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Petals don’t break (But they tear)

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Rose petals. Ruby red, illuminating rose petals, oval, neat and rounded and perfect in every single way.

That’s the first thing Louis’ notices. He can’t help but stare at the precious things that lay so gently on the fluffiness of the pickle-green bushes that circle the building he is walking towards.

He can’t help but wonder how it must be to own this beautiful peice of property, to be able to freely run your hands through the silky softness of the lively petals, 

But he also can’t help but wonder why it feels so...wrong. Like the wrong kind of beauty, the wrong kind of perfect. Maybe it’s the mistiness in the air, the almost undetectable bitterness that stays lurking in the shadows, 

or maybe he’s just being a paranoid fuck, like always, and he mentally slaps himself, he really needs to stop being so poetic about big situations all damn time, because today is the first day of his work.

He has no idea what-so-ever how the hell he bagged it, how the hell he, a normal citizen of Doncaster, out of all applicants of professional servants from every single colour and edge of the world, from people who know almost every language that the Earth has to offer, from people that are trained for years to be a servant, how he bagged it. 

He can’t help but wonder if it’s all a trick, maybe one of the eyes, an illusion, or a stupid dream which ends in him waking up in a old mattress in his dark and pale room, sighing and contemplating if he should probably start doing something with his life. 

He can’t help but wonder, why me? Why normal, tax-paying, earthly and stupid 20 year old boy me? But regardless he keeps walking to lump of clay. The centre of attention and the beautifully carved mansion that lays so blissfully before him. The glue that keeps all the tragic omens that litter and poison the air in a neat and cleaned tact,

he gulps, and brings up his soft hands to knock on the harsh white-painted and splintered wood of the front door, this could be a very long day.

**** 

A pretty brunette with her soul gleaming through her eyes but a dark demeanour  settled in the corners ended up opening the door, slightly taller than Louis. She was wearing black jeans that clutched onto her thighs and a satin blue crop top that hung on her shoulders. Louis came to learn that her name was Eleanor,

she demanded from him his name and his address, then when she seemed content that this was indeed ‘Louis Tomlinson’ she made him sign a contract that consisted of too many words for Louis’ mind to even begin to process.

She was quite silent and collected for the most part, but when she spoke, Louis could make out the thick London accent that drenched and dripped off of each of her words. 

She shows him around the mansion, and it’s...stunning to say the least. 

It gorgeous really, 

it’s spacious and large and consists of almost-cracked vases and other antique and £1000 looking things around ever corner, 

there are large glazed windows that are bigger than Louis himself and reveal the acres of green land that are filled and filled with tons of bright and lit roses, white canapés filling up some parts of the garden, 

the foyer itself is the size of Louis’ entire house, and it’s so hollow and reflective that Louis could hear his slight and rugged breaths echoeing and chanting off the walls, the slightest noise too delicate for it’s precious and vulnerable surface, 

the entire floor is covered in beige marble, and it’s reflective and crystal clean and Louis can honestly see his reflection in them. 

And then there’s...that.

An area to the left of Louis that is slapped with an old sign with almost glowing bold red letters, on the rusty bronze railings of the twisting and winding stairs that says;

‘B section’.

Louis glares at it a little, Eleanor walking slowly in front of him and not regarding him in any way, she clearly didn’t realise that Louis had come to a holt.

She just keeps walking.

He sees that the steps of these stairs are also made of marble yet with a maroon fur carpet blanketing from the bottom, in it’s middle, all the way to the top, it looks like miles and miles.

The sight of it sends shivers down Louis’ spine. It looks...almost abandoned. 

Every single aspect of this carefully looked after building picked with a fine-tooth comb, yet this section, completely oblivious to the care that it deserves. Rejected almost. 

Covered with dust and everything murky and dreadful, neglected from the cleanliness of every other area that Louis has seen.

He let’s it slip though, he’ll ask about it another time, and he quickly goes to rush after Eleanor who’s still in sight, back turned towards him.

The walls are a range of colours, 

the kitchen- Red

the bathroom(s)- Green

the living rooms(s)- Blue

and the bedrooms, well, he hasn’t seen them yet. 

Right now he’s in the kitchens,

It’s a narrow area to say the least,

there’s wooden cupboards on either sides of the shiny walls, ovens all over the place, and it’s almost like a riot, a messy yet agreeable riot of chefs and assistants.

He meets a cluster of rushing and slightly overweight and fatigued looking old ladies, who wear garments that are white and smeared with different spices and herbs and Louis could swear that he’s seen at least 5 new colours on the chef’s clothes that he’d never seen before in his life.

He passes them quick greetings and they all reply to him in a rushed and uncaring manner.

Rude. 

Eleanor remains next to him, she’s close to him yet she’s so far away, her mind is wandering somewhere else yet she’s clearly still paying attention, still...there. But not fully, not completely. Louis can tell this from every time he dares to ask her a question,

she simply passes him a mild glare in response and answers either grumbling yes, muttering no, or finding a way to assemble the shortest sentences possible to avoid any means of conversation.

He finds this extremely weird, who is she anyways? 

She’s definitely not a maid, no maid dresses like that. 

But she doesn’t look super rich either, and he would hate to admit it, but her look doesn’t exactly scream “I own this mansion in the middle of the forests of Holmes Chapel!”.

