Actions

Work Header

My English Love Affair

Work Text:

The thing about sleeping with a member of a famous indie band is that the inevitability of having a song written about you is most likely a hundred percent. Louis should have expected it, only he doesn’t and the song is literally everything except for what he’d think it’d be if it were to ever happen.

He’s in the car, listening to the radio on the way back to work, and the host decides to play White Eskimo’s latest single. Louis doesn’t listen to the band on the regular, but he knows the lead singer’s voice like the back of his hand.

Soft lips frame your wicked smile
Baby you rock me like a fucking missile

It’s not quite what Louis would have expected.

Blue eyes, the freckle on your left hip
Every time I see you, God you make me flip
Your bed is warm in the north of Esher
Kiss me, baby, you’re a flaming fucking treasure

English Love Affair the song is called, and Louis isn’t sure if he’s supposed to be flattered, or if Harry simply fucks a lot of people who live in the outskirts of London. But then again, how many people has a freckle on their hip accompanied by blue eyes and has slept with Harry Styles on more than one occasion.

It’s a bit awkward. He hasn’t seen Harry in about six months, has slept with five other people since then and doesn’t miss him all that much. There’s nothing to miss, really. The times he’s seen Harry have been few and short, and always spent under the covers of a bed.

He listens to the song, cheeks deepening in red the longer it goes on. Harry makes it sound like he’s fucking a freaking porn star, which Louis is most decidedly not. He was a virgin throughout sixth form and the first year of Uni, and didn’t get it over with until his boyfriend of four months lit candles and put on a record with slow music. Despite what the prejudices of people hooking up with famous band members might be, Louis doesn’t get around much. He’s a prime prude Stan tells him, although Louis doesn’t think so. When he sleeps with people he either dines them first, or is their boyfriend. He either goes casual or falls hard.

Sleeping with Harry is neither. It started as a drunken mistake. He was out getting wasted with friends almost a year ago, and just happened to end up in the famous indie singer’s lap. Since then he’s seen Harry about four or five times. Harry’s only in the country a few times a year, his residence holding fort in Los Angeles as the rest of his band are either American or Irish. It’s a weird mix, but Louis (after a long morning of throwing up and searching for Advil) found out through good old reliable Google that they’d all met in college in LA.

The second time they hooked up was two months later at a New Years party Stan had managed to get invited to. Louis found himself across from Harry by a bar, and the next minute the other man was leaning into his side and kissing his neck. Since then Harry’s had Louis’ number in his phone and every time he’s in the country he seems to send out a text and manage to kiss his way into Louis’ bed.

Last time was months ago, and a song appearing like this feels quite strange. Well, he assumes Harry wrote it a while back, but having him sing it about him on a stage in front of thousands is quite absurd and cringe-worthy.

He parks his car outside his work place, nodding at the girls at the front desk and taking the elevator up to the office. He sinks into the chair by his desk, the one in the booth next to Oliver’s and Ben’s. He’s a writer, has a column in a quite big paper in London. He’s in the entertainment department, but he considers himself having done quite well for a soon to be twenty-five year old.

He leans back and frowns as he pulls out his phone. He’s just had a late lunch, time’s almost half past two. He scrolls through his contact book, wondering if the number will work if Harry’s not in the country. Their conversations consist exclusively of short messages in the form of “Hey, I’m in the city. Meet me?” and “Lovely seeing you. Text you next time,” and Louis doesn’t think they’ve ever had a full conversation about anything other than addresses.

I heard your song, he texts, mentally crossing his fingers in hope that it will be received. It’s very early in LA still, but if Harry sees it later Louis hopes he’ll get an answer. To be honest he feels like he should have been warned, he feels a bit like he’s in shock mode.

“Why aren’t you working?” Oli asks, poking his head into Louis’ box of an office. He doesn’t spend too much time writing there, mostly works from home or at a café, but it’s nice to see his colleagues from time to time.

“I’m texting.”

“As I was saying.”

Louis glances up at him, squinting. “Would you believe me if I told you that I slept with a famous singer and he wrote a filthy song about me?”

Oli ponders the question for a few seconds. “No,” he says then and disappears out of sight. Louis sighs, pursing his lips. Oli pops back up. “Which celebrity?” he wonders, suspiciously.

“Harry Styles.”

Oli laughs like he’s never heard anything funnier and disappears again. Louis doesn’t have the energy to be offended.

He’s making dinner that night, is just putting a dish into the oven when his phone buzzes.

What did you think? it says, and it’s from Harry.

Louis bites his lip. You have a very dirty perception of me.

You ARE very dirty, comes the answer a few moments later.

Louis can’t really come up with an answer to that, wondering exactly what kind of person Harry thinks he is. He jumps up on the worktop in the kitchen, and thankfully there’s another text.

I’m in Scotland for a thing. Might visit London

Are you going to write another song about me if I MAKE LOVE to you?

So you’re flirting and making yourself seem more innocent at the same time

Well.

You made me sound like a porn star

You ARE like a porn star.

Louis isn’t sure if he’s mortified or flattered.

Anyway, Harry writes. Text you when I’m in town.

**

The song is kind of ridiculous. Every time Louis hears it he’s almost dying in shame. It’s like it gets filthier and filthier every time, and he feels like he’s about to have a stroke when it comes on the radio as he’s driving his mother to see Lottie’s new apartment. He’s very happy nobody except Stan would know it’s about him, which is proven a few days later when his boss asks him to write one of the online articles about the song. It’s probably the most humiliating thing he’s done. He has to play it like he doesn’t know, make innuendos and puns and he feels like he should apply for a new job after that. The headline is awkward – Has White Eskimo-Harry a secret lover in England? – because it’s partly true, although Louis wouldn’t call himself someone’s lover, and he doesn’t think his and Harry’s relationship has any romantic aspect whatsoever. The sex is just, simply put, quite fantastic.

It’s Wednesday night, and Louis has a meeting early the next morning with his boss about potentially getting a raise. It’s important, considering he could really use it, and he’s planned on getting a good sleep to prepare for it. He knows that’s blown out off the schedule the moment his phone buzzes.

Can I see you

Now?

Now

OK

Dammit. Louis gets up and out of bed and makes sure he doesn’t look like something that crawled out of the ground. Sooner than expected Harry’s texted him and he’s let him into the building. There’s a soft knock on the door, and then he’s standing there.

Louis hasn’t seen him in months, only on the front page of a few magazines, but he’s in front him now. His hair is big and pulled back, curls all over the place. His eyes are shining green like always and they roam over Louis hungrily. He’s only in a pair of pajama pants, exposing a bare chest, arms crossed. Harry’s pursing his lips at him and Louis raises a brow.

“Hello, darling,” Harry says. Then he’s closed the door behind him and Louis is wrapping his legs around his waist.

Sex with Harry always seems to be like that. Warm, desperate and full of passion. Harry’s just picking him up and molding his hot lips against his, making Louis’ blood stir. He’s fervent and it immediately rubs off on Louis, making him want to rip Harry’s clothes off his fantastic body. It’s strong and tattooed and has always felt remarkably good against Louis’ own.

They quickly take it to the bedroom, Harry pressing Louis into the bed as he claws at the indie star’s body. Harry shrugs himself out of coat and shoes, moaning into his neck. “Mmm, I’ve missed you, baby.”

“Same,” Louis breathes.

They roll over, Louis straddling Harry’s hips and pressing his crotch into the other man’s. He unbuttons his shirt quickly, kissing down his tattooed chest and drags his teeth along his ribs. It’s strangely familiar and it’s like half a year hasn’t gone by at all.

Harry groans, his big hands gripping onto Louis’ sides and making him squirm at the electric contact. Harry smells like cologne, smoke and his natural boyish musk, and Louis latches onto his neck, fingers digging into his thick hair when he’s got the bloody shirt off.

“I’m going to fuck you good,” Harry groans at the side of his head. “I promise.”

Louis doesn’t exactly mind. He’s eager. He kind of loves sex with Harry. First of all he’s so heavy and big, taller and stronger than Louis and the feel of him pressing him down is strangely kind of a turn on. Secondly, he kisses like a god. His lips never leave Louis’ skin, whether they’re on his mouth, or he's licking and biting the insides of his thighs. Thirdly, Harry has a big cock. Who the fuck doesn’t love that?

Louis rolls hips against Harry’s lower tummy, feeling him squeeze around his thighs. Louis fiddles with Harry’s jeans, trying to get them off so that they can finally get to the best part. Harry lifts his hips, helping Louis in the process to get them off his legs.

“Fuck,” Louis breathes in exasperation. “Just get them off.” He gets up, pushing his own pants down and leans over to the bedside table to find the bottle of lube and a condom. After a few moments he feels Harry’s hands trace over the small of his back and he turns around, finding him standing on his knees, completely naked and flushed. Louis’ eyes roam over his chest and hips, never really having understood why Harry Styles always seems end up in his bed.

“Fuck, I love your cock.” Louis shakes his head, leaves the items on the pillow and throws his arms around Harry’s neck. Harry holds him tightly, hands on his bum and thighs, and Louis clings to him as the other boy feels over his body like he's made of silk. He blows softly across Louis’ shoulder blade, and he shivers automatically, nails digging into his back. Harry lies down on the bed, having Louis across his chest. His left hand strokes at the nape of his neck and the other concentrates on finding the lube on the bed.

Louis spreads his legs, burying his face in Harry’s neck as he feels the hand leave his neck. There’s the sound of the lube bottle being opened and soon enough there’s a finger at his entrance. He moans and he can literally feel Harry’s cock twitch against his stomach.

Harry opens him up, sliding his middle finger in and out, teasingly stroking at his rim until he’s got Louis grinding back against it and telling him to stop being a tease. Harry has long, beautiful fingers and when he scissors Louis with two it’s even better than if Louis would use three on himself. Harry can reach better, and when he slides his ring finger in with the other two, Louis mewls into his ear, breath loud and desperate.

“Fuck,” Harry swears. He looks absolutely wrecked, cheeks red, lips bitten raw, breath rapid, and all of that only from the sounds Louis makes. “A fucking porn star, I tell you.”

He fucks him on his back, legs locked around his waist. Every time he bottoms out Louis wants to scream, and he realizes that Harry’s song is actually really fucking fitting to what they’re doing. They are dirty, and they are fucking amazing in bed together. He thinks this must be their best time yet.

Harry comes with possibly the sexiest groan Louis’ ever heard. He bites into his collarbone, and Louis’ already scratched up his back pretty badly with his nails. Louis releases only a few moments later, Harry murmuring the grossest things he’s ever heard into his ear.

“Fuck,” he moans, legs falling out on the bed. He’s completely spent.

Harry pulls out, leaving him feeling empty with lube all over his thighs. “Fuck,” Harry agrees and there’s sheen of sweat littering his entire body. Louis’ not better. He’s sweaty underneath his fringe and the hair at the nape of his neck is wet.

“God,” Harry moans, falling down on the bed next to Louis after throwing away the condom. “I love London!”

Louis rolls his eyes. “You should visit more often then.”

Harry rolls to face him, eyes heavily lidded and he really is the stereotype teenage boy who’s just come. His fingers come crawling over Louis’ chest, sliding down to his bellybutton. There are splatters of cum there, and he dips his fingers in it, slowly spreading it out across his stomach. He moves closer, lying on his side and pulling Louis’ leg over his waist. The cum is sticky between them, but it’s somehow sexy.

“I really should.” His teeth graze the edge of Louis’ jaw, and Louis lets himself be lazily kissed and touched by Harry’s curious hands for a while. It goes on for a few minutes, and then his eyes catch the time on his alarm clock.

“You need to leave,” he says, fingers running through the boy’s hair. “I have to get up early tomorrow. Work.”

