anyone could witness,
Harry's persistence sawing Edward's soul in half and knotting it.

He wanted to help before Harry hurt them both so he stood in the middle of the vacant street and
spoke loudly. "One leg first, Harry."

Giving precise and careful instructions without physically helping got Harry to stand. Maybe there
was a metaphor buried in there somewhere about two other parts of this relationship failing to ever
function without the third, but now isn't the time.

"You okay, petal?" Harry leaned against a tree with Louis wrapped around him like a koala.
Louis nodded and pulled out of Harry's neck for the first time since the man saved his life -
again. He hesitantly leaned forward and Harry completed the sequence by meshing their lips
together, their bodies mingling through his contact. Harry moaned and Louis locked his ankles
around the man's back.

"Don't." Harry growled when Louis' mouth parted ways with his. "Don't stop."

They kissed against a hard oak tree against which Harry's back rested, Louis holding onto him and
surrendering with every bit of his being. He poured himself into Harry through the kiss, giving all
of himself to him with complete faith and trust.

"I'm never putting you down." Harry said when he started to walk on his own, his back working
against him. "So don't ask."

Louis closed his mouth and kissed Harry's forehead, smiling when hair got in his mouth. "HHarry?"

They've reached the staircase that's become a landmark in their relationship and Edward is already
at the top. Harry has to hold the support railing but he doesn't mind one bit.

"Petal?" He walks up one by one, shoes hitting the steel and feet aching within them.

"Y-You know-" Louis bit his lip. "-I love you t-too."

The hollow tube of support shakes when Harry suddenly grabs it when he trips on a stair he
underestimated. Louis shrieks when he's almost dropped but another set of hands are safely securing
him by his waist.

He looks over his shoulder and Edward kisses his lips. "It's alright, petal. I've got you."

Harry uses his brother's influence and stands up straight again, never once releasing the railing on
his right while his other hand gripped Louis' thigh. He looked at the boy with wide and electric
eyes, green reappearing out from the ponds of black.

"I-I-" Harry stutters, only managing to stare while his lips get redder. "Petal, you've made
me the happiest man."

Louis' smile becomes less afraid and his teeth show through his grin. The rain can no longer dim
this moment in frozen time. "My Harry."

"Of course." Harry breathes in Louis' scent wafting around him. "You're always in my heart, petal."

There's a special smile on Louis' face that brightens the dullest of days and he's showcasing it all for
Harry's sake, holding onto where Edward's still got his hand on him just to make sure. A month ago
he'd have scrubbed his body with the harshest sanitiser and threw up in a garden, today he thrives
on the energy they give him

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

They're stuck in the tiny shower for who knows how long, all three of them making themselves fit
in a cubicle not meant to hold three people. Their bodies are always pressed together whether for
warmth or to all get some of the shower's hot water nobody is sure.

Louis had his head resting on Edward's shoulder, tilted back and eyes closed peacefully. Hands were
spreading soap and water over his body but he trusted those hands and could rest while they grazed
his heated skin. His chest was clamped up and his nasal passages were clogged but he breathed
through his mouth and when one of his lovers kissed him he got the take in their offering.

Harry ran his hands under Louis' arms and slowed down reasonably when he got between his
thighs. It was unnecessary to linger there so long but the hitch in Louis' breathing was a reward to
motivate him. Edward tangled Louis' fingers with his and sucked on his neck until most of the skin
was red or bleeding. Louis didn't care for the pricks on his throat where a droplet or two of blood
would escape. The pain was welcome, the pleasure afterwards paralysing him.

When fingers that weren't Edward's found a path through their bodies they dipped down low.
Harry's hand brushed Edward's groin, eyes sparkling when he listened to his brother gasp. He
pushed two fingers down the crevice of Louis' sinful bum and Edward's hands were squeezed.
The soap burned as Harry rubbed over him but soon Louis' neck was straining backward and his
toes curled on the shower floor, a strangled noise leaving him. He didn't need sex tonight but the
idea has him hardening.

Harry planted his lips on Louis' throbbing pulse, nursing from the bruised skin as he made
grumbling noises. Edward released Louis' one hand and with it he grabbed Harry's neck, drawing
him closer and over their petal's shoulder kissed him hungrily.

Louis felt immobilised and never once unhappy between them, a whimper pressed to Harry's nipple
where he mouthed when one of the fingers against his rim plunged into him. It went knuckle deep
immediately and Louis succumbed to the penetration, let it dominate him.

Edward's arm solidified against Louis' tummy and Harry had to remove his hand, bring it to the
front where he first slipped it into their kiss for the taste to be savoured. Edward sucked on the wet
appendages before Harry slid them between Louis' parted thighs and pumped them into him faster.
It knocked out loud pants from the boy before the brothers pulled away from each other and start
worshipping him.

Louis held onto Harry's forearm where it disappeared between his legs, eyes wide and lips parted.
He made 'uh uh uh' sounds fill the bathroom and get trapped in the steam circling their naked
bodies, all but screaming when Harry started to scissor him open.

Lips were at his ear and his shoulders, angry as they ferociously bit and nibbled on his flushed skin.
His eyes rolled back and he loosened up his body when Harry forced his way deeper into him.
Edward pulled Louis' cheeks apart and watched Harry's fingers work effortlessly in and out of
Louis' puckered hole.

Bending him forward a little, Edward wet one of his own fingers and prodded around at Louis' rim
until he could slip it in. Louis screamed and clenched over the three fingers buried inside him, his
walls loving the scrape of nails and caress of fingertips. Sometimes Edward's lone finger will get
between Harry's and stretch Louis out to a degree where he things he'll implode. The arousal has
driven blood straight to the heavy length between his legs, his lips torn up and body jerking with the
deep pumps of long fingers.

"Are you up for it, petal?" Harry took Louis' earlobe between his lips.

Louis nodded, not stopping until he's sure the question is thoroughly answered. His mind is foggy
with the need to orgasm, the fingers inside him reaching too deep without allowing him a proper
release.

"Gonna let Harry fuck you." Edward took his finger out and his hands slowly, torturously glided
down to scratch at where thigh met pelvis.

Convulsing from the unknown sensitivity, Louis let out a loud moan to the ceiling and tried to touch
himself. He wanted to come so badly.

"Better yet, darlin'." Edward wrapped his hand around Harry's wrist and extracted the fingers from
Louis' body. "Make yourself come. We're going to watch."

Louis whined from his throat at the idea. He's never really wanked before but his libido was in
overdrive and this excited him.

"Yeah?" Harry's lips closed over Louis', his tongue tasting as much as he can with an open-mouthed
kiss. "We've always wanted to see you get yourself off, petal. Bet you look so wrecked at
the end."

"I-I've never...-" Louis blushes, biting his upper lip.

Edward groaned like the fantasy ruined him. "Never?"

Louis shyly shook his head once, eyes glossy and eyelashes darkened by the water.

The water was switched off and Harry held onto the globes of Louis' bum like he couldn't live
without being attached to it. He helped the boy by holding his hand and leading him out into the
dark bedroom where Edward stripped the blanket and duvet off one bed to leave just one pillow and
the mattress sheet.

"Up." Edward patted Louis' hip. "On your back with your legs spread. We'll guide you since this is
your first time pleasuring yourself."

Louis thought them to be the ideal people to do it because nobody knew what he liked and how he
liked it better than them, not even himself until after they did it.

He did as asked, obediently crawling up the mattress and laying down spread eagle. He found
himself to be extremely nervous and would probably shake like a leaf if he didn't know these men
has seen, touched and tasted all that there is of him.

"Lift up your legs, petal." Harry spoke to him from the foot of the bed.

Without delay Louis' feet were pressed flat against Harry's torso, one at time socks being slid onto
them before Harry released him. Louis waited for instruction, the not so dull throb between his legs
not dying down. He wished for friction and let himself break a rule by wrapping a hand around
himself.

"Don't be afraid." Edward's voice told him far away but in his ear, the deep throaty voice getting his
hand to move faster.

Louis' hand ran up and down the hard length engulfed by it, making his hips buck upward and eyes
close. He couldn't bring himself close enough without a mental image of being taken by one or both
of the twins, his thumb digging into the swollen slit of his erection as he arched.

"Use your fingers." Harry instructed, voice firm and lower than usual as he tried not to touch
himself.

Edward knew he'd cave from the start and fisted a hand around himself, jerking off to the sight of
Louis' arm stretching to reach behind him. The sight of his hole makes Harry weak and to see it red,
black in the middle where he was still open had him groaning in suffering.

"What are you thinking about, petal?" Edward asked, breathing hard and staring at where Louis'
middle finger entered himself.

"D-Daddy." Louis moaned and let go of his length to get on his hands and knees.

He arched obscenely and Edward closed his eyes to find the restraint that would keep him here.
Louis didn't want that because when he reopened them the boy's delicious ass was display for them,
one hand reaching behind him to jab desperately at his insides. He whined and whimpered and bit
his other arm, three fingers deep and deprived.

Harry moved a step forward by reflex and Edward looked at him for an explanation, before
nodding. His brother was on Louis before he could glance away, removing Louis' hand and flipping
him over. He smashed their lips together as one unit and Louis willingly spread his legs and raised
his hips.

"Good boy." Harry repeated in Louis' neck, positioning himself without looking and hurriedly
slamming inside. "Oh fuck, petal."

They stayed still for a moment while they both adjusted to the maddening tightness and the ferocity
of a thick c*ck with no more lube than spit tearing Louis apart.

"Hmph." Harry struggled with his rapidly increasing arousal. "You love it, baby. Love Daddy's
c*ck."

Louis didn't bring himself to argue because he did. He loves Harry's and Edward's bodies,
every facet and feature included. He'd spend a whole day just exploring and touching their bodies if
he could, learn every trick and tweak and weakness.

Harry was pounding into him before he could bring himself to reply, veins in his neck sticking out
with his head rocked back barely on the pillow. His pelvis stung from how hard and fast the thrusts
were, an open mouth at his clavicle lapping at the sweat residue. Harry was swearing and holding
Louis' body against his, driving into the boy's shaking body.

"Slower." Edward's voice came from somewhere to their right side where the other bed was.

Louis initially didn't think Harry would do it because of the gutwrenching sound he made of
disapproval. His fingers were sinking into Harry's curls as Harry's girth slammed into him
ferociously.

"Now."

Harry immediately stopped thrusting, buried so deep inside the confines of his petal that he had no
trouble brushing up against Louis' prostate. It made Louis want to cry and dig his heels into the
mattress until they hurt. He had a rapidly heaving chest that met Harry's on every intake of air, their
sights aligned as Harry slowly pulled out until just the head was in.

He let Louis stew in the emptiness while his lips suckled on one of the boy's perky nipples. They
were pink from stimulation and Harry's mouth watered at the sight. He let a little saliva drip out the
corner of his mouth and teased the nub by swirling the tip of his tongue around it.

Louis rolled his hips as an initiating act and halfway down Harry met him, quickly resuming his
cautious thrusts. This rhythm didn't burn as Harry took him apart with loving care and safety.
Keeping eye contact became nearly impossible when Louis couldn't handle all the things being
done to him and he came between the heat of their bodies.

Harry worked him through it and Louis' legs clung to his hips, making the effort harder but the
sensation greater. Edward knew Louis was getting sensitive by the way he twitched and winced at
more contact with his deepest spot.

"Keep going." Edward told Harry when the latter began to feel guilty, nosing at Louis' hairline after
he departed from his nipple. "Starting to hurt, petal?"

Louis' noises were cut off by his lack of cool air. His spine jolted when Harry rolled his neglected
nipple between hiss fingers, pinching and drawing it out. An arm slides under Louis' head for him to
rest against, hiking his legs up so his thighs are against the tops of Harry's. The corners of his eyes
start to burn but when Harry grabs his ass instead of his legs to bend him a little more that's
forgotten.

He turns his head to the side and absorbs the radiance from the image of Edward getting off to
them. Biting his lip when Edward looks at him, Louis brings Harry down to kiss him. His arm locks
around Harry's neck and he turns his head to the side, feeling Harry go stiff inside him before he's
coming.

"Petal." Harry says raggedly, accent worsened by his exertion.

"Daddy." Louis pushed Harry's hair back and smiled, his lower half burning up but he loves
everything that has to do with his two lovers.

Harry peppers his kisses all over the regions of Louis' neck and face that he can reach, turning his
victim into a giggling recipient. Louis sets the heels of his feet on the top of Harry's thighs and the
stretch doesn't burn more than it eases the pressure on his insides. Harry kisses him once on his
forehead before holding Louis' inner thighs and pulling out his softened length.

Louis stands up after Harry rolls off him to the other edge of the bed to grab his pack of cigarettes.
Edward welcomes Louis on his lap, immediately cupping his petal's very delectable behind and
making him grind against his still pulsating and aggravated length.

"Daddies need their petals too." Louis drops Edward down onto his back, winking when Edward's
smouldering gaze flickers to him.

Edward gives in to the God-like creature on his lap, dripping come as lube onto his red shaft as he
rocked his hips in figure eights. He cranes his neck towards the opposite wall when Louis makes his
c*ck stand with his grip, teasing the head like a little minx before sinking down inch by inch.
The sheath of Louis' body is perfectly fitted to them and Harry watches with smoke arising from his
lips as Louis rides his brother to a near climax. Edward comes and Louis tosses his head back
between his shoulders, nails pressing past skin as he takes the flood of warm seed.

"Fuck." Edward helps Louis off him and scoops the boy in his arms, cradling him as he brings him
back to their bed.

"Do you have a plug?" Harry asks with a cigarette between his lips, extending his arm and Louis
nods off using it as a pillow.

Edward takes the white stick and inhales from it one long puff before handing it back. "Let him
sleep. I'll clean him up in the morning."

* * * * *

"Your friend is an ass!" Niall storms into his and Liam's hotel room with a single purple -
purple - rose from Zayn.

Zayn's been discharged for a whole day and as promised took Niall and Liam on a date to a seaside
restaurant. Niall was unhappy about something that nobody could put their finger on.

"He gave you a rose, duckling." Liam tries to calm his boyfriend - one of them? - down by watching
him furiously make a cup of black coffee. "You hate black coffee."

"I'm gonna pour it down his pants, Liam." Niall says heatedly.

Chuckling nevertheless, Liam unplugs the kettle and takes the rose from Niall. "I know you like the
rose."

"I do." Niall admits, following Louis' habit of shoving his hands in other people's pockets.

"Then what's the problem?"

"He gave me just one?"

Planting a kiss on Niall's head, Liam nearly crushes him in an embrace. "Try again."

"He's nice." Niall relents, sagging against Liam's chest. "I really like him."

"Yeah? I'm glad, Ni." Liam wraps his arms now around Niall's shoulders. "What's wrong then?"

"I'm worried about doing the wrong thing. This relationship is so different, Liam." He sets
his eyes on Liam's and begs for assistance.

"I know but I'm right there with you, okay? Nothing to be afraid about." Liam hears a knock on the
door and sighs. "You left him in the lobby."

Groaning like an errant child, Niall pretends to be annoyed and stomps over to the door. He opens it
with peace and steps outside into the hallway with Zayn.