As new aromas fill up his already over-used nose, so does his mind. 

Each passing second offering another question that he knows he can’t, or rather shouldn’t ask, to this frankly, cyborg pretty girl in front of him.

After five minutes pass of Louis staring at a disturbing scene of ladies running around in front of him, his ear dinging with the sound of light commands being tossed around and the ringing of ovens and the cracklings of a light fire, Louis finally breaks the silence to ask a question, 

“Soooo, when are we meeting the boss?” Louis questions, brows furrowed and his gaze meeting Eleanor’s and his tone oddly chirpy, a contrast to the bizarre and uncomfortable mood that’s settling in stomach.

Eleanor stiffens at that, instantly freezing. Her gaze moves to penetrate Louis’ eyes, her dark and gloomy stare picking into his soul.

”The...boss?” She questions glumly, it’s a weird thing really. Her tone is so calm, so completely normal, yet her eyes are ready to pop out of her sockets and beat Louis to a pulp.

Louis hardly swallows the bile that gathers up in the low pits of his throat, looking down at his fiddling hands and biting his cheeks before replying;

”U-um, th-the person who owns the place?” Louis questions, and it was meant to come out as a statement, yet it came out as anything but, his gaze is fixed on the ground, yet he spares a moment to look up.

Eleanor simply smirks,

like she knows something,

knows something that Louis doesn’t, knows something that is tucked and stored away in a steel box deep inside her brain labelled ‘Dark secrets.’

“Harry Styles. His name is Harry.” She offers, it’s almost condescending, like she’s not content with just labelling his as ‘the boss’ or something similar. 

But that’s good enough for Louis, and his heart starts thumping again, as the blood is rushing back up to his head, 

she’s talking! This is good! Better than silence!

He snaps his head back up, looking back at the bizarre lady with her soul in her eyes, and darkness lined around them.

He lightens up a little, and mentally notes to focus on something else while talking to this weird girl, like listening to background noise.

In this situation, the background noise is the tattering feet of little old ladies, throwing curse words about and laughing ridiculously, the clanging of pots meeting, metal against metal and that’s good enough, good enough distraction from the disturbing glare of the probably part-robot in front of him.

”Great!” He says enthusiastically, his grin spreading across his cheeks, reaching and crinkling his eyes, he runs his right hand through his cotton-soft hair before continueing;

”So when do I meet him?” He says, not breaking that streak of the enthusiastic tone. His hands now dropping to his sides and playing with bottom of his button down blue shirt, 

Eleanor breaks into a small grin, before laughing slightly in the most grim way possible, she turns around, and walks away, 

Louis remembers that her back is faced to him, her figure standing just at the frame of the door that leads to the living room, before she shouted one sentence, not even looking back towards him, one sentence that left Louis in a daze and in confusion, that left him wondering what on Earth was going on, what on Earth he’d gotten himself into,

”You’re a daft boy if you think that Harry wants to see you!” She yelled in little breaths of laughter,  

and just as she was almost out of his sight, just as the last of the little fragment of her shimmery blue shirt was leaving Louis’ vision, she muttered something that he was sure he wasn’t meant to hear, perhaps it was only for her, her and her twisted thoughts, but he did hear it.

”He only sees his whores and his bottles of scotch.” She grumbled.

Chapter Text

Three whole days.

Three long, tiring, inevitably boring and un-ending three days that makes Louis want to lay down on the cool floor and just die a slow and excruciatingly painful death.

While he looks down on his sweat-drenched garments that uncomfortably shifts itself to the bottom of his armpits and little stomach he can’t help but think, 

Yeah, this is hell.

It’s three days of never ending new commands, rushing orders, either from the manic chefs that fumble around everywhere like pest or Eleanor who either looks dumbfounded and lost or like a character from a cheesy chick-flic, filing her perfectly-manicured nails and looking impossibly bitchy, and the orders always come through at the second he catches his breath, the second where his lungs return to their normal functioning state, 

But there’s only one Louis. One servant. 

One weak and feeble and small Louis, sure he has biceps and a nice little body, but there’s no way on earth that he’s strong enough to carry half the shit that they chuck at him,

“Carry the crates of milk and bring them here in five minutes!” 

“There are new boxes of books that go in the library, they’re outside, Louis.” 

“Don’t just sit your lazy arse there boy! There’s pots to clean, shoes to polish, do something!”

And it’s quite darkening that when he goes to his dorms, which is placed at the top of another stairs that are adjacent to the “B section”, (Louis still is curious as fuck about that area), that they are empty and as un-homely as possible.

The area smells very...hygienic,

like someone used bleach and a tooth-pic to clean every little spec in the room, tending to every nook and cranny, every minuscule detail. 

and it’s quite pretty, 

it’s spacious enough and consists of one bed, which is laced with really smooth cotton sheets and pillows that are silky and gentle, and mirrors are on almost all the walls.

One squeezed window on the wall opposite the doors reveals the outside view that Louis both hates and loves and the walls are plastered with a seductive and dangerous red.

But just like the rest of the house, just like the murky atmosphere that doesn’t escape it, it’s wrong. Really, really wrong, and it feels so un-habitable, so bizarre.

Louis wonders if anyone else can sense it, sometimes he’ll see Eleanor cringe slightly when touching the glass panels as she looks outside to the too-clean gardens, a shiver visibly sliding up her spine.

