Actions

Work Header

Beautiful Stranger

Chapter Text

D7-KKzb-Xo-AA8-Enp-1

Monday

The heels of Harry’s pink leather brogues clacked as he walked across the tiled floor of the cool room he was getting ready in. He was grateful for the presence of the fans dotted around making sure he didn't get too hot and bothered, not ruining the outfit that had been tailor made for his frame. He stopped in front of the gilded gold mirror and smoothed his hands down the felt material of his cream jacket, the fabric soft under his palms.

He turned to the side, looking at how the jacket flared out over his backside, flowing seamlessly into the wide white flare of his trousers, which sat atop his new shoes. He looked pretty good, even if he did say so himself. The tank top that was partially hidden by his jacket poked out slightly, a little lower cut than he usually wore, but if he wasn’t going to take a risk tonight, when was he?

Harry held out his hands, admiring the gorgeous manicure Jenny had given him earlier on while he’d chatted away about the new kitten his Mum had recently bought, showing off a few pictures before she started work on his left hand, meaning he had to just sit there until she was done. Harry knew getting his nails done wasn’t particularly Alpha-like of him, but he loved the way it looked, especially against the pale fabric of his suit. The pink and blue of the polishes he’d chosen popped against the variety of rings dotted on his fingers, and he was sure somebody would have a comment to make about them, both good and bad.

The door slammed open, and Harry whirled around, his hand pressed against his heart in shock, laughing as Alessandro swore at the slab of wood, kicking it quickly before he hurried over to Harry, eyes widening as he took in the outfit. The pair of them had spent hours together planning for this event, and it seemed the older Beta was impressed by what he saw.

“Ah, Harry, sei bellissimo !” Alessandro cooed, his hands coming to rest on Harry’s shoulders as he took in the entirety of his outfit. “So handsome. Fits you perfectly.”

“Thank you,” Harry murmured shyly, still unused to the gushing compliments the man he idolised rained down on him too often. Harry wasn’t sure he’d ever get used to it, if he was honest. “I’m really pleased with how it turned out. You were right about the felt, it looks good.”

Come te lo senti addosso ? [Feels good too, no?]” Alessandro asked, smirking to Harry. Harry knew he was recalling the terse conversation they’d had about the fabric of his suit, Harry insistent that felt wouldn’t sit nicely on his body, that it would look too bulky but as always, Alessandro had been right, and Harry had sent him the most gorgeous bunch of flowers to apologise for his attitude that day. “I love your tank.”

“Grazie,” Harry said again, doing a silly twirl. Alessandro squirted a few puffs of Harry’s favourite Gucci cologne into the air as Harry twirled again, ensuring every inch of him was covered in the scent. Harry was hopeful it would mask some of his Alpha pheromones he knew were still lingering after the rut he’d come out of a few days ago. Alessandro seemed immune to Harry’s smell by now thank goodness, lucky since he’d been the one to get Harry safely to his hotel room when his rut had come on surprisingly in the middle of a buyer’s dinner, much to Harry’s embarrassment. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah, I go for the casual look,” Alessandro said in heavily accented Italian, gesturing down at the outfit he’d chosen for himself. A simple black jacket sat on top of a white round neck t-shirt, blue jeans encompassed his lower half and a black fedora atop his head completed the simple yet fashionable look. Harry was a little surprised, expecting something a little more decadent from the man who had accompanied him to the Met Gala in a head to toe shiny pink jumpsuit, his hair hanging low down his back, pink heeled boots on his feet. “I not take away from the clothes, Harry.”

Harry nodded knowingly, finally understanding. His eyes widened as he suddenly realised he might be a little too overdressed. “Oh god, is this too much? Should I go and get changed, or-”

Alessandro shook his head quickly, looking alarmed at Harry’s change of opinion. “No! Definitely not. Actually, I have something for you…”

He turned around and picked up a black Gucci bag that he’d left on the floor earlier, and rifled inside for a moment, emerging with a small raffia Gucci clutch which he held out to Harry. Harry had eyed up something similar when they’d walked through Alessandro’s offices earlier that week, and seeing that his friend had picked out this piece for him was touching. He took it with almost shaking hands, admiring the woven fibres, the infamous Gucci logo across the front.

“Wow, I don’t- I don’t know what to say, it’s wonderful,” Harry breathed out, full of awe for the fact he’d be carrying this bag with him tonight. “This is, this is really for me?”

“Si, love,” Alessandro almost whispered, his eyes shining with happiness. “Look inside.”

Harry carefully opened the clutch and gasped at what was inside. There was a pair of pink tinted glasses nestled against the silk lining, and he lifted them up, letting Alessandro take the bag for a moment while he slid them on, whirling around to look at himself in the mirror. Somehow, the glasses were the piéce de resistance of the whole look. Harry felt he was channeling a 70s rock star vibe, and he grinned at his reflection. He somehow radiated a strong Alpha energy, and for once, he didn't mind it, not in that moment.

“Just… thank you. I love it, all of it.”

Harry leaned in and kissed each of Alessandro’s cheeks in turn, making the Beta blush. They shared a secret smile for a moment, the only sound either of them could hear was doors opening and closing down the corridor, models no doubt getting ready to impress.

“You are going to enter, er,” Alessandro floundered for a moment, trying to find the right English words. He held up his hands in exasperation, and Harry decided to make an educated guess at what he was going to say.

“Am I going in the public way?”

Alessandro grinned and nodded back, looking pleased the Alpha had understood what he was trying to say.

“Yeah, for sure. I’ve seen online there’s a few people here so it’d be nice to see them, say hi and stuff. Is it that time already?”

Alessandro peered around Harry at the ornate clock hanging from the wall.

Si , Harry. Are you ready?”

Harry took one final look at his reflection, grabbing the raffia clutch again, holding it in front of his body, pleased with what he saw reflected back at him.

“I think so. May I, sir?”

Alessandro nodded, sliding his arm through Harry’s crooked elbow, the pair walking out of the room together. Harry’s heart pounded as he finally arrived at the car that was taking him to the venue. This was the beginning of everything he’d ever wanted. Tonight was going to be the start of the rest of his life.

*****

“HARRY!”

“I love you, Harry!”

“Harry, oh my god, Harry!”

The noise was almost deafening as Harry stepped out of the waiting car, his feet connecting with the tarmac. He could feel a bead of sweat slip down the inside of his tank top, gathering at the bottom of the fabric tucked into his waistband. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling but Harry ignored it, plastering a smile on his face as he stood himself up to his full height, shoulders back, hand gently cupping the bottom of his bag, wanting the accessory to be seen.

He walked along the sun-warmed stones outside the Musei Capitolini where the Gucci Cruise 2020 show was being held, the ancient building looming over him, feeling somewhat oppressive in it's opulence and magnitude. Harry had purposely chosen to stay away from the venue until now, wanting the entire show to sink in fully, to absorb it along with the rest of the audience. He knew how hard Alessandro had worked with his team to make this show perfect, and he couldn’t wait. But before that, he had fan service to partake in.

Ciao, ciao ,” he called as he waved from the top of the stairs, staring out in awe at the gathered crowds waving madly at him, phones in their hands as they tried to capture a glimpse of Harry and the other faces in attendance. Harry was well aware he tended to attract an audience wherever he went, his loyal followers trotting around after him, showing up to any events he went to in support of him, something Harry appreciated. The presence of the events security guards was felt all around but Harry couldn’t help himself.

He stepped down, taking care not to stumble on his bambi-legs and fall flat on his face in front of the fans and the worlds press who had gathered to capture moments for the plethora of articles that would later appear online and in print, dissecting his and the other attendees outfits, analysing everything about them, even to the point of seeing things that were simply not there. He knew it would do nothing for the Alpha image he had carefully cultivated over the past few years since he had rocketed to fame as one of the world’s most exciting upcoming designers.

“Harry, photo please?” one young girl called out and Harry smiled regretfully, shaking his head. The security team had asked that he not approach the fans before the event, that just waving up here from the platform would be enough. He hated it. He wanted to go and say hi to the people who had made the trek here just for him, but he couldn’t stop himself taking a few steps forward, the security men hovering nervously nearby as if he were under some imminent threat from the hoardes of teenagers and young adults gathered to catch a glimpse of him.

“Harry, you look beautiful!”

“We love you!”