“Mm,” Harry says, giving Louis’ thigh one last squeeze and his earlobe one more kiss. He sits up, and stretches his arms above his head, his back giving an uncomfortably loud crack. He slowly begins to dress and Louis pulls the duvet over himself, screwing the fact that he’s still got lube and cum all over him.

“I’ll text you.”

“Good.”

Harry stops in the doorway, coat and shoes on his feet. “And oh, Lou? You really are a fucking porn star.”

Louis doesn’t remember if he manages to flip him off before he’s fallen asleep or not.

**

Harry is spotted in London the next day. Of course the rumors fly unrestricted and they all involve the English love affair song. It’s a popular topic on social media, and Louis really should feel sneakier than he does. Sure, it gets a bit awkward listening to the girls at the front desk gossip and especially when Oli asks him to look through his article about it before sending it off to the big boss. But other than that, he doesn’t feel all that weird. It’s all quite simple, really. Harry is famous. Louis is not. They screw sometimes. It’s not more complicated than that. He supposes it’d be a bigger deal if he’d known more of Harry before they ended up in bed together the first time. He had a vague inkling to who he was, but didn’t exactly think much about it before he was getting kissed up in a bathroom stall.

Louis’ paycheck bargaining goes well, but he won’t know for sure until a few weeks. Harry leaves England three days later as well, and Louis knows because the paper he writes for has a full-page article about his short London trip, including ten pap pictures of his every move. Louis wonders how long he’ll be away this time. It’s not like he’s going to miss him, he’s just curious. And anyway, there’s a cute delivery guy that he’s met at the front desk a few times, who always saves him an extra smile. Who knows what will happen.

A month or so passes. It’s suddenly the beginning of November, English Love Affair is still on top of the iTunes charts in America and the UK, and Louis has now started to roll his eyes when he hears it, rather than getting embarrassed and flustered. Honestly he doesn’t even know where such lyrics came from. They’re obscene, something that Louis is certainly not. He wonders if Harry regrets writing it, now that he’s got the entire world’s attention set on his every move.

It’s the end of November when the love affair talks quiet down. Stan’s planning a trip for Louis’ birthday and Louis pretends he doesn’t know. The weather is getting cold and he’s started wearing a scarf when he goes out. Work is quite hectic – Selena Gomez and Niall Horan rumors circling the twittersphere – and the cute delivery boy has brought Louis a morning coffee twice, and he’s contemplating asking him out for drinks sometime.

Of course that’s when Harry is back in town, and the rumors hit a new heat once again. It’s nothing but justified, Louis supposes. To be fair, the rumors are actually true and Harry should probably have seen it coming. Maybe he even did. Louis’ just glad nobody knows it’s about him; it saves him a lot of trouble.

“What was that?” Louis asks Harry, squinting at him. They’re in bed, the wind blowing harshly at the windows and the sheets are warmly wrapped around them. It’s only been two minutes since Louis’ second orgasm that night, and an hour since Harry arrived at his flat that Sunday afternoon.

“A lyric I just thought of,” he murmurs. Harry slowly rolls over, facing Louis as he lies on his side. He raises a hand, pushing the covers off Louis’ naked body, and he smiles down appreciatively. “Crystal webs.”

“Crystal webs?” Louis pulls up the knee closest to Harry as he lies on his back, scratching lazily at his thigh. Harry’s eyes linger on his body, his smile nothing other than content.

He nods and slowly pushes Louis’ leg down again so that he lies flat on the bed. He gets up, straddling Louis’ thighs, hands falling flat on his lower stomach. Louis reaches for the pack of cigarettes on the nightstand and lights one, taking a slow drag. After a moment Harry reaches out for it, only to put it to his own lips.

“Crystal webs,” he nods, the smoke trailing from his lips as he speaks. His finger trails down Louis’ side in a long, slow motion, and his eyes are locked on the ceiling. “Crystal webs.”

“What are you even talking about?” Louis shakes his head, reaching for the cigarette. Harry gives in easily, eyes still on the ceiling. If Louis didn’t know better he’d think he were high, but the only conclusion he can come to right now that Harry is very peculiar. A sex god, but peculiar.

“So, when are you leaving again?” he asks when Harry adds no further comment. He stubs the cig on an old cd case on the nightstand.

“Tuesday morning.”

“You’re only in the city for three days?” He arches a surprised brow.

“Two. I arrived today.”

“Huh.”

“Hm. Now light me another.”

**

 

Harry Styles spends two days in London, keeping up the English love affair?
Despite being born in England and singing with an accent, the lothario hasn’t spent much time in his mother country in years. The young star moved to California as a teenager as an exchange student, and went on to college where he met his bandmates to be. His homely visits have been few and always work related, but throughout the year they’ve come to be more frequent – the latest being a visit in October after White Eskimo’s filming of a music video in Scotland, and the most recent one only within the gap of weeks. The English love affair is still on, we suppose! The White Eskimo singer was spotted at Heathrow Airport early Sunday morning, only to leave again just as early on the following Tuesday. The famous English Love Affair singer/songwriter hasn’t revealed anything about his secrets yet, but those certain lyrics from the aforementioned tune are mighty convincing that his latest visits have something to do with the single. Aren’t these lyrics a bit specific to be made up, or what do you think?

 

**

“Thank you. Again.” Louis smiles as Connor, the cute delivery guy, leaves. He waves and his eyes twinkle a bit, which is cute. He brought Louis a coffee again, the second this week, and Louis really enjoys their nowadays quite frequent morning chats. Louis leans against the desk at the reception, Jenny and Eleanor grinning at him as the other man leaves.

“He’s so cute,” Eleanor sighs, her reddish brown hair swaying over her shoulder.

“You should ask him out!” Jenny urges. “He’s bought you, like, a million coffees.”

“And it’s obvious he likes you,” Eleanor nods, seriously.

“Maybe,” Louis muses. He wiggles a brow once at them with a lazy smile, and returns to his shoebox office.

Louis spends Christmas and his birthday with his family and friends home in Donny. He eats the traditional Christmas dinner and birthday cake, groaning over being technically closer to thirty than twenty now. He opens gifts and pretends to be surprised when he receives a ticket to Barcelona for New Years. It’s great, it really is. Harry’s spending the holidays with his family in England as well, so he stops by for a late fuck the night before Louis leaves for Spain.

“Do you even get time off?” he asks, eyeing the half stuffed suitcase on the bedroom floor. “You’re always working.”

“Gotta pay the bills.” Louis takes a drag of the cigarette Harry hands him from where he’s leaning against the bed, completely naked as Louis tries to sort out the last of his clothes.

“What do you even do?” He lights a cig for himself, the small flame enlightening the half-lit room for a moment.

“I have a column in a news paper.”

“You’re kidding?” Harry chokes on a laugh. “Which one?”

“Honeydew.”

“Really?” Harry says with a big, albeit surprised grin. “That’s big. And still the Love Affair hasn’t been solved.”

“If I were going to sell you out, I would have a long time ago,” Louis mutters.

“Fair.”

**

Barcelona is amazing. Louis and Stan spend four nights straight partying and sleep long into the afternoons. He gets plenty of Happy New Year wishes on this Twitter account, and even a text from Connor, the delivery guy.

He gets back to London a few days into the new year, having promised nothing at all for the upcoming year. The new music video of White Eskimo is released just in time for his return, and he rolls his eyes when he’s asked to write a full review. The single has only brought more attention to the old rumors still heavily heated on social media, and Harry Styles is constantly asked to confirm and deny, to share more behind the scenes details on the song.

Do you write articles about yourself????, comes a text from Harry early January.

It’s my job. Don’t say anything

Haha! I’m actually laughing right now

Wait, you’re reading my articles???

Yes. You’re quite funny. Despite playing dumb

Yeah yeah. Keep laughing.

Anyway. I wrote another song about you.

Louis doesn’t know if he should just turn off his phone and go to bed early. Harry is obviously dumb.

Don’t worry. I won’t reveal the shape of your dick

Why do I even text you

It actually takes a few minutes before there’s a reply. He supposes Harry doesn’t know why either.

I dunno

Thanks for the warning this time though. Honestly.

Sure thing baby

Shut up. Go to bed.

It’s like morning

I don’t care bye

A week more or less later, Louis goes on a date with Connor the delivery guy, whose actual name is Connor Franta. He’s funny and quite gorgeous without his uniform. Louis gets kissed wetly before he slides into cab, and he hasn’t gotten laid since New Years when Harry was in London last. He thinks that he could take Connor home and get it over with, but something keeps him from doing so. The man is sweet and Louis usually follows his gut feeling, and this time it’s telling him that not rushing it with him is a good choice, even if he’s aching for a good fuck. Connor places a kiss on his cheek and waves him off, Louis sinking back against the seat of the taxi.

He visits Lottie in her new apartment a few days later. She’s finally got everything together, and Louis feels a brotherly ache of proudness of her. His mother is there as well, along with Fizzy and both twin pairs, Dan, Mark and Keith, and Lottie’s boyfriend and a couple of her friends. It’s kind of a postponed just-moved-in party, and Louis spends most of the time wondering if there’s going to be cake. Stan’s texted him about a party the same night though, so he supposes it’s better if he gets some real food in his stomach, rather than dessert.

“Honey,” Jay, his mother, says. “Do you remember moving away? I think I cried a waterfall.”

“Mom,” Lottie sighs. “We all remember. We all thought you loved him more than us.”

Louis laughs wholeheartedly, and Lottie makes a face at him.

“Anyway. Heard you’re dating?” Jay smiles.

“Not really,” he shrugs. “Just a few dates here and there. Although, Connor is quite nice.”

“You should bring him around!”

“I’ve literally been on one date with him. I hardly think so.”

His phone chirps in his pocket, and he thinks for a moment he’s saved by the bell. He isn’t because his mother claps her hands excitedly. “Is that him?”

It’s not.

In the city. I need to fuck you right now

Definitely isn’t.

“It’s not,” he tells them, trying to ignore how hot his head feels under the scrutiny of his family.

“Sure is,” his mother cheers. “You’re blushing!”

Like NOW now. I’m coming over

Fuck.

I’m not home!

Get to my hotel. NOW.
10 Wardour Street, Leicester square

Definitely fuck. Louis wants to fuck.

“Actually, um.” He clears his throat awkwardly. “It’s kind of an emergency. I’m going to have to leave, Lots.”

She rolls her eyes, but nonetheless gets up to give him a hug and send him off.

Louis takes a cab, and it’s like his body can literally feel how soon it’s about to get cock. He leans back in his seat, trying to calm down a bit, but Harry’s texts are urgent and he wonders if he’s desperate. The thought makes him hot all over.

Are you on your way??? Room 7117 ask for Mr. Edward Twist the third

He’s definitely desperate. It’s hot. It’s also a very strange feeling, knowing that there’s somebody out there who is literally craving his body. He didn’t even know Harry’s in town yet, and if he is then Louis’ usually notified by the interns within the timespan of an hour. Harry can’t have been here long.

He chucks a few bills at the driver and gets out, eyeing the big, grand hotel. There is security outside, but they don’t have much to do and Louis can easily stroll into the hotel. He trudges up to the front desk, clearing his throat.

“Hello,” he starts. “Room 7117, please.”

“I’m afraid floor seven is restricted from access.” The man behind the desk talks slowly and seriously, and Louis bites his lip.

“Um,” he says, awkwardly. “I was told to ask for Mr. Edward Twist.” He swallows. “The third.”

The man squints at him.

Louis’ phone buzzes. Hurry the fuck up.