Maybe she feels it, feels the weight that the house carries just like Louis does.

And as he lays down in the bed that feels oh-so-wrong, he waits for another day.

 

****

 

“Fuck you!” A squeaky woman’s voice screams at the top of her lungs, her words slightly muffled by the walls that line Louis’ room.

Louis jolts up awake at that, any of his calming dreams being deeply forgotten and leaving without a trace,

because...what?

He twists his head around fast to look at the small whizzing electrical clock that has bright bold numbers and lights up on his bedside.

It reads ‘2:40 AM’.

What?

Louis waits for a bit, sat up and rubbing his tired and aching eyes with the back of his palms, silence. Then a bit more yelling.

“You’re a fucking asshole!” The same woman resumes, livid and her voice drenched with anger on every syllable. 

Louis wonders if she’s talking to the walls, no one is replying, perhaps she’s on the phone, gripping it tightly and listening to curses on the other end,

his hands are shaking a little, his heart thumping loudly in his chest, demanding to be heard. 

He really doesn’t like to hear people shout, it’s like he can feel the radiation and heat of every curse word, every broken letter. He hates it.

He considers getting up, because...nothing is happening. 

He can’t hear anyone rushing to attend to whoever is screaming, or whoever’s being screamed at. 

Can’t hear the curious whispers of the staff wondering what’s going on, almost like this is a normal occurrence, like they’re used to girls almost losing their voices from screaming so much,

Can’t hear a trace of Eleanor telling this anonymous girl to quieten down, he can’t even hear the echoing of her annoying-ass heels, and normally he thanks god for that, but now it leaves him feeling vulnerable and confused.

There’s another slight pause, before a loud thump!

Louis flinches slightly, it’s sounded really loud. Like, really, really. 

He can’t help but feel like someone’s been pushed down the stairs...and, fuck this.

Maybe everybody in this house has lost any sense of basic morality but he hasn’t, refuses to.

He rushes towards his door and turns the brass bronze handle, when he does he runs down the short narrow hallways and he quickly makes to rush down the sickeningly cold marble stairs, hard and cool against the bare soles of his feet.

When he reaches the bottom of the stairs, he looks up to see a woman, standing upright at the bottom of the stairs of the ‘B section’, only a few metres away from him.

She’s hardly wearing anything, just a bra and some thin panties, and she’s clutching tightly to her chest a few pieces of clothing while staring up with glazed eyes, a bright red face and veins popping out her neck at a man who’s stood at the top of the stairs of this...’B section.’

He’s almost on top of them, so above that Louis’ feels like he’s looking at a higher power. 

Louis doesn’t know what to do, so, like the unknown girl at the bottom of the stairs, he just glares at the man who looks down upon her.

The man is lying hidden in the depths of the shadows, his lanky body only shining from the creeks of moonlight that steal their way into the broken building, 

His body upright and straight, looking down upon her, Louis can’t make out his expression, or his face, he’s looking almost frozen at the girl at the bottom of the stairs, his eyes not leaving her.

And then they do, and Louis makes out his olive face perfectly.

His dark-chocolate curls are stretched and up to his shoulders, hiding some of his features, yet his face is still pretty clear.

As the set of his eyes settle on Louis, Louis gulps. Because his eyes are wrong.

So, so, so, very, extremely, badly and wrongly wrong.

Yes, they’re magnificent. Like two pieces of precious emerald, bright and green and priceless. They do well to light up the dark building like it’s the first time that the mansion had ever even seen a hint of light, yet just like the building, it’s empty.

Hollow, and unreadable. 

They’re dead, like a lively corpse. Like something that has seen so much that it snaps, but not really. 

His eyes pinch Louis’ soul, because he can’t tell if there’s too much emotion there, or none at all.

Louis’ wonders what the man is thinking, he’s so still that if not for a few casual blinks, Louis would think he’s a mannequin, something assembled with metal, plastic and wood.

They both just stand like that, some weird silence, in a weird building, looking at a weirdly empty man.

“Excuse me.” 

Louis almost jumps at that, but the man stays calm and still, completely unfazed.

Louis snaps his attention back to the half-naked woman and can’t help but notice the unimpressed and annoyed look that’s washed over her small face.

“Me and Hazza here are kind of in the middle of something-“ she starts but is interrupted by a deep and slow voice.

“Don’t call me Hazza.” The man grumbles demandingly, and Louis looks back up at the hollow doll, 

His voice is low and emotionless but there’s a humanly undertone and annoyance to it, good. Very good. He’s a human.

Louis was starting to wonder if everyone in this fucking building was a robot. 

She sniggers and flips one off on him, before mumbling a not-so-quiet;

 “Fuck you!” One last time before slamming the front door closed, 

Louis sighs, looks down at his hands and starts fiddling with his fingers, what kind of Reality t.v shit is this?

“What’s your name?” A voice questions dominantly, breaking Louis’ streak of ongoing thoughts

and Louis almost falls back in a flinch, because yeah he forgot this ‘Hazza’ guy was still in the local vicinity. 

Louis stumbles, his knees shaking a little before standing back up to his normal stance,

“Um, i-i’m-“ 

“It’s a simple question.” 

“Sorry.” 

“Your name is Sorry?” Harry questions rudely, a bullish smirk twisting at the corners of his lips.