"I made coffee." Niall tells him, pointing to the room door. "Wanna come in?"

Zayn smirked in amusement and handed Niall the jacket he left behind. "I'm pretty sure you locked
us both out, ducky."

Niall curses and turns around to knock on the door. Closed fist raised midair, he's stopped and lips
land on his in a fury. Hands secure his face and he takes a moment to appreciate that Zayn knows
how to kiss and isn't being an over ambitious idiot. Zayn only pulls away from him after he's
satisfied.

"So-" Zayn smiles and catches Niall when he tries running off, smiling with a bitten lip as he
backed him up against the door. "-do you accept me as well?"

"Um....-" Niall kind of wants to make sure nobody gets to see them so indecently. "-get me eleven
more purple roses and I'm all yours."

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Wake up." Harry's voice infiltrates Louis' peaceful slumber, enabling a vault that crashes down
over his dream of green eyes and tall trees.

Louis doesn't respond at first because he's comfortable and in no mood to wake up. His face lay
hidden against his arm as he slept on his front, one leg crooked over Edward's and Harry's hand
over his front where he could feel his breathing.

"Petal?" Harry ran the tip of his nose along Louis' jaw and nuzzled his neck, feeling overly
affectionate today. "Wake up, baby."

Rolling over, Louis turned towards Harry and pulled the thin covering up but his bare leg still stuck
out and tangled with Harry's. He blinked sleepily at the man and smiled tiredly, slowly falling back
under.

"Hey." Harry rubbed his sides. "Come watch the sunrise with me?"

Louis is a sucker for when Harry is in this adorable mood so he nods and encases himself in a
comforter. Harry grins and kisses him a little too hard for so early in the morning, but Louis touches
the side of his face and thumbs over his dimple to reimburse himself.

"Gotta carry me though." Louis says scratchily, reaching up with his arms ready to give out if Harry
didn't accept them.

He did thankfully, and hauled Louis off the bed to leave Edward sleeping on his pillow. Harry fits
Louis on his back, trailing bed sheets and all while he just wore boxers with shoes. Louis tries not to
fall asleep as he receives this piggy back ride to the door and beyond, latching onto his very tall
carrier with his legs and arms.

The balcony is chilly at this ungodly hour of the morning, dawn just passing by when Harry reaches
the railing. Louis covers his shoulders with the sheet and holds it around Harry's as well, which gets
him a kiss on his wrist. The sun is just peeking out from behind the grey clouds that formed after
the morning's dew drops.

Harry has another cigarette out by the time grey turns into beautiful red and orange, splitting the
clouds and welcoming the day. He lights up the fag with a steel lighter, inhaling to get a red buzz
before handing it to Louis.

"Absolutely not." Louis waves the horrid smoke away from him.
Amused but understanding, Harry still makes Louis hold it. "Can't hold you and the cigarette,
petal."

Indeed moments later Harry has Louis secured with both hands showing effort, the boy deciding
when Harry gets to take a whiff of smoke from the cigarette as he holds it to or away from his lips.

"Did you wake up to watch the sun rising?" Louis moves his hand from Harry's chest to his hair,
straightening the curls between his fingers.

"I couldn't sleep." Harry confesses, clearing his throat and exhaling smoke through his lips. "Spent
the last four hours watching you sleep."

Louis pouted and nearly burnt himself when he forgot about the cigarette and closed his arms
around Harry's shoulders. "Come sit with me today when we get on the road again. I'll help you
sleep."

"Thanks, petal." Harry kisses Louis' pale bicep. "Fuckin' hungry though. We haven't eaten."

"I have raisins and a breakfast bar?" Louis offers to him, knowing the hunger pangs from personal -
current - experience.

"No thanks, Lou." Harry shifts Louis a little further up his body, sighing happily when Louis' ankles
cross in front of him. "It's beautiful, yeah?"

"The sun?" Louis pinches the cigarette and Harry kisses his fingers when they come near his mouth.

"Yes. The sun." Harry laughed, rubbing the length of Louis' thighs to keep them warm. "What do
you think of it?"

"Of the sun?" Louis teasingly clarifies, giggling when Harry pinches his hip. "I think it's not
as wonderful as you, Daddy."

Louis hides his blushing face in Harry's neck right after that, closing his eyes as well. Harry gives
his cheek a kiss and grins wolfishly as they bump noses by a cute accident. Flicking the cigarette
down to the ground way down below them, Louis celebrates the sacrifice by placing his hand on the
side of Harry's face so he can't turn away.

"I saw that, petal." Harry closes his eyes and kisses Louis' throat, lips near pouting as they tried to
never stop.

Dipping his head, Louis allowed for their lips to meet. He finally pulled away and rested his chin
back on Harry's head, gazing at the arising sun as it freed itself. The vision made him smile and he
made absent-minded circles on Harry's clavicle with his index.

The peace and tranquillity of their time spent outside probably contracting pneumonia meant so
much to both of them. Nothing ever interrupted it because it's too early - and too damn cold - for
anyone in their right mind to be outside. A disturbance was Harry kissing some part of Louis and
the latter retaliating some how.

"Hey, Harry?" Louis didn't realise his voice would be so unclear after their silence lasted over seven
minutes.

Harry doesn't entirely know how to respond to a greeting in the middle of a union. He frowns and
tries. "Hello?"

After Louis stops his light laughter, he plays with the lighter of Harry's that has the engraving of
two blades crossing on it. "Thank you for waking me to watch this with you."

"Are you being sarcastic, petal?"

"No!" Louis gasps. "It's really beautiful so thank you. I love you."

Hearing those words in his ear makes Harry feel like he's floating just as the clouds above them are.
He let's them sedate the evil thoughts in his head that plague his mind every single day to become,
just for a moment, as normal as they'll let him. Louis might never know what he can do with just
those words.

"It's only as beautiful because I have you here, petal." Harry leans his head against Louis'. "You
make everything brighter."

Louis presses his lips to Harry's temple, not withdrawing until he's certain Harry understands that he
feels the exact same way. "You and Edward are my everything."

They stand like that holding onto each other like there's nothing besides them in a shitty motel
facing the most spectacular view at the start of a new day. Louis almost never wants to go back to
Middleston where everything is dreary and complicated. He wants to spend his life driving with
these two men, spending every night in a new motel with a new sunrise everyday.

He knows it's impossible and it guts him.

"It's cold now. Let's go inside." Harry says after Louis sneezes, completely blocking himself under
the cover he dragged out here with them.

"I really want muffins for breakfast." Louis says once they're indoors and Edward is no longer
asleep, frowning at his phone while he stood by the box TV.

Edward looked so soft and sleepy, utterly harmless with his mouth closed and silvery hair untamed.
He was in boxer briefs and coughed into his fist before a sniffle, looking up and smiling at the two
who just entered.

"Morning." Louis is carefully dropped to the ground near Edward on Harry's way to the bathroom.
"Good morning." His voice got extra sultry in the early morning hours and Louis accepted his kiss
quickly before the offer is gone. "What were you and my brother doing outside?"

"Watching the sun come out." Louis tells truthfully, wrapping the thin white sheet more comfortably
around his shoulders. "Why are you awake?"

"Woke up and neither of you were there." Edward drapes an arm around Louis' shoulders, pulling
him in for a tender kiss only fit for this kind of morning.

Louis cooes and wrinkles his nose at the uncomfortable feeling on his skin between his legs.
Edward laughs and takes his hand, escorting him to the bathroom. Harry is in there brushing his
teeth and Louis gets out his toothbrush too before Edward can do anything drastic.

A comfortable silence fell over them again as Louis finished brushing and gargled, moving away to
use the toilet but not being allowed to. Edward held onto his hip with a firm grip and Harry smirked
at the boy through the mirror.

Before he knew it he was being bent over the counter but not made to touch the unappealing
surface. The wind was knocked out of him and he managed to swallow whole the scream that had
caught onto his throat. Edward was still behind him, his hand holding him down by the lower point
on his back.

"What are you doing?" Louis holds himself up on his elbows, glaring at Edward's smug grin.

"Shh." Harry kisses Louis' cheek and bends to kiss the bare side of his hip. "Just gotta get you
clean."

"I can shower." Louis tells Edward, Harry having already left the room.

"Oh no, petal." Edward has his eyes downcast, focusing on the sight open to him looking so
vulnerable and perfect.

Edward plugs the basin and fills it with hot water, not adding even a little cold water to even the
temperature. He takes a cloth out from their own bag - not in any Hell trusting the motel's awful
stuff - and soaks it in the water, his hand turning red from how hot it is.

"Ed-Edward." Louis starts to push back and hopefully get free, the steam leaving the cloth
frightening him.

"Relax." Edward spreads the flannel out and folds it, before lowering it to right between Louis'
cheeks.

Louis hisses and tries leaving it, the burn too much but also not as reckless as he thought it would
be. After a morning spent with no clothing on outside, this sudden burst of warmth is accepted by
his deceptive body. He fists his hands and bites his lip, spreading his legs further.

"You're so obedient when you want to be, petal." Edward wipes him down, drenching and not
squeezing the cloth so hot water runs down Louis' legs onto the rubber mat.

Unable to speak, Louis' eyelids hurt when they fly open at the intrusion of Edward's finger in his
body. It's wet and rubbing against him to clean him out or work him up some more but either way
Louis starts getting hard again. Edward notices and tosses the bed sheet onto the ground, out of
Louis' paws.

Edward suddenly removes his finger and goes back to the cloth, smirking at Louis via the mirror
because he knows very well what he's done. Louis releases a huff of air and straightens his arms,
allowed to turn around if he hoists himself up onto the counter.

He just manages to without slipping on his first attempt, and his feet are set on the cold tile as well,
spread apart so he's completely and utterly exposed between them. Edward is unfazed by all the
nudity marked as a signature habit between the three of them, and so Louis has also come to accept
this.

"We'll stay here for a few more hours." Edward runs the dripping cloth along the insides of Louis'
right thigh, followed by his hand and a soft pat right beside his slowly hardening length. "Looks like
you've got a situation, baby."

Louis whimpers when Edward grabs hold of his no longer flaccid member with the wet cloth - its
temperature now warm and not scalding - and swipes over the length once. He let's his legs fall
apart and moans brokenly. Louis saw also the bulge in Edward's underwear and lowered his legs to
lean forward and distract him with a kiss while he slipped his hand beneath the waistband of his
boxer briefs.

The kiss was as all their kisses are: messy and loud. Louis smiles and Edward's tongue invades his
mouth, licking the pink muscle in a massage. They'd moan and Louis made especially high
whimpers whenever the moment got too heated.

Louis hooks his thumbs under the elastic and Edward let's him push it off, his hands coming around
to bravely squeeze the man's behind. It makes Edward bite his lip and groan when Louis started
working his hand on him, slow pumps where he flicked his wrist and circled the head at all the right
moments.

"Fucking Hell, petal." Edward pulled Louis closer and his hips moved to their own accord with
Louis' hand. "Yeah, baby. Tighter."

Louis squeezes his hand for a moment and his breathing turns choppy but he's satisfied when
Edward starts holding onto him like he's a parachute. He eventually begins to ignore his own
orgasm and sticks two fingers into his own mouth.

"What- fuck." Edward handles his sprouting arousal by seeking out the comfort of Louis'
neck.

"Daddy." Louis tugs Edward by his hair, pulling him away. "You gotta watch, Daddy."

Edward's not immune to this boy. He is not strong enough to watch Louis extract those fingers
before entering himself with them. He could be, but he won't allow it. His petal is his strength and
his weakness. Louis waits long enough to test that he's properly open, scissoring his fingers and
never faltering in getting Edward off.

"Careful, pup." Edward observes like a silent predator when Louis guides him to his hole, closing
his legs around him and completing the process by tightening.

"New name, Daddy?" Louis is breathless but cheeky enough to try talking anyway.

"Yeah, baby." Edward's arm wraps around Louis lower back and cages him in as he starts to thrust,
using Louis' body for his pleasure. "You're my slut too, petal."

Louis' hands find purchase on Edward's shoulders, hair falling back between his flexing
shoulderblades as he's fucked. His jaw falls open and his mind empties of coherent capabilities. He
just lives, breathes and survives on this. Edward grunts into Louis' throat where marks - love-bites
and regular bites - were scattered for every eye to see.

"Yours, Daddy." Louis dug his nails into Edward's neck. "Love you."

"Love you so much, baby." Edward was caught between sucking, biting and kissing Louis' already
bruised skin. He wants to do them all but he can't and he's so desperate.

Edward made Louis feel like his insides were being beat on in the most loving way, bruising his
walls and leaving it kissed. He could do more than pray to not get torn up inside, but the starved
part of his brain wants it to hurt bad enough that he won't be able to sit for days.

When Louis' legs slipped, Edward caught them with his nails instead of his fingers and not so
gently jerked them even higher. His flexibility was being far stretched and Louis could not do more
than hold onto the wall's metal rack and let his body be assaulted so well.

"Fuck. Come here, baby." Edward yanked Louis off the counter, ingesting his scream when Louis'
teeth clung to his lower lip.

Louis' back hits the wall and he winces from the painful impact, but crosses his legs around Edward
and knotted his fingers in his hair, letting himself be used. He emitted sincere noises of pleasure as
Edward pounded into him and only emphasised the burn of minimal lube.

Edward would turn carnivorous in his neck juncture and Louis hung onto him like desperate prey,
needing to be consumed. His prostate is sensitive from last night and it starts to throb once more,
throwing him off a cliff and catching him to haul him back to the top before a fatal collision.

Hips meet his in a magnetic pull, back and forth it pivoted without a care to be gentle. Edward held
Louis' thighs just under his arms, folding the boy in half and kept them both upright by the strength
of a miracle.

Louis came first, shooting thick white ropes up to his chin as he grated his nails against Edward's
knuckles. The man that pinned him came to a halt after six thrusts, stilling and finally emptying
himself into Louis to defeat his purpose of coming into the bathroom.

"Uh." Louis' head hit the wall as he worked on slowing his breathing. "No more sex for me."

Edward chuckles and kisses his way to Louis' nose. "You crave it, pup. There's no escaping what
you'll always seek."

With a roll of his eyes and little smile playing on his lips, Louis surrenders the battle. "I imagine
that is true."

"Petal." Edward mourns the moment he has to withdraw and lead Louis back to the basin to
actually clean up this time. "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure." Louis is wiped down with the cloth from earlier and now luke warm water, smiling in
encouragement.

"If my brother hadn't taken it too far with that Anthony fellow-" Edward gauges Louis' impassive
reaction as he speaks. "-or forced you to stay, would you have found a reason to anyway?"

"I don't know." Louis pulls in through his nose and gets off the tiles by starting to stand on just his
tiptoes. "You do know though, don't you?"

"You wouldn't have stayed if we didn't force you to." Edward speak out loud his worst nightmare.
"Imagine all that would never have taken place because of that one little thing."

Louis doesn't favour where this conversation may lead and hugs Edward around his neck, shivering
just the least when Edward embraces him back. Calloused hands slide over his smooth back and dip
where he curves, glides where he's supple.