The man turns around and speaks lowly with what seems to be his boss or co-worker, all the while Louis stands there, glancing around the fancy lobby of the hotel. Louis sees the man saying something into a phone, and he’s then told to wait a few minutes more. Louis ticks his nails against the counter impatiently and the man behind the desk glares until finally another man shows up and leads him into an elevator. It’s mighty stiff, the man looking like he could break Louis in half and obviously also knows he’s about to see Harry. He’s led to the right room, though, the man knocking once on door 7117.

There’s heartbeat of silence and Louis thinks that this the most absurd thing that’s happened in his entire life. Then the door is flying open in an almost violent swing, and Harry’s standing there. His eyes are big, hair wild and his eyes glance over the two of them for a second. He looks freaking amazing. He looks like a smoking indie rocker, so fit and so bloody sexy. Before Louis knows it, Harry grabs him by the shirt and hauls him inside, shutting the door with a clash.

He immediately pushes Louis back against it, smashing their lips together forcefully. Louis’ squeak is muffled against Harry’s mouth and the other man starts pulling at his clothes, unwinding his scarf and throwing it to the floor.

“Mmpf,” Louis breathes as Harry rolls his hips against him, pressing their bodies flush against one another, wanting nothing to separate them.

“Bed, bed, bed,” Harry says hurriedly, hand sliding to Louis’ thigh and urging him to wrap his legs around him. Louis obliges, and Harry impressively quickly lifts him to the bed a few meters off, simultaneously helping Louis out of his jacket and shirt with one hand.

Louis’ almost thrown down on the bed, Harry not wasting a breath and starts to fiddle with his jeans. They’re pulled off within seconds and Louis’ breath is rapid and his ribcage expands heavily as he looks down at where Harry’s crouching at the end of the bed, getting Louis’ shoes and socks off his feet. His heart is beating quickly and he’s already getting hard. He’s naked and splayed out on the bed, and Harry’s hands are sliding up his thighs. Harry looks up at him, pupils blown and his cock already flush and fully hard against his strained boxers.

“Fuck. I waited so long,” Harry groans, face burying into the jut of Louis’ hip. “I need you.” He whispers it into Louis’ skin, sending vibrations through his entire body. He feels his cock twitch and he swallows, hands coming to hold on to the other man’s naked shoulders.

God,” Louis groans loudly when Harry’s teeth sink into his skin, having him squirm on the bed beneath him.

Harry’s knees are on the floor, face burying into Louis’ groin, hands big and strong on his thighs, holding him still. Harry nuzzles Louis’ cock like he’s missed it, and it doesn’t take long before he’s sucking him off with spit dribbling down his chin. His head bobs obscenely and in all fairness, Harry deserves a fucking song written about him, too. All the while Louis stares down at him, mind absolutely blown and he keeps squirming under Harry firm hands, the boy taking him down further and further.

“Fuck, Harry. Stop!” he finally exclaims and pulls at his hair. “I’m going to come.”

“Fuck. You’re so fucking pretty,” Harry groans. He climbs up on the bed, sliding onto Louis’ body and presses him down into the mattress. “Flushed cheeks and bitten lips…” He slides his thumb over Louis’ lower lip, eyes big and chest hot against his body, and then he’s kissing him deeply. His tongue dips deep into his mouth, and it’s raw and dirty and Louis needs to be fucked.

Harry’s already fumbling for the lube and condom on the bed, pushing his boxers off, and when he finally flips Louis over and kisses down his back, Louis is ready burst. Harry’s hands are firm on his arse cheeks, thumbs digging into his skin and he lies between Louis’ spread legs. He’s face is between his cheeks, tongue stroking over his hole in earnest laps. Louis thinks he’s going to die, loudly moaning and pushing back against him. He feels like sobbing, wondering why Harry just won’t take him and fuck him already.

When he asks, Harry shakes his head, planting a kiss against his entrance that makes him whine. “No, no. I want this so bad.” With that he opens him up with his tongue and long, slick fingers.

The sensation is fucking phenomenal, and Louis’ legs shake on either side of Harry’s body. Harry’s fingers bury deep in him, stroking at his walls as he plants kisses at the rim. Louis knows he’s going to come if Harry doesn’t stop soon. He feels like screaming and he accidently kicks Harry in the hip as he jerks.

“A fucking doll,” Harry groans. “So fucking dirty. I love it.” He releases his thighs and Louis quickly rolls over and sits halfway up, breath so heavy and fringe slick to his forehead. He’s almost shaking as he gasps.

“Fuck me.” He shakes his head, digging his nails into Harry’s shoulder. “Fuck me. Fuck me now.”

Harry just freaking nods, and Louis fumbles to unwrap the condom. He rolls it onto Harry’s red and flushed cock as the boy leans over him, steadying himself with two hands into the mattress on either side of Louis’ head, and then Louis arches his back, practically begging for him to enter him. Harry does so, hands gripping the sheets and Louis’ hip as Louis guides him in.

Harry fucks him like it’s the resolution to third world starvation. His thrusts are deep and earnest, teeth scraping at Louis’ neck as he in return moans and grinds back against his thrusts.

“Oh god,” he whines. Fuck. He doubts he’ll ever have better sex. “Fu-UCK!”

“You’re so fucking obscene,” Harry groans. He hoists him up in his lap, their torsos aligning perfectly. Louis gasps at the sensation inside him, running his hands over Harry’s flushed chest, shoulders to ribs and up again. Harry bounces him in his lap, beckoning him to move.

“So fucking loud.” Harry almost whines, grinding up into Louis who buries his hands in his hair, pressing his face into his neck. Harry’s hand slaps against Louis’ bum, making him groan. He kisses Harry’s neck, slowly starting to move and the other man’s moan is so loud and dirty, and Louis wants the hear it again. He raises himself on him, Harry’s arms wrapped around his waist as he rides him slowly, up and down and grinding down in his lap. Louis kisses into the crook of his shoulder, loving the taste of Harry. It’s musky, boyish and salty from sweat, and there’s a faint taste of cologne that makes Louis feel dizzy. Harry’s fingers grip around his waist firmly and he starts fucking up into him, not able to restrain himself.

Harry yanks at his hair, only to clash their mouths together again. They fall back, Louis’ knees hitting the mattress. There’s a shared gasp of breath between them, and for a second they just breathe into each other’s mouths. He can feel Harry’s silent mime of ‘Fucking god’ against his mouth, and he slowly raises himself, Harry’s hands falling onto his thighs immediately at the sensation. Louis sinks down again, Harry’s gasping breath against his collarbones, and he grips his thighs and bum, staring up at him with big and blown eyes, mouth open and lips wet and red.

Louis seriously cannot shut the fuck up. He moans as he rides him, skin hot against Harry’s touches and the sound of his bum slapping against Harry’s thighs is loud in the hotel room. He’s almost there when Harry can’t take it anymore and flips them over, eyes dark and hands grabby, and he bends Louis back, throwing his legs on his shoulders. He fucks him roughly, hips snapping and Louis can feel tears at the corners of his eyes.

“Harry, Harry, Harry.” He frantically slaps his shoulder, and the other boy locks his hand around his wrist, holding him down. He lets Louis’ legs down, fucking into him thrice before he’s coming all over his himself. Harry doesn’t need more than that to push over the edge.

Louis’ legs are literally shaking. His breathing is rapid and doesn’t slow until a few minutes later. It’s like he can’t feel his legs, and Harry’s hand is hovering over his thigh in fascination. Even though he looks completely wrecked, he watches Louis slowly come down from his highs.

“This is absurd,” Louis says, arms falling out on either side of his body. He’s so wrecked, so ruined.

“I fucking love London,” Harry moans, planting a big, wet kiss beneath Louis’ armpit.

“I’ve heard.”

“You can quote me on that,” Harry says, and Louis slaps his chest lazily. The boy chuckles and rolls over, burying his face in the sheets. They’re laying the wrong way on the bed, and Louis’ feet can barely reach the plush pillows by the headboard. “Honestly, though,” Harry says, words muffled. “How do you stand writing about yourself? It’s like you’re calling yourself my dirty secret in a thousand different words.”

“And whose fault is that?”

Harry looks up, raising his head and revealing a shit-eating grin. He’s so fucking smug it’s ridiculous. “That song is probably the best I’ve written.”

“You’d think so.” Louis rolls his eyes, and closes his eyes. He feels Harry shuffle on the bed and soon there’s scent of smoke above him. “Gimme,” he mumbles. What he feels against his lips isn’t the shape of a cigarette, though, but a pair of lips. Harry’s are coming from the side, kissing into Louis’ mouth, and he tastes like warmth and smoke, and Louis.

“Wasn’t what I was asking for,” he mumbles against his lips before Harry dips the tip of his tongue into his mouth. He meets him half way, tongues lazily touching and it’s wet and kind of fantastic mixed with the soreness in his bones after getting fucked.

“I don’t care,” Harry whispers against his mouth, and there’s a slight twist of a smile at the corner of his mouth. Louis really wants to roll his eyes, but doesn’t because Harry kisses him again. It’s just a soft lingering kiss without tongue this time, and then he’s rolling off and landing on his back. Harry reaches down to the floor where he’s thrown the lighter on top of his jeans and picks it up to relight the cig. He takes drag and Louis stretches with a groan.

“You know,” Harry says, blowing smoke up towards the ceiling. “If you’d stop moaning like a porn star, I wouldn’t have to write dirty songs about you.”

Louis sits up, staring down at him with an arched brow. “So it’s my fault that I have to even tweet about my own articles that are secretly about me?”

“You tweet about your articles?”

“Yeah,” Louis mutters. “My account is like both Honeydew related and personal. I’m not on too much, but I’ve got a few followers.”

“Your articles are pretty funny,” Harry agrees. He’s on his back, head laid back against the edge of the bed and his hair has fallen off his face, hanging down towards the floor. It’s gotten quite long, but it’s nice on him. He’s rolling the cigarette between his fingers, eyes lazily blinking.

“I’m leaving,” Louis says then. “Before people realize you’re in the city and block the hotel.”

“I arrived very secretly. Texted you as soon as I could.”

“No pap pics?”

“None that I know of.”

Hm. Louis might not even need to write an article about Harry’s newest visit in London. It’s slightly weird, but he supposes it’s a nice change. “Do you often come here without anybody knowing?”

“No. It’s kind of hard to fly without getting seen, despite using a private jet. You’ve seen me every time I’ve been in town, the paps seem to have found me as well.”

Louis nods, pulling his boxers on and threading his socks onto his feet.

“You should check your neck,” Harry murmurs from the bed.

“I have a scarf.” Louis gets the rest of his clothes on and throws a look in the mirror before leaves the room. His hair is all over the place, cheeks still flushed in red and eyes glassy. There’s not much he can do about it, and when he gets out in the hall, the man who followed him up is standing there.

Louis swallows, nodding once and passes him. The man doesn’t twist a muscle and Louis is so very sure he knows exactly what just happened in that hotel room. **

Louis’ kind of surprised that nobody knew the second that Harry Styles landed in London again. Every visit seems to have been documented and talked about, and Louis supposes he has to agree that they’re more frequent than ever. Louis’ seen him four times in such a short span of time, but it’s not like he’s complaining. Sex with Harry is great. They’re just so compatible in bed.

Stan quirks a brow at his burning hickeys when he sees him at the party later that night, but he doesn’t ask any questions. Louis just smirks and then they get drunk and dance. His body is sore and stiff, but he manages, and falls into bed early the next morning. He doesn’t work on Sundays. He’s fine.

The following day nobody’s seems to have found out about Harry yet either. Louis guesses Harry might not even have left his room during the day (Louis’ nursing a hangover and is watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians, so he understands) or just slipped out the back. Later that night he receives a text from Connor, who’s asking him out to a second date. He’s says that would be lovely, but they don’t settle on a date.