There was a loud cheer then, and everyone joined in, waving and Harry quickly reciprocated. His head felt a little fuzzy at the immense array of scents he could smell around him from both the employees and the gathered crowds. As an unmated and unbonded Alpha, he was more susceptible to the enticing scents of similarly unbonded Omegas but Harry had long ago learned to rein in his urges, the ones that screamed to him to go and find a mate, someone to knot, fall in love with. He could smell everything from freshly cut flowers, to cinnamon, then vanilla, even a more potent whiff of what he believed to be lavender rode on the breeze, tickling Harry’s nostrils.

The joyous atmosphere was broken as a loud scream reverberated through the crowds, security men dashing forwards to control the scene. Harry could only look on in horror as the security barrier holding back the fans started to tilt under the weight of so many excitable people, and he took a few nervous steps forward, holding his hands out, willing them to take care and not crush each other.

“Careful, please be careful!” he shouted, eyes darting around, meeting the gazes of some of the more scared looking people, some of them pressed so tightly against the metal guard Harry knew it must be painful. “Are you okay?”

A young girl whimpered, and Harry walked forwards, ignoring the yells from his security team telling him to back off. Luckily, his presence somehow seemed to calm the situation rather than enflame it, and along with the coaxing words of the security guards, everyone started to shuffle backwards, a few people exhaling in sheer relief at being released from the dangerous situation.

Harry took a step back again, making sure everyone was okay. He could see a few girls with obvious bonding marks on their necks, proudly displayed for everyone to see, but the overriding feeling Harry got from the crowd was that these were unbonded Omegas and Betas, barely an Alpha in sight. Harry always prided himself on being able to identify someone’s presentation from afar, a keen nose helping him to separate Alphas from Omegas, and Omegas from Betas. Despite this keen sense of smell, Harry had never been able to find someone who had caught his eye, or his nose. He’d rarely been in relationships, spending his painful ruts alone, willing them to come to an end. He knew he had Omega friends who would be willing to help him out, that would make the experience more enjoyable, but Harry didn't want that. He wanted an Omega of his own, someone to knot and love, someone to take care of, that would take care of him too. That hadn’t happened yet. But Harry was only young, just turned twenty five, so it wasn’t like he was destined to remain alone forever. Or at least he hoped not.

When he was assured everything was okay, Harry took a step back again, only doing a double-take when he saw a head bobbing around between the gathered crowds. As he caught sight of the person again, Harry caught a strong scent of caramel, one of Harry’s favourite scents in the world and he closed his eyes, letting the smell permeate every inch of him. In desperation to see the face that belonged to that beautiful scent, Harry surged up onto his tiptoes, no doubt creasing the delicate leather of his shoes, but he didn't care. His eyes raked frantically among the crowds, heart falling as he couldn’t see the person.

Just as he was about to give up, Harry saw them again. He walked along the front of the crowd, pretending to want to see all of the crowd when really, he just wanted to see this Omega. Harry was almost one hundred percent sure this scent was linked to an Omega, and his body was virtually radiating his own Alpha pheromones to attract this Omega, to make them want to look his way. All he could see was a headful of caramel hair bouncing as the Omega walked. Harry bit his lip, eyes locked on the retreating figure, biting back a growl as he watched an arm come up and around the shoulders of the Omega, pulling them into another body.

It was then that it happened. To Harry, it felt like time slowed down, like he and this Omega were the only people in the whole world. Harry’s green eyes looked out over the heads of the fans, watching as finally the Omega turned around to look in Harry’s direction, confusion marring his brow. Harry realised he was probably trying to work out what the gathered people were screaming about, but he didn't care. The Omega eventually slid his eyes over to Harry’s, locking them together for a moment. The crowds and screaming fans separating them just disappeared and Harry felt himself hold his breath, hands clenching into fists at his sides with a need to touch, to reach out and claim this stranger, to make him Harry’s.

Harry had never felt that urge before. He’d been attracted to Omegas and Betas, wanting to take them to bed, to have fun for just a night. But this primal need to mate, to knot, to claim was a little unknown, and he swallowed, lips parting slightly as he wished he could demand, no, ask the man to come back to his hotel with him, to let them get to know each other.

But just as quickly as it happened, it was over. Arms of fans in the crowds masked Harry’s view as the man continued to walk away from him, and for some reason, Harry felt bereft, like his happiness had been stolen away. Where there had just been sunshine and hope, there was now only clouds and emptiness.

“Harry? Harry, you need to come inside,” one of the guards said to him, snapping Harry out of his trance. He nodded slowly, his head still in a fog, eyes still trying to seek out the man but in his heart, Harry knew he was gone.  A hand clamped down on Harry’s shoulder, startling him and he turned around, dragging his eyes away from the crowds in front of him. With a final wave, Harry painted a smile on his face and turned towards the building, ready to head inside. He nodded his thanks to the security guards as he walked by, muttering hopelessly in Italian, trying to convey his gratitude to them for keeping the fans safe, and with a final glance over his shoulder at the fans, he walked inside.

*****

Louis

“Let’s just get out and walk?” Niall suggested as Louis practically leaned across his lap to look out over the traffic that disappeared long into the distance. Louis just sighed, realising they weren’t going anywhere fast and as much as he despised walking, he knew it was the best way of getting to food sometime before midnight. As if it could read his mind, his stomach growled hungrily and Niall chuckled, patting Louis’ back as he reached for his wallet, pulling out a few Euros. “I’ll pay for this one, lads, you can all sort me out with drinks later.”

Everyone hummed in agreement as Liam thumbed through his little Italian to English guidebook, trying to find a way to tell the driver to stop. Louis, far more adept with the blessings of modern technology, grabbed his phone and tapped on the screen into his translator app, quickly pressing play so the driver could hear. The older man in the front seat nodded and indicated, inching towards the kerb where he finally brought the car to a stop.

“I was getting there, Lou,” Liam whined as he frantically shoved his little book back into his bag, barely zipping it up again before he was being shoved out of the car by Louis, who found it amusing to see Liam struggle.

“Thanks a lot, mate,” Louis called to the driver as he slid out of the back seat, watching as Niall paid for the cab, the light atop the car flicking back on to let any passers by know he was open for new customers. The gathered group of men walked away from the cab until Louis located the restaurant they’d been driving towards on his maps app, clicking the walking icon, smiling to see it was only a fifteen minute walk. “This way, lads.”

He took the lead, chatting merrily to Niall as the five of them headed in the direction of the restaurant. They’d only been in Italy for two days so far, another five ahead of them but Louis felt more relaxed and happy than he’d been in a while. They’d all decided on a lads holiday before the main rush of families hit the mainland in time for the summer holidays, and as much as Louis had enjoyed going on family holidays when he was younger, helping his mum with his younger siblings, there were times he just needed to chill and be a free and single twenty six year old Omega with no ties. This holiday had given him just that.

“Did you hear back from the Omega last night?” Liam asked Niall, who just shrugged, a small smirk crossing his lips. “Oh you sly dog, you did…”

“A gentleman never knots and tells,” Niall muttered as Louis just rolled his eyes, knowing Niall was really dying to divulge all the dirty details, never one to hold back. Calvin just laughed as Louis suddenly launched himself onto Niall’s back, the Alpha struggling to centre himself with the extra weight before Liam grabbed his arm, steadying him for a moment. “Fucking Omegas, honestly…”

“Oi,” Louis chastised, tugging roughly on Niall’s hair for a moment, his feet crossed at the ankles across Niall’s stomach, holding him in place. “So spill, Horan. Tell us all.”

With the encouragement of Louis and Calvin, and much to the exasperation of prudish Alpha Liam, Niall launched into a very detailed and rather graphic explanation of exactly what had happened the night before with the Omega he’d clearly headed home with. Louis had been sharing a room with him, and had been grateful for a quiet night’s uninterrupted sleep, not missing Niall’s snoring for a moment until he’d woken up, panicking about where his best friend had disappeared to.

“Alright, that’s enough,” Liam said, coming to an abrupt stop in the middle of the street, almost sending Oli crashing to the floor as he wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on, far too absorbed in his phone, no doubt messaging his beta girlfriend he’d left back home. “We all know what a fucking knot is, Niall, we don’t need a blow by blow account-”

“Oh, she did that too,” Niall laughed, making Louis cackle, twisting one of Niall’s nipples rather roughly, making the Alpha squeal. “Tommo, fuck off! They’re sensitive, you twat-”

Louis just laughed again and hopped down, ignoring Niall’s sighs of relief, coming to walk next to Liam. He could see a large group of people in the distance, screaming and making a lot of noise, and as confident and brash as Louis could be, he didn't always do well with crowds. He’d had one too many bad experiences with handsy Alphas thinking his arse was their property, and he could feel his heart start to race.