"It doesn't matter." Louis says convincingly, eyes blazing. "We're far away from those things and
that place now."

Edward's lips curve into a smile of genuine heartfelt emotion oozing out of the gaps in his torn
heart, his sick and tired soul doing a poor job of protecting it. Their foreheads rest against each
other's in an ideal scenario of co-dependence.

"There's a demon in everyone-" Edward kisses Louis' fingertips when they come up to brush his
jawline. "-and mine chose to live in you."

* * * * *

"Are you sure, petal?" Harry asks, unsure whether it's really okay with Louis that he does this.
Edward had gone out to get breakfast because he absolutely hated the thought of eating any morsel
of food from this pitiful establishment. He left Harry and Louis alone in their room while he drove
to the nearest place available for food.

Harry is lighting up another cigarette, lying on his back beside where Louis lay on his stomach.
They were both naked down to their underwear, no need for extra clothing when they hardly felt the
cold at all. Louis crossed his ankles in the air over his back while and Harry was using the precious
dip in his back caused by the muscle stretch as his ash tray.

"Yes, Harry." Louis giggled at the question being asked for a third time. The ash wasn't hot and he
really didn't feel like it was there at all.

Louis found a programme on TLC - oh how he despised the channel - called Cake Boss and settled
down to watch that, dropping the remote onto the sheets. He heard a shuffle and felt the bed sinking
as Harry moved closer to him, banding an arm over the curve after Louis' hips. His head rested in
the middle of Louis' back while the rest of his body curled around his petal.

"What are you doing down there?" Louis noticed no other movement after Harry became attached
to him.

"Nothin'." Harry sniffed as he took another drag of his cigarette, blowing out the smoke to cascade
over Louis' hips and dropping the ash onto the boy's skin. "You're better than a pillow, petal."

"Thanks, Daddy. Although-" Louis' eyes were crinkling Harry will bet his life on it. "-I
am a living thing."

For the ass, Harry harmlessly pinched Louis' bum and chuckled at the little squeal Louis makes. He
closes his eyes and, with his fag between two fingers, presses his face into the boy's wondrous
curves. Breathing deeply like Louis was the greatest ever source of nicotine, Harry sometimes
pecked the skin beneath his lips.

Then came the small set of dimples before the end of Louis' back, where Harry's ash sat unmoving
except for breathing motions. Harry could see that Louis' skin has made a full recovery from his
mistreatment from weeks ago. That just won't stand when he's vowed to mark up Louis physically
as his.

"Do you remember any breakfast joints in this area?" Louis asked, TV show forgotten and now
browsing through Harry's phone.

"Yes." Harry sets the tip of his cigarette dangerously close to Louis' skin where he can just turn
it a little bit.
"That McDonalds place and two places at the lodge."

"McDonalds for breakfast?" Louis' scrunched nose said he wasn't a fan of the idea.

Harry shrugged and his upper body almost crushed Louis' bottom half because of his mass pressing
the boy deeper into the mattress. The noise of rusty springs and the rickety contraption that was
their plumbing filled the air. Harry took a breath filled with tobacco and Louis shivered when the
resulting smoke fogged over his skin, causing sweat.

Down here where Harry was rubbing his thumb back and forth, claiming the area as his. Just his,
not even Edward could have it. He wanted part of Louis to hurt whenever he moved a specific way,
remind him who his Daddy is always going to be. Harry watched his cigarette go a little dim and
knew he couldn't risk it, so when he dropped the ash he held the hot tip to a clean spot of skin.

Louis instantly wriggled and hissed from the pain. "Har- Harry!"

His voice calling Harry's name was a shriek as he clenched his teeth and dug his fists into the bed,
begging for relief when the cigarette didn't let up. He teared up and Harry didn't let him move an
inch away when he flicked the cigarette away, hugging Louis around the middle and feeling
content. It's just the beginning but this mark is good enough for now.

"What did you do, Harry?!" Louis kicked his legs and almost got Harry in the face but the
man pinned him down.

"Shh." Harry admired the perfect red circle on Louis' skin where he ruined its perfection all by
himself. He's sickeningly proud of himself. "Look how beautiful it is, petal."

It burns like absolute Hell and if Louis could he would pull on Harry's hair to get him away but alas
the man is devious. He let's it pass after trying not to cry pathetically and stick the pain because this
is the kind of regular occurrence he needs to get accustomed to.

"You're sweating, darlin'." Harry kisses down the line to Louis' newest scar, tasting ash and sweat
like a brilliant drug.

"A-Are you going to make a-another one?" Louis asks shakily, biting his lip as he prayed not.
"No." He granted Louis mercy, starting up a fresh love-bite beside the cigarette burn. "Not today.
Do you love me, petal?"

Louis has to catch his breath before he replies. He knows nothing has changed about that, however
twisted his mind makes it out to be. "Love you, Daddy."

Harry is so happy whenever he hears that, he just grins and buries his face in Louis' beautiful back.
"You're my beginning and my end, petal."

Louis can never properly return to his television show because he's nervous about what Harry's
getting up to where he held him like a space heater. He wasn't afraid and slightly grateful that he
wasn't warned so he'd anticipate the glorious pain. Now, Harry sprung those moments on him and
he'd just hope that the forms of marking wouldn't get worse.

Harry was preoccupied with kissing and examining the path of burnt skin. He loved it so much on
his petal where his marks deserved to be. It filled him with great satisfaction to note that Louis did
not openly object to he doing this. What a beauty he has for a lover.

"Petal?" Harry used a tissue to clean up the ash on Louis' body, tossing it a meter from the trash can
and flipping Louis over.

Louis was on his back staring up at Harry, feet flat on the bed near the center and arching his spine
so the cigarette burn doesn't make contact with degraded sheets.

Harry crawled over him, between his thighs and nuzzled his neck where it felt most comfortable.
"My sweet petal."

Laughing softly, Louis felt Harry's arm come up under his body to weld them into one unit. "My
Harry."

Harry kissed his cheek. "Your Harry."

"Now, my Harry, would you mind doing your petal a favour?" Louis asks, sweet as sugar as he
combs through the man's hair.

"Favour, baby?" Harry lifts his head from Louis' shoulder, eyes open and willing.
"We can't leave that mark you made down there open. Can you put a band aid or something on it,
please?"

Feeling guilty for not remembering that himself, Harry nods and grabs a small bag from the other
bed. He should have known to do this without Louis reminding him, but he was side-tracked by
Louis himself and his devastating beauty.

He woke up to go to the bathroom and come back with a cold cloth, pressing it over the burn that
was starting to swell and make Louis irritable with how it hurt. Harry folded and refolded
the cloth to make sure it stayed cool and over the burn, sometimes squeezing the water out to let it
sit idle on Louis' skin.

"Does it still hurt?" Harry crossed his legs and dabbed around the red skin, pleased with the state of
his purple hickie.

"Little bit." Louis admits, propped up on his elbows and trying to look over his shoulder.

"It'll stop now, baby." Harry tells him, planting a kiss on Louis' sweaty shoulder. "Thank you for
letting me do it."

"I didn't." Louis reminds with a coy smirk. "You have to ask next time you feel like doing that,
okay?"

Harry nods and removes the cloth, instantly the white heat of a healing burn returning to Louis'
flesh. He collapses onto the sheets and rests his head on his folded arms.

"You're so pretty when you're marked by me." Harry reminisces, rubbing over Louis' soft hip.
"Especially pretty, petal."

The boy is breathing a little heavier but he smiles when Harry leans over him to kiss him. He puts
his hand on Harry's cheek and let's the kiss stay moderately chaste because Harry understands that
he's uncomfortable at the moment.

"Are you my...in twenty-first century courting terms 'boyfriend', petal?" Harry asks in an amusing
manner, making Louis' eyes light up as he laughs. "Petal?"

"Twenty-first century courting terms', Haz?" Louis lies on his back, still arched slightly,
pulling Harry all the more close by his ears. "You're so dorky."

"You haven't answered the question, petal." Harry groans disapprovingly, craving a suitable
response.

"Yes, Harry. You're my dorky boyfriend." Louis loses his concentration to focus on the way Harry
switches his extrovertial moods in a split second.

Harry is very pleased after that and ignores his phone when it rings with Edward's name flashing
across the screen. He just spends his time palpating Louis' hips and maybe a bit lower, leaving his
target of praise to answer the device.

"Edward?" Louis puts the call of speaker-phone because in case Harry had to actually answer
something.

"Petal." Edward breathes Louis' name out like a talisman. "Where's my brother?"

"I'm here." Harry stops exploring Louis' tummy to pay attention.

"I'm coming back and someone needs to open the door because I didn't bring a key."

"Okay." Harry wipes the cold underside of his nose with finger and kneels straight up, gripping
Louis' legs so they don't close. Homes should always be open to their owners. "Louis let me mark
him."

Louis stares openly with a gaping jaw when Harry says it, sounding like a pre-teen when he's
confessing such a thing to his brother. What if Edward isn't happy?

"Really?" Edward cuts off the engine to the Rover. "I want to see it when I get up there."

The call ends just then and Harry cackles when Louis scrambles off the bed to put a long enough
Tshirt on. Louis grabs an appropriate shirt from his mess of belongings that turns out to be one of
Harry's hideous silk button-ups with mosaic designs on it. Unlike Harry though, he buttons it all the
way to the top.

"He's going to see it either way, petal." Harry gets up to unlock the door and leave it cracked open.

Louis makes him sit back against the headboard and snuggles up to him under his chin. He looks
quite small between Harry's legs and everytime he looks up, Harry kisses his forehead. He looks up
often.

Edward pushes open the door with his elbow and kicks it closed after stepping inside. The
temperature outside is in the single digits and the sun serves no purpose in fighting the damn cold.
Nothing is said about Louis' mark while Edward dumps the food on the bed and toes off his boots.

"Cold?" Louis is the first one to speak, breaking the ice with an obvious question.

Turning his head to the side, Edward raises an eyebrow at his petal while Harry laughs. "Yes, petal."

Louis pouts and makes his way over to Edward, carefully entering the cage of his cold arms where
he can warm the man up. That plan is obviously foiled when Harry indicates to Edward where the
mark is and Louis is tossed onto his front so his shirt can be lifted.

"Nice." Edward says, releasing Louis from the bed after he applies a little pressure to the burn.
"Does it hurt any?"

Louis, having lost the battle when he went to Edward, answers around the fries he's munching. "I
can manage."

Humming, Edward doesn't kiss the area because he knows already how pissed his brother would he.
He sits up and Louis stays on his front, facing the wall near the bathroom as he opens a burger
container and passes Harry the brown paper bag.

Edward had gotten a chicken fold-over that's so much bigger than a burger but won't swap with
Louis when he's asked. Louis resorts to forfeiture and sits with his leg around Edward's back, the
other bent at the knee over the man's hip.

"You can have first bite if you want it that badly, petal." Edward offers after a moment of
consideration.

Louis smiles and holds Edward's hand steady as he bites the warm wrap right in the middle. "You
can't have my burger though."

"I thought as much." Edward smirked as he kissed Louis on his forehead, firmly and making Louis
smile.

They finished eating and Louis got dressed in the bathroom - he didn't specify that he was going to
put clothes on before he returned - before Harry did. Edward slipped his shoes back on and Louis
fitted under his arm while Harry went to pay for the room.

The morning is dull but ideally so. Louis loves weather like this. He stood by the Rover's trunk
while Edward packed their bags back into it, staring up at the grey sky. The sun didn't even have an
effect today.

"You smoke too?" Louis asked when Harry handed Edward his cigarette after returning from the
office.

Edward took a drag and handed it back, blowing out a puff of grey when he slightly parted his lips
and it escaped through the sharp corners of this teeth. He looked terrifying like that but Louis didn't
shiver from that.

"Not as often as him." Edward held Louis' door open and without shame watched him get up onto
the high seat.

Harry turned on the heater as soon as he was inside as well on the passenger side at the front. He
didn't try again with putting the radio on, knowing it would be pointless. Edward pulled out of their
parking spot and Louis looked out the window with his travel blanket around him again. The motel
got smaller and smaller as Edward sped up on the freeway, finally disappearing behind the trees.
It was a little unsettling to be driving down a road like this in weather so gloomy, but Louis knew he
was safe and it wasn't because of central locking.

They drove in silence for a while, Harry eventually falling asleep with his seatbelt serving as an odd
pillow structure. Louis did so as well when he couldn't keep his eyes open any longer, the lulling of
the smooth Rover and its calm engine sending him straight under.

He woke up after four hours - finally replenishing his full eight our sleep schedule - and the Rover
was parked on the side of the road with both front doors wide open. Not thinking much of it but also
a little intrigued, he sat up to stretch and didn't see that his door was open too with Edward standing
just outside staring at him. Watching every move until Louis finally sensed those eyes and turned.
Edward grabbed him and Louis screamed when he was dragged onto the road rather than carried. At
the tightening of such a grip on him, Louis found himself shooting awake just an hour after falling
asleep.

The nightmare was quick and gone so soon but he was sweating and had eyes wide as saucers,
staring at where his fingers couldn't loosen from their crooked nature. The fear of that moment
when he was dragged out of the Rover made them stiff.

"Petal?" Harry is asking from the front seat, looking concerned as Edward peered back through the
rear-view mirror.

"Fine." Louis swallowed thickly and answered, hiding his hands under his blanket.
Harry leaned over and whispered in Edward's ear. Edward nodded and pulled over to the side
yellow lane. "Bad dream again?"

Louis nods and hears Harry jump off, shutting his door and getting in the back with him. He's so
appreciative of the gesture because he doesn't think he can fall asleep alone now after that.
"Sleep now, petal." Harry turns Louis around to tuck him in against his chest. "You're safe, baby. It
was just a nightmare."

Edward starts driving again but he keeps an eye on them in the back-seat, chewing up his lip as he
worries himself. He doesn't want Louis going back to the state he was in for two weeks. He won't
survive the loss again and he also doubts Louis will have the strength to come back from it.

"Can't sleep?" Harry smelt like Old Spice and nicotine but it reminded Louis that this is real, this is
safe.

"No." Louis exercised his fingers, picking at the threads of Harry's shirt. "I'm not tired anymore."
"You have to sleep, petal." Harry rubbed Louis' back comfortingly.

"I don't like the silence." Louis mumbled. "It makes me think."

"Okay." Harry thinks of a solution while he throws the blanket over them both. "Let's listen to some
music then."

He takes out his iPod from the back of Edward's seat and puts one earphone on Louis, the other on
himself. Random songs start to play and the first one up is something by The Weeknd. Louis
immediately brightens when he laughs. It's a good sign.

"Sleep, baby. I'll be right here to protect you."

Blue eyes on a feathery head tilted backward to look at Harry. "You promise?"

Harry smiled reassuringly and cuddled with his petal. "I promise, petal. I promise."

Chapter Text

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Is he sleeping?" Edward asks distractedly over his shoulder.

Harry, who was fairly comfortable serving as a personal body pillow for Louis, can't fall asleep
because he's worried that he won't be up when he needs to be. If Louis had another nightmare, he
needed to be awake to take care of him.