On Monday when Louis’ at work he’s alerted to the news that Harry Styles is in the city. The reports tell him that his bodyguard was spotted at a recording studio, but apparently none of the members of White Eskimo were spotted. Oli writes a short article on it and Louis feels slightly like he’s withholding valuable information, but doesn’t feel bad about it a single bit. The rumors are confirmed later the same Monday when Harry uploads a picture to Instagram of the bridge, the caption “Landan.” The articles say he arrived that same day, and Louis doesn’t even think about correcting them.

On the following Tuesday, Harry texts him, saying that if Louis wants he can come over. It’s a new way of putting it, but it’s still Harry instigating it like always. Louis tells him to be there by nine and Harry arrives on the dot, a bottle of whiskey in hand and kisses him on the mouth on the doorstep.

People eventually realize that Harry Styles is sticking around. He’s been in the city for five days, which must be some kind of a record, and thankfully Louis isn’t told to write about it. Fans seem and paparazzi seem to find out where Harry is staying quite quickly and he says it’s annoying because they follow him around almost everywhere.

Something seems to happen during the end of January. Louis’ gets a raise and is promoted, and Harry is actually in town for more than a couple of days, and Louis knows that if he wants he can just send out a text and have Harry in his bed within the hour. He doesn’t need to though, because whenever Harry’s not working or busy, he seems to be kissing Louis’ neck.

It’s a week after Harry arrived in London, that also meaning an exact week has passed since the hotel room incident. He’s seen him twice since then, the Tuesday and Wednesday, but latest he heard Harry has been spotted in Cheshire, his hometown. Louis is currently on his balcony, having a glass of wine and a smoke. He’s contemplating what to write for next week’s column, thinking about trying to get in touch with last year’s X Factor winner’s management about setting up an interview. He has that kind of privileges now with the promotion he’s gotten, which is very exciting.

He’s leaning on the railing, sipping on the wine. The street’s pretty empty. There’s no snow, hasn’t been all winter. There’s a car pulling into the end of the street though, headlights lightening up the darkness. Louis squints down at it as it stops right outside his building, gulping down the last of the wine. There’s a figure jumping out of the passenger seat, with what is most likely a telephone in hand.

“What the hell are you doing?” Louis calls, leaning over the railing. He takes a drag of the cigarette in his hand, grinning down at him.

Harry whips his head up, grinning back up once he sees who’s there. “What do you think?” he calls back.

“I can assume, but I won’t say. What if I were busy?” he smirks.

“I think you’d make time for my anyway!” he laughs, voice vibrant and clear in the night. Louis bites back a smile, stubbing the cig. “Now buzz me up!”

Louis lets up and smiles, nodding. He leaves the balcony, goes into the kitchen to leave the glass by the sink, and then moves to buzz Harry up. It only takes a minute or so, and Louis waits patiently in the hall. He unlocks the door before Harry’s there, and he leans against the doorframe, arms crossed. He hears the boy trudging up the stairs, a faint echo climbing up the walls.

“Imagine,” he says once he sees him taking the last steps up, “if I weren’t in the mood.”

Harry stops at the top of the stairs, slightly out of breath and a small smile on his half-open mouth. “You? Not in the mood? I wouldn’t dare to think so.”

“Really? I’ve slept with you three times this week already. I’d say I’m pretty content.”

“So you’re saying that you’d pass up on me?”

“I mean, I could always wank to the pictures of you on twitter,” Louis shrugs.

Harry raises a brow, clearly intrigued. He comes over, standing in front of Louis who’s still leaning against the doorframe. “You do that?”

“Not so much as to the real memories of you.” Louis smirks, glancing up at him through his lashes. He’s so game right now.

Harry swallows. “You do?”

Louis nods slowly, noticing the way Harry’s hands are trembling at his sides. Louis lets his fingers stroke slowly over Harry’s chest where his jacket is open, the pad of his index finger sliding over his bare skin at his open shirt. Harry’s eyes are locked on the touch.

“Mm-hm,” he murmurs. “When you’re away…all I think about is you.”

“You… what?”

“You… Your body. On mine.” He whispers it, leaning up on his toes, lips barely grazing his jaw. “Close. Us… naked.” They’re just words, but Harry’s chest is heaving slightly heavier against him, and he smirks. “Just imagine what you could do to me.”

Harry grips his hips, pushing him roughly back against the doorframe again. Louis laughs, at first a cackle, but it turns into giggles as Harry groans at the side of his face.

“You’re going to kill me,” he says against his ear.

Louis laughs. “You know I’m playing, right?”

Harry immediately leans back, squinting at him for a moment. “You do do that all that stuff.” It’s like he’s reassuring himself. It’s quite hilarious.

Louis quiets down, looking back at him with a faint smile. “Well…” he shrugs. He does actually.

Harry breaks into a wide grin, and Louis thinks he’s so much like a teenage boy. He leans in, kissing Louis happily on the lips, and Louis internally rolls his eyes, if that is something you can do.

They fuck on the kitchen floor, because when Louis is about to fetch his phone from the worktop to set an alarm for the next morning, Harry comes up behind him and presses him against it, latching his long arms around his waist. He kisses the nape of his neck once, squeezing him around the middle until Louis sighs and turns in his arms.

Afterwards, Louis is lying like a T on the floor, Harry’s heavy body on top of him, legs between his and head on his chest.

“Get off me,” Louis says, but doesn’t move a muscle.

“Okay,” Harry says, but doesn’t.

It’s very late, Harry arriving at a late hour already, and the boy is clearly spent as he sprawls on top of Louis.

“I need sleep,” Louis thinks aloud.

“What time is it?”

“Two.”

“Fuck.

“You can sleep here if you want.”

“Thanks.”

Louis gets in the shower, cleaning off cum on his stomach and lube off his thighs and bum. He slides in bed, feeling Harry move closer.

“If you spoon me I’ll kick you,” he says.

Harry just laughs, grabs his hip and slides right up behind him anyway.

**

HONEYDEW: Harry Styles reveals “I’ll be in London for a while.”
It looks like the English Love Affair writer is going to be sticking around for a bit! Harry Styles has been in the city for a week, the longest time in years, and the renowned singer revealed to the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show that he is going to be staying for even longer, quote “I’ll be in London for a while.” Naturally the cheeky Grimmy hinted at a certain English love affair (“Do we suppose there’s something special about London in particular?”), but the was shot down with a simple explanation; the star is working, writing with bands such as The 1975 and Kodaline. Well, we reckon some fab songs are about to get written and hopefully some English loving is going to be made. Listen to this fall’s biggest hit tune down below!
(Annie Mayne January 21, 10:32)

**

Something seems to happen after that. Harry is around all the time. When Louis comes home from work the next day, there’s message on his phone telling him to call when he wants Harry to come over, and after that he practically lives in Louis’ flat. He’s there when Louis leaves for work, comes over when he gets back, and lies next to him on the couch, smoking as Louis writes on his computer. Louis wonders if he ever even goes back to the hotel, and when he finds Harry in his kitchen making fajitas in a pair of Louis’ sweats, it’s pretty much confirmed that he doesn’t.

“Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Louis asks as they eat on the couch, an episode of Breaking Bad playing on the tv.

“Nah.”

“You said you were going to write with other bands,” Louis points out.

“I did. For like two days.”

He looks up at him. “Don’t you have stuff to do? Like with your band?”

“We’ve postponed some stuff,” he shrugs it off.

Louis lets it go.

The rest of the week is the same. Harry practically lives in Louis’ apartment. He makes food, he showers, wears Louis’ clothes and smokes on his balcony. He’s even spotted buying groceries in the nearby block and the love affair rumors once again catch new heat. Louis doesn’t have to write about it, and he’s grateful.

Louis’ mother calls and asks about Connor. Truthfully Louis hasn’t seen him since their first date, but they text back and forth sometimes and Connor stops by at work to chat when he has something to deliver at the front desk, but really, Louis kind of forgets about him. He’s getting sex almost every night, and somebody is making dinner in his kitchen.

It should be weird that Harry’s there all the time, but it isn’t. It’s not like Harry’s going to be there forever. He’s just… Louis doesn’t quite know what he’s doing in London, but he’s there nonetheless.

“I should probably pick up some clothes,” Harry says, cigarette between his fingers.

Louis raises a brow. “Yes, because it’s not like you’ve been wearing mine for a week.” It’s Saturday, and Harry’s been at Louis’ apartment for almost six days.

“It’s like you don’t want me here,” Harry says, pouting back at him from his end of the couch.

“More like I’m wondering why you’re here. You just lie in my bed all day, smoking and raiding the fridge.”

“You smoke, too. And I actually restock your fridge. And I make you good food. Have anyone ever told you that you’re not that great at cooking?”

Louis rolls his eyes and crawls over on the couch, settling between Harry’s pulled up legs. He’s resting against the armrest, and Louis sits between his knees and takes the cig from his hands and stubs it on an ashtray on the coffee table. “I’ve been told.”

Harry’s hands come to stroke over Louis’ arms, their tattoos for a moment lining up. The gesture is kind of unexpected. Well, it’s not like they’re always rough with each other, but the touch is gentle and there’s nothing sexual about it. Louis feels slightly warm.

“Tell me something.”

“Huh?”

Harry locks his hands around Louis’ wrists, pulling him in. “I don’t know much about you. Tell me something.” His hands slide up to his arms, stopping just above his elbows, and he pulls him closer so that Louis practically lies between his legs, elbows on either side of his chest.

“Um,” he says, awkwardly. “I don’t – I don’t know.”

Harry rolls his eyes. “Anything.” His thumbs tap the insides of Louis’ elbows.

Louis thinks for a few moments. “Um, okay,” he says, starting to smile a bit. “Okay, well. You know I drink tea all the time?”

“Yeah. I never see you without a cup,” Harry realizes.

“Well, I always drink Yorkshire with milk and never any sugar, but I have to have a spoon.”

“A spoon?”

“Yeah,” Louis nods. “It’s an obsession. I don’t care, give me a freaking plastic one, I can’t drink it if there’s not a spoon in the cup.”

Harry stares at him with eyebrows raised for a few seconds and then he’s throwing his head back in a laugh. “That’s your fact? It sucks! And also, that’s the weirdest thing I’ve heard in my life.”

Louis giggles at Harry’s laugh, even if it is on his own expense. He’s beginning to settle in, getting comfortable lying like this in Harry’s lap. Harry’s foot is on his calf, his long leg clad in skintight, black jean material tightly wound around Louis’ leg. It’s not like they haven’t ever been this close, Harry’s eaten him out for God’s sake, but this is a different kind of intimacy.

“You have four nipples! You don’t get a say,” he laughs.

“You love my nipples!” Harry says, offended, clutching his hands over his extra pair. Louis laughs, pulling Harry’s hands off them.

“They’re weird,” he grins, pressing his nose to the one under his normal left. He’s faintly aware that he’s lying against Harry’s cock, but it’s not about that. It feels kind of weird that isn’t for a change. Different, but it’s like they both know it.

Harry gasps. “You’re hurting their feelings!”

Louis doesn’t think he’s laughed as hard for months. “Their feelings?!” He laughs into Harry’s t-shirt, and he can feel his small giggles under him.

He can’t breathe. “Oh my god,” he gasps. “Don’t you ever say that again.”

“What? Stop laughing at my body!” He’s not entirely serious, Louis knows that, but his pout is really fucking precious.

“I’m not laughing at your body, I’m laughing at you.”

Harry starts rolling over with Louis stuck between his legs. “I hate you,” he announces. He’s crushing his chest, and Louis can’t stop laughing. Harry’s on his side, facing the back of the couch and Louis’ on his back, trapped between his knees. He grabs Harry’s thigh, trying to hold him off and Harry stills, hand suddenly grasping Louis’. They both quiet down, and Harry awkwardly shuffles on the couch until he’s at level with Louis’ face. Their fingers are tangled on Harry’s hip and the boy smiles at him. Louis smiles back tentatively, wondering why everything suddenly feels so utterly different again.