“Hey, you’re okay, stick with me,” Liam murmured, standing up a little taller, Alpha instincts kicking in now he sensed his Omega friend was concerned. Louis just grinned, trying to act as unaffected as he could. “Anyone know what’s going on here?”

“Uh, I think I read something earlier,” Calvin called out, reading something from his phone screen. “Oh yeah, there’s some sort of fashion show tonight. Gucci, I think. Gonna be some big names there, so that’s what all the girls are about.”

“Boring…” Louis muttered, rolling his eyes. There was nothing more dull in his eyes than clothes. They were something he wore to stop people seeing his naked body, although he’d quite proudly show that off given half the chance. Apparently, though, that wasn’t socially acceptable, and consequently he had to wear clothes. He wore what he liked, not following any sort of fashion trends, preferring comfort to high end brands that he simply thought were a waste of money. Not to mention that most of it was ugly as fuck, and he wouldn’t be seen in it if you paid him.

“I know it’s not your thing, but a lot of people admire high fashion and follow it. It’s what things like Vogue exist for,” Liam persisted, always trying to bring Louis to his way of thinking when it came to fashion. Louis couldn’t help but wonder how long it would take Liam to realise he was a hopeless cause, and no amount of persuasion would change his mind.

“You shall never convert me, lovely Alpha,” Louis crowed from beside Liam, the noise of the people getting louder now. Consequently, Louis was feeling more nervous but as he sensed Liam’s arm about to come up, he quickly shook his head. He didn't need that, not yet, anyway. “I’m fine, Li. Don’t worry.”

Liam just nodded and they kept their heads down as they walked closer to the screaming people, the noise becoming deafening for a moment. Louis pushed onto his tiptoes for a second, wondering if it was some popstar or movie star that was driving the crowds wild. He couldn’t see anything over the raised arms, phones in their hands as they clamoured to capture an image of whoever had caught their attention.

Thankfully, Niall, Calvin and Oli took the lead, manoeuvering them around the crowd as best they could, trying to avoid being jostled by the overexcited girls jumping around in front of them, screaming for someone called ‘Harry’. Louis still looked out over his shoulder, admittedly curious about the stranger who was drawing in so much attention simply due to their presence.

The group of men slowed down as the gap between the back of the group and an adjacent building got slightly narrower, and Louis felt himself looking over, feeling like there were eyes on him somewhere. Liam’s arm came around his shoulders, and in that moment, Louis was grateful for the contact, grounding him for a moment. He nervously ran his hand through his long hair and looked around, trying to see above the tall ponytails and phone screens, and his stomach flipped as his eyes came to rest on a startling green pair which were staring back at him. Louis kept walking, something in his body responding primally to this man looking at him. Somehow, Louis felt like he was staring into his soul.

He did a slow blink, not breaking the look, not for one second. The man, who seemed to be wearing some sort of white jacket with some oddly tinted glasses on his face, just stood and looked at Louis, ignoring the people screaming and waving things near his face, focusing the entirety of his attention on Louis. It was a strange sensation as Louis allowed Liam to lead him, but then he flinched, an unwelcome sensation becoming present in his trousers. Louis lessened the length of his steps, praying that the telltale wetness around his ass wasn’t visible to anyone else, hating that his body was betraying him in this way.

He’d never gotten wet from just the sight of someone before, and if he was honest, he was slightly embarrassed. He wasn’t sure if the man, an Alpha, Louis now knew judging from his body’s reaction to him, knew he was slick, and that it was because of him. He hoped not, but at the same time, there was something deep inside of Louis that wanted him to know, wanted this Alpha to know his sheer presence had affected the Omega so much. He cringed as his boxers began to cling to his butt, slick soaking into the fabric, and he willed Liam to now walk a little faster, wanting to get to a bathroom to clean himself up.

“You okay, Lou?” Liam asked, brow furrowing as he looked around, probably trying to work out the source of the sweet slick Louis’ body was leaking.  Liam’s arm pulled him a little closer, and Louis felt grateful for the familiar contact. He and Liam weren’t together at all, had never had romantic feelings for each other, never spent so much as a heat or rut together, but it wasn’t uncommon for outsiders to think they were a couple. Liam had always been overprotective of Louis, hovering near whenever they went out, taking care of him, much as he would if he were bonded to Louis. If anyone else acted like this with him, Louis would hate it, but he always made an exception for Liam, knowing it was from a place of love and care, not a want to own or claim Louis in any way.

“Yeah, yeah,” Louis hurried to say, hoping his cheeks weren’t flaming too badly right now. He got onto his tiptoes again when he lost eye contact with the Alpha, searching desperately around the heads of the fans still screaming out for ‘Harry’, but it was to no avail. Louis had lost him. Not that he even had him in the first place, but even so. His body felt like it was aching now, a deep chasm inside that needed filling, but as always, Louis had missed out. He was always attracted to someone he couldn’t have, and this time, he’d allowed himself to get lost in the eyes of a complete and utter stranger, someone he’d never see again. Typical. “Just want some fucking pizza, Li, is that too much to ask?”

“Never,” Liam grinned, tugging Louis closer to his body again as they finally made their way away from the crowds, the noise beginning to diminish slightly, much to Louis’ relief. He felt more relaxed the further they got away, but as they paused to allow a mother with her pushchair pass by, muttering her thanks in Italian, he couldn’t resist turning around to see if he could catch a glimpse of the man once more. He was stunned to see him resplendent in a no doubt hideously expensive white suit, stood atop the small staircase, waving at the crowds. Louis couldn’t make out his face but he couldn’t stop the smile crossing his face as he watched the man turn and walk inside, his broad back making Louis’ mouth practically water, his bum letting out another little rush of slick, making Louis squeak in discomfort.

“Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you?” Niall asked, curiosity piqued by Louis’ odd behaviour. They were used to Louis being strange, always playing up to the fact he was the only Omega of the group, lording his Omega status over them. Even so, they knew when Louis was being more peculiar than usual, and his cheeks flushed, hating that he was exposing himself. “Do you need a dark room or something?”

“Fuck you,” Louis laughed, sticking his middle finger up at Niall as they started to walk across the road, the restaurant finally in sight. “Now gimme pizza before I wither away to nothing, and you have to carry my cold, emaciated corpse back to the hotel.”

Niall just tutted and shook his head as Louis skipped ahead, barely waiting for the rest of his group to turn up before he strutted into the restaurant, demanding the most picturesque table they had, cocking his hip at the Alpha maitre’d, certain it would get him exactly what he wanted. He wasn’t wrong.

 

Tuesday

“You know, it’s the food that keeps me coming back to Italy again and again,” Harry mused as he swallowed down the last of the delicious pasta dish he’d ordered for lunch. He’d spent the morning with Alessandro going around and looking at some of the outfits from last night’s show, a privilege only afforded to those close enough to the Gucci Creative Director. Harry had enjoyed every moment of it, touching the soft and delicate fabrics, admiring the cuts of material, the way the pieces were crafted to the best quality possible. Alessandro was certainly a talented mind, and Harry wished he possessed just some of the creativity the older man seemed to have in bucketloads.

“Ah, not my company?” Alessandro pouted, making Harry laugh, grinning at his friend across the table. “You like the show, yes?”

Harry nodded readily, hoping to convey his love of what had transpired the night before. He’d spent the night backstage, preferring not to take any attention from the clothes his friend had designed, watching the models as they queued up to go along the catwalk instead. “Oh, very much. Utter chaos backstage, but it was a lot of fun to see it from the back, how much work goes into making it happen seamlessly.”

Si , crazy,” Alessandro agreed, tugging his hat down on his head a little further to control his hair from the light Italian breeze. “You see that Omega again?”

Harry had confided in Alessandro when he’d headed backstage after his slightly manic greeting to the crowd, and he couldn’t help himself telling the older man all about the Omega that had caught his eye, how he’d smelt his scent even over all of those gathered in front of him. Harry hadn’t been able to shift the Omega’s blue eyes from his mind all night, keeping him up late into the night, even penetrating his mind after the After party had finished. If he got himself off to the thought of the man in the shower that morning, only Harry had to know.

“No. He looked like he had an Alpha anyway, but god… he was so beautiful.”