"Yeah." Harry rolls his head to the side, almost off the seat. "He's sleeping again."

"Do we need anything? That-" Edward points to a gas station just before the toll point. "-is the last
thing we'll see for five hours."

"We don't need anything." Harry clears his throat and shifts with Louis when the boy shuffles
closer, seeking the warmth of another person.

"What's he doing?"

Edward could hear the movement and always wanted to know what their petal was doing, how he
did it and why. It's his compulsion, his own personal obligation that tied him to Louis because he
simply had to know everything concerning the boy he loved so much.

"Feelin' restless, I think. He's still asleep." Harry is kind enough inform Edward who will risk their
lives to look over in the back-seat if he hadn't told him.

"He hasn't been sleeping well." Edward sighs as he moves from an on-ramp to the biggest freeway
between counties.

"He slept for ten hours when we left Middleston." Harry reminds him, curling his arm around Louis'
shoulders and holding him extra close.

"Yes and that's the last peaceful sleep he had." His older brother replies, soft in volume so as not to
disturb their petal. "We should be taking him up to our cabin."

Harry immediately tenses over and removes the earphones from the hiding place between the
blankets to place it in Louis' ears. He can't take a chance. That's an awful part of their history and he
can't have his precious petal knowing one bit about it. Not even the Madhouse criminal records
have it.

"We boarded that place up, Edward." Harry frowns at his sibling who is driving. "You and I
promised to never go back there."

"I don't remember making such a promise, Harry."

Harry's blood started to boil but not because of his brother but because he hoped strongly that the lie
about the cabin would work. That place is his personal Hell and sanctuary, he hates it as much as he
craves to be back in it. Such a thing can't happen again or he'll never recover.

"We're not going there." He says with a strict sense of moral finality. "We can't risk it."

"It's the ideal place for him and you know it."

Their cabin - still leased under their family name - stood as a strong shack construction in the
middle of the wilderness. It was safe enough to not have lurking predators outside maybe a few
wolves at night, and resourceful enough to have does and deer everyday.

It really was any nature-lovers ideal hangout as it was constructed on a lake's dock, the water
always healthy blue with animals in and around to create the perfect scenery. Harry almost regrets
the fact that they ruined it for any of those nature-lovers by building a cellar, and then filling that
cellar with morbid equipment.

They took lots of people up there - close to two dozen - during vacations and weekends from the
time they were of age and learning to polish their talent for thirsting after blood. The kill was
always the best up there in their quaint little cabin.

The cabin with its flowering tree companion is also why Louis is called petal. Every fall when the
leaves fell, this beautiful tree would drop petals onto the cabin's roof. They were the lightest pink
with the softest texture.

"No." Harry shakes his head, fighting what anger bubbled beneath the surface. "No we are
not going back there."

Edward's audible sigh got him through the freeway's toll gate and mark three hours left of their
journey until the next pit-stop: a mall just outside Dynasville. "You're right. I'm sorry, brother."

Harry settled himself and calmed his nerves. The rapid fire within him soothed itself into extinction
and eventually he was back to paying attention to their petal. It's like their conversation never
happened and Edward never brought up the most horrendous part of their past. Sometimes his
madness was so useful.

"Can I sleep now too?" Harry's voice carried to Edward's ears, snapping him out of his memories
about the cabin.

"Yeah." Edward cleared his throat and lessened his weight on the accelerator. "Yeah you can. I'll
wake you both up when we're at the mall."

Yawning, Harry closed his eyes and wrapped Louis up in his arms where he's safest and most
comfortable. His sleep took over while the car ride got more soothing for them both. Edward sat
more stiffly in his driver's seat but he'd figure out a way to get past his memories of their cabin that
he hasn't seen in five years.

It was a distant memory for Harry, one that will never leave him alone in the form of background
images from his dreams. Edward asked himself why he had a harder time letting go but no
conclusive response was granted. He sat, driving blindly down a freeway with half a tank of petrol,
looking out the window when the turn-off that would lead them towards the cabin came his way. He
thought of Harry and didn't turn into it, when his hands were ready to deceive them both.

"I can't do this." He told the lifeless vehicle, lying to himself to ease his worry made he made a Uturn.

* * * * *

Harry woke up before Louis did and didn't lift his head anymore than was needed to admire his
petal's dozing form. Louis always had his mouth a little open where he breathed, his worries gone
like they never lived and his shoulders curled inward to protect his chest.

If Harry were to - out of necessity - wrap his arm around Louis' slim waist, the boy would
raise his head a little and fit himself against Harry like a puzzle piece. The fit wasn't ideal all the
time; the times when Edward wasn't there.

"Sweet petal." Harry kissed Louis' forehead and his fingers traced the scarred tissue at the base of
Louis' spine, watching him wince in his sleep.

He couldn't hear the soothing purr of the Rover's engine and frowned, turning onto his back to crane
his neck in the direction of Edward's seat. His brother wasn't seated by the wheel anymore and the
door was left open.

"Louis." Harry panicked when he saw just a glimpse of the ground outside, covered in light
pink petals. "Petal, wake up!"

Louis was annoyed when he was shaken awake by Harry's urgency, getting to look into boldly
stricken green eyes the exact moment that he opens his with a soft sniffle. "What-"

"I need you awake now, baby." Harry opens his door and jumps down, Louis still disorientated.
"Louis?"

"I'm okay." Louis spoke from where his face is smashed into the pillow they shared. "I'm awake."

Harry knows Louis and today - right now - is not the time to entertain any cute tendencies. He grabs
the pillow so Louis doesn't fall asleep again and makes him look up.

"Harry-" Louis has a murderous glare set amidst his scowl.

"Shh." Harry listened to the sparrow birds singing and bushes rustle with the movement of hooves,
grinding his jaws together. "Stay in the car, okay? Do not come out. Not for me, not for
Edward. Understand?"

Louis seemed to grasp the idea that their situation was pretty serious and looked up at the
surroundings. It was so beautiful with the smell of a salt lake in the air, wild animals doing their
own thing and a cabin that's absolutely perfect for getaways. Yes it resembles a well-built shack but
Louis thought it to be darling.

"Where are we?" Louis rubbed his itchy eye with the ball of his palm, the other hand gripping his
blanket.

"Somewhere I don't want us to be." Harry closes the door before Louis can respond to the fuming
blades of black flames in his eyes.

Harry makes his way to the driver's side and enables the central locking, removing the key right
after to double check from the outside. Louis sits up straight in his seat with a heavy chest and
racing heart, made paranoid by Harry moments ago.

He watches Harry as the man jogs down to the cabin - who it belongs to he isn't sure - and steps
onto the porch, pausing momentarily to look up at the idle Rover. Louis thinks he's squinting to see
him but he can't be sure, his yawn making his own eyes water.

"Edward!" Harry was furious and he was going to prove it as soon as he laid eyes on his stupid,
stupid brother. "Where the fuck are you?!"

Harry knew where he'd be but he didn't want to go down there, didn't want to be away from the
windows that he could monitor Louis with. Bad things happen here and it isn't all because of them.
Sometimes awful things happen to wonderful people and homicide isn't to blame.

The land this cabin was built on is older than their family line and nothing was as it seemed on the
outside. Ever. Harry's witnessed phantom movements and heard people's footsteps when he was
alone. Like the corner of their house that should be left alone, this place held energy far
greater than what a person can handle sanely.

"Edward!" Harry's voice rose to a high screech when he looked down at the cellar door.
Their walls were the same except the wood was rotting, furniture carved from pure oak.

"Come down!" Came a response but Harry hadn't seen Edward and didn't trust any voice without a
face.

"Let me see you." Harry spoke in a regular low voice.

Nothing happened except for a squeak on the stairs leading to the black mouth of the cellar, like
staring down into your own doom. Someone touched Harry's shoulder and he stood up with a
shock.

"Let's go." Edward was standing there in one piece and wearing nothing creased or disorganised. He
looked just as he did when they left the motel.

Harry hit him.

Square in the jaw with a sealed fist, Harry threw a punch that would black anyone - but Edward -
out for an hour. Edward took it with a stumble and held his cheek with his hand when he righted
himself, preventing a fall.

"I deserve that." He spoke huskily, exercising his bruising left facial side.

Harry was in no mood for this rubbish and shoved Edward back, looking lethal like a beast whose
most prized possession was stolen by his beloved sibling. He stormed out of the cabin and waited
on the porch, saying nothing, for his brother to follow.

"I had to see it." Edward tries to explain, but Harry looks everywhere besides at him. "It's been too
long."

"Fuck you." Harry spat hatefully, black pebbles for eyes. "You should have come alone and gotten
yourself killed but my petal doesn't deserve to know about this place."

"You're fucking superstitious."

"That's not the point, you bastard!" Harry pushed Edward backward, angrier than anything
he's experienced before. "If you're suicidal, do it another way."

Harry turned on his heel and abandon his brother's bewildered expression, glancing up the pathway
to the Rover. Squinting against the sunlight peeking through breezy treetops, Harry's heart
plummeted when the back-seat was empty.

"Louis." He ran towards the vehicle like a lunatic, kicking dirt and stone to get there faster.
"Where is he?" Edward pulled on the door handle, mind foggy with worry over Louis and hate for
himself.

"Fuck! Louis!" Harry got the door open but the seat really was empty and he dropped everything
outside to check thoroughly.

Nobody ever finds something they've lost in these parts of the woods. Harry sunk to the ground
feeling frustrated and terrified, holding his head in his hands and wanting to beat his brother to a
pulp.

Edward did circles around the SUV, stepping a little into the tree line and searching desperately. He
shouted at the trees like they were mocking him, a man with no power over them. "Give him back!"

"It's your fault." Harry has red eyes, straining as he couldn't stop staring at the trees. "When we
leave with petal, you're never touching him again."

"Brother-"

"Fuck off. You're not my brother." Harry stood up and walked back down to the cabin, not sparing a
glance at Edward.

Edward agrees with him. He doubts Louis will want to see him after this. He doubts he'll make it to
look Louis in the eye after this.

* * * * *

Louis sat in the back-seat of the Rover behind Edward's driving seat with his feet up and using the
last bar of Harry's battery. He saw them leave the cabin and Harry look his way, trying to give a
small wave to indicate that he's awake. Instead of a wave back, Harry comes rushing towards him.
Louis looks over his shoulder and there's no threatening other person so was he running?
The moment Harry tried yanking the door open Louis was lost in confusion. He motioned to the
man that he's okay and hasn't moved but Edward nor him seem to understand.

"Harry?" Louis puts his hand on the glass. "What's wrong?"

Harry gets in and starts throwing things around, Louis moving to the far corner to stay out of harm's
way.

"Harry!" He hugs his knees, frightened by this behaviour of the twins. "Stop it!"

It's like they can't see him.

He reaches out when Harry's just about looking right at him but seeing nothing resembling him. His
hand doesn't touch Harry because the man falls to the ground with a pained cry. Louis crawls to the
closest end of the seat and watches in petrified awe.

"It's your fault." Harry told Edward after an inspection of the trees was made. "You're not my
brother."

Louis gasped and covered his mouth. Why would Harry say that? Why was Edward letting him? He
didn't understand. Why couldn't they see him? Looking around him at the trees and lake and cabin,
they all seemed to have lives of their own.

What is this place?

* * * * *

Harry re-enters the cabin he shared with Edward during rendezvous he hopes to never think of
again, feeling like and wanting the ground to swallow him whole. His eyes burned where he felt
tears break through, very little hope present in his empty heart.

His petal.

He knows it isn't Edward's fault. He knows exactly how convincing this place can be and had to say
all those nasty things to hurry along the process of leaving. If he got Edward and himself with Louis
out, there's every possible chance left that they'd never remember what happened. It's how this piece
of a demon's lair worked.

You come, and you only leave if it wants you to. The illusions are misleading and dangerous. Never
spend a night here if you want to get out.

The cellar door is still wide open, thrown back on its hinges and leaving down into black matter.
Only two narrow steps were visible from his vantage point, the rest disappearing below the
darkness.

"Come down!" This time the voice spoke, it was Louis'.

Chapter Text

Lips so good, I forget my name. I swear I could give you everything.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

"Louis' not answering his phone." Niall complained, dumping the device of his own onto the bed
and crossing the room to their hotel room window.

Liam stood against the open window without a shirt on, letting the world get a glimpse of him in
just really low-hanging grey slack. "His phone was taken as evidence, I believe."

"Evidence?" Niall slots himself under Liam's strong arm and sighs. He's always so comfortable
here.

"From his mother's crime scene." Answered Liam, turning away from the window. "Last I
remember, he doesn't have one right now."

"He's probably using one of the twins'." Niall supposes, the tranquillity of their little abode still
maintained.

Zayn was asleep on the twin bed, on his front and snoring very softly. It's been approximately
eighteenth months since he had a good night's sleep. It's been eighteen months since he felt safe
enough to fall asleep.

"No one has their number." Liam shuts down Niall's hope before he can even ask. "I don't think
even Louis did."

"Maybe he'll call." Niall reassures himself by rubbing his palm up and down Liam's chest. "I haven't
seen him in days."

"Maybe they went somewhere?" Liam's face contorts even as he thinks of the possibility. "You don't
think they....-"

"No." Niall shakes his head adamantly. "They'd never hurt him."

"Yeah you're right." Liam plants a kiss on the top of Niall's head. "Might just gut us all in our sleep
but they'd never hurt a hair on his head."

"It's sad how true that is." Niall almost laughs. "You know he's the luckiest of us all, right?"
"How so?"

Niall ticked them off on his fingers as he spoke. "He's in love. Those two maniacs love him. He's
doing his country a service by keeping them happy. Those bastards are so shady and they
probably tell him every little thing. Not to mention-" Niall's dark eyebrows do an indecent wiggle.
"-the sex."

Liam scoffs and squeezes Niall's countdown. "The sex can't be half as amazing as-"

"They're both crazy, Liam." Niall pokes Liam's chest. "They probably go at it like freakin' rabbits."

"Or they don't know how to even get it up."

"You really think that?" Niall teases. "I told you he's the luckiest bastard to ever walk the Earth."

"I-" Liam tilts Niall's head up close to his. "-disagree."


* * * * *

The cellar door is still wide open, thrown back on its hinges and leaving down into black matter.
Only two narrow steps were visible from his vantage point, the rest disappearing below the
darkness.

"Come down!" This time the voice spoke, it was Louis'.

"Get in the car." Edward is standing the doorway, managing to look formidable even with a
blackening jaw. "Now."

"What? No!" Harry stands up in front of the cellar with his arms crossed. "We have to find Lou."

"He's not in here." Edward has to speak through gritted teeth because exercising the
movement of his nearly caved-in jaw was excruciating.

"Fuck it. We're not leaving, Edward!"

Harry turned to look at the cellar again, down into its depths, so he didn't have to face his two-faced
twin. He's staring down into the pit and many sounds, dozens of voices, start to fill his head. He can
hear individual words as fleeting thoughts, some reminders. All hushed whispers and ultra sweet
voices.

They made his eyes get wider, taking more into his peripheral as he stared emptily. It was
frightening how they seemed to know how to lure him in.