“I think your lips need to be chapped,” Harry finally says.

Louis rolls his eyes in exasperation. “If you feel like making out, just ask.”

Harry laughs and pushes their faces together.

They spend the rest of the afternoon kissing. Harry’s fantastic in bed, but is also a very skilled kisser. His lips are plump and big, and most importantly, so very soft. He must be using some kind of lip balm, because Louis hasn’t ever kissed anyone with lips like Harry’s. His mouth is bigger than Louis’, lips wrapping around his, sucking like he wants Louis’ to bruise. His hands rest softly on Louis’ waist, only stroking slowly over his skin.

Harry can be well rough with Louis. Throw him around, bite and leave bruises, but Louis isn’t sure anybody’s ever been this gentle with him. The kisses are languid and slow, and there’s something twisting in Louis’ gut. He doesn’t get Harry Styles much. He only shows up sometimes, but always finds a way to turn up at Louis’ door. He’s polite and nice, but smokes and has a body littered with random tattoos. He can fuck Louis until he cries, but kiss him so that it feels like it’s not a ‘when I’m in the city’ thing. It’s strange, very strange.

They eventually move off he couch. They share a few smokes on the balcony, mumbling about the last episode of Breaking Bad they saw the previous night. There’s an old lady on the balcony next to Louis’, and she sits in her wheelchair by the railing. She’s got no idea who Harry is, which they find very funny. Harry offers her a cigarette, which she declines only to pick out a cigar herself. She must be at least ninety, having lived next to Louis for years.

Louis is leaning one arm on the railing, holding back a smile as she picks it out, face straining as he tries not to laugh in surprise.

“I tell you, boys,” she says, lightening up. “Quit the crap, go for the gold.”

Harry, who is standing slightly behind him, sinks his teeth into Louis’ sweater clad shoulder not to laugh.

“A shame these are illegal in England,” the lady sighs.

Louis lets a giggle escape his lips, and Harry’s silently shaking, eyes closed against Louis’ shoulder. His hands are half covered by a big, hooded sweater, and Louis feels the tips of his fingers clutching around the hem of his shirt. He doesn’t understand how someone like Harry can turn into the cutest boy in the world like this. He reaches back and strokes over his arm quickly.

“Do you want a try?” the lady asks.

“We’re good,” Louis gets out and he knows Harry’s going to suffocate within the minute if he doesn’t let himself breathe soon. “Have a good night, Ms. Louise.”

Louis grabs Harry’s collar behind him and pulls him into the flat again. Harry can’t breathe for ten minutes.

Louis makes Harry make him waffles at two in the morning. He sits in socks and Harry’s big, black sweater on the counter, completely naked underneath. Harry’s by the stove, in nothing but underwear, a pair that most likely belong to Louis.

“I’m kind of in love with your hoodie,” he says. It’s so unbelievably soft, smells a bit like smoke though, but it’s so freaking comfortable. Harry glances over at him from the stove, eyes locking on him for seconds. Harry is just staring at him. There’s nothing to tell from his eyes, just that they won’t stop looking.

“You look fucking adorable,” he says then.

Louis stops what he’s doing, meeting Harry’s gaze. He swallows, and there’s something in him. It’s bubbling, spreading and growing, flowing further from his gut with every heartbeat. It’s like it’s waited for something, an opportunity to expand like a soap bubble in him. It touches the tips of his toes, the pads of his fingers and colors the apples of his cheeks. It makes him mute, renders him speechless. There’s something in him, and Harry’s looking at him, his eyes framed with dark lashes and he won’t stop looking.

“You’re burning the waffles,” Louis murmurs, but he doesn’t ever want to release his eyes.

Harry stares for long moment more, and then he finally tears his eyes off Louis. His cheeks are burning, and he watches as Harry’s fiddles by the stove. He watches his body work as he moves, the way the muscles in his arm tense as he lifts objects, how his jaw clenches when he swallows, how his lashes look in the light under the cupboards. His fingers are long and spindly, and Louis knows them like his own. He’s had them pressing to his skin, had them around his body parts, on him, in him, and he knows how they taste.

“What?” Harry asks, turning to face him, smiling in a way that must be nothing but in fondness.

Louis blushes red and deep. “Um. I – Can I paint your nails?”

“Why?” Harry asks, smile slow and intrigued.

“I don’t know,” Louis says honestly. “It just crossed my mind.”

“Okay.”

“What?”

“Okay. Paint them.”

They eat waffles in bed. It’s half past two and Harry feeds Louis, and it’s kind of ridiculous. They have Harry’s phone plugged into the speakers, playing a record Louis’ never heard lowly in the background.

“Why do you look cute when you eat?” Harry frowns down at him like he’s seriously wondering. He’s lying with his head on Harry’s thighs, chewing a mouthful of waffles. He’s pretty sure there’s syrup on his cheek. “Nobody looks cute eating.”

“Natural glamour?”

Harry smiles. “Surely.”

They put the plates away on the nightstand and Harry finds his cigarettes among the clothes on the floor. He lights one and Louis settles in his lap, facing him as he grabs his hand. He found some black nail polish in the bathroom from a Halloween party and he sets to work. Harry’s left hand is on his waist as he paints his other hand, and he’s suddenly so aware of Harry’s every move, his every touch and everything abruptly feels so electric. He concentrates hard on getting the nails right, forcefully trying not to acknowledge the way Harry’s other hand scratches his naked skin under his hoodie. Harry’s fingers are even more beautiful up close, and he suddenly has to restrain himself from putting them in his mouth.

“Stop licking your lips,” Harry murmurs.

Louis looks up. Harry’s eyes are dark and hooded and he knows that look so well. “I didn’t know I was doing it,” he says. His heart is racing.

“Just finish them,” Harry murmurs, but his eyes linger on Louis’ lips. Louis makes himself return to work.

When he’s done with both hands, he smiles up at Harry who’s admiring Louis’ handiwork. “Pretty enough?”

“Very goth.”

“Or punk rock.”

“Who doesn’t want to be punk?”

“You’d be pretty with flowers in your hair,” Louis muses. “And a lip ring.”

“Aren’t my tats enough?”

“Your tats aren’t punk rock.”

“Excuse me?”

Louis giggles and gets off Harry lap. He’s about to turn around when he feels Harry’s breath at the side of his face. He feels the soft press of his lips under his ear. His heart beats hard. “Thank you,” Harry murmurs. Louis can’t help his smile.

“I’m not done yet,” he murmurs.

He tears himself away from Harry, it’s an internal struggle, and shuffles in between his legs. Harry huffs, nearly getting his feet in his face as he lies down on his stomach between his knees. He’s facing Harry’s toes, stomach on the mattress between his legs and his own feet he presses against Harry’ chest.

Harry’s feet are very weird. They’re pale and the toes look kind of misshaped. Louis eyes his left foot. The nails are short, the small toes curved in round arches. His big toe is thin at the base but widens out weirdly at the top. His feet are narrow in the middle, the arch of the foot barely there.

“What are you doing?” Harry asks, as Louis softly slides the pad of his thumb over the base of his toes. He was going to paint his nails black, was what he was going to do. Now he doesn’t want to anymore.

He leans down, planting a soft kiss on top of his foot. He’s got no clue what he’s doing, but he wants to do it so badly. He slowly lets the tip of his tongue into the spring between Harry’s pinky toe and the one next to it. Harry doesn’t move and inch, doesn’t say a word and Louis’ heart races like he’s run a marathon. He leans closer, arching his back a bit as he sucks his toe into his mouth. He doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing, but he’s kind of in love with it. He suckles on it, scrapes his teeth against the backside, planting a kiss on the two toes closest. His hands grip around his foot, thumbs pressing on the upper side in a slide down to his toes. He sucks three into his mouth, and he suddenly feels Harry grasping his calves harshly where his legs are pushed against his chest as he arches his back.

He feels Harry’ hands slowly, slowly stroking down his calves. The touch makes him tingle, and he shifts, grabbing Harry’ other foot. He sucks his big toe into his mouth, and it’s so kinky, something he’s never done before. He’s never wanted to lick anybody’s toes ever. He’s never understood the appeal, but somehow here he is, something stirring in his belly and suckling on Harry fucking Styles' toes. Everything ever is Harry’s fault.

He suddenly feels Harry’s big hands feeling up his thighs. His thumbs are on the insides, and they move up to Louis’ arse. The feeling is what Louis expects magic to be. He releases Harry’s toe with a pop, and suddenly Harry’s grabbed his hip from behind and yanks him back. He slides up on the bed with a gasp, hoodie sliding up on his stomach and exposing his naked thighs and bum, the small of his back. He feels Harry getting on his knees behind him, and the kiss he presses on his tailbone has him breathless. There’s almost a thickness in his throat, and he realizes that he’s never felt like this before.

Harry’s body is suddenly leaning over his, face by his shoulder and Louis twists his head to the side to meet his eyes. Harry is slowly shaking his head. “You’ve got ridiculously big socks on,” he murmurs. Louis swallows. “You’re fucking lovely,” Harry says. It’s raw and honest.

What it is that has rooted in Louis’ gut feels like it’s slowly burning into his skin. It’s marking him like scratches, forming scars.

It’s three AM and Harry kisses him. He kisses him until it’s four AM. He fucks him until it’s five.

**

They sleep until it’s four the next day. Louis doesn’t want to wake up ever. His bed is warm, Harry’s body is wrapped around him like he needs him to breathe. Louis doesn’t know how anything is ever going to be better than this. The room is dark, Harry’s playlist is still going on repeat. There are clothes over the floor, cigarettes on the ashtray and nothing will ever be better than this.

Louis lies on his side with his face tucked against Harry’s chest. His feet are between Harry’s calves, keeping them warm. His lips are inches from Harry’s skin, and if he pouts they brush against him. He smells so good. He’s cologne and boy. Smoke. Sex. He smells like Louis, too.

He slowly leans his cheek against Harry’s evenly raising chest, feeling him unconsciously move. He doesn’t want to feel anything else for hours.

It’s five PM when Harry wakes Louis up. He’s sitting at the end of the bed, naked in all his glory. He’s holding a cup of tea. “A spoon and all,” he smiles, voice hoarse.

Louis sits up, head slightly fuzzy from sleep, and he reaches out for the cup. “Thank you,” he murmurs.

“Your hair is ridiculous.”

“Shh,” Louis hushes. “Quiet.”

Harry laughs throatily, and smiles around the edge of his cup. “Suppose it’s my fault, though.” His voice is low and so utterly soft.

“Kind of is,” Louis agrees. He looks up at him, wondering why he looks like he’s Louis’ entire world.

Harry tugs on Louis’ foot, fingers clutching around Louis’ sock. It’s fuzzy and the fabric is a wee bit of heaven. Louis shuffles down on the bed, and Harry’s hand slides into his hair. The movement is so natural it’s eerie.

“Nice nails,” Louis murmurs, tangling his fingers with Harry’s.

“I know,” Harry says. “I even uploaded a picture on Instagram of them.”

“You did not,” he smiles, eyes falling on Harry’s naked hips. The ferns drawn there are like they’re climbing up his body, and Louis feels a bit like that’s what something’s doing inside him.

“Yeah, I did.”

Harry let’s him finish his tea, and he makes tiny plaits in his hair. He looks completely ridiculous, but he lets Harry take a picture of it only because he begs. Louis realizes he has to pop by Lottie’s quickly because he’s promised to help her set up her stereo, and he should probably buy some more lube and a few more condoms.