“Ah, you are… how you say? Uh… smitten,” Alessandro teased, laughing as Harry’s cheeks flooded pink. “You have plans for this afternoon?”

Harry just shrugged. He purposely hadn’t many plans, hoping to drift around Rome and take in some of the beautiful scenery. He’d been here countless times for work but it wasn’t often he had time to himself like he had for the next few days, and he was determined to make the most out of it.

“I want to go sightseeing. Be a bit of a tourist for a while-”

They were interrupted from their conversation by a loud cheer coming from across the road at a less traditional Italian bar than the one Harry and Alessandro had sat at. Harry sat up taller in his chair, trying to see and when he clocked the group of men, he rolled his eyes, settling back down.

“God, tourists like that make me embarrassed to be British. Can’t they just act nicely, and respect their surroundings? Probably all gobby Alphas...”

Alessandro tutted, placing a hand on top of Harry’s, trying to calm the Alpha down. “They are having fun, Harry. Fun, no? You not have fun?”

“I have fun in peaceful and respectful ways,” Harry reminded his friend, unable to stop a small smile crossing his lips. “I definitely don’t get drunk like that in the middle of the day.” He glanced at the still half full glass of wine he’d ordered when they’d arrived. He’d then chosen to ask for water with his meal, and now the Italian sun was beating down on him, he was glad he’d made that decision. He didn't like being drunk and feeling out of control. “Are you heading back to the Museum after this, or somewhere else?”

“Work,” Alessandro sighed, locking his hands behind his head, leaning back and looking very relaxed. “Always more beautiful clothes to design, young Alpha.”

Harry allowed his eyes to close for a moment, only opening them when a waiter came over, clearing their plates. Harry muttered his thanks in Italian, pleased he always tried to learn at least a few basic phrases wherever he went. To him, it was respectful, and showed he was making an effort. He felt to not learn at least a few words was ignorant.

Another burst of raucous laughter filtered from across the road, and Harry sat up again, propping his elbow on the table, staring at the backs of the men he could see. A few of the faces he could see were red cheeked, and an evil part of Harry deep down hoped they were sunburnt and would be sore later. He smirked to himself, but stilled when someone else skipped out of the doors, sitting himself down in an empty space around the table.

“No way,” Harry all but whispered under his breath, taking in the checked t-shirt the man was wearing, the hair that he was sure he recognised from the night before. Annoyingly, from where he was sat, Harry couldn’t see the man’s face, but he had a brainwave. “Alessandro, switch with me.”

“What?”

“Seats, switch seats with me. Please?”

Harry knew he was pleading but he couldn’t bring himself to feel embarrassed. He had to know if it was the Omega he’d seen last night, and he was sure from Alessandro’s seat, he’d be able to see their face.

“Okay, but… explain yourself.”

Harry quickly got up and moved around the table, unable to drag his eyes away from the group across the road, who were now quiet given they looked like they were eating. Harry just stared, almost holding his breath as the man reached for a glass of beer, and when he tilted it back to drink, Harry gasped aloud, his heart beating erratically in his chest now.

It was him, the Omega from last night outside the museum. If it was possible, he looked even more beautiful, and Harry just wanted to storm over there, to introduce himself and find out the Omega’s name, hear his voice, smell his scent up close. He felt overwhelmed, but in the best of ways. He watched as the man laughed, how he threw his head back, a hand coming to press on his chest. Harry spotted his tattoos, making his stomach leap again. There was something about tattoos on an Omega that really did it for him.

“Harry! Santa cielo , what’s gotten into you?” Alessandro asked, swirling his wine gently around in his glass.

“What? Oh sorry, sorry, I’m very distracted…”

“I see this. Who has captured the attention of you, Alpha?”

Harry just shrugged, unable to put into words what was going on. He just rested his chin in his hands once more, eyes fixated on the Omega across the road, wondering if he’d ever work up the courage to go and introduce himself before it was too late.

*****

“Oi, Payno, share your chips,” Louis called across the table, grinning when Liam dumped a handful on the edge of Louis’ plate. “You’re a star and I love you so much.”

“Oh my god, get a room already,” Niall moaned from where he was sat opposite Louis. “It was a few chips, Lou, not the crown bloody jewels.”

“Do I see you sharing your food with me? No. So shut up, Niall.” Louis gave him the middle finger before he picked up a few chips, dunking them in his puddle of tomato sauce before he ate them, almost moaning around how good they tasted. He’d been late down to breakfast that morning so had only been able to scrounge up some fruit and half a slice of cold toast to his dismay. Therefore, lunch was the way to make up for that, and he was eating almost anything he could get his hands on. “Fuck, I love food in Italy.”

“You love food anywhere,” Calvin quipped, munching down the last of his burger before Louis could steal that too. “Why don’t you just order more food for yourself rather than steal from all of us?”

“Because that would cost me more money, silly Alpha,” Louis laughed, nudging Calvin’s ankle with the toe of his trainer, knowing his friends loved him dearly despite the fact he was always stealing their food. Being the only Omega in their friendship group seemed to give him a lot of leeway, particularly with the Alphas around, and Louis liked to use that to his advantage, although never in a way that would upset anyone. He felt his behaviour was endearing, anyway.

“Right, since Lou stole half my food, I’m gonna head off up the road and see if that tourist office is open to book our thing for tomorrow. Anyone wanna come?” Liam asked, eyes scanning the group, smiling slightly when Oli stood up to join him. “Cool, we’ll be back soon, don’t go without us, okay?”

“We won’t, Leeyum,” Louis called at Liam’s retreating back. “Don’t miss me too much!”

Liam’s resulting middle finger made the group laugh, and Louis settled back in his chair, the last few chips from Liam’s and Oli’s plates joining his own on his plate, not one to waste food unless he could help it.

“Oi, Lou, do you know him?”

“Who?” Louis frowned, looking over both shoulders, trying to work out who Calvin was talking about. “What are you on about, Cal?”

“That guy across the road has been staring at you for the past five minutes or so. I’m surprised you can’t feel his eyes on you, looks pretty intense- fuck, sit down, don’t make it so obvious!”

“Why not? I’ll bloody give him something to stare at,” Louis muttered, craning his neck to try and see. There was a posh looking restaurant across the road, and Louis’ eyes raked around the tables near the front, wondering where this mystery man was sat when finally, his eyes found him. Louis frowned before his eyes widened, sure he recognised him from the night before at the museum. The man’s jaw dropped as Louis’ gaze held the other man’s steadily, giving him a small smile. The other man quickly dropped his eyes down to the table, but Louis stayed where he was, quietly hoping he’d look up again. “Oh shit… it’s him. The Alpha from that museum last night.”

The group of friends went quiet for a moment as they all turned to look at the man who had been staring at Louis.

“Oh, he was in the paper this morning,” Oli began, pulling out his phone as Louis turned to scoff at the idea of Oli reading a paper. “Fuck off Lou, I was up before any of you so I grabbed a paper to read while I waited for you lazy arses to drag yourselves out of bed. He must be here somewhere… oh, here we go. Yeah, you’re right, he was at the Gucci show thingy. Harry Styles, apparently. Some upcoming designer.”

“Harry,” Louis murmured, liking the sound of the name. “Yeah, I remember people screaming at him yesterday. But I don’t know him...”

He trailed off as Harry picked up his chin again, their eyes meeting, only breaking the stare when a car drove through, eyes soon finding each other once it had passed. Louis felt a little surprised at how he felt to have this man’s, Harry’s, intense gaze hooked on him. He wasn’t getting wet like he had last night, but he felt himself subconsciously tilting his neck, as if to try and communicate he was unbonded, that this Alpha could take him. Louis had never been this way with anyone before, and it felt strange to be so drawn to someone he didn't know.

Somehow, it felt like they were having a conversation across the street, Louis hoping his eyes communicated what he was feeling inside, how he wanted to get to know this man, to find out what made him tick, what he wanted. He only faltered when he saw another man sat opposite Harry get to his feet lean in to kiss Harry not once but twice, a hand cupping his cheek gently as Harry finally looked up at him, nodding as the other man said something. Louis felt crushed, and quickly turned his attention back to his friends, ignoring how he now felt inside.

“You gonna go and say hi?” Niall asked, always one for wanting a happy ending.

“Nah, he looks busy and it looks like he already has an Omega or Beta anyway,” Louis mumbled, pushing his now cold chips around on his plate, all hunger gone. Niall just nodded and Louis appreciated how quickly he changed the subject, talking about the tourist bus they hoped to go on the next day, and how they’d all need to set an alarm for seven in the morning so they wouldn’t miss it, much to the displeasure of his friends.