Edward sighed, aware of what he's got to do to drag Harry out of here. There's a porcelain vase set
on the table they'd used for almost everything besides meals, and he picks it up. The white colour is
polluted with rapid fungus growth but it's still heavy enough to serve his purpose.

"Think of it as revenge." He said to Harry's back as he hit him with the ornament, hard enough to
hear a sickening crack before his brother collapses.

Everything goes still for a moment as Harry's head rolls to the side with his eyelids still a little
open. Even the aura of energy, cursed or not, didn't understand why a brother would do this. It was
Edward's duty to protect his little brother and this is how he was going to do it.

The cabin got into everyone's minds and ruined it. Chewed you up inside and spat you out, doing it
over and over until you're hardly recognisable as a living being anymore.

Harry would fold his resistance to whatever he was hearing in that cellar and Edward knew it. He
had to be brutal about it but Harry would understand after they've gotten out of here.

He could already feel something clawing its way into his brain, wanting to overrule and dominate it.
Harry's body was heavy dead weight and Edward struggled to get him up. With a moment spent
straightening himself, Edward moved forward and out of the cabin with Harry's arm over his
shoulders.

The Rover had an open back-seat door and he could smile when he saw the blanket no longer on the
floor like when Harry had thrown it on the ground. He knew Louis was there but he had to be subtle
about it. Evil doesn't like to be cheated.

Edward dumped Harry in the back-seat without caution and closed the gaping doors, getting in the
driver's seat and kicking the Rover into reverse. He didn't bother with a U-turn and looked over his
seat as he put the SUV in gear and accelerated backwards up the pathway.

The freeway came into view and Edward's smile got broader, finally braking and pulling onto the
street where other cars travelled. The walkway that led to the seemed to close on its own, blocking
anyone who wasn't welcome. This place isn't theirs anymore, Edward would make sure of it.

An additional weight was lifted after the sixth tree flew past. Edward physically felt lighter as his
mind eased and shoulders relaxed. Like thorns from cotton wool the claws and talons of that place
that pre-existed on him and his brother simply vanished.

"You hit him?!" Louis' shriek made Edward laugh, hearing his petal's frantic voice bringing
unimaginable happiness to the older male.

Louis was there, in the seat he never moved from all of a sudden as the cloak of a masterly illusion
lifted. Harry was still unconscious on the black leather, Louis worrying over him.

"Edward!" Louis' eyes were wide and troubled, checking what he could to ensure Harry was still
alive.

"He's fine, petal." Edward came to a bridge that was constructed over a landmark damn, with green
water that sparkled like something else Louis knew.

He pulled over onto the red slow-moving lane and got out, moving around the back to open Louis'
door. The boy looked at him apprehensively but they'd just gotten out of the place Edward couldn't
escape alone and he wants to celebrate.

Louis was wrapped around him in no time, standing on the freeway's last lane with puffy cheeks
and deep breaths. He didn't understand any of what happened at that place in the woods and he's
been through enough traces of supernatural elements to dare ask.

"You're okay, petal?" Edward closed his eyes and buried his face in Louis' neck, swinging a little
from left to right.

"Y-Yeah." Louis hiccuped, fingers tangled in Edward's knotless hair and his elbows resting on the
man's shoulders. "Where did you take me? Why couldn't I-"

Cars whizzed by them, unaware of the things they knew and each other's stories. They drove by on
their way towards or away from something, someone. All with personal horrors of their own.
Edward opened his eyes when he felt close to tipping over, falling back against the Rover so he
doesn't rely on himself.

"Don't." Edward pushed Louis' hair back by framing the side of his face, brushing over the softest
skin and committing the most brilliant blue eyes to memory. "Don't remember that place."

"Edward." Louis took Edward's hand and slid his fingers between the gaps of the man's. "Edward,
tell me."

Two minutes ago Louis didn't want to know, mentally checking himself to make sure. Right now he
finds himself asking anyway, the primal need to know everything that could go horribly
wrong
in his life coming to the forefront of his mind. His instinct to hide was clouded over.

"It's something we need to forget." Edward pleaded earnestly, dam green boring into ocean blue.
"When Harry wakes up, he's not going to remember that place. Don't tell him."

"What?" Louis' confusion showed blatantly on his features. "Why won't he remember?"

"Because he never does. Never did." Edward answers cryptically. "It's best for him."

If any one person knew half the things that went on in that cabin, they'd never find it in their heart
to forgive. Sin didn't cover it and the devil's work was a poor adjective. Some things are meant to
remain secrets.

"I won't say anything." Louis pulled Edward back to him and held on with all the strength he
possessed. "I love you. I'll forget it if you want me to."

Breathing out a gush of relief, Edward kisses Louis' clavicle and wastes a moment or two getting in
as much of the boy's calm scent as he could. Louis smelt like lavender and old perfume but was
easily the twins' favourite thing to smell.

"Thank you, petal." Edward rubbed Louis' back all the way down at the base, lessening any
pressure. "I love you, petal."

"I know." Louis heard himself say, feeling lighter after promising Edward that he did know how
much the man adored him.

Smiling without reservations, Edward transfers Louis to the highly risen back-seat again. "Take care
of my brother. Don't let him wake up alone."


* * * * *

"So, I dug these up from some ancient archives before I even got in my car to drive down here."
Zayn sat on the unmade hotel bed with Niall on his lap, hooking his chin over the blond's shoulder
as Liam picked up the files he spread out.

"Really? Even I couldn't pull these." Liam spoke in awe of the unsolved murder case file Zayn had
obtained.

"Well I didn't exactly do it the conventional way." Zayn smirked knowingly at his fellow officer,
Niall not caring for more than the gruesome photos splayed out on their bed.

He isn't supposed to be seeing them but nobody in the room truly cared. Flipping through the glossy
images, Niall frowns at the gory ones of split-open stomachs and intestines pouring out onto cold
tar. What a horrible way to see the world for the last time. He skips the ones that could make him
throw up their room service breakfast, like a child bearing the Glasgow smile.

"These aren't solved?" Niall watched Liam read pink and blue slips of paper in fascination.

"No, ducky." Zayn replied.

He placed his face where he knew it was warmest in Niall's shoulder junction. His ribs were
extremely tender and he found himself wincing, pulling a pillow up to prop that sore region up.
Liam looked like a child on Christmas morning in a very wealthy family. "And they're all
from the Madhouse or Middleston."

"This town is shady." Zayn fell back onto the bed, Niall still browsing photographs. "If your friend,
Niall, skipped town it's the best decision he could have made."

"That would have been wise-" Liam agreed, at last looking up at them. "-if he hadn't taken the
causes for all the town's problems with him."


* * * * *

Harry woke up after they'd passed the mall, not having stopped for anything because Louis just
wanted to get to Dynasville without another disruption. He sat in the back with Harry's head in his
lap, neatening out those unruly chocolate curls with each sweep of his fingers. The scenery blurred
as Edward exceeded the speed limit with no cameras to reprimand him for it.

The pre-Dynasville shopping complex was a beautiful one all made of glass at the entrance where
you pay to park. It's the kind of mall you where pay people to take things to your car, get cardboard
bags for the smallest thing and there weren't any chain stores.

"Where's the most influential place you've been?" Louis filled the pregnant silence with his voice,
asking the question as the mall turned into a field of flowers.

Edward looked at him through the reflection on the mirror and smirked. "Our parents had a
fundraiser a year before the Madhouse. Every wealthy person was there."

This information - and mention of the twins' parents - made Louis turn his head. "What kind
of fundraiser?"

Edward chuckled at the question, his smugness coming from a private joke. "Gun control."

Louis nodded, licking his chapped lips and grazing the lump on Harry's head where it would turn
purple and blue. "You've never used guns."

"Yes but the implication of crime control amused Harry and I very, very much." Edward does that
thing again where he sits back and drives with one hand. "How did you know we didn't use guns,
petal?"

"I was one of the two people allowed to read your files." Louis spoke a little softer, brushing his
thumb over Harry's racing pulse.

Edward looked at him when Louis wouldn't notice and went a little rigidly cold inside. Their petal
knew all about what they did before him. Why he stayed, is beyond him now. Edward, had the roles
been reversed, would have left Middleston to get away from people like him and Harry.
He does know that Louis tried. He's aware of Louis' phone call to his father and the accident that
followed, landing him in the mud on the 'stay or go' situation. Edward's never been more grateful
for a tragedy.

"What happened to your face?" Louis has been especially close to it but only noticed the major
swelling and blackening skin now. He looked baffled and disgruntled.

"Harry hit me." Edward explained, flexing his lower jaw and flinching at a sudden spoke of pain. "I
deserved it, I would say."

"What is wrong with you two?" Louis' eyes bulge out of their sockets. "You've got to stop
hitting each other!"

"We do not just abuse one another for no reason, petal." Edward laughed at the windscreen,
overtaking a white Isuzu.

"Ugh." Louis groaned, feeling Harry's first stirring.

Louis knows the place in the woods they conveniently ended up in was not somewhere the
conventional family would have a picnic. Not because Edward told him anything but rather after
being exposed to what he's been, his central nervous system knows.

"These bruises are the reasons why you should stop thinking about that place." Edward said,
sounding curt and dismissive. "Right now, petal."

"Sorry." Louis bit his lip and focused back on Harry, who was slowly returning to the land of the
living. "What do I tell him?"

"He won't want to know."

Harry ended that conversation in its tracks by slowly blinking awake, staring up at Louis with fresh
eyes after a six hour sleep. He smiled broadly all of a sudden and his dimples popped up which
made Louis smile too. Nobody can resist them when Harry used them as weapons.

"Hi there." Louis bent and shot right back up when the burn of a healing cigarette burn on his spine
got to be too much.

Harry knew what made him do that and was unaffected by it. "Did you miss me, petal?"

Louis will always admit that Harry, his younger boyfriend, is the very definition of adorable when
he chooses to be. Harry can flip the switch from brooding and smouldering to cute and dapper
within a moment's notice.

"I did." Louis indulged him, letting Harry play with his fingers on his hard chest.

"I missed you too."

Harry buried his face in Louis' mega-soft tummy, closing his eyes and nuzzling the sweet smelling
skin. He lifted Louis' shirt a little when the article became a hindrance, wanting to have skin-onskin
contact. His cold fingers gripped Louis' hip, thumbing over the bone he could feel through the
skin.

"Petal." Harry examines Louis' pudge with his mouth, at the perfect level to do so. "Petal, you smell
good."

"Thank you." Louis giggled, holding Harry's hair back to watch what he's doing to his skin.

For now, it's just a few kisses and nips with blunt teeth. Harry holds onto Louis tightly, his physical
body knowing that they're always in danger of losing him. Louis gasped when Harry licked a small
patch of skin for no reason other than having his tongue on Louis' body made him happy.

"What are you doing?" Louis enquired when Harry's face is pressed into his thighs, breathing
evenly against the pillows of flesh.

"You're better than a pillow." Harry says, although parting his jaws and biting Louis' thigh can't be
part of his pillow ritual.

It doesn't catch Louis off-guard anymore to see either of the Styles brothers doing something
strange. He can feel where Harry's mouth is stretched as wide as it will go to latch onto his left leg
with his teeth. There's really no point to this but maybe there is to Harry and Louis will tolerate the
saliva slowly creeping onto his pants for that.

"You've told me that before." Louis harmlessly pokes Harry's cheek, getting bitten a little harder.

"He's a biter sometimes." Edward explains, having just noticed the position Louis' in. "Either me or
you."

"He bites you?" Louis asks, feeling the dampness of sweat on Harry's back where his shirt rode up.

"Regularly." Edward seems to have gotten them into an area busier than the open roads, with street
robots and houses starting to appear. "It's not a fetish or anything. He just likes to when he's feeling
a certain way."

Louis watches Harry behave like he can't hear them. Harry groans when he stops playing with his
hair or ceases rubbing his muscular back. When he did that the first time, Louis retaliated to a
harsher bite by pinching Harry's ass. It made the man grumble and get blocked behind his hair.

"Is that certain way childish?" Louis asks, overly fond of how Harry's behaving. It's endearing and
sweet to have Harry squashed up on a seat with him, limbs spilling over, and being all clingy.

"Probably." Edward made a left turn and the Dynasville town board came up. "We're here, petal."

Dynasville came into view and Louis felt blown away by such a simple but intricate town. The
streets were hardly straight and the buildings were all short, houses all pastel colours with neat
gardens. It's a smaller town than Middleston and had nearly no drama.

Farms sat on the outside of the town to all cardinal points. Fields and fields of the greenest grass in
front of brown mountain peaks, laden with livestock and barn houses or organic vegetation. Louis'
never been so in love with a place before. This town had to be a dream with how iconic it looked,
yet hardly anyone knew it existed.

"Harry." Louis tugged on a dark ringlet to get the man's attention. "Harry, look."

Begrudgingly Harry lifted his head from Louis' thigh and looked out the window, smiling at the
things he saw for Louis' entertainment before returning to the boy's thighs. Louis sighed and left
him to go, not wincing at all when Harry placed his mouth where it was before.

"Do you still want to stay in a dingy old motel, petal?" Edward interrupted Louis' staring.

"No." Louis shook his head and Harry shifted on the seat, folding his long legs up to fit. "Let's find
somewhere new."

Edward was happy with this decision and began driving in the direction of a nearby hotel. It was a
decent one without extravagance and luxury which is what Louis wanted, but had proper hot water
and towels like he did. Harry didn't really care where they stayed because he just never wanted to be
separated from his petal.

"I'm not your chew toy." Louis tells Harry when the latter starts palpating his knee, turning his face
to nibble on the pudge again.

"Don't tell him that. Makes it worse." Edward says from the front, pulling up the hand brake when
he finally parks for the last time.

Indeed it did too because seconds later Louis not only had the nibbling, but the irritable gnawing of
Harry's teeth. They weren't going to do more than leave a few red marks but still.

"Come on, Harry." Louis threads his fingers through Harry's hair and yanks. "We gotta go now."

Harry is not happy about this but he pretends to be and pulls Louis' shirt down to cover the artwork
he left there. Nobody else deserves to see it. Maybe he'll show it Edward later. Maybe.
The hotel was as tall as a skyscraper Louis saw in London once, with a giant clock at the top
signalling the top and glass walls all around. Edward walked in first while he and Harry and held
back, stretching their legs for a bit. Louis was trying to keep Harry away from his neck but the job
was futile because no one was around and Harry found a way to pin him against the car.

"Harry." Louis warned, wrists pressing into a dirty steel door.

Harry's teeth sunk into the skin of Louis' throat beside his brother's permanent scar and crowded a
now pliant Louis in. He lifted the boy's legs off the ground and pressed their hips together,
eliminating all gaps and spaces.

"Petal." Harry groaned, sounding reverent and wanting all in the same gravely tone. "My
petal."

Louis could roll his eyes at how the twins liked to remind him how much he was theirs. He adored
that facet of their relationship though. His thoughts are strangled when Harry's pants start to tighten
and Louis can feel the bulge between his legs. It's a surprise because he's not doing a damn thing to
arouse anyone.