Louis hears patters, feet coming down the stairs, and looks up to see the same lanky figure walking slowly down, his heart starts thumping that much louder.

Why is he so damn nervous?

Oddly enough, the mans steps are irregular and weird, not like two normal feet, 

It goes like 

Pat

Thump!

Pat

Thump!

Louis is quickly caught staring at his legs and the man who (was making his way down the stairs.) freezes in realisation, he grumbles something that sounds careless and unbothered, his face turning downwards in what looks like shame, and then he returns to his movements, until he’s face to face with Louis.

They’re about one metre apart and Louis can almost feel the mans breath tickling his front area of neck, his chocolatey curls beaming and shiny.

“Name.” He demands, no questioning or intrigued tone evident, no emotion on his blank canvas of a face.

Louis looks down at his fumbling and shaking fingers again, the mans stare is scolding hot.

“L-Louis.” He mumbles back.

“Louis.” The man repeats, but in a tone that makes it sound like he’s reassuring himself and not Louis.

Louis looks up at him and tries to analyse every small detail on his face within a time range of 5 seconds to avoid any means of soul-scarring.

His nose is shiny and diamond shaped and fits in with his gem eyes and his hot pink lips,

Beautiful...but tragic.

“Nobody tell you it’s rude to eavesdrop before?” The lanky man questions rhetorically and seriously, but also like he’s looking for an answer to confirm his self-ego.

Louis takes in a deep breath and glances up at the man before replying;

“I-I’m Sorry sir, I heard a bang, I was afraid someone had hurt themselves.” 

The man chuckles darkly, raising his brows, his ringed fingers going up to lace quickly through his shining curls, shifting the loose strands to the back of his head, Louis squirms uncomfortably at the response.

“Well, Louis, there’s a two things you need to learn about this house-“ He puts his index finger and middle finger up to sign the number two, “-Firstly you mind your own business-“ he puts his middle finger back down leaving the index “-And secondly never walk out your dorms at night.” He finishes, completely lowering his pale hand, 

Louis’ hands shake a little at his sides and his knees are about to give out, his heart is thumping uncontrollably and he really doesn’t know how the hell to react to this situation.

“Got it chumps?” He questions condescendingly and sarcastically.

Louis is still lost for words, and his brain is whizzing and stirring yet no words are coming out of his mouth, his eyes blurry from the lack of sleep and waking up at such an ungodly hour, Louis reckons that he looks like a 5-year Old that’s just lost his parents.

Harry chuckles one last time before slowly plodding up the marble and dusty stairs of the ‘B section’

Pat

Thump!

Pat

Thump!

While he’s going up the stairs he shouts, his deep voice repeating off the walls,

“And tell that bitch Eleanor that I, Harry Edward Styles, say to take you through the rules properly next time!” 

And Louis almost passes out from all the confusion then and there.

Chapter Text

He needs to set a bunch of rules.

Louis needs to set a bunch of rules for himself in this mansion of inescapable doom and gloom is he’s to live through whatever the fuck is going on in this weird ass compound.

  1. Never ask Eleanor anything about her personal life
  2. Never ask Eleanor about Harry Styles.
  3. Somehow try following 1 & 2 while trying to make Harry as happy as possible.

He grabs the thin pale sheet of paper and scribbles his rules down with a black pen in the messiest handwriting possible, then scrunches it up slightly before stuffing it into the pockets of his jeans, this mansion was more fucked up than he expected.

 

5 hours earlier, 6PM-

 

Louis scrambled down the thick stairs of the mansion, one hand assembling his feathery hair together to form a bundle instead of all the strands just loosely laying against his heated forehead, and another wiping the beads of sweat on his forehead with the back of his hand.

His breath was heaving heavily in his lungs because yet again, his day consisted of nothing but him running around like a headless chicken, receiving orders left, right and centre and trying his hardest not to malfunction. 

Even though his head was rushing with all the chores that he had to be through with so he could return to his dodgy dorm, he couldn’t help but leave space in his thought process to think about 3 long nights ago, when he encountered this ‘Harry Styles’ man for the first time.

The man with the empty eyes.

The beautiful boy without (or a very hidden) soul.

Fuck! He was thinking about it again. He really had to stop, 

not only was it like an irratable seed that was constantly and violently growing at a top-fast pace in his brain, it was also using up most of his thought energy, 

he would catch himself dozing off in the middle of a conversation with a very sassy chef, or with the gardener or Eleanor who looked extremely dis impressed with his weak work ethic. But honestly, who could blame her, Louis’ was practically thanking the bleak and expensive walls of the mansion every night for bagging this job that, yes was exhausting, but paid the bills like you wouldn’t believe.

Louis plodded lazily around the marble floors of the mansion in black vans, black jeans, and a black tank top. Yes, extremely depressing, but, this mansion brought out the emo stylist in him. 

Even though his sight was turning to black dots, there was still a light skip in his step, he wasn’t a complete goth (yet), if there was one fact that remained it was this mansion couldn’t take away Louis’ happiness, Louis’ always assumed that that task would always be assigned to someone, instead of something perhaps.

Just as he turned the handle of the front door, he heard some pattering steps gradually getting closer from behind him, but it wasn’t coming from the murky kitchens, or the stairs leading to his sadistic dorms, no.

It was coming from down the B-section.