Someone cleared their throat behind Louis but he ignored it, focusing instead on running his finger up and down through the condensation manifesting on the outside of his beer glass, lamenting on how it was nearly empty already.

“Uh, excuse me…” a deep voice rumbled from behind him, and Louis winced as someone’s foot connected roughly with his ankle.

“Ow you fucking twat, what was that for-”

Niall was making big eyes back at Louis, and he nodded just to the side, prompting Louis to turn around and-

“Oh. Uh, hi…”

Louis swallowed down his nerves as he looked into the eyes of the Alpha that was now bearing down over him, a slightly intimidating look on his face as he stared back at Louis.

“Uh, can I help you, mate?”

“Well, I, uh, I’d like to buy you a drink? Alone, if possible?”

Louis’ cheeks flushed red, radiating nerves that he was sure the Alpha would be able to smell, and judging by the light flare of his nostrils, he definitely could.

“We can stay here where your friends can see you, if you’d prefer. I don’t mean any harm, I just… I’d like to talk?”

Louis nodded and stumbled to his feet, clasping a hand down on Niall’s shoulder as he walked by, trying to reassure him he was okay.

He trailed behind the tall and broad Alpha to the bar, waiting patiently as he ordered them two half pints of beer, turning and passing one to Louis before he led him over to a small table for two. Louis felt grateful he’d picked a table where he could still see his friends, but somehow, he felt safe with this stranger, that he knew he wouldn’t come to any harm. As intimidating as the man came across, Louis could already sense he had a kind heart, and that he wasn’t an Alpha he had to fear.

“So, what was it you wanted to talk about? Don’t think I didn't see you staring at me from over the road,” Louis smirked, his sass slipping out already. He had a tendency not to hold back when it came to meeting new people, wanting them to take him as he was, instead of pretending to be a quiet little compliant Omega, which he definitely wasn’t.

“Sorry. God, I’m so sorry, I didn't mean to stare,” Harry stuttered, fiddling nervously with the copious rings adorning his fingers. Louis almost felt sorry for him. Almost. “You just… you caught my attention, and I felt like I recognised you.”

“Yeah, same. You were at that Gucci thingy last night, right?”

Louis couldn’t help but notice how Harry’s lips finally turning up into a smile at his use of terminology, and he figured he didn't mind appearing clueless if it made this man smile like that.

“Gucci thingy? If by that, you mean the highly anticipated Gucci Cruise 2020 show, then yes, I was there.”

“Righty-o.”

Louis reached out and snatched up his beer, taking a good few gulps before he swallowed and crossed his legs, one ankle resting on the opposite knee.

“I just realised I don’t know your name,” Harry said, looking a bit shy, and Louis grinned, shrugging his shoulders. He reached down to smooth his polo shirt, a gift from his sisters for his last birthday, over his stomach, well aware Harry was watching his every move. “I’m Harry.”

“Louis. Louis Tomlinson. Good to meet you.” He stuck out his hand, unable to suppress the shiver that rippled through his body as Harry’s larger hand encompassed his own, shaking it a few times. Louis was feeling nervous again, more due to the fact he felt like there was something more between himself and this stranger than just curiosity. “So, you just here for the show, or…”

Harry looked a little surprised at the question as he sipped his beer, leaving a little frothy moustache in his wake as he set the glass down again. Louis sat on his hands to stop himself reaching out and swiping it away with the pad of his thumb, wondering idly if Harry’s plump lips felt as soft as they looked.

“Sort of… I, uh, fashion’s kind of my thing, so I go to a lot of these. I know the lead designer at Gucci pretty well, actually. We just finished having lunch, and-”

“Oh! So that’s who you were with,” Louis exclaimed before his eyes flew open, realising what he’d said. “I mean, I noticed you with someone, and…”

“Jealous, were you?” Harry smirked, and Louis just scoffed, rolling his eyes, knowing hell would freeze over before he’d admit to such a thing. “But yeah, I was with him. Food over here is pretty amazing, so whenever I get the chance to come out here, I love it. I like to immerse myself in the culture of wherever I am.”

Louis giggled at that, covering his mouth with the back of his hand. “I’d agree but I’ve just sat and scoffed burger and chips, not exactly the most authentic Italian meal,” he laughed, grinning as Harry laughed back in response. “I’m not adventurous, what can I say?”

“Just with your food?”

“Blimey, only known each other for about ten minutes, and already here come the inappropriate questions,” Louis teased, enjoying how he was making the Alpha fidget in his seat. As much as he’d resented presenting as an Omega many years ago, he’d come to love and embrace everything that came with his gender now. He loved how he felt he could be as outwardly flamboyant as he wanted, how he knew Alphas were always incredibly attracted to his scent, and the way he could rile up an Alpha in a few seconds just by wiggling his rather curvy bum in their direction. “But yes. Just with my food.”

“Fuck,” Harry muttered, downing the rest of his pint in a few gulps before he slammed the glass down, making a few other patrons look their way.

“Did you just invite me over here for a beer and a chat, or to find out my sexual wants and desires, Harry?”

Harry quickly shook his head, the large mound of hair on top of his head flying around as he did so. Louis just watched as Harry raked a hand through it, watching the swell of his bicep as he moved, how powerful the Alpha looked. He glanced down at the tattoos on his forearms too, noting some of the pictures as well as the words inked into the Alpha’s skin. Some of them, weirdly, seemed to complement a lot of his own, but he pushed those thoughts aside as Harry began to speak again, his voice low, so much so that Louis had to lean a little closer to hear him.

“Can I be honest, Louis?”

“Sure,” Louis said, wondering what Harry was about to divulge.

“I saw you yesterday, before the show.”

“I remember, I was there,” Louis replied with a smile, but he stopped himself, sensing he’d interrupted Harry’s flow. “Sorry, go on. I do have a tendency just to waffle on…”

“It’s okay. Uh, yeah. So I saw you. At the show, behind all the other people, I mean. And… I’ve never been drawn to someone like I was to you. I’m sure I could smell you over everyone else, I mean, in a good way. I can smell your scent right now, and it’s just… shit, it’s driving me insane.”

Louis just gulped as he listened to Harry’s words, something no Alpha had ever said to him before.

“So when I saw you today, I had to say something. I don’t… I don’t do this, not usually. I’m not in the habit of accosting strangers in bars, in Italy or back home. But… you felt different. I didn't want to let you get away from me again without me saying hi, or at least introducing myself.”

“I, uh, I felt the same. I couldn’t drag my eyes away from you, and believe me, I tried. You’re pretty bloody captivating, Harry.”

Harry blushed at that and dipped his head, his chin nearly resting on his chest. From there, Louis had a good view of the top of his chest, at the swallows tattooed there and the cross necklace hanging down.

“I’d really like to see you again-”

“Um-”

“Everything okay, Lou?” Liam asked, appearing out of nowhere and resting his hand proprietorially on Louis’ shoulder, making Harry squirm in his chair. “Just checking in…”

“Sorry, I didn't know you had a- shit, I’m sorry, mate,” Harry said, quickly getting to his feet and stumbling off towards the door.

“Fuck-” Louis muttered, his chair making a loud scraping sound as he pushed it back along the tiled floor, making a few turn their heads to stare again. “Shit, Harry, come back-”

“Louis-” Liam called, but Louis waved him off as he darted out of the bar, seeing Harry’s retreating back walking too quickly away from him down the street, the sun blazing down on the pair of them. Louis silently cursed his too-short legs for a moment as he practically ran to catch up with Harry, finally reaching him, small hands grabbing at Harry’s wrist pulling him to a halt, attracting the attention of a few passers by.

“Louis, I’m sorry. If I knew you had a mate, I wouldn’t have dared to disturb you, let alone come on to you like that-”

“Will you bloody stop talking for a minute?” Louis gasped, still trying to catch his breath. “Seriously-”

He bent over slightly, hands on his thighs as he slowed his breathing, hating the fact he could feel sweat beading on his forehead, his cheeks probably red from the exertion of chasing the long-legged Alpha.

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Louis said, finally standing himself upright. “I don’t have an Alpha, Harry.”