Harry says he’ll only let him leave if he gets to shower with him, so he agrees. It’s kind of amazing, and probably one of the favorite things he’s ever done with Harry. Harry makes funny sculptures of his hair, gives him a soapy beard and says that he’s going to shave Louis’ legs if he doesn’t keep still. Louis somehow manages to end up on the floor of the bathtub, Harry holding is leg in a firm grip.

“I can’t believe you’re doing this,” he whines.

“This is the best thing ever,” Harry disagrees.

Harry chooses Louis’ clothes, and is disappointed when Louis refuses shorts because it’s too cold outside. He asks what the point was of him shaving Louis’ legs if he doesn’t get to see them, and Louis murmurs that if he really wants to he can get a private show later. Harry shuts up after that.

Harry crawls back into the bear pit that is Louis’ room, burying himself under the duvet on the bed. Louis tells him he should probably change the sheets and Harry retorts with asking why the hell he’d do that if he is going to make Louis cum on them later anyway. Louis leaves him tucked in, smoking on the bed, saying he’ll be staying in that same position until Louis’ back and if it takes more than hour he’s suing.

“You’ve been in America too much,” Louis says. Harry waves him off and Louis grins as he closes the door behind him.

He takes the car to Lottie’s apartment. She’s really gotten her life together. She’s very young still, but she’s followed Louis’ footsteps already. She lives even closer to London, works at a beauty salon and gives Louis 25% off on haircuts and chest waxing. He let Lottie do it once, but has sworn to never ever set foot in there again.

He mumbles along to one of the songs on Harry’s playlist as he sets up her stereo and Lottie smiles down at him. “I didn’t know you like Arctic Monkeys.”

He shrugs. “A friend likes them.”

“A special friend?” she grins.

“I suppose so.”

He stops by a small shop on the way back to the apartment. He buys two bottles of lube (just, you know, stocking up) and a pack of condoms. He wonders if it’s weird that he knows exactly what type makes Harry’s cock feel the best, but he then decides not to dwell too much on it.

He’s been away a little more than an hour when he pulls up on the street behind his building. He wonders if Harry’s kept track of the time, and knowing him he probably has. He trudges up the stairs, wringing the door open.

There’s something eerily different about the place. The music from Louis’ room that has been on for more than twenty-four hours is shut off, and Louis frowns as he slips his shoes off. He glances into the kitchen, and there’s something different about it, too, but he can’t tell what it is. He slowly walks through the flat, feeling his heart rate pick up. The living room is empty, the bathroom as well, and Louis slides the bedroom door open.

Everything is different.

It’s so clear now that Louis wonders why he didn’t know the second he opened the front door. The music is shut off because Harry’s phone isn’t by the stereo. His charger isn’t hooked in the power point next to Louis’. His clothes aren’t on the floor mixed with his. All of his things are gone, have dissipated into thin air. There’s no trace of him anywhere. All Louis can see is the rumpled bed and the black, tiny bottle of nail polish on the floor.

His phone vibrates.

Harry S was spotted at Heathrow two minutes ago! – Hanna, Honeydew

“Oh,” he breathes.

**

Life goes on, Louis supposes. It doesn’t feel as right, not really. Not at all.

Louis doesn’t think about it. It was just a matter of time, he supposes. He threw out the lube and condoms the moment he realized Harry was gone. He cleaned the entire apartment, making sure every smell and scent was gone, every area was spotless.

He doesn’t like sleeping in the bed. A week later he’s still spending the nights on the couch. He gets drunk with Stan. They sit on his porch, drinking beer and smoking and Louis doesn’t feel anything at all.

He doesn’t go to work for a week. He can write from home, and he writes his column that week about Jennifer Lawrence and J Hutch rumors that have nothing close to truth in them. He finally drags himself to the office a week and a half after Harry left, and Eleanor and Jenny wave happily when he trudges past them, lamely nodding.

His mother calls him three days in a row because she’s worried, he doesn’t think there’s anything to tell. He doesn’t listen to the Arctic Monkeys or The 1975 he tells Lottie when she recommends him a few songs, and she frowns at him for longer than he likes.

When two weeks have passed, Eleanor and Jenny tell him Connor’s stopped by a few times while he’s been gone, and Louis realizes he’s forgotten to answer his texts for nearly three weeks. He’s neglected everyone, really. He apologetically arranges a boys' night at his flat, inviting the few guys from work, Stan and another couple of friends he knows.

Connor brings extra beer and Louis smiles gratefully. They watch the footy game, Man U against Chelsea and Louis doesn’t feel as enthusiastic as he once would have. Connor sits next to him on the couch, laughingly cheering for Chelsea while the rest the boys glare at him. The game ends 1-1 and they move out on the balcony despite the cold. Stan lights a candle that stands on the table and the lads joke about romantic essence, and Louis smokes against the railing.

“You shouldn’t smoke,” Connor smiles next to him. Louis gives him a sidelong glance. Connor just grins. “It’s bad for your breath.”

For a moment Louis is stunned, then he laughs. It feels like the first time in years.

“Seriously though,” Connor says. “You should think about it.”

But it’s healing, he thinks.

“Hmm.” He holds his lighter up, repeatedly rolling his thumb against the top. “Fuck. Has anybody got a lighter?” he asks, exasperatedly.

“There’s one here.” Oli picks up a lighter from where it’s stuck between the boards of the table. It’s black and blue, and the metal glimmers a bit. Louis’ heart twists.

“Let me see that.” He snatches the lighter out of his hand, heart starting to pound. He feels a bit like he’s breaking. He doesn’t know how, but somehow he’s not leaning against the railing anymore, but half sprinting into the kitchen. There he pulls out a chair, jumping up on it and ripping the cupboard the highest up open. He throws the lighter behind a couple of boxes with flour and sugar, and slams it shut. He climbs off the chair, pushing it back to the table.

Fuck.

“Are you okay?”

Louis turns around. Connor’s looking at him worriedly, and he thinks that if he wants to, then Connor could probably love him.

“Actually,” he says. “I was thinking that you and I should make that second date happen.”

Connor’s face splits into a grin. “Glad you think so. We really should.”

Louis nods and steps closer, and then he’s kissing him against the worktop Harry kissed him against, standing on the same floor Harry fucked him on. He’s breathing the air Harry’s breathed and they’re two feet from where Harry looked at him and told him he was fucking adorable.

It’s not right, but it is what it is.

“Oooh,” Stan and a guy named Jonny laugh when they come into the kitchen, and Louis releases Connor’s collar, wiping his mouth. Connor blushes and Stan gives Louis a look that he reciprocates with a tiny nod.

They all call it a night two in morning, and Louis waves them off, kissing Connor on the mouth at the door.

After that Louis supposes he gets himself together a bit. The hair on his legs has grown out again, even if it itched like hell for a bit. Louis doesn’t think about it, but he thinks he itches all the time.

Eleanor and Jenny are overjoyed when he tells him he’s gone on a second date with Connor. They ate burgers at a pub, had a few beers and made out against Connor’s car. Jenny thinks Louis should buy him roses as a nice gesture and Eleanor says that it’s Connor’s turn to make an effort. After all, Louis arranged the lads’ night and took Connor out last. The man himself shows up at lunch and takes him to a café. Louis thinks it’s pretty nice.

Louis’ mother thinks Connor is fantastic, even if she’s only seen pictures of him. Lottie’s not too convinced. She says he doesn’t look like the Arctic Monkeys type. Louis supposes he doesn’t.

Connor asks him to be his boyfriend soon enough. “It’s a bit soon, I know,” he hurriedly says, holding up his hands. “But we’ve seen each other so much these last three weeks, and it has quite honestly been the best February in a while.”

Louis nods and says he’d love to. A tiny part of him feels like dying because it’s been a month.

Louis works at the office every day now. He’s on the path to getting another promotion. His boss has been overjoyed with his work this winter, and if he really works for it then he could get to do interviews with famous stars.

Connor thinks he’s doing a great job, and he tells Louis his secret dream of becoming one of those famous vloggers on YouTube. He has a hundred thousand subscribers, but not many people in the real world know who he is. Louis has never really watched YouTubers. He watches a few fail videos once in a while, but other than that he’s not on the site much. Although he supposes that it’s quite great that Connor is on the way to fulfilling his dream. That he has one.

The first time they have sex it’s on the couch in Louis’ flat. It’s around ten in the evening, they’ve just watched a couple of How I Met Your Mother reruns on the tv, and Connor asks Louis if he wants to. Louis silently nods and they do it right there. It’s nice. It feels quite good to be touched for the first time in a while. His mind isn’t really blown, but it’s nonetheless sex.

Connor kisses him and tells him he’s wonderful in bed. Louis’ been told before, but he knows his performance wasn’t like it usually is. It wasn’t English Love Affair material, so to speak. They kiss anyway for a few minutes, and they take a shower together, rinsing off and sharing a few more kisses. Louis lends him a pair of pajama pants, and goes to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He remembers that Connor doesn’t have a brush and thinks that he could probably offer him to borrow his when he’s done.

Louis goes out of the bathroom, about to say as much, toothbrush still dangling from his mouth. He runs a hand through his hair, and stops dead.

Connor is holding the front door open, legs in Louis’ pajama pants and chest bare. On the other side of the threshold is Harry.

Louis stands still for several seconds, his heart starting to pound like a hammer in his chest. He cannot breathe.

Harry is there. He’s standing at Louis’ door. He’s there and it’s really him, bag over his shoulder.

Louis is not sure if he’s functioning. Harry’s looking like someone’s slapped him, eyes wide and mouth half-open. He looks surprised, and so confused.

“Harry Styles?” Connor asks in surprise and incredulousness, breaking the ice-cold silence. Louis slowly comes up behind him, trying to not to break in two.

“Harry,” he says quietly, and he’s not sure if it’s actually his own voice talking, because it isn’t saying what he wants to scream. “You usually text first.” He’s not sure if there’s venom in his soft voice, or if it just feels like it.

“I –“ Harry stops. “You’re together with him?” he asks, almost incredulously.

“I, um.” He’s pretty sure there’s toothpaste dribbling down his chin.

Harry shakes head in a tiny, frantic motion. “No, I’ll um, uh,” he stutters, and Louis can hear how different his voice sounds. “I’ll just text you next time,” he whispers, and quickly, so fucking quickly turns around and slips out of the doorway and away.

Louis doesn’t know if he’s standing upright because he can’t feel his legs.

Connor closes the door, turning around and looking back at Louis, absolutely nonplussed. “Was that Harry Styles? Like, White Eskimo?” He looks at Louis with a weird expression on his face.

“Yeah,” he mumbles, pointing at the bathroom. “I’m just gonna, um. Yeah.” He hurries away, locking the door behind him.

What the fuck just happened.

He spits in the sink, washing the remains of the toothpaste off and puts the brush back. He grips the sink harshly, knuckles whitening.

What just happened? He’s not sure he’s breathing.

Harry was just there. At his flat.

Louis chokes out a broken breath, arms almost shaking.

Harry was just feet away from him, standing on his threshold.

And it’s not fucking okay.

Harry just turned up at his place after an entire month of silence. He was there. He was standing in the doorway, bag over his shoulder like he just came from the airport. And it’s not okay. It’s not okay because he left.

Harry left.

Louis chokes out a sob, and it feels like his throat is ripping up.

Harry left him. And he didn’t say goodbye. After two weeks of constantly being together, spending almost all hours of the day together, sharing a bed and saliva, he didn’t even say a thing. That weekend was everything. That last night was everything.

Louis hasn’t let himself think about it before, but what Harry grew inside him that night is wrenching inside of him, and he’s ripping at the seams. It’s not a soap bubble anymore. It’s a monster, raking its claws over every part of him.