Click

Click

Click!

Louis instantly let the grip on the handle fall and jolted steadily and extremely quickly around, 

his gaze focused on...a woman?

Not ‘Harry Styles’ but someone noticeable, and Louis would know that face anywhere, 

Eleanor.

She wore a dark frown, but it didn’t reach her eyes. Her eyes were lined in the blackest shades of emptiness and upset.

She, like her mood, wore a depressing sheer black top with a white vest underneath, and some ripped black jeans accompanied with white leather boots that caused clicking noises to echo around the hall.

Click

Click

Click!

She thumped down when finally reaching the floor, and Louis’ glared at the burning depression that was practically surrounding her, burrowing itself in her skin. She turned around to fully face Louis, and scowled at him when she saw him staring at her, weird, and sort of scary as fuck.

He gulped, because this felt a lot like déjà-vu, only three nights ago, he could’ve sworn he was on the exact same spot, staring at a heartless person, although now maybe he was staring at someone who carried too much of a heart, but liked to hide it.

She glared at him back, and when his focus never left her, she growled a;

“What the fuck are you staring at?” 

Rude.

Louis found himself lost and scared, but all it took was a few seconds of staring deep into Eleanor’s shining brown eyes for those emotions to turn into something more...curious.

“Are you alright?” He replied sympathetically, rolling his head to a side like a puppy.

She frowned even lower at that,

“Go do your job.” She stated blankly and frankly, but Louis asked a question, and he’d be damned if he didn’t get his answer, and just as she turned his back at him to turn towards the kitchens he quickly spoke again,

“Has this anything to do with the boss?” He blurted out, his face conforming into an unknown and patient expression, as if god mixed confusion, dauntlessness, curiosity and sympathy into a bowl.

She halted in her step, and before Louis knew it she was taking large strides towards him while huffing curses, he leaned back out of flinch and then,

BLACK.

 

7PM-

 

Louis woke up in a unknown room, everything spinning in a blur and his sight slowly going into focus, sitting on a small wooden chair next to him was Marge (One of the kitchen chefs) she dabbed a napkin in a cold bucket of water and placed it then continued to swipe and dab under Louis’ nose, he winced at the pain, completely oblivious to what happened to cause him to feel like a feeble hospital patient,

Marge was a slightly overweight chef, and still beautiful as ever, even Louis could admit that. Her ginger hair looked golden when the small and fluttering light shone against it, and her facial features were assembled in an angelic and godly way, but her smile shone through the most, that glimmering and hearty smile

She smiled sadly but relieved at Louis as she continued to tend to him, focusing on under his nose,

“What happened?” He groaned while pressing his small palm against his forehead.

Marge sighed and then threw the bloody napkin in the bin next to her,

“She’s got a temper, that one.” She replied annoyed, staring at Louis and furrowing her brows, her accent was Irish and proud, loud and comfortable.

The realisation of what happened dawned on Louis, and he jolted upwards,

“That bitch!” He shouted while sitting upright in the bed, Marge quickly shushed him with her index finger,

“Shut up!” She whisper-yelled, and then moved back away from Louis and dropped her finger, before sighing again, and looking down at her feet which were swinging slightly off the wooden chair next to the bed.

“She knocked me out, didn’t she?” Louis questioned, and Marge just replied with looking at him with a sympathetic smirk twisting at the corner of her lips, she guessed that Louis probably already know the answer to that stupid question.

“Can I ask, what ya did to set ‘er off like that?” She said looking at him in curiosity, now fumbling with her fingers.

Louis thought that he did fuck all, didn’t deserve that in any way, shape or form. But he was also sort of impressed at the amount of power that a tiny girl like Eleanor possesses,

“I don’t know-“ Louis sighed and looked back up at Marge,

“-I just mentioned the boss, I guess.” He continued, and Marge furrowed her brows further at that,

“The boss...?” She asked, taken a little aback for god knows what reason.

“Yeah, Harry Styles.” He stated bluntly, and Marge completely froze at that, shock doing its wonders at painting her face, not leaving an inch of her facial features, she even flinched slightly, and now Louis was beyond curious, this was full on mystery-drama at its finest.

“Ummm, Marge-“

“-Fuck! Ya mentioned Sir!” She screamed, and then cupped her mouth in shock of the loud noise and inappropriate words that fumbled out her lips.

She slowly removed her hands,

“Louis, if there’s one thing a lad like ya should ought to know, it’s that no one-“ she got closer to Louis to whisper the words she was going to say next, “-and I mean no one does that here.” She said secretively.

“But why?” Louis whispered back, now playing the full on spy game.

“We ‘avent been allowed to mention a word of Sir since...since the incident.” She said with her pupils blown and voice almost trembling.

“The incident...” Louis pushed further. 

“All I know, is that, something happened a long time when I was workin’ a long time ago to Sir that caused him a lot’a grief-“ she sighed “-it turned him to a very nasty man indeed.” She finished.

Louis thought and thought, the cogs of his brain working and spinning, 

“What has this got to do with Eleanor?” He asked dumbly and plainly.

She snapped her head up at him,

“M’not sure how Eleanor is involved in this all, she used ta visit the house sometimes before the incident, with one of Sirs friends-“ she looked back down at her fumbling fingers “-but now she’s takin’ care of the house and I’m guessing Sir aswell, he seems to be the cause of her sadness though.” 