“But I saw you… he had his arm around you at the museum, and just then…”

“Li’s my best mate, that’s all. He’s always been tactile with me, and I’ll be honest… I welcome the attention from him and my other mates. I’m the only Omega in the group and I, well, I play up to that sometimes. They’re protective of me,” he shrugged, unembarrassed at his revelation, especially once he saw Harry start to smile as well. “He probably didn't like that I’d disappeared by the time he came back from wherever he went with Oli.”

“Oh. Uh, now I feel a bit stupid,” Harry said, raking a hand through his dark curls on top of his head, nearly dislodging the sunglasses perched there. “So he's not your mate or anything?”

“Not in that way,” Louis said, tilting his head to the side so Harry could see that he had no bond mark on his skin. “I’m young, free and totally single.”

“Um, that’s good. Me too, by the way,” Harry said, a blush spreading across his cheeks. “Sorry I ran off like that, it was a bit daft…”

“Yeah, it was,” Louis agreed, nudging Harry’s shin with his foot, making the pair of them laugh. “Honestly, the thought of me and Li…” he giggled at that, a hand across his mouth, trying to suppress the noise from coming out. “God, I’ve never thought of him in that way. No. Just… no. Not Liam.”

“He seems nice enough,” Harry shrugged, leaning back against a railing now, arms folded across his chest. Louis couldn’t help but notice the bulge of his biceps as he did so, the way his black tattoos popped against his skin. “Are you… do you not want an Alpha then?”

“Oh, fuck, yes I do,” Louis blurted out, unashamed at his desire to one day be mated, to belong to an Alpha. To some, the idea of an Omega being mated to an Alpha for life was archaic, but to Louis, it felt right. He wanted to proudly wear someone’s bite, to be able to tell people he had an Alpha who loved him and treated him right. “I mean, one day. I think I like the idea of that sense of belonging. But not to Li. Or any of my friends.”

“Fair enough,” Harry laughed, smiling softly at Louis. “So… can I be bold for a moment?”

Louis nodded, the top of his head feeling warm from the sunshine blazing down on him. “Of course. Please do.”

“I, uh, I’d like to spend some more time with you, Louis, I really would. I have a meeting this afternoon I really can’t get out of, but tomorrow… I’d love to see you tomorrow, if you wanted to meet up?”

Louis thought about the tentative plans he’d made with his friends, and very quickly made the decision that he’d rather spend his day with this intriguing Alpha, knowing they seemed to have a connection that he just couldn’t ignore.

“What did you have in mind?”

“Well, I have a boat-”

“A boat ?! Fuck me!”

“Oh, I, uh,” Harry stuttered, cheeks reddening again at Louis’ choice of words. “Yeah, I’ve arranged it with a friend of mine. He was going to let me take it out tomorrow, and I’d love if you joined me.”

“Shit, I’d love that!” Louis said, trying not to appear too over excited at the prospect of spending the day out on a boat with a near stranger. “Do I need to bring anything with me?”

“Just yourself,” Harry said with a smile, pulling a phone out of his pocket. “Would, uh, would you give me your number? I can text you later, tell you where to meet me tomorrow?”

“Very forward of you, Alpha,” Louis smirked, accepting the device anyway. He tapped in his number, setting his contact name as Lou with a sun emoji following it before he passed it back to Harry, who just smiled when he saw what he’d done. “Since I don’t have your number, I’m expecting a nice message later on. Don’t let me down, now…”

“I won’t, Omega,” Harry rumbled, his voice low as they locked eyes with each other again. Louis shivered slightly despite the sunshine, and he bit his lip, his body responding to the proximity of the Alpha. “I need to get going, but I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“You definitely will,” Louis agreed, not thinking twice before he stepped closer to Harry, grazing his lips across the Alpha’s cheek. He could see Harry’s nostrils flare as he pulled away, no doubt getting a noseful of Louis’ Omega scent, and he smiled to himself, pleased to see Harry was just as affected by him as he was by Harry. “Goodbye, Harry.”

“Bye, Louis,” Harry smiled as he turned and walked away. Louis willed him to look back but he didn't, so Louis stayed put until Harry turned the corner, finally out of sight. He sighed to himself and pushed away from where he was leaning against the railing, slowly meandering his way back to the bar where he hoped his friends were still sat.

They started whistling in a teasing manner as Louis walked past the hovering waitress, taking his seat again, sighing when he saw someone had finished off his beer for him. He just blushed and fixed his gaze on the table in front of him, trying to relive every bit of the conversation he’d just had with the intriguing Alpha.

“So, you gonna spill then, Lou?” Niall asked, and Louis just smiled, shaking his head. He knew the other Alphas wouldn’t let him hear the end of it if he revealed how affected he’d been by Harry, and he also felt like he wanted to keep their exchange to himself, something just for the two of them for now. “Oooh, Tommo’s blushing. Must be love!”

Louis just laughed it off, but he smiled up as Liam came over and took a seat next to him, putting an arm around his shoulders again, wrinkling his nose as he shuffled closer.

“You smell like him,” he commented, looking a little surprised at that revelation. “What happened?”

“We talked, Li, that’s all,” Louis reassured his friend, before Liam could do something crazy like scent him in public. It wasn’t something friendly Alphas and Omegas usually partook in, but there had been occasions when Louis had needed it to feel calm, to feel safe, and Liam was always the one he turned to in those situations. “He’s a nice Alpha, really polite, and… he’s nice.”

Liam just chuckled softly, holding Louis closer again for a moment. “You already said that. But I’m glad he was nice. Got to say I wasn’t keen on the fact that I left for ten minutes and when I came back, you’d gone. Anything could’ve happened to you, Lou, you’re an unbonded Omega-”

“And I can take care of myself,” Louis cut in, hating when Liam babied him in this way. “Trust me, Li. I’m a good judge of character, and Harry seemed like a good one. He actually thought you were my Alpha, that’s why he ran off. What? Why is that thought so amusing to you?”

“Because if he knew you, Lou, he’d know that you wanting an Alpha was the last thing in the world you wanted!”

Louis blushed again, deciding to keep the truth about wanting to be a bonded Omega to himself. No good could come of revealing that information to his friends, not yet, anyway.

“Right? Anyway, enough of you lot being nosy, who the fuck drank my beer? You owe me a new one, and fast!”

Louis watched as Calvin got to his feet, checking with the other people around the table about their drinks before Niall got up with him, the pair making their way to the bar. Louis leaned closer to Liam again, suddenly desperate to tell somebody about the plans he and Harry had made for the following day, hoping no-one would be upset at Louis ditching their plans.

“Oi, Li,” he mumbled, tugging the sleeve of Liam’s polo until he was thigh to thigh with Louis again. “Uh, I’m meeting up with Harry tomorrow morning. He’s got a boat or some shit, asked me to head out with him for the day. I’m going with him.”

“Louis-”

“Don’t. Please. I know what I’m doing. I don’t know why but I trust him, Li. He seems like a good Alpha, not the shitty kind I’ve been involved with before. Like to think I’ve been burned enough times I know to stay away from the bad ones.”

“Are you sure?” Liam’s brow was furrowed in concern, so Louis rested his hand on Liam’s thigh, squeezing gently. “I’m just looking out for you, Lou.”

“I know, Li, and I love you for it, I really do. But I want this. Even if it’s just a holiday fling, he intrigues me. Plus he’s pretty fucking gorgeous…”

Liam laughed at that, ruffling Louis’ hair for a moment.

“He wasn’t too bad to look at, I’ll give you that. Just… promise me you’ll stay in contact, and that you’ll call me if you need anything, yeah?”

“I will, Li-Li,” Louis called, accepting the cool glass from Niall across the table, quickly sipping at the top of the drink before it could spill. “I might be an Omega, but I’m a feisty arsehole when I want to be. You know that.”

“I think we all do,” Niall piped up, raising his glass to the other lads. “As they say in Italy, salute !”

Six hours later

“Louis, get the fuck out of my bag!” Niall called across the room, but Louis steadfastly ignored him, sure he must have something lurking in the depths of his suitcase that he could wear that night. Harry had text a few hours ago asking if he wanted to go out for a few drinks, and now Louis felt the pressure was on to impress Harry with his outfit. “Oi, shift your Omega arse now.”

“You wish you could have this arse,” Louis muttered, wiggling it in Niall’s direction as he stood up, sighing at the fact there was nothing in there he’d want to be seen dead in, let alone in front of the Alpha he was determined to impress. “Why do none of you have any clothes that are even halfway decent?”

“Fuck off, Louis,” Calvin shouted from across the hall, where he and Oli were sharing a room. “Not our fault our clothes don’t meet your standards.”