Harry left without a word. One day all of his stuff was gone, not a single trace of him left.

Why is he back? Does he think that everything is like before?

He gets it then. It hits him like a punch in the gut, everything inside him knotting up in a huge twist. Harry’s back because it is like before. Harry’s back because he’s in London, and Louis’ just a good fuck. He’s surprised he didn’t get it as soon as Harry left. It’s the same as it’s always been. They have always kissed, they’ve always had fun, they’ve always had sex in Louis’ bed. The difference is only that Harry stayed longer last time, and Louis confused it with feelings.

He feels sick.

Because fuck it if he didn’t fall in love with Harry that night.

But they were never anything, were they?

They are ‘when he’s in town’ and never anything else. It’s when Harry has time, when he wants to, when he feels like having Louis for a bit when he’s in the city. He left, and he comes back when he’s got time. Louis’ a piece of spare time. Strangely, to Louis everything else was the spare, and Harry was his first choice.

Louis washes his face with cold water and ignores Connor’s wondering glances. He kisses him goodnight quickly, and lies on his side of the bed, hugging his pillow tightly until he falls asleep.

**

Harry Styles’ short visit in London – approximately two hours
Oh wow! Harry Styles has been known for his short visits to the city, but this one takes the cake! The star was seen leaving Heathrow at 11:30 last night, but only to reappear two hours later, boarding the next flight back to LA. Curious, we say! What has got the English Love Affair-writer running back home after only 120 minutes in the city? The singer landed in England, getting off a plane from Los Angeles only to jet off right back in such a short time. Hmmm, trouble in the English paradise? Hope not! Or maybe that means more juicy songs? Who knows!

**

“Will the fucking puns ever stop?” Louis growls, feeling like throwing his computer at the floor. He doesn’t want to see any more articles about this.

“What are you talking about?” his mother asks as she passes the sofa he’s on.

“Nothing.”

“Oh, that’s Harry Styles, innit?” she wonders, glancing over his shoulder.

“Yes, Mom.” He exits the page. Social media has been all over this. It doesn’t stop. The questions are all too many.

It never gets better. Connor notices there’s a slight difference in him. He doesn’t answer texts as quickly and he doesn’t encourage meetings as often. He worriedly asks him if there’s something they need to talk about, but Louis tells him it’s all fine. He just has a lot at work.

It only gets worse. The thing is that there is no problem. Not officially. It’s not outspoken, it’s internal. Louis knows that he doesn’t even have an excuse to be mad, not really. It was always a known deal between them. They have sex and hang out sometimes, nothing more.

Louis doesn’t get to be mad. Not about the fucking love affair song that has been out to ruin him since the beginning. Louis can’t fucking stand hearing it on the radio anymore. He can’t even be mad about the way he fucking fucked off to LA without a word and not about how he came back like nothing was wrong. He’s not allowed to be angry, he’s not allowed to be hurt. They both knew what their relationship is. Was. It was “as long as we’re in the same city”, not “I’m coming back because of you”. Louis fucked up.

He ignores everything for a week. He doesn’t go to work, and he doesn’t read the gossip mags like he’s supposed to, and he gives an intern free rein on writing for his column. He can ignored it an entire week until he’s forced to face it.

There's a live in studio session with White Eskimo. It's from that day, a week and a half since Harry showed up, and the world is on a raging buzz from it. It's trending worldwide on twitter, #WESKLiveSession, and Louis' followers are asking him what he thinks of it. He's forced to watch it, but his fingers are also itching to click play.

He needs to see if Harry looks like he’s fine. If he’s cares, or if he’s doesn’t.

There’s half a minute of low talking by the radio hosts before the song starts. There are shots of the band with their instruments, Harry strumming on his guitar. Louis has to admit that for once he doesn't look good. His eyes are framed with blue, the green in them pale and tired, and his hair unwashed. It’s sickeningly satisfying.

"This song is about British lovers," he murmurs into the microphone, and Louis knows he's going to hate it immediately.

The song is slow and bitter, lyrics complicated and mumbled. It's heartbreak in a nutshell.

They say love is fickle, but how was I supposed to know
Do you feel it too, I suppose not
I guess I should feel low, it wasn't like this it was supposed to go
You were my glue, till you had me shot
You swore to roses and nickels. Dimes, crimes, knives, the way you move
I didn't know the promise was fickle, but I guess I kind of fell for you
Yes, you swore to roses and nickels. Dimes, crimes, knives, they way you move
I didn’t know the promise was fickle, but I didn’t know you were doing him too

It sucks. It really fucking does.

Harry doesn’t have a right. He doesn't. Harry doesn’t get to be mad. He doesn’t get to write songs about that. He doesn’t have a right to be angry with Louis, just like Louis doesn’t get to be mad at him. They don’t have any rights. Neither of them does.

Louis can't help himself. He dials his number, stabbing his fingers to the digits on the screen.

"Why are you calling?" Harry's dark voice says after six signals, and his voice is like a scalpel cutting through Louis’ chest.

"What the fuck," Louis says, voice thick. "Crystal webs? Really?"

"So you've heard." His voice is lifeless.

"You have no fucking right, you fucking twat!"

"The fuck I do!" he suddenly yells back into the phone. "You fucked somebody else!"

Louis was wrong then.

So apparently they were more. So apparently they do have rights according to Harry. Louis doesn’t know what hurts more. Harry not thinking they were anything, or Harry thinking they were and leaving without a single word anyway.

"Who the fuck cares?! You left me without a word." Louis' swallows down the heavy lump in his throat. There’s no point to it, though, because the tears are already streaming down his cheeks, and the monster inside Louis’ body is scraping its teeth against his heart.

There’s a sob on the other side of the line. Louis is never going to be fine.

"You fucking asshole. Never come to London again."

**

Louis’ promoted. He gets to interview a few minor bands for Honeydew and it’s actually kind of exciting. He sees less and less of Connor, but it’s because the other man is having meetings with people on YouTube in hope of expanding his blog. They have different things to do.

Two weeks pass. Louis doesn’t hear from Harry. He doesn’t see him on social media because he blacklists his name on his computer and he lets his interns do any work that’s related to his band.

He doesn’t ever want to see Harry’s face again. He doesn’t want to hear his voice, never wants to hear about the stupid fucking English love affair that is the worst thing he’s ever been involved in in his entire life. It hurts to think about. It hurts so badly that he’s not able to sleep in his own bed. It’s awful. It’s so awful because he now knows that it wasn’t just him. He knows that both of them fell that wonderful night. They just fucked it up. If they hadn’t fucked it up everything could be different now.

He doesn’t think about it. He smokes and drinks beer on Stan’s porch, sees Connor sometimes and tells his mother that he’s not going to invite him to meet the family. Lottie asks if he’s not Arctic Monkeys material and Louis tells her that he’s absolutely not.

Fate has a way of getting him, though. It’s highly ironic. Louis has worked so hard to forget everything else, really has indulged in his work to get away, and it really comes back to stab him in the fucking back.

He’s told to do an interview with White Eskimo. Louis feels so sick, he’s seriously wondering if there is something wrong with his health.

It’s been two weeks since the phone call, three since Harry showed up on Louis’ doorstep. It’s the end of March. It’s two months since Louis fell in love with Harry. He knows that Harry fell for him, too. He knows that they both know. He also knows that they’re never going to salvage anything, and this interview is only going to fuck them both over. It’s just going to hurt.

Louis feels sick in the morning, and yet he’s forcing himself to drink water and drive to the hotel he’s supposed to interview them at. He’s just so fucking glad it isn’t the Leicester square hotel.

He parks the car outside the entrance, paps already outside, held off by security as the band is already in there.

Harry’s in there.

Louis is going to have to talk to Harry. He's going to have to look at him. He's going to have to pretend like he's fine, because he can't stand Harry knowing that he's dying.

He's in there.

It's he worst thing he's ever done. He feels like throwing up the moment he sees Harry's cold eyes glaring at him. It's the guy he fell for, but it's not. Louis greets them, plays it like he's not about to break, shakes everyone's hands but Harry's, because he's leaning back in a chair, pulling on a pair of shades and crosses his arms. Louis is kind of glad because he doesn’t have to look at his empty eyes then.

He kind of wished that Harry would be broken and sad, that he’d look at Louis like he’s feeling what Louis is. Louis almost shakes if he thinks about the fact that Harry’s there, only feet away. At the end of it, Louis pretends he isn't, because he isn’t really. He doesn’t answer questions, doesn’t move, doesn’t make a sound. Louis asks the questions and takes notes, and all the while the monster inside him claws at his insides.

“Thank you,” he says quietly, and shakes their hands again. He’s about to turn when Harry suddenly stands. He’s reaching his hand out, eyes hidden behind his shades.

“No,” he says. “Thank you. Thanks for everything.

Fucking Harry.

“Fuck you.” Louis shakes his head, and he leaves.

He pushes the notes and questions into his bag and almost sprints out of there. The paparazzi outside perk up, but he runs past them. He's almost crying when he reaches the car, ripping the door open and slamming the gas. He can't stand it. It’s the worst thing he's done in his life. Harry was just sitting there and staring at him like he's nothing, like there was never anything between them. This was all Harry fault from the start.

He finally parks outside his own building, and for a second he just sits there, face in his hands, tears dripping down the corners of his eyes. He breathes shakily. He hates him so much. Suddenly there's another car pulling into the street, and Louis has seen that car too many times not to know.

Louis hurries like it's hell coming for him. He gets the key out of the ignition, locking the car in haste and runs towards the building. If he gets inside Harry can't reach him. He's nearly there when there’s a hand gripping around his elbow and yanking him back. He yelps, turning around and ripping his arm back.

Harry's staring at him, and his face is everything it wasn't inside that dining room. It's everything Louis wanted it to be, but now that he's got it, it’s not good. It’s not right. Harry's eyes are red rimmed, his face is teary and everything about him screams that he's hurt, too.

They stare at each other, and it's like nothing is ever going to make this okay. It's like they were everything, and everything broke into millions of pieces. They both fell that weekend, and now they’re never getting up.

"I'm still sleeping with Connor," he says. It’s not true. He says it to hurt him.

"You're not." Harry says, but there’s a flash in his eyes that tells Louis he's scared that he might be.

Louis isn’t sleeping with Connor anymore. They've had sex once. "I'm glad he was there when you showed up," he says. Harry’s jaw clenches. "I would have taken you back if he hadn't been."

"If he weren't there he would have been the day I'd leave."

And that is the most untrue words that have ever been uttered. Louis can't believe that they're coming from the boy that made Louis feel things that he never has, the boy that rooted something in his chest that made him fall so hard. That thing has turned into a monster. Harry's turned into Louis' personal hell.

"I don't ever want to take you back." In that moment it's the most honest thing he can muster up. He's so fucking in love with him, but doesn't ever want to let him in again.

"You're the only person in the entire world I've ever let have the whole me," Harry says, shaking his head. "I never wanted to leave you, and when I came back you stomped all over my heart. And hate you for it."

Louis understands, because he hates every piece of Harry, too.

"I hate you," he says, and it's true.

"Then it's settled," Harry says. "I'm never coming back to London again."

"Your family lives here." Louis doesn't know why he's pointing that out.

"And you've poisoned the entire country for me."

"Well, why don't you just go then?" Louis suddenly yells, throwing his hand out. "If all I've ever done is ruin you. We were never meant for each other, Harry. You fucked me all over and I stomped on your heart. We're even! You can go!" He's shaking. Harry's eyes are on him, and he's everything Louis wants and everything he doesn't want and he's everything. "We're so fucking done, Harry! You hate me; I hate you! So fuck you. Fuck you and your fucking song! And," he says. "I will never –

Harry's kissing him. His hands are cupping his jaw and his lips are crushing against his. It's like he's back in the bedroom, that dark night, smoking and kissing and feeling Harry's body under his fingers and thinking that he's his entire world. Harry releases him.