“How...how was he like?-“ Louis gulped at the question he was about to ask “-I mean before you know, ‘the incident’”. He said, and instantly Marge looked up at him with a memorable fonding smirk on her face, but also with a hint of confusion, 

“He used to be absolutely lovely, lively chap, never used to let anyone work for too long, would always help out with me dishes-“ she smiled at the remembrance of memories, and then it instantly fell as soon as it came “-then the incident happened, I’m not too sure bout the details but he loses his right leg and-“ she’s cut off by a shocked Louis,

“-What?!” He questioned abruptly, the words choking out his throat, because, wow. He did not expect that.

Suddenly it all makes sense, and he remembers the weird thumping of his steps, the broken pieces of his soul in his eyes, and even though he doesn’t know Harry, his heart broke for him there and then, and he could’ve cried, he gulped and Marge stared at him in confusion,

“You didn’t know?-“ she questioned and Louis shook his head violently “-he used to be a professional footballer and all.” She finished off broken.

Louis couldn’t believe it, a footballer. Professional, a kind heart and pure soul and then bam! An ‘incident’ that no one knows absolutely anything about hits him, and he’s cooped up in his little hut of a room, spreading his doom and gloom vibes to Eleanor, while fucking girls on a daily.

And that’s when he decided, yeah he doesn’t know Harry, and yeah god knows what the fuck ‘the incident’ is, but although the incessant voices in his head commanded him to dig further, he decided then and there, that this was the moment he was gonna try making Harry as happy as possible.

Even if it would prove to be a challenge, it didn’t matter.

Louis loved challenges after all.

Chapter Text

The first batch of flowers came through the Monday morning.

About 5000 ruby-red and dirty-white roses all collected in 100 small see-through and rectangular plastic boxes filled to the rim with water, all lying merrily on the cold slack of concrete that laced the outside porch.

Louis was close to fainting, he had just woken up to the Eleanor splashing a glass of water in his face which resulted in him hyperventilating and her watching with an unimpressed and bored expression, until he collected himself. She briefly explained to him that he had to go outside and collect all the boxes that had just arrived, 

And what the fuck? 

He left his dorms to the expectation that it would just be another batch of posh caviar, or some turkey or poor goose that was butchered fresh earlier on that day, but instead his eyes were both blessed and damned with the sight of heavy and odd-looking boxes filled with fresh flowers that looked significantly weighty.

He pinched the outside of his hip to collect himself, there’s no way this was reality, probably just a beautiful nightmare. It wasn’t.

He quirked an eyebrow upward, and then went around and through all the boxes of roses, analysing each one, slightly tapping the rims of each one, he wasn’t sure why he did, maybe he was admiring them, maybe expecting one of the roses to have a life of it’s own and offer him an explanation to what in the bloody hell was going on, he wasn’t sure.

He sighed as he came to the realisation that he had to bring 100 boxes of roses into the building, and then find Eleanor and cross his fingers that she doesn’t look like she wants to kill him for asking basic questions, 

Is this what his life was coming to?

 

****

 

He was literally drenched with sweat, the bottoms of his armpits soaked and uncomfortably sticky, he wiped the beads of water of his forehead and sighed contently as he brought the last box of flowers in, he smiled to himself, he did it. He really fucking did it.

And-he turned to look at his wrist that had a Micheal Kors watch on it, -it only took him 45 minutes, what a relief.

He makes his way to the kitchens and when he stands by the door frame, glancing into the heated and almost rioting kitchen, he realises that nobody spares him a look but the ginger headed Marge, who smiles at him with pity and sympathy, 

She seems to be doing that a lot.

She slowly plods towards him, wiping whatever remains of vegetables that were freshly on her fingers on the front of her dirty-white chef jacket.

When she stands at hearing-distance in front of him, she stops.

“You look...tired.” She states, and Louis felt like he could roll his eyes.

“Yeah, had to bring in 100 literal boxes of white and red roses, it was disgraceful.” He replies, and he almost lets out a disappointed sound when she doesn’t react in any way, shape or form to him, she simply nods.

“-Do you know anything about that?” He asks again, and she looks back up at him with knowing eyes, any trace of a smile quickly wiped off of her lips.

Louis furrows his brows in a curious way, and she sighs.

“Sir does a dinner for his family every year, Louis.” She replies deadly.

“Who, Harry?” He asks and Marge throws him a threatening glare.

“Yup, Sir.” She grumbles and she walks away, and as if on que, Eleanor seems to be walking towards him as soon as Marge leaves, with a binder in her left hand and the right one occupying an expensive iPhone which seems to have her undivided attention, she finally lifts her head up to look at a pale and almost-dead looking Louis,

And she smiles at him, and Louis almost passes out. He should be angry at her, but now all he feels is relief, he’s just glad she doesn’t want to knock him out again.

“Helllloooo Louis.” She sing songs, and yes, Louis might just be the most confused he’s ever been.

He lets out a distraught sound because he has no idea what to say and she just giggles at that, giggles. Like full on, teenagers snickering and bickering giggle.

“-today, there’s a little banquet thing going on, as you may know from the dozens of flowers you saw in the morning-“ Dozens?? He thinks, there were at least 5000, “-The chief chef usually stands at the table just out of pure respect, but she seems to be ill, and the supply for the chief chef is always-“ No, don’t say it, don’t fucking say it. “-you.” She smiles as she says the last word, and yeah, she said it.