“Twat!” Louis hollered back, holding up a middle finger even though he knew the Alpha wouldn’t be able to see it. “Liam… my favouritest Alpha in the world…”

“That’s not a word, Lou,” Liam chastised, rolling his eyes as he stood up from the bed where he’d been patiently waiting for Louis to calm himself down for the past half an hour. “You know if Harry’s a decent guy, he’s not going to give a shit what you turn up in tonight, right?”

“He might not, but I do,” Louis reminded him, hurrying off down the corridor to where Liam had his own room, ripping open the door of the wardrobe where Liam’s neatly folded clothes sat on shelves, a few shirts hanging nicely from hangers, the antithesis from how Louis and Niall had just let their things explode from suitcases still sat on the floor. “Boring, rubbish, horrible colour, just… no… Liam, there’s nothing here I can wear. Nothing.”

“Let me see your stuff again,” Niall said, the three of them walking back into their room. Louis waved his hand in the direction of his suitcase that was open on the bed, clothes hanging out of it, all creased and unfolded. He rummaged in it for a moment until he stood up, two things in his hand. “These jeans make your arse look magical, and this t-shirt is new, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, think so. You reckon this is dressy enough?”

“It’s a bar, Lou. And Harry seemed to like you well enough in the ratty t-shirt you had on today, so I don’t think he’ll be too put off by this. I like it. Go for it.”

“Li?”

“Yeah, I like it, Lou. Ni’s right. Not words I say very often, I’ll give you that, but he is. Now go and shower while I clean this mess up, I’m getting stress sweats just looking at it.”

“And this is why I keep you around,” Louis sing-songed, skipping through the mess he’d left behind and into the little bathroom, shutting the door behind him. He selected one of his favourite songs on his phone and began singing along to it at the top of his voice, ignoring the other boys calling to him to shut up, having far too much fun to think about letting them spoil it. Tonight was going to be a good night, Louis could feel it deep in his Omega bones.

*****

As much as Harry had been looking forward to seeing Louis the following day, he hadn’t been able to stop himself from wanting to see the Omega before they went out for the day on the boat together. He’d texted him as soon as he’d gotten out of his meeting, asking if Louis wanted to meet up at a bar that evening for a few drinks. It had taken Louis a while to reply, much to Harry’s chagrin, but when he had, it had put the biggest smile on the Alpha’s face. Louis told him he and his friends were already going out but that Harry was more than welcome to come along, that Louis would make sure he got his full attention.

Now, Harry was standing in front of the array of clothes he’d packed for his trip, casting a critical eye over them. Everything was horrible, or unsuitable, or just something Harry was sure he didn't want Louis to see him in. A loud knock at the door startled Harry from his woe-is-me thoughts, and he walked barefoot across the room before he pulled open the door, grinning at the man stood on the other side, garment bags hanging from his fingertips.

“Ah, your Fairy Godmother is here, do not fear!”

Harry laughed and stepped aside, letting Alessandro and his Gucci garment bags into the room, watching him reverently lie the bags out on the bed, along with a little black bag Harry was sure had a few extras for him to borrow for the night. He felt a rush of gratitude towards his friend, and stood next to him, body thrumming in anticipation of what outfits Alessandro may have picked out for him. Alessandro just smiled over to Harry before he started to unzip the first bag, revealing a silky black shirt. Harry couldn’t stop himself reaching out to touch the delicate fabric, loving how soft it felt between his fingertips.

“Ah, wait, wait, wait,” Alessandro mumbled, unzipping the second bag to reveal a pair of floral trousers. They were exactly the sort of thing the Alpha loved to wear; bright and colourful patterns that were sure to attract attention. He could only hope Louis would like to see him such things. “You like?”

“I love ,” Harry said, holding the trousers by the hanger. “These are… they’re gorgeous. You know me so well. “

“Ah, I saw you looking at them with love at the studio. I see many of these patterns in your first collection, Alpha.”

Harry just shrugged, knowing the other man was right. He didn't hesitate in stripping off the shorts and tank he had on, letting Alessandro get him into the outfit he’d chosen for the night. He sighed in pleasure as the expensive fabrics came to rest against his skin, fitting him like a glove. Harry wasn’t sure how Alessandro had managed it, but he’d triumphed again.

He stood still as Alessandro ran a brush through Harry’s hair, styling it with gentle fingertips before he stepped away, rifling through his little black bag before he came to a stop in front of Harry, a little glass bottle in his hand.

Si ?”

“Go on then,” Harry grinned, taking a seat opposite the other man, a hand splayed out on the table. He watched in awe as Alessandro carefully swiped each of his nails with the black liquid, taking care not to get any on Harry’s skin. Harry had long since stopped caring what people said about the fact that he, an Alpha, like to wear nail polish. It had been a bone of contention between himself and his Alpha step-father, but Harry had always been keen to express himself with his clothing, and he felt painted nails were the final step in the perfect outfit. Luckily, his mother was nothing but supportive, and had bought him an expensive OPI nail set for his sixteenth birthday, the pair spending hours together using each colour on each of their fingers and toes.

“Perfect,” Alessandro mumbled as he painted the final nail. Harry sat as still as he could, not wanting to smudge the perfectly polished nails. “This Louis… he special to you?”

“I think he could be,” Harry replied, his voice soft, breaking into the silence. He tilted his head back as Alessandro spritzed some Gucci scent over his neck and wrists, inhaling for a moment, letting the smell wash over him. It reminded him somehow of what he’d smelt on Louis earlier on, and he shuddered at the memory, hoping he’d have a chance to get close enough to Louis later on that he could smell him again. “He was so beautiful. Did you see him?”

Si , he was bellissimo .”

After a few more minutes sat at the table, Harry stood up and made his way to the full length gilt mirror fastened to one wall. He smoothed out the silk shirt against his flat stomach, admiring the tousled hairdo Alessandro had left him with. He looked good, that much he knew. He just hoped it would be Louis’ cup of tea.

“Have fun, my love,” Alessandro said, handing Harry his phone and wallet, watching him put both things into the pockets of his trousers. “He is, how you say? Mad, if he not like you.”

Harry just chuckled shyly at that, slipping his feet into his black leather boots, careful with the zips so he didn't damage his nails. When that was done, he stood up straight and look Alessandro in the eye for a moment.

“Wish me luck,” Harry said, a hand on the door to his suite, knowing Alessandro would see himself out later on when he was done. “See you soon, my friend.”

“Wishing you all the luck in the world,” Alessandro called before the door shut. “Have fun, not too much, Alpha!”

~

Harry pushed his way through the crowds as he entered the bar, his eyes frantically darting around for any sign of Louis. He came to a stop at the bar, conversations happening around him in rapid Italian that he couldn’t follow. He could feel the eyes of a nearby female Omega on him, and he gave her a short smile, hoping it wasn’t anything encouraging. There was only one Omega who was going to be of interest to him tonight, if he’d turned up, that is.

“Red wine, please,” Harry asked as a bartender tapped him on the shoulder, keen to get his order. Harry paid and turned around again, a glass of wine now in his hand. He thought he saw a familiar flash of a familiar body, but it wasn’t Louis. After ten minutes, Harry was beginning to get despondent and near giving up when finally, he saw him. He was in the middle of a group of men that Harry recognised to be his friends from the restaurant earlier, and Harry just stared, watching how easily Louis commanded all of their attention, dancing his curvy body to the beat of the music playing loudly through the venue.

It didn't take long for Louis to sense a set of eyes on him, and at last, their eyes met across the room. Louis sent Harry a flirty wink, and Harry just held up his glass by way of greeting, smiling softly at the Omega. He watched as Louis pushed onto his tiptoes, whispering into the ear of the Alpha that had come along and disturbed Harry and Louis’ conversation earlier on before he walked away, swinging his hips no doubt deliberately.

“Can I get you a drink?” Harry asked as Louis came to a stop in front of him, his face covered in a light sheen of sweat that just made him glow, his vivid blue eyes popping even in the dark atmosphere of the bar. “I thought you were going to stand me up…”

“I’ll have a beer, thank you. And no way, I’ve been looking forward to tonight since you text me,” Louis quipped, standing close to Harry as he leaned over the bar, grabbing the attention of a harassed looking barmaid. He put in Louis’ order and turned, facing the smaller Omega. He reached out, pushing a stray bit of Louis’ fringe up and out of his eyes, watching Louis’ eyes flutter as he did so, hoping he wasn’t being too forward. “I’m glad you found me.”