With his fingers in Harry's hair, gripping it inexplicably tighter every minute, Louis closed his eyes
and moaned when his loving captor did a small grind.

Even though the little sheltered parking lot they were in was deserted save for them, Louis didn't
want to take this too far when the risk of a family from a neighbouring town coming out is great.

"You're my baby, petal." Harry frowned when Louis wasn't looking at him. "Pay attention to me."

"I'm here, Daddy." Louis spoke it casually now, making Harry proud. "Just don't want other people
being here too."

Harry shook his head. "Don't care, petal. Gonna fuck my baby."

Louis inhaled sharply upon hearing that, choking on something he took in. He held his head back
when Harry started peppering kisses on his neck, making his heart rate pick up. It thumped and
thrummed, scraping the inner walls of his blood vessels.

When Louis arched his back, Harry started sucking on his clavicle. "Daddy. Daddy, stop."

Someone was coming and it wasn't Edward. Those footsteps were feminine by the heels clicking the
ground and the cheers of little kids. The urgency of Louis' voice made Harry panic and nearly drop
Louis when he backed away.

"Petal." Harry was suddenly very, deeply sad when he could no longer touch Louis.

The mother and her children walked by them without even looking their way. If only she knew what
Louis sacrificed for her ignorance. Harry came back to him the second the family disappeared,
fitting his body against Louis'. He did a different thing this type by raising Louis' shirt in the
darkness of their corner, jerking Louis' entire body up higher so his mouth was able to connect with
his nipple.

"Harry!" Louis' shout echoed through the parking lot, his body tensing from the core outward.

Harry did nothing besides suckle on the dusky nub as a way to calm himself down. The worry got to
him and this felt good to his frayed nerves. Louis was sensitive but not enough to push Louis away.
They looked so sloppy and all over each other at the moment.

A throat clearing, one that belonged to Edward, wasn't enough to pull Harry away. Not this time.
"If and when you're done." Edward held up two silver room keys. "I'd like to get some sleep."

Louis nodded helplessly and Harry pulled off him very slowly, loving the way the skin had turned
so pink. Quietly, Harry put Louis' shirt back in place and pecks his forehead with a small
smile. Huffing, Louis pushes him away and Edward chuckles at Harry's wounded animal noise.
They manage to get to their room with minimal whining from Harry. Louis was cross with him but
too damn tired to handle it now. Harry dropped their bags many a time to aid Louis' with him but no
efforts were rewarded. Edward was highly amused by it all and watched as Harry followed Louis
onto one of the two beds like a puppy.

"He won't give up." Edward strips off his shirt and locks the door, dumping his belongings on the
other bed that nobody will use.

Louis sighed and let Harry rest on top of him, not really mad at him anymore. He got his socks and
pants removed by Edward because the weight of another man kept him from doing it himself.
"Thank you." Louis said softly when Edward collapsed onto the bed beside him.

Edward turned to him and watched Harry easily fall asleep on Louis' tummy, cushioned by one leg
on either side of him. "And thank you."

Louis knew what for and he smiled shyly, closing his eyes when Edward pressed a kiss onto his
forehead.


* * * * *

"Do you think we can get a pumpkin? I've always wanted to carve one." Louis asked, stepping out
of the bathroom in a towel and with wet hair that turned glossy under direct light.

Harry stepped out after him with a towel turban on his head and one navy towel around his waist.
He was a little more independent now in the sense that he didn't follow Louis around except when
he wasn't in his line of sight. Edward didn't judge him because the case was pretty much the same
with him.

"We can." Edward sat on the bed, hating on the current television show he's watching.

"Edward carves pumpkins best." Harry contributes, on Louis' case about putting on minimal
clothing.

"I'm not the best." Edward sat up and drew the curtains. "I just do it better than him."

"True." Harry shrugged, approving Louis' choice of panties - his favourite navy blue ones -
and a T-shirt too large to be legal on him.

"I think there's a storm coming." Edward massages his jaw with his cold fingers, the ache becoming
a dull but annoying sensation. "It's definitely too dark for just four in the afternoon."

"Probably then." Louis seated himself on Edward's hips when the man laid down on the bed again.
"Edward why is he behaving like this?"

Harry was a safe distance away when Louis asked, biting his lip because he was a little concerned.
He knows Harry's as crazy as they're going to come but never has his behaviour based on baby-like
tendencies lasted this long.

"He wasn't in a happy place in the woods." Edward rubs Louis' soft hips, admiring all the faint
marks scattered across the skin. "He's trying to get back to normal."

"Is it normal for him?"

"Yes. If anything makes him very angry or very uncomfortable, he does this right after to cope."
Louis could coo at the explanation. Harry did it to feel loved and he's had a hand in that which made
Louis all the more pleased to be their petal. He looked over his shoulder at the old time television
show Edward was watching and his mouth twisted.

"I hate this show." Louis added to the list of mental things Edward noted that made him perfect.
Harry walked back into the room already looking more like his regular self, passing Louis a wink
on his way to the phone to dial the kitchen for room service.

"I'm ordering." He said, pressing the three digits needed. "Edward?"

"Same as you, whatever it is."

"Lou?"

"I want chicken wings." Louis answered, a sudden hankering for it developing in his gut.
Harry shook his head as he spoke to the woman who picked up, laying their orders out - he had
ordered chicken pasta for himself and Edward - before hanging up.

Edward is very much still occupied with Louis' chest, kneading his behind like it's his responsibility
and listening to Louis' pleased little noises. He'd reach up and mess Edward's flat hair to grip it
tightly. It's when his sore back hits the cool sheets and Edward is slowly sliding his legs apart when
Harry decides he doesn't want to be left out.

Harry grabs Louis' hips and flips him over to have eye contact, smirking at the stunned broadening
of Louis' pupils. Their petal is on his back, sandwiched between Edward and Harry as one
thoroughly snogged the thoughts out of his head while the other massaged the very weak spot he
posses between thigh and pelvis.

Harry's lips smacked against his, his arms coming up around the man's strong shoulders and raking
his nails down the length of flexing muscle. Edward had no problem working his fingers into the
firm stretch of skin that made Louis' heart leap and body jerk.

A part of Louis lit up from the inside when Edward's calloused thumb ran tracks up and down his
most sensitive skin, scraping harmlessly and making his blood simmer. He lost the air in his lungs
and Harry held his hand against his chest when Louis started to burn up.

Hips rolled against his, his clothed c*ck getting the stimulus it needs to move from semi to fully
hard. He parts his legs further and plants his feet on the mattress, passing on the friction to Edward
with wicked grinding. His hands push at Harry's chest and he gets the man to kneel, sitting up on
Edward's lap moving in figure eights.

"Good boy." Edward sat up too, praising Louis as he slipped his hand under the waistband of those
sinful navy panties.

"Daddy." Louis turned his head and parted his lips when Edward's mouth crashed furiously onto his.
Edward's hold on his hips keeps him firmly planted over his crotch, moving him in a rhythm that
suits them both. Louis' neck is attacked with Harry's blunt teeth, his tongue assaulted by Edward's.
Sharp molars skim past his gums and he gasps at the prick of such vulnerable surfaces under the
harsh treatment of Edward's mouth.

Harry's large palms clasp Louis' neck on both sides, maintaining its stiff posture as he works his lips
across the pale skin. Louis moans and curls his hand into Harry's shirt, pulling him flat against him
and hogging the steady satisfaction of Harry smirking against his jaw.

"Room service!" Someone knocked on their door, an employee expecting the right payment and
decent tip.

"Fuck." Harry muttered hatefully, his fingers slipping under Louis' panties and trying to shut out the
outside world.

 

It's Edward who wakes up and after planting a kiss on Louis' nape, slides off the bed to answer the
door with his wallet in hand. Harry cages Louis in when he's given one-on-one access and continues
his trail of kisses, moving Louis' neck to the side as he wants to give himself space.

Louis let's his head weigh down, dropping back between his loose shoulderblades. His jaw falls
slack when Harry takes his length out, slowly pumping it in his tight grip. The cigarette burn is
being massaged and every time Harry reaches a quarter of a full cycle, he hisses when a sharp pain
runs up his back.

Harry suddenly hoists him up onto his knees, grip firm on Louis' thigh as he mouths at his nipple.
Louis whimpers and guides Harry to where he wants him, dripping precome and staining his
feminine underwear. Teeth roll his hardened nipple between them, making him want to pull away
and offer Harry more.

"Get on your back for me, petal." Harry speaks into Louis' chest, saliva making the cool air colder.

Louis falls back and Harry chuckles at his urgency, securing Louis' body and safety by his waist.
His head hung off the foot off the bed, blind to everything that could happen to him.

"Aren't you beautiful like that, petal." Edward came back with a tray of food but left it for later's
attention on the lonely bed.

Louis couldn't see himself but he felt pretty riled up. His legs were bent and one on top of the other,
his neck fallen backwards and his arms at his sides. Harry pulled the panties off him and Edward
caught them when he tosses it aside.

Edward held the article of undergarments in his hand, stretching it between his thumb and
forefinger. Louis watched him look at it with new eyes, skin roaring with flames where Harry
sucked and kissed.

"I reckon he can take you." Edward told Harry, whose head shot up and gazed hungrily at the boy
sprawled out under him. "No prep."

Louis began to panic but he knew if he relaxed that he'd handle Harry breaching his body as if he
did get preparation. He felt Harry clamber up his body and locked his legs around the man's waist.
Harry cupped his ass and kneaded the flesh like a pilgrim worshipping him, stretching him apart
and making Louis want to scream.

"Wait." Edward stopped Harry just as he positioned himself after spitting on his c*ck.

"What?" Harry snapped, painfully eager to bury himself inside Louis.

Edward stood just outside the minuscule bathroom with a thin white candle, lighting it with Harry's
lighter. "On the floor. Hands and knees."

Harry understood the look in Edward's eye before Louis did, carrying Louis and dropping him
indelicately onto the ground. Louis cringed at the impact of his elbow on rough carpet, just
managing to hold himself up with his bum facing the window.

"Knees apart, baby." Edward was kneeling behind him, kissing Louis' cigarette burn.

Harry was not happy about the last bit and covered the mark with his hand, adding incidental
pressure. Louis' back dipped and he jolted back up with a hot flame touched his belly button.
"I don't imagine you want to fall, petal." Edward put his hand over Harry's, pushing down and
forcing Louis to whine and resist as much as he could.

A movement too low would mean Louis being burnt by the flame. Harry would never let him fall
onto either side either. His thrill suddenly spiked as the orange flame made him sweat, lifting his
head and being met with the sight behind him. A mirror stood in front of him, leaving with to watch
Harry get behind him.

"Not too rough." Edward kissed Harry's forehead as an apology for touching the burn earlier.
"That's my job."

Louis shivered and his lip bled into his mouth from how hard he bit it. Harry massaged the globes
of Louis' bum with both hands, re-lubing himself with saliva to position himself at Louis' quivering
and anticipating hole. He licked over the puckered entrance once, twice to be a little merciful.
Louis' back almost gave out already, the candle being the only thing that kept him up.

He shuddered at the press of Harry's tip on his rim, adding more and more pressure until it
penetrated him. His eyes flickered to the mirror, a helpless but pleasured sound leaving his lips.
Harry looked back at him and his wildly blown black eyes became electric, magnetically drawing
Louis in to drown in them.

Louis' jaw got wider and wider. Finally the muscle got so taut that a pained noise escaped him, but
he choked on it. He reached his hand down and faltered just a bit in his posture, his fingers reaching
down to where Harry was sliding into him. The feeling of a hot and pulsating shaft making its way
into him past his widening rim.

Harry thrusted slow, cautious and and never lost eye contact. He put his arm back in place and it
quivered when Harry's hips landed flushed against his. The skin got red and Harry kept pushing on
until his balls were nestled against Louis' bum, begging for deeper.

Biting the inside of his cheek, Louis suppressed the noises creeping up his throat. He sucked his
tummy in, hoping to keep it away from the flame. Harry didn't like that method of cheating and
spanked Louis on his right cheek, admiring the rosy pink complexion it turned.

With an obedient mewl of consent, Louis returned to the state he's supposed to be in. The candle
was still as tall as when Edward brought it to him and the flame grazed his clammy skin every so
often, being just the tip it did no damage. If anything it elicited more pleasure with its heat and the
adrenaline presented to his hormones.

For as long as he could, Louis looked into the mirror and admired the body of a man with coal black
eyes. Those drove shivers down his spine but the visual of Harry's hips moving, his abs flexing back
and forth in small rotations made everyone in the room groan. Louis was pushed forward when
Harry's hard hips collided with his bum, pulled back again when Harry was done trying to tear him
up from the inside.

Harry was perfectly suited for Louis, just like Edward was. They filled him up, together or
independently, to a point where he feared choking but loved the prospect also. They confused him
but they made it terribly okay. Louis moved back to meet Harry's thrusts when they started to get
harder, faster.

His prostate was easily discovered and Louis screamed to the ceiling, nails digging into the floor
and back curving as much as it could go. Harry grunted as he slammed into Louis and held himself
there, grabbing the boy's hair and tugging. The pressure on his prostate was unrelenting and Louis
felt the head of Harry's c*ck throbbing against the abused gland inside him, too deep but so perfect.
Tears sprung to his eyes and he waited to be released. His body burned and not from the candle, the
very little lube taking effect by creating dry strokes as Harry bucked his hips rhythmically. Louis'
sounds got louder and he fell to his elbows, his abdomen held up clenched and away from the
flame. Harry held his shoulder, pulling out and delivering quick and brutal impacts.

Louis' whole body rocked with it, his pleasure exceeding pain and he cried from them both. His
orgasm threw him off and he panted. "C-Can't-"

"Shh." Harry stopped thrusting and his hands glided down Louis' thighs at the front, leaning over
him and moving his hips shallowly.

His length stayed buried on top of Louis' prostate, groaning at how good it felt to be ruining the boy
he loves so much. Sweaty skin and desperate noises filled their bubble, Harry's palm coming around
to Louis' tummy to protect him from the flame. It burned to be that close to open fire but Harry bit
down on Louis' shoulder and stiffened.

"Come, baby." Harry left patches of skin wet with spit as he openly mouthed at them. "Come for
Daddy."

Louis couldn't bring himself to orgasm so quickly and shimmied his hips to get a bit more friction
on his insides. At last his walls clamped down suffocatingly on Harry and they both came with
either a shriek or really painful grip on the other.

Edward reappeared in front of Louis and crouched down low enough to look him in the eye. He
pushed Louis' damp fringe back and framed his face, kissing him when Louis started to complain
about sensitivity. Harry wrapped his arms around Louis and drew him back onto his lap, keeping
their bodies joined like they're meant to be.

Breathing heavily and shallowly, Louis' head rolled onto Harry's shoulder and looked so tiny against
him in this warm cradle. Edward put the candle to the side but left it on, his bent knees slipping
between Harry's.

"Petal?" Edward's voice, deep and gravely from the devil himself, interrupted Louis' process of
almost falling asleep.