 

****

 

Louis taps his feet nervously while fiddling with his silky tie endlessly. 

Eleanor gave him a Gucci tie and suit and some really expensive shoes (and if he later on replaced them with black vans because they were too uncomfortable then no one needed to know.) He’s been watching out the window from the empty section of the kitchens like a wuss for long enough, and he’s pretty sure he’d just seen the end of the long list of rich and snobby guests that crunched down on the gravel leading to the mansion, 

he’s really nervous now.

There’s so much damn people, and he know he needs to make it to the banquet hall as soon as he can, he’s actually never ever seen the inside of the banquet hall, just the wooden doors that led to it. He’d been humiliated publicly a few hours ago when he thought he’d had to design the inside and Eleanor just laughed in his face, telling him that of course they’d hired an interior designer for that task (duh.).

He gulped and whispered to himself to stop being such a pussy, before making his way to the hall,

He pauses outside the hall for a second, his hand lightly brushing against the wooden door, and then squints his eyes as he pushes it open.

He’s shocked as suddenly, just as the doors open, so do all of the keys to liveliness and life.

The room oozes out a sense of vibrancy, everyone in it chattering and laughing, clanging bubbly champagne glasses together and chuckling. 

Nobody seems to realise Louis, which is great.

It’s only when he goes to walk to the other end of the hall, next to the windows where Eleanor had promised him they would be, that he realised that the hall was decorated in its finest.

His eyes widen and glimmer at the sight of it, a large golden chandelier still and hanging from the ceiling, and a large black table centred in the room, at least 50 metres long, with wooden chairs laced with velvet surrounding it.

It reminds him a bit of the darkened mansion he’s in, and the beautiful but abused roses that circle it,

He pinches himself, stop being so damn poetic.

And then it’s broken, it’s all broken, because the mood completely evaporates into thin air as the doors to the hall snap open on the other end, revealing a slim and beautiful figure with long chocolatey curls and broken eyes that are visible from the other end of the room.

Harry,

Harry Styles.

Everybody stops talking and stares at Harry, and Harry lets a sickly smirk stretch on his face,

Louis couldn’t tell if he liked the silence or hated it.

Harry slowly started walking towards Louis’ end of the table, the seat Louis was closest too, and Louis just froze.

Harry’s leg was thumping against the ground heavily, his other lightly patting it.

Thump

Pat

Thump

Pat.

Louis can see that it’s a metallic leg now, because the bottom of it is shimmering through Harry’s velvet black Gucci suit bottoms, and his left leg is smooth against the ground, whereas the right one is rough and almost violent.

Harry makes his way to the end of the table and leans down sit on the seat, he lightly turns his head around to look back at Louis, but then grumbles a noise that sounds twisted and sits on the wooden seat.

“Sit.” He commands in a murmuring tone to everyone in the room, and quickly they all obey. Taking their seats like it’s assigned to them, like they’d done this a million times.

Harry starts picking at a piece of bread that he finds in a basket, and doesn’t eat any of it, 

Just picks and picks and picks in the most infuriating and emotionless way possible, Louis can’t see his face because Harry’s back is turned to him, but he imagines that if he sees it, it’ll probably something like an annoyed grimace.

“So...how have you been?” A brave voice pipes up from the other end of the table, and Louis can identify from the tone that it’s a young woman,

“How do you think?” He replies chuckling darkly, Louis’ stomach turns at that. 

Everybody is either attempting to fiddle with something, or looking focused on Harry.

“I think Suzie meant that we just wanna know how you’ve been feeling lately.” Another female voice states harshly, and this one really must not be afraid to talk to Harry in that tone.

Louis catches the woman who just spoke and it’s a brunette who seems to be in her twenties, and oddly enough, she seems to look, almost like Harry’s cousin or something. She’s crossing her arms and furrowing her brows at Harry impatiently.

“Well-“ Harry mutters “-I think that Suzie should mind her own fucking business.” 

A few people gasp and murmur at that but Louis just watches intently,

He hears a fist bang against the table, and Louis’ blue eyes dart to a man at the other end,

“You murder my daughter, invite me to this damn banquet and then act like the victim!” He hisses, and now all traces of loose conversation around the table are instantly gone, Louis is just shocked. His heart has literally stopped pumping any form of blood to his body.

“You and I both know it was an accident-“ Harry mutters “-my leg is living proof.” He mumbles the last part really quietly, and nobody but Louis catches it.

Louis’ breath is stuck in his throat.

Harry pushes his chair back, and slicks his hair to a side, his face is void of emotion but Louis can see his body betraying him, as he can identify the light tremor in his fingers while he pushes the chair into the table.

He calmly stumbles out and only 30 seconds go past before Louis decides to go after him,

He can’t just leave Harry in that state, even if he didn’t know him, Louis is his servant and Harry is his boss.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Louis stands outside the blistered brown door, the only one that is sitting sickeningly calmly at the end of the twisting corridors of the ‘B-section’.

Just like the gentle pattering of the rain that slides itself against the window, Louis’ heart is thumping at the same fast pace,

Because this is it. He’ll finally talk to Harry, alone, face to face, without disruption, all doubts freshly squeezed out of his mind, like citrus oozing out of a ripe lemon.