"And will never love you again," Louis says.

It's the worst lie he's ever told. Harry leaves without a word, eyes brimming with tears and he leaves in the dark range rover without a second look. He said Louis stomped on his heart, this time he probably stabbed it.

Louis is right. An hour later Harry reveals his dirty English secret.

Harry Styles (@WESK_Harry)
@louistHD I thought you were better. You were my fucking treasure.

Louis hates Harry Styles more than anything.

Louis Tomlinson (@louistHD)
I slept with someone in White Eskimo and all I got was a stupid song written about me.

**

There are pap pictures of the interviewer running away from White Eskimo. There are pictures of White Eskimo-Harry running after him, another member of the band not far behind. There’s a pap picture of the kiss. There’s a picture of Louis crying as he goes into his building.

Louis’ tweet is the second most retweeted tweet in history.

Connor ends things because he understands that Louis has been banging an indie music star while they dated. Stan gives him a hug and a bottle of gin. Louis' coworkers give him glances and his followers on twitter have increased by a hundred-and-fifty percent. His vitality for life has lessened by as much.

Harry is stalked in Los Angeles. Louis is stalked in London. The paparazzi are everywhere. They know where he lives. They know stuff about him. They know he fucked Harry Styles and that he’s got a freckle on his left hip. It’s probably the sickest story of the decade. Harry Styles’ has been sleeping with a journalist.

Louis thought his life couldn’t get worse, but Harry had to sink him further. He’s never been so humiliated. His entire family knows he’s the second party of the English Love Affair, and Lottie mumbles that ‘yeah, I supposed he is Arctic Monkeys material’. All of his friends know, his coworkers and relatives, they know that he likes dirty sex. They know that he’s “loud, loud, loud”, and the entire fucking world knows he has a freckle that he actually really fucking hates on his left hip.

It must be humiliating for Connor as well. He must know that Louis wasn’t interested in him, and that he didn’t even try when they had sex. Louis is so ashamed that he hates Harry even more.

Saying that he hates Harry doesn’t help. The weeks still pass and Louis is still tweeted harassing comments, still is written about in puns, and Harry still revealed his dirty English secret. And Louis still doesn’t fall out of love with Harry Styles.

**

It’s April. White Eskimo are in London. Everybody knows that. It's the first time since the salvage of the English Love Affair. Louis' twitter is blowing up, his boss is asking him for a comment and Louis wants to quit his job. He isn’t meant to be a journalist anyway.

White Eskimo are in London. Harry is in London and for the first time in more than a year, Harry isn't knocking on Louis' door. He isn't in Louis' bed. Isn't smoking on his balcony and most importantly isn't knocking on Louis' door. It's sucks. Louis is in love with an English/American idiot. He guesses they never were supposed to fall in love anyway. Only they did, and it went to hell.

Louis is fucking in love with Harry Styles. And he hates him all the same. It doesn’t matter, though, because he’s just so fucking gone for him.

Somehow Louis still finds himself at the hotel on Leicester square, staring down the same guy from months ago from the other side of the desk. He’s got no dignity, he’s got no shame left.

"Mr. Edward Twist the third?" he tries. "The fifth? Sixth?"

The man shakes his head, indifferently. "We've been told not to let you up."

Louis' fist is in a ball on top of the desk, face scrunching up angrily, teeth gritting together as he turns around.

Louis hates Harry Styles.

White Eskimo perform at The Brit Awards that same night. Louis and a few from his work are there to cover the story. Louis has no dignity, no pride.

"This song is about English lovers," Harry says into the microphone like he always does, and the audience laughs and cheers and Louis wants to die.

He hates Harry Styles.

He's sure his face says as much. His eyes are burning holes into Harry's fucking head on the stage, and he's also positive that he is being filmed by the cameras, for entertainment’s sake, of course.

Louis really hates Harry Styles, because the thing about sleeping with a member of a famous indie band is that the inevitability of having a song written about you is most likely a hundred percent. But the second thing is that nobody's ever supposed to find out it's about you.

Soft lips frame your wicked smile
Baby you rock me like a fucking missile

Louis sits with his arms crossed, mentally sending daggers Harry's way.

Blue eyes, the freckle on your left hip
Every time I see you, God you make me flip
Your bed is warm in the north of Esher
Kiss me. Baby, you're a flaming fucking treasure

His face is on the big screen, belting out dirty lyrics about how Louis looks naked and how much he’s like a porn star in bed.

He doesn't know how his life became this. He was a good boy, kept it casual or fell hard. He guesses he did both. He pretended – or even actually thought – that it was casual, only to fall so fucking hard. Harry was a mistake he made more than a year ago. A drunken mistake he clearly can't escape, one he's soberly continued to make for an entire year. And everybody knows.

Louis stands up and leaves. Apparently he’s got shame left.

His face is red as he stumbles out the back door. He takes a cab home, the driver eyeing him suspiciously. He probably recognizes him, but if he does he doesn't say. Louis leans his head back and cries.

He's chain smoking on the balcony a few hours later. There are three paps down the street. He doesn't care. He feels numb.

He doesn't understand what he's meant to do now.

Is he supposed to forget everything and move on? How do you pick up the pieces of your old life, like it hasn't been fucked all over? He just really doesn't know.

There's a bottle of whiskey standing on the railing next to him. It's a 1939 Macallan. Louis hates whiskey.

A car pulls up on the street, the headlights lightening up the darkness like it did once two months ago.

It's Harry. Of course it is. He gets out of the car, and if he sees the paps he doesn't care.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

Harry's head snaps up. He looks up at him for what feels like hours. Louis lights another smoke.

"I know you came to see me at the hotel," Harry finally says.

"Well, it was a mistake." Louis wants him to leave.

"I saw you leave during the song."

"And you suddenly care?"

Harry's eyes flash under the light of a street lamp. "I always cared, Lou."

"Don't call me that," he snaps.

"I'll call you the fuck I want."

They haven't talked since the kiss on the sidewalk Harry’s currently standing on, the time when Harry told the world Louis fucks like a porn star an hour later. Louis fucking hates Harry Styles.

There's a loud crash against the asphalt, and Harry jumps away from glass and splatters of expensive liquid.

"Holy fucking shit, Louis!" Harry yells, the pieces glass spread out on the ground only a foot away from him. "Fuck! That was a fucking ten thousand dollars you just killed! I bought you that!"

Louis doesn't care. "You fucking left," he screams. His voice is angry, he's pissed and it's all so broken. Harry doesn’t get to be mad about a ten thousand dollar worth bottle of whiskey.

Harry stares up at him, something falling over his entire face and posture. "You fucked somebody else", he says quietly.

"You left, without a fucking word, Harry. You don't deserve to be mad," he says, and he's almost shaking. He doesn't know if it's from the cold, the anger, or the fact that he's crying. "You left. And you told everybody, and I've never been so fucking humiliated in my entire life."

They quietly stare at each other. Louis' hand shakes as he brings the cigarette to his mouth, taking a shaky drag, cheeks wet.

"I hate you so much," Louis whispers, but it's loud enough for Harry to hear.

"I hate you, too," he suddenly says, head whipping up. "I was so fucking mad at you! You didn't fucking get it! You never did. I kept coming back for you! Fuck, you write those articles for a living. How could you not know?!" Harry takes a gasping breath, and Louis' heart pounds in his chest like it’s on the way out. "I came back for you all the time! Fuck, I- I ignored my band for two weeks because I wanted to stay in London with you! They had to fucking force me to LA to that show!" He runs a hand over his face. "I'm so fucking sorry for not saying goodbye! I was afraid I'd ruin everything, so I did what we usually do. And fuck, Lou..." He shakes his head. "I fucking love you. I have for the longest of time. Long before that weekend.”

Louis stubs his cigarette and leaves the balcony. He's shaking. He's in a hoodie, pajama pants on and his cheeks are raw from tears. He didn’t know. Fuck, how was he supposed to? Harry is an American rock star. How was he supposed to know? He runs hand over his face, and he glances out the kitchen window. Harry’s still out there, and he’s leaning against his car, face buried in the crook of his arm.

Fuck it if Louis doesn't run barefoot down the staircase and out on the pavement.

"Fuck you," he says, Harry's head whipping up. It's obvious he's crying. Louis shakes his head. "I hate you, but I fucking love you, too."

Harry looks back at him, like he doesn't know what's happening.

Then he's there, lifting Louis up on his hips, and Louis' wrapping his legs around his waist. His feet are bare and cold, their matching black sweaters are melting together at the embrace. Harry turns, pushing him into the car. He kisses him. It's an awful kiss. The worst they've ever had, but being in Harry's arms again is the best feeling that he’s ever felt. He smells like boy, smoke, cologne and Harry.

"I didn’t know,” he sobs. “I didn’t know.”

“I love you.”

“Don't ever leave."

Harry shakes his head, nose in Louis' hair. He plants a small kiss on the top of his ear. "Never."

Harry leans back again and kisses him. It's deep and it's not sexy, and it's emotions that are spilling all over the place. Harry's arms are locked around his middle, and Louis swears he never wants him to let go.

They’re quiet, just holding each other and Louis finally feels like things could maybe be okay again. Because Harry’s been in love with him since the start. Louis was a bit late, but he loves him all the same.

"There are three paps at the end of the street," he tells Harry, murmuring it into his neck with a sniffle.

Harry's laugh is unexpected, but it makes Louis' heart flutter. "I know," he whispers, kissing his head.

"My feet are cold," Louis murmurs.

One of Harry's hands reach back, squeezing his toes softly. Louis squeaks lowly, and Harry giggles.

“You told everybody.”

“I was mad. I didn’t think. I’m really sorry, Lou.”

Louis shivers, squeezing him closer. Everybody knows, but he supposed they know that he’s a porn star only for Harry.

"Let's get you in bed,” Harry says, and Louis sneaks his feet in under Harry's sweater, making him jump at the ice-cold contact. Louis smiles against his neck, and Harry carries him towards the door of the building without a word.

Louis glances at the splatter of glass on the sidewalk, making a slight face. "Sorry about the scotch..."

Harry stops, turning slightly and sending a mournful look at the pool of Macallan. He turns again, but the sidewalk is slippery and before he can do anything he slips on it. They're on the ground in a second. Harry is lying over Louis, holding himself still over him, feet against ground. Louis clinging like monkey to his chest, face the definition of horror.

"I heard you were clumsy," he says then.

"Shut the fuck up," Harry murmurs, and then kisses him hard as they lie on the cold pavement. He smells like boy and smoke. Louis doesn't mind at all.

**

It's out the next day of course. The entire thing is filmed and sold to The Mirror, every moment of Louis drinking on the balcony to the scenes of Harry kissing him on the ground. Louis supposes his love life is already as exposed as one’s can get. It doesn't matter now. He's got Harry in his bed, telling him he loves him and that he'll spend his entire life in London if that's where Louis wants to be. Louis says he wouldn't mind a visit or ten to LA.

Stan says Louis owes him for getting him in to that party a year and half ago, and Louis kind of agrees. The weather is getting quite nice again, for April at least, and Louis quits Honeydew. He isn’t meant to be a journalist anyway.

Harry writes another song about him. This time it isn't blatantly obvious and Louis doesn't hate it, but everyone kind of gets it anyway. It's slow, uncomplicated, and is the first ballad White Eskimo has ever recorded.

One last thing about hooking up with a famous indie star is that the possibility of turning out to be the love of their life is most likely nonexistent. Another is that if he does in fact insist on writing a couple of songs about you, he's probably really fucking in love with you.