Instead he looked at Edward with hardly tired eyes, pleased to be so tightly sandwiched between the
brothers. He leaps forward and locks his arms around Edward's neck, crashing into his lips and
invading his mouth. The latter gave him easily, pulling Louis' legs apart and letting his shins hit the
floor, prodding around where Harry was trapped by Louis' body.

He tasted Louis in his mouth for thirty seconds, letting the boy feel dominant for a short while.
Their tongues moved together and Louis' smaller, pink one continuously flicked against Edward's.
His lips swelled up and teeth clashed, Louis' fingers crooking in Edward's silky hair.

They needed air but they didn't want it. Edward had to pull away but he couldn't. Harry was content
with kissing up Louis' back, each knob and curve. He's in awe of their petal and never wants to lose
track of him.

"I could kiss you for the rest of my life-" Edward covered Louis' mouth with two fingers when the
boy tried leaning forward again. "-but I need to be inside you or I might never see tomorrow."

Hearing these words, Louis offered his body up immediately. He's fine with being used as long as
it's the twins because they never forgot about him, always blew his mind with intense pleasure. He
kneeled and with the extra height given to him by Harry's lap, was taller than Edward.

"You need prep for this, petal." Edward stopped Louis from going near his c*ck just yet.
Louis was not happy. He's desperate and Edward is torturing him. He suddenly shivered when warm
come dripped out of him, around Harry's semi.

"Come here, pup." Edward put a little distance between them, and Louis slipped off Harry's erection
to crawl over to him. He knew Edward would want him to.

"Daddy." Louis planted himself in Edward's lap, arms thrown over his shoulders and body eager.
"Want your c*ck."

"Yeah? I know, petal." Edward nosed along Louis' throat and his hand explored where Louis was
hot, wet and clenching. "Have to prep you for both of us."

Louis shook his head and whined. "Just you, Daddy."

Harry was glad Louis said that because not only did he need time to recover, but he had his turn
with their lovely Louis and didn't want Edward to forfeit him. Edward was also excited by this
thought and lowered Louis onto his back, the head of his member rubbing around the puckered rim
of his boy. Louis' eyes were wide and attentive and he was already worked up enough to be
breathing raggedly.

"Daddy." Louis reached over his head and gripped the legs of the table by the corner where they
were. "Stop teasing."

Edward chuckled and nodded, wrapping his lips around Louis' left nipple and milking it. Louis
gasped and his toes curled on either side of Edward's knees, finally the head of a large member
popping inside him. He felt the pulse through the vein on the underside of Edward's length beating
against him. Nothing but spit and Harry's come lubed the passage that Edward invaded, stretching
Louis whether he wanted to or not.

"So good, petal." Edward propped Louis' hips up on his thighs, scraping his ass with his nails.
"Wanna bite you, baby. Is that okay?"

Louis nodded. He didn't care from the blissful state he was in. Blood or not, he wanted every part of
himself to be lined up with Edward's. Edward seemed to agree because he shallowly began to
thrust, giving Louis only a taste of what he has in store.

"Gonna fuck you up, baby." Edward spoke filthily in Louis' ear. "Not gonna be able to walk when
we're done."

An eager sound ran free from Louis and he hooked his legs over Edward's sides, jerking in time
with the thrusts in and out of him. It felt glorious to physically be part of Edward, have the man
hold onto the ground and pound into him like he's only something to slake lust. Louis loved feeling
their backs moving under his fingertips as they drove him mad, loved getting bent over and just
taken because he was theirs to do it to.

His over stimulation brought on an early orgasm and Louis tried to keep it back so that Edward
wouldn't stop. He loved this because Edward just crowded him in and fucked him with his legs
open and mind blank. It was ecstasy everytime.

"Daddy!" He shouted into Edward's neck. "G-Gonna come, Daddy."

Edward's body rolled into Louis' and banged into his prostate viciously, wanting to maim and mark
and claim. He wanted Louis' heart to beat like his and breathing to be times with his. He needed it,
the raw embers of a dead flame to be ignited.

"You're Daddy's little slut, aren't you?" Edward tormented the boy, yanking his head back and
forcing his tongue into the confines of Louis' mouth. "If you come you have to get on your knees
for me, petal. Daddy can't come yet."

Louis nodded enthusiastically. He knows he can be greedy for the taste of Edward in his mouth
sometimes - too often really. How could he ever deny it?

"Come then, petal." Edward held Louis' hips with both hands, thrusting vigorously without aim but
blinding Louis with passion anyway. "You have ten seconds, petal. If you don't come then Daddy's
gonna keep fucking you until I do."

Unable to comprehend the over stimulation that would trigger painful sensitivity in that case, Louis
runs his hands down Edward's chest and calloused fingers roll his nipples between them. They
pinched and elongated and pressed and pulled. Louis screamed loud enough to have a noise
complaint when he came, white ropes coating his chest and tummy.

What brings him back so suddenly is a sudden spiral of electric pain that resonates outward from
the left side of Louis' chest. Curiously and with a wince that becomes drowned out by a throttled
cry, he tries to see what's furtherly being done to him.

Edward's pulled out but his mouth was over Louis' nipple again, and through blurry vision the boy
can see a red line running longer and longer. Edward had bitten him hard enough to result in the
puncturing of his skin. He opens his mouth to say something but it's covered by Harry's hand, his
voice in his ear.

"Hush, baby." Harry kneeled behind him, forcing Louis to watch Edward make crimson splatters on
his chest from where his bloodstained lips kissed him.

"H-Hurts." Louis sobs into Harry's arm, fighting the inextinguishable agony from his injured nipple.
It was too much, making Louis feel like he's teetering on the edge of blacking out from pain alone.

"Lots of things will hurt, petal." Harry says, touching the injury and making Louis try to move
away. "Nah uh. You're not going anywhere, petal."

It was silly to think he could handle this. The excruciating pain is hardly something he can be
distracted from. He cries with hot, salty tears burning his cheeks and wetting his hands. Harry holds
him up around his waist and Edward dots red ink spots all over his front.

"Learn to love it, baby." Harry whispers in his ear, voice like silk on Louis' overheated skin. "Pain is
just like pleasure, but more arousing. Think past the hurt and you'll enjoy it."

Louis tried to bring down his body temperature, calming himself even when he just wanted to
combust. Harry was right and he needed to learn how to enjoy the pain that will become a constant
in their sex lives. He did push Edward off him, looking to them like a deity with blood smeared
across his skin and untidy hair. Flushed skin with a streak of red across his chest where it still
dripped out of his bite.

"He hasn't come yet." Harry sounded disapproving, watching Edward lick his lips and become
contaminated with the taste of Louis. "That's not very fair, petal."

Getting up on his knees after Edward stood, Louis made no eye contact until after he felt brave
enough. The open wound on his chest felt especially cold when the wind blew by and he took
Edward's intimidating length in his hand to kiss the tip before engulfing the head in his mouth.
His eyes looked up through his clumped lashes and he bobbed his head with a wet sound coming off
it. There was a frighteningly dark look in Edward's eyes but it was kept at bay for Louis' safety. He
pulled off to kiss and kitten lick the entire length, feeling it throb and the hard flesh twitch against
his lips.

When he took Edward back in his mouth, his thighs parted and Harry's hands reverently ran up and
down the pale skin. Louis felt the slit against his tongue become swollen and the bitterness of
precome morphed into sweet come as it exploded in his mouth, Edward's hips stilling from such
small thrusts as he emptied himself.

Louis obliged swallowed, what he couldn't immediately he pulled off to suck from skin onto his
tongue. Edward groaned deep in his chest when Louis didn't stop until after he'd consumed every
last drop.

"Your nipples hurt, baby?" Edward bent down to his level again, kissing Louis and stealing some of
his own taste. "Let Harry have some."

He couldn't say no, not when a direct instruction is given to him. He's trying to be obedient, to be
good for them. Without hesitation, Louis turned around and sat on Harry's hard, muscular thighs.
Harry smirked at how quickly he did as told and grasped Louis' waist to inhale deeply before
covering the raw wound with his mouth.

Louis mewled out of a sudden burst of colour but moaned from irritation because that colour was
red. He combed through Harry's hair robotically, feeling a warm suction around his cuts where
Edward broke skin. Blood left him and reached Harry's tongue, just a little because the puncture
wounds weren't deep enough.

"Thank you, petal." Harry's mouth was redder than possible when he detached from Louis.
"Up." Edward patted Louis' fleshy hip, watching the ripple of flesh and salivating. He loves biting
Louis. Breaking through that skin drove him off the edge with excitement.

Louis got up on his knees again, breathless but nonetheless wanting from the core of his being.
Once Edward was snug against his back, he lowered himself and felt how hard they were beneath
him already. His own shaft was beginning to fatten up again, saying to him how much his body was
wanton for this.

Edward supported him while Louis held onto Harry's neck, slowly getting dropped onto two c*cks
of monster size that tore him apart. His rim stretched inexplicably and he cried out from not being
prepped for this, shutting himself up when the hardest bit was over.

Feeling taut from the inside-out, Louis asked to wait. "W-Wait. H-Hurting."

Both brothers immediately stopped and Harry got to embrace Louis while the boy adjusted. It took
a while for his walls to relax and stop flexing so violent as they tried to close. Louis experimentally
took more of them in at a snail's pace, sinking down lower and lower until finally he had all of them
inside him.

"Good, petal?" Edward kissed behind his ear, ever the sex God.

Louis nodded profusely, biting his lip and moaning as he rotated his hips. The friction was fucking
fantastic and Harry nearly came just thinking about how tight the suction was around him. Edward
thrusted and Louis' whole being shivered, his words fucked out of him.

"A-Again." He was done adjusting and wanted to be taken control of, so he bounced a little and
invaded his own body with double the effort to rupture something.

Edward guided Louis' hand to his extremely low abdomen, pressing his fingers over the bump that
displayed where they were inside him. Louis loved it so much and never took his hand off while the
twins thrusted, feeling each movement. One by one they jabbed his prostate and at one point he
thought it would burst open like the rest of him threatened to, but he remained intact.

"Da-Daddy." He had Harry's lips on his chest where he licked over the bruising cuts and
Edward at his neck, sucking new bruises over the old ones.

He held onto the them both and tried to move his body like they did with theirs but they didn't
appreciate it. Edward held him down firm and fucked up into him whether Harry kept up or not,
Harry obviously going slower but adding more torture. When they both aimed at his prostate, Louis'
throat went numb from his high-pitched wails as the deepest part of him stretched to let them in.

"So tight, petal." Harry licked the shell of his ear. "Fuck. I'm never pulling out."

Louis knew his greedy inner sex addict would allow such a thing but he feared if his body didn't get
time to recover he might just die. The attention to his insides where they plowed into him like he
couldn't feel their brutality made his head spin. He ached to be touched where his erection lay
neglected but he wanted more to be pounded and be the sheath of their huge c*cks.

"I think you're bruising, petal." Edward said, his nimble fingers weaving down to feel where they're
stretching him open. "Gotta pull out, baby."

"No!" Louis held Edward around him and refused to let go, riding them himself so he didn't lose
one.
"Baby, stop." Edward kissed Louis' shoulder, sounding gruff and ragged himself. "We're not gonna
break you, petal."

"Br-Break me, Daddy." Louis wanted it. He wanted it so badly that he didn't even understand why.
"I-I'm yours."

"No, petal." Edward held Louis still and slowly pulled out, making Louis sob from loss and friction.
"Shh, baby. Relax."

Harry pulled out too and Louis hated them both so much. He didn't care to wipe his tears as they
rolled freely down his face as Harry did that for him, kissing his cheeks and pushing him onto his
front. He stared at Louis' now empty and gaping hole, able to see where he's beaten red instead of
pink and clenching so deliciously.

Louis felt Harry's tongue on him and he keened with an arch of his beck, meeting Edward's lips on
the uptake. The tip of a very wet muscle penetrated his wide circle of muscle and left his walls
covered in spit. His chest throbbed where he was bitten open and his ass hurt like a bitch but he was
so close as he grinded back on Harry's stiff tongue.

"Open your eyes, pup." Edward held Louis' face up with a whole hand wrapped around his neck,
staring at him with ravenous black orbs.

Louis choked on air when his third climax hit him like a tidal wave. His body convulsed and he
couldn't scream because Edward stuck his tongue down his throat, massaging the most inner folds
of his mouth. Louis gagged from lack of air supply and meekly returned the kiss before everything
went black.

Chapter Text

When you go and I'm alone, you live in my imagination.

*NARRATOR'S POV*

Louis woke up on a bed mediocre in comfort but exceptional in warmth. He had a pillow under his
head that he burrowed into and spread his legs a little bit more because between them burned a fire
straight from Hell. The weight over his back came from someone - Harry - improperly positioned to
be curled up on the small curve.

To his left, Louis saw Edward moving around in the bathroom. The morning light tore through the
curtains and he was too exhausted to move even for deep breaths. Everything was soft and
comfortable, lazy and a bit louder than usual because of such an early hour.

"Petal?" Edward walked into the bedroom and noticed that Louis is awake, a smile broadening his
facial features as he slid under the covers with him.

"Hi." Louis pulled air in through his nose and draped an arm over Edward's chest, twirling his index
finger over a small patch of hair.

"Good morning." The face of one of his lovers got extra close and Louis dared to kiss him, giggling
when Edward returned the kiss with a moan.

Edward's head was extremely close to Louis' and the boy rested his cheek on the bulging bicep that
presented itself for a better form of cushion. Edward kissed Louis' forehead and noted where his
brother was sleeping so he avoided that region when he rubbed Louis' back.

"Happy Halloween." Edward smirked when Louis looked at him in innate frustration.

"Ew." He wrinkled his nose and bumped Edward's chin to fit himself under it. "I hate Halloween."

"Do you?"

"Never really had time for one but everyone else seemed to have the time to scare me." Louis
coughed dryly and winced when the projected shock waves went straight to him very tender bum.
"Why is my bum so sore?"

Edward's body vibrated with laughter and his arms wrapped all the more possessively around his
petal. "It's what happens when you get a thorough dicking, pup."

With his face hidden, Louis blushed and regretted asking. When he snuggled closer however, his
chest erupted in pain and he hissed loudly. "And what was- you bit me."

Louis examined the penetrative teeth marks around his nipple, scabs over where he bled and dried
crimson patches all over his body. Edward grazed over the pink nipple with his thumb. "You gave
me permission."

"Hmph." Louis bit his lip when Edward didn't stop rubbing over his sensitive nub and whined when
it got pinched between his thumb and forefinger.

"They're so sensitive, pup." Edward said in awe, watching Louis' body respond with goosebumps.

"I'm too tired." Louis complained, batting Edward's hand away from his chest. "Can we sleep for a
few more hours?"

"Anything you want, petal." Edward pressed a kiss to Louis' hair and Harry fussed in his sleep when
he had to grip Louis tighter.

"He's so sweet." Louis looked over his shoulder where Harry was frowning in his sleep, trying to
maintain a hold on Louis.

"And what am I?" Edward asked in amusement.

"You-" Louis hooked his chin over Edward's shoulder. "-are the kind of person that I would have
been told never to go near when I was younger."

"But you could go near my brother?" Edward was smirking, lewd humour evident.