And maybe he’s stupid, maybe Harry will shout at him, or ignore him completely and bypass his existence, maybe Louis should play safe, but contrary to normal people, Louis would rather be sorry than safe.

He can hear slight muffling through the door, some ruffling by the bedsheets, and he lifts his hand up,

Knock

Knock

Knock.

He gulps as he hears all movement behind the door stop, and then the familiar harsh and irregular pattern of thump! Pat.

His heart now racing at a dangerous rate, and his throat as dry as the Sahara, he waits.

The glimmering golden door handle slowly twists, signalling that someone on the other side is opening the door, and all of a sudden it rushes open, a quick moan of wood escaping it.

Harry stands at the doorframe, brows furrowed, yet at the same time oblivious to any emotions. He’s still wearing the dark suit, his fingers covered with rings. One of his hands lay on the side of the door, the other at his side.

Louis glares back at him, unlike Harry, the emotion evident in his face. He had an idea of what he wanted to say but he couldn’t get it out, it wouldn’t leave his sealed lips.

All he could see was the neverendingness of the depth and sadness of the dark green eyes that he looked straight into, and he felt like he was falling straight through them.

“Yes?” Harry asks slowly, shattering the deafening silence.

“Umm-I, I’m-....errr-r..you.” Louis replies like a dumbfounded idiot, realising he has nothing at all to say.

“I...?” Harry lingers on, pressing Louis to say something further.

“Are you alright?” Louis blurts out, and Harry actually lifts his brows and parts his lips in surprise at the question, 

Louis feels bad about that, such a normal question, yet so unknown to Harry’s ears.

Harry brings his ringed fingers up to his lips, tugging at the bottom one with his index and thumb in anticipation, 

“I’m fine.” He replies after thinking, but sadness still laces the outsides of his iris.

Louis thinks a bit, drawing his eyebrows together before asking again;

“Are you alright?” He feels like he’s pushing his luck, but he also feels like he got a dishonest answer at the beginning.

Harry’s lips fall into a slight frown, not in annoyance at Louis’ words, but rather at the fact that he’s so used to people giving up on first try, he quickly latches his tattooed hand onto Louis’ wrist and pulls him into the room,

Louis can hardly process what’s happening, and before he knows it, Harry is gently closing the door behind him. 

Harry has his back towards Louis, and Louis feels like his chest is compressing together, like a vice that keeps tightening and tightening, getting worse and worse by the second.

“Why do you care...?” Harry asks, a slight tone of sincerity and vulnerability in his question, that makes Louis frown slightly, even though Harry can’t see him.

Louis gulps;

“Because I do.” He simply replies, using a confidence that he didn’t even know he held within.

Harry turns back around in a very, very slow pace, his eyes scanning Louis up and down, but not meeting his the endless blue after he finishes analysing him.

Until he does, 

and Louis wanted him to look him in the eyes, wanted Harry to show him a crack of emotion, but the walls are back up now, and anything he thought he saw in Harry, has been covered with thick, black curtains.

Harry chuckles darkly before wiping his palms over his face and then through his hair,

“Okay.” He states blankly, 

And Louis is looking at him, staring. 

Looking right through those emerald eyes, the ones that are laced with something he can’t quite grasp, but there’s nothing, nothing he can hold on to, nothing he can use to tell himself that Harry Styles is a normal, functioning human being.

Harry doesn’t break the eye contact, and it’s piercing, burning through Louis’ soul, it’s heating up and-

Wow.

Harry launches himself at Louis, his entire body blanketing him and he smashes his soft lips against Louis’,

Louis stands there in shock for a few seconds, his eyes wide open and body still as Harry’s one is fully activated and moving its chapped plump lips against Louis’ unmoving ones,

Both of Harry’s hands covering the cheeks of Louis’ face, the gesture itself is soft but the situation is aggressive and needy,

And Louis must be a different type of idiot because he actually starts kissing him back.

He closes his eyes and falls into the kiss, letting himself be drenched into the blackness of Harry’s soul, Harry now moves him to press against the wall, Louis’ back hitting the black wallpaper that covers it softly, 

Harry’s velvety and ringed hands start sliding down Louis’ chest over his shirt, then down to the back of his spine, and then goes to grab at his bum, and Harry starts softly squeezing the flesh down there, causing Louis to gasp filthily in Harry’s open mouth that moves against his, Harry groans heavily in response.

And that’s when the absurdity of the situation hits him, what the actual fuck is going on??

Louis halts his movements completely, and gets one of his hands and places in between his chest that heaves up and down with heavy gasps of air and Harry’s, he gently pushes Harry so that he can get the gesture,

“Louis?” Harry asks, no sincerity in his voice but a lace of confusion as he stares at Louis’ face,

“Harry.” Louis says in reply, diverting Harry’s eyes and although it’s hardly an answer, the tone itself is enough to put what he was trying to say in his mind into words, 

And it sends Harry scrambling backwards,

“Leave.” Harry commands, blank and void of emotion,

Louis goes to protest against this demand but as he’s just about to say something he’s cut off,

“Leave.” Harry repeats, but a bit more stern and dominant.

Louis sighs before fixing his tie quickly, smoothing his blazer out and walking out in defeat, 

Harry Styles may prove to be the biggest challenge he’s ever faced.