"Maybe." Louis shrugs. "I would have ended up here either way."

"In our bed with a sore arse?" Edward cheekily pinched Louis' bum. "I believe so as well."

Louis gasped when the pinch made the space between the cheeks light up with blistering soreness.
Edward noticed too but he wasn't mindful of that because he's already inspecting the bruises around
Louis' hole with apt fingers.

"St-Stop." Louis whined, boxed in when Edward starts to massage the tight muscle with his
fingers.

"Shh." Edward doesn't stop and Louis wants to cry because it hurts enough to make him hard. "You
want it, baby?"

Nodding, Louis bites Edward's shoulder when a long middle finger wriggles its way into him. He
starts to quiver and pant, barely held together by Edward's strong arm over his shoulders.

"You were such a good boy last night, petal." Edward's mouth leaves wet kisses along Louis' neck.
"Fucking bruised yourself for us. I love you so much, baby."

"L-Love you, Daddy."

Louis dug his nails into Edward's waist, jerking his hips to keep the man's finger in him. It was dry
and he was probably going to break after one more orgasm but it felt so good. He couldn't
help but want more in a matter of seconds.

Harry woke up to the most perfect sight he could possibly dream of. His brother's hand held Louis
open while his finger plundered into him with rapid strokes. Losing the battle of curiosity, Harry
didn't blink while he stared at the amorous conduct.

"I never would have thought I'd wake up to this." He straightened out and crawled up to kiss Louis'
cheek, easily gaining access to the boy's mouth when he turned his head. "Feel good with that
finger, petal?"

Louis nodded and mewled onto his tongue, their mouths concealing one another's as Harry hungrily
licked into his body. Harry reached out and opened one of Edward's curled fingers to join the first
one in opening up Louis' greedy hole.

The stretch of that hurt and Louis made a series of uncomfortable noises, pulling away from
both of them to extract the fingers. He felt cut and stripped open inside, his body nowhere near
ready to recover.

"Alright, petal. Alright." Harry calmed Louis down by petting his sides and kissing his neck.

"Did that hurt, pup?" Edward loosens one arm so Harry can put his in its place.

"Y-Yes." Louis didn't want any hands near his behind now. He kept his eyes closed and with the
sensation of kisses on his hips, fell asleep easily.

"He's sleeping." Harry said, brushing Louis' hair away from his eyes and propped up on his elbow
with sheets bunched at his waist. "My poor petal."

Edward laid Louis down and covered him up properly, not letting any part of him go when he
spared a minute to waste in bed. Louis had told him this was 'cuddling' of sorts and since then he's
become a major fan.

"Do you think we should do Halloween this year?" Edward finally met Harry's eye before he woke
up from the bed.

Harry thought this over and followed Edward to the brightly lit bathroom. "We always spent
Halloween with our parents."

"They haven't spoken to us in five years, Harry. I highly doubt they will ask us to join them this
year." Edward said hatefully to the mirror they had, fists against the counter as he contained any
rage.

"I'm glad they didn't." Harry leaned his back against the counter, the finest artwork of a Greek God
in all his nude glory. "I hated their parties."

Edward sighed and crossed his arms, pressed to Harry's side when he turned around. "You could go
as a high school jock."

Harry laughed and pushed his hair forward, combing through it briefly before flipping it back. "And
you can be a vampire."

"I won't be in need of a costume." His brother chuckled, both their gazes focused momentarily on
the bed when Louis stirred but stayed asleep. "I'm putting him in lingerie."

"There won't be a point, would there?" Harry pouted sadly. "We won't be able to fuck 'im in it."
"Still." Edward drummed his fingers on the marble pressing into his back. "Wouldn't that be a
sight."

"It would." Harry agreed, biting his lip. The mere appearance of Louis in skimpy little feminine
wear is worthy of the sacrifice. "Sometimes I don't want other people to even look at him."

Edward isn't surprised his brother would confess something like this to him, and looks at him no
differently. "I know. I hate it too."

"They haven't done anything for him." Harry frowned as if the explanation was not wasted. "Why
should they be allowed to be around him?"

"Social protocol." Edward tries to tame the beast surfacing in his brother's mind. "He'll always come
back to us, brother."

Harry rested his head on Edward's shoulder and sighed, both tired and annoyed. "I'm so scared that
one day he won't."

Edward awards his insecure sibling a peck on the forehead. "Why do you worry about that?"
"What if one day he finds something out about us that makes him leave? I won't be able to handle
that."

"Neither would I." Edward screws his eyes shut and tries to keep his heartbeat level. "We'll bring
him back if he ever leaves."

"Even if he doesn't-"

"Even then."


* * * * *

"Ugh. Fuck, Harry." Edward looks down at his nuisance of a brother on his knees. "Stand up."

"No." Comes an instant reply.

Harry grabs hold of Edward's c*ck and pumping it in his hand to full hardness. It wasn't very
difficult considering the second Edward saw Harry invade his shower he knew what would happen.
Harry took the tip of his erection into his mouth and suckled on it.

Small kitten licks and the flick of his tongue over the slit pulsing precome onto his gums, all Harry
used to overpower his dominant brother. He took more of the swollen length down his throat, the
tight passage clenching and gagging him. Edward's hand gripped his hair, so fiercely that it hurt.
When his nose was brushing the very faint pubic hair on Edward's V-line, he dragged his teeth
along the shaft on his way back up. Edward moaned loudly and his head fell back against the wall,
holding Harry still as he fucked into and out of his mouth.

Terribly audible suction noises could be heard about the spray of hot water. Harry pulled off
completely and moved down lower with his mouth of sin, hand still working over Edward's
throbbing manhood with dedication. He swallowed around Edward's sack, taking them into his
mouth and teasing them with harsh motions of his tongue.

"F-Fuck, you bastard." Edward was getting close and Harry felt it in his mouth, so he popped off.

Harry wet one finger by sucking on it, dampening it with his saliva and the shower's water. He
didn't wait for permission after that and slid the lubricated appendage up against Edward's hole.
He's always been wanting to explore this part of Edward's body with mouth or hand, but he was
never allowed to.

Now when Edward doesn't vagrantly protest, he takes his time in engulfing the man's c*ck again
with his mouth to deliver slow bobbing thrusts. The warmth swathed Edward's arousal before
withdrawing, adding external pressure when Harry rubbed over his tight hole without shame. He
groaned in his throat and came down Harry's throat from all the stimulation, not needing to hold out
like when he was with their petal.

"What the fuck was that for?" Edward questioned, breathless and wide-eyed in shock.

Harry shrugged as he got to his feet, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "Just felt like
doing that."

"Bastard." Edward swallowed thickly and regained composure. "Don't do that again."

"I know you enjoyed it." Harry smirked, extremely proud of himself. "Admit it."

"Fuck off." Edward noted that Harry had his boxer briefs on, and they were pretty tight with a
noticeable bulge in them. "Want me to return the favour?"

Harry shook his head and bit his lip, mischief in his eyes. "Petal's awake and he promised me."

"Did he?" Edward raised an eyebrow.

"I did!" Louis' own response came from the other side of the frosty shower door, followed by a loud
giggle.

Edward looked mortified to think Louis heard them but apparently this was a kind of master
plan and he's not too happy about that. Harry realised this and rushed out of the shower before
Edward could grab him. He exited the small area and found Harry with his arms around Louis'
shoulders.

"Don't be angry." Louis smiled softly, stepping up to him when he got Harry to let go.

Their petal looked so delicate, so peaceful when he's fresh out of bed with a large T-shirt on and his
thighs on display. Edward glared powerfully at Harry but looked down when Louis cupped his
cheek.
"Are you mad?" Louis asked him quietly, thumbing over a perfectly constructed jawline.

"Yes." Edward said through clenched teeth.

Louis distracted him from his furious glower by wrapping his arms around Edward's neck, jumping
up to be clinging to him fully. His legs hooked over the man's hips and his bare ankles crossed at his
back. He pressed their foreheads together and smiled when Edward held onto him as well.

"Sweet boy." Edward kissed Louis slowly, lovingly. "How could you plot against me?"

"I didn't." Louis said innocently, hands raking through Edward's hair. "I felt bad about this morning
and-"

"Oh petal." Edward huffed, unhappy about the arrangement. "Do not ever regret something like
that."

"I know that now, okay? Don't be angry." Louis pressed his cold nose to Edward's warm cheek. "I
love you."

"Hmm." Edward buried his face in Louis' neck. "And I'll be reciprocating until I'm dead and gone."

His lover gasped and swatted his arm. "Don't say stuff like that, Daddy."

"Sorry, pup." Edward chuckled, his anxiety easily gone away now because Louis was on him.

"Harry, come here."

Obliging, Harry shuffled forward until Edward had a grip on his wrist to haul him in. "Yes?"

Edward included Harry in their embrace, Louis getting lifted into Harry's arms even if he could
stand all on his own. "We're celebrating Halloween this year."


* * * * *

"Does it hurt, petal?" Harry asked worriedly, watching the boy's face for any signs of pain in his
reaction to what he was doing.

"No, Harry." Louis rolled his eyes as he took on an amused front. "You need to press harder."

After much deliberation over the course of five minutes, Harry decided to join Louis in a shower.
He was self-appointedly in charge of the body gel and wash cloth which he used to clean their petal
up from head to toe. He was very nervous about hurting Louis when it came to his glorious
posterior and wanted to be thorough without causing damage.

Harry rubbed the cloth where he was most afraid to and cleaned Louis until he was sparkling. He
was proud of himself and after wasting precious warm water admiring Louis' bum with reverent
hands, he pecked the cigarette scar he got to make.

"All done?" Louis giggled as he found Harry standing to his full height, arms extended to block
Louis from escaping.

"Yes, petal." Harry put the body gel back on a shelf they'd have to look at when they're packing up.
"Your turn."

Louis grinned and stretched up while Harry bent down to kiss languidly, small hands on broad
shoulders and a cocky grin pressed against Louis' shy smile.

"I wanna wash your hair." Louis announced as soon as his mouth is freed. "I've never had the
chance."

"Never?" Harry rounds his lips in surprise, holding them against his boyfriend's temple.
"You're missing out, petal."

"I know." Louis pouts, unappreciative of his deprivation. "I'll do it once we get out of here."

Harry hums and Louis investigates the innumerable amount of tattoos Harry's got. He felt very
small in the space he was allowed between man and wall, but also very safe.

"Edward said I should go as a jock for Halloween." Harry's thumb works circles around Louis' burn
mark, making the boy wince as a result. "You can be my slave."

Scoffing as he choked on laughter, Louis felt Harry being just as amused. "I'm not your slave, even
on Halloween."

"They don't have petal costumes." Harry reminded him, massaging shampoo into Louis' hair.

Louis' eyes closed and he moaned involuntarily. Nobody's washed his hair since infancy and it felt
great to be taken care of once again. He'd give into slavery for Harry - only today - if he kept doing
this. "Okay, I'll be your slave."

Bemused, Harry shook his head as he worked his fingers into the feathery hair of his petal. When
soap threatened to go near the boy's eye, he'd dip low and kiss away the gathering the shampoo suds
even if it tasted funny on his lips.

"You'll be my pretty petal." Harry said firmly, holding Louis' head back under the flow of water and
washing away the shampoo. "I also believe that I am your slave."

Louis' blush was an ideal shade of delicate pink. "Let's hope they have costumes for us."

Their shower time is up once the water starts to run cold and Louis complains about it. Harry finds
himself planted on a chair in front of the counter's basin with a big ol' smirk on his face when Louis
situates himself on his lap. The boy laughs but doesn't respond to his absurd attempt at a grind
upward.

Louis had a towel on to guard his chastity, a thick white one around his hips while gems of
sparkling water rolled down to meet it. His chest was very sore and the nipple around which a bite
mark was centred has not healed beyond random red lines. Harry licks his lips when he notices how
that one is red and swollen unlike the other tanned one.

"Head back please." Louis asked, allowing Harry to lean his neck on the stone counter and have his
hair under the tap.

He squeaked when large and protective hands rose to the handles of his hips, slipping under the
towel and gripping the flesh of his thighs firmly. Harry just grinned, dimples coming out for Louis
to admire.

Pouring some vanilla-cherry shampoo onto his palm, Louis stretched forward to lather up Harry's
hair. The strands were silky even without conditioner and seemed to go on for miles as he laced
through them. Sharp and curly tips that stuck to his hands as the red gel turned to foam.

"Can I....." Harry traced his finger around the uninjured nipple, wanting it in his mouth just because
he felt comforted by it.

"No, Harry." Louis rubbed the shampoo in, scratching Harry's scalp and adding a bit of water.
Harry frowned, deeply offended and wounded. "Why not, petal?"

"Because I don't wanna get dirty right after a shower."

"You won't." Harry brought his hand up to Louis' back and jerked him forward, closer. "Just want to
feel."

Louis sighs and let's him go at it, not entirely aroused because of some lingering fatigue. Harry
doesn't become too eager or suggestive either, just suckles on the hardened nub like he was nursing.
He wondered what the need to do it was but Harry on his body made him feel secure and him being
there made Harry comfortable so he didn't complain.

He washed out the shampoo with the drain plugged and his hands squeezing as much water out as
possible. Harry never let up from his nipple and his arms never released his waist. Pouring a smaller
amount of shampoo, Louis focused on Harry's hairline and was careful to massage along the
receding expanse even at his nape. After washing that off, he rubbed conditioner in his hands and
spread it through Harry's hair.

"I'll wash it out it ten minutes." Louis said after the conditioner was set in and the waiting period
began. "You done down there?"

Harry groans and it shoots spirals up Louis' spine but he pulls off anyway and pecks the very pink
nipple. Louis curls up against Harry's chest and presses his ear to the strong pulse of his neck.

"Hey, Daddy?" Louis kisses that pulse.

Harry hates conversations that start with greetings in the middle of a conversation. What awful style
is that? "Yes, petal?"

He feels the word forever carved into his throat. "I love you."


* * * * *

Louis has been completely turned against the idea of costumes for Halloween. They don't need
clothing and a bit of a fake blood to just walk around the festival processions and appreciate all
there is. Harry, however, is dead serious about costumes and will not be wavered in his decision
even by his brother.

They've walked down three roads just to get some fresh air outside that hotel room and confines of
their car, watching people set up their stalls and last minute decorations. Finally they'd found a store
that sold costumes, open even now until noon.

Since Edward and Louis' hearts weren't in it anymore, Harry found himself doing all the work.
"Look at this." Louis frowned at a fake murder axe set-up. "What do you even do with this?"

Edward took over and studied the detail, then smirked like he was finally going to answer the
question of how the earth began. "Amateurs, petal."

Laughing behind a cough when the store manage walked by, Louis walked over to Harry who was
deeply unimpressed by every outfit. After thirty minutes spent browsing, Harry confirmed what
they knew all along.

"This is awful." Harry shook his head and turned to walk out. "We're not doing this."

Edward cackled much to Louis' reaction of flaming cheeks and threw an arm over the boy's
shoulders. He reeled him in for a quick kiss that ended in more tongue than necessary due to prying
eyes from the store employees. They never got to see someone with such