“Me too,” Harry admitted, quickly paying for Louis’ drink before he handed it over, watching him take a few big gulps. “Are those your friends?”

“Yep,” Louis grinned, his eyes locked on Harry’s again as they raised their voices enough to be heard above the din of the bar. “Protective lot, but they’re the best friends a guy could have. They’re all Alphas bar Oli, who’s a Beta. I’m the only Omega of the group, so they’ve always looked out for me. I’m sure Liam is glaring at us as we speak.”

Harry let his eyes drift over to where he knew Louis’ group of friends to be, and he quickly saw a tall, muscular looking Alpha staring back at him. Harry’s tummy swooped with nerves, and he made a quick decision, wanting the night to go as well as it could, and that meant get Louis’ friends on side.

“Can I meet them?” he asked, clearly surprising Louis whose eyes widened in shock. “Only if you want me to, I mean. I won’t be offended if-”

Harry’s last words were muffled by Louis’ hand pressing against his full lips, stopping him speaking.

“I, uh… I’d really love that, actually. Would put Liam’s mind at ease. Jeez, you’re not a typical Alpha, are you?”

“Hope not,” Harry muttered as Louis grabbed his hand, pushing his way through the gyrating couples on the dancefloor, all of them lost in the beat of the song pulsating through the building. He could feel his nerves kick in as they neared the group, and Louis eventually stopped walking, pulling Harry to him. They both looked at the curious faces, and Louis spoke before anyone else could beat him to it.

“Right, you lot. This was Harry’s idea, by the way, not mine. He wanted to meet all of you, show you he’s not a predator here to murder me. At least I hope he’s not. Anyway. Harry, these are my best mates.” He started pointing to each of the men as he introduced them, Harry desperately trying to commit their names to memory. “That’s Calvin, Niall, Oli and Liam. Lads, this is Harry, the Alpha I was telling you about.”

“Nice to meet you, Harry,” Niall said, sticking out his hand. Harry shook it gratefully before he did the same with Calvin and Oli, finding each of the men to be open and friendly. Liam, however, seemed a little more serious as he shook Harry’s hand with a firm shake, eyes narrowed as if he were assessing Harry in some way.

“Lovely to meet you, Louis talks a lot about you,” Harry said, sensing Liam’s chest puff up in pride at his words.

“Well, uh, that’s good. Louis’ like my little brother, I’m just looking out for him.”

“I’ll take care of him, I promise,” Harry said, feeling that was what Liam needed to hear. “I’ll bring him back to you at the end of the night.”

“Alright, that’s enough of that, Li’s not my dad, you know,” Louis quipped, brushing his shoulder against the Alpha’s upper arm. “Let’s get away from this lot so we can talk.”

Harry allowed Louis to take his hand again, leading him away from his friends and to a quiet corner of the bar towards a vacated table. They each sat on a stool, drinks on the table between them as they just smiled at each other, clearly nervous. Harry felt a need to fill the silence, and took in Louis’ outfit, admiring how well the jeans hugged his figure, how the t-shirt he had on hung low enough that it exposed his tattooed collarbones and made him seem petite. That was definitely a turn on for the Alpha.

“You look really good,” Harry said, hoping Louis would hear him over the music, which had changed to a familiar dance song. Harry tapped his boot-clad foot on the floor, and watched Louis’ eyes map out his body too, lingering for a moment on his thighs encased by the floral fabric. “I know, they’re a bit bright-”

“No, I love them. I really do. Not something I’d wear, obviously, but you pull them off. Not sure how, but you do.”

“Yeah?” Harry asked, never one to believe compliments like that. Despite the fact he loved fashion and experimenting with clothes, he was always nervous of other people’s reactions, especially when he cared about their opinions, like he did with Louis. “My friend, the designer at Gucci, Alessandro, he put this together for me.”

“You wear a lot of designer stuff then?”

Harry looked on as Louis lifted his beer to his lips, watching the bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallowed it down, the way the muscles of his forearm worked to lift the glass to his lips again. There was a scent wafting around Harry, something gently floral yet sweet, totally captivating, and Harry knew it was Louis again. There was something about his scent that was just taking over the Alpha, and he sat on his hands for a minute, willing himself to stay under control.

“Sometimes. I design clothes, so I like to experiment a lot, and occasionally designers like Alessandro gift me things to wear. I wore Gucci last night as well, at the show, another of Alessandro’s creations.”

“Ah, the white suit. That was fucking hot,” Louis admitted, entirely unashamed of his compliment, making Harry laugh. “Sorry, get a bit of a loose tongue when I’ve had a few to drink.”

“Definitely not a problem,” Harry said, allowing himself another sip of his rich wine, deciding there and then not to drink anymore that night. He wanted to be sober, to remember every moment with Louis. The pair sat together for a little while, making easy conversation about Italy, the things they’d been up to since they arrived, the things they still wanted to do. Louis listened intently as Harry revealed everything about the boat they’d be sailing on the next day, promising Louis that he was a competent sailor, that they were going to have a great time. Louis seemed excited, if a little apprehensive about being at sea all day.

“Did you wanna dance?” Louis asked suddenly as the song changed again into something with a low, dirty beat. Harry looked back over his shoulder at the dance floor, watching people dancing closely together, some couples making out. The scent of other Omegas were starting to work their way around the room, and it was making Harry feel a little heady, needing only to smell Louis. He nodded and stood up first, holding out his hand for Louis to take. They abandoned their nearly empty glasses and found a corner of the dance floor where they stood opposite each other, moving their bodies to the beat.

Harry thought Louis was mesmerising. It was clear the Omega knew the effect he had on the Alphas around him, and in particular, the effect he had on Harry. He smirked as their eyes met, mouthing the words along with the song, raising his arms above his head, losing himself in the beat. Harry’s fingertips twitched with a need to touch Louis, and he reached out tentatively, resting one hand on Louis’ left hip for a minute, above the waistband of his jeans. He could feel the heat of Louis’ body seeping through the fabric, and Harry could only imagine how Louis’ tanned torso would look without his clothes covering it up. Louis shuffled slightly closer and reached out, fingers wrapping around Harry’s wrist, guiding it over to his hip.

“You can touch me, I don’t mind,” Louis said loudly enough that Harry could hear, and Harry just nodded, a little overwhelmed. He followed the moves of Louis’ body as they danced together, singing loudly and tunefully, Harry admiring how beautiful Louis’ voice sounded. His voice was much higher than Harry’s own, and together they sounded good, really good. Louis was even closer now, practically pressed up against Harry as they moved, hips swaying, Louis’ arms coming up and around Harry’s shoulders.

“Louis…” Harry muttered into Louis’ ear as he dipped his head slightly, taking in a deep breath, inhaling Louis’ scent. “Fuck, you smell so good…”

“Do you think I’ll taste as good as I smell?” Louis asked lowly, making Harry’s cock twitch in his trousers. He wasn’t used to Omegas being so forward with him, and he couldn’t deny it was really affecting him to have Louis be so blunt. Instead of letting Harry kiss him as he’d been considering, Louis just spun himself around, pushing his body lightly up against Harry’s, the Alpha’s hands still clutching onto Louis’ hips. “Dance, then…”

Harry just nodded and began moving behind Louis, too aware of several other Alphas watching Louis. He glared at them, trying to convey that Louis was his, at least for tonight, that they weren’t going to get a look in. Harry was surprised at this, given he wasn’t usually a possessive Alpha, usually fairly easy going and laid back, but it seemed Louis was already bringing out his usually buried Alpha tendencies. Harry wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

The song changed to another one that he loved, and Harry didn't hesitate in tugging Louis’ body back fully against his, his crotch nestled perfectly against Louis’ round bum. He felt Louis let his head fall back against Harry’s shoulder, a hand snaking up and around Harry’s neck, tugging at the short hair at the back of Harry’s head. He let out a low moan at that, grinding his crotch forward. All of a sudden, Louis stilled, and Harry paused, afraid he’d gone too far.

“Shit, sorry, I-”

“Do that again.”

It was a demand, and Harry quickly complied, circling his hips, his hardening crotch brushing up against Louis’ arse rhythmically. It seemed that was all that was needed to let both men loosen up, and Louis began to push back, grinding himself now, Harry letting his fingertips dig into Louis’ sides as he held them together, ridiculously turned on. Usually, Harry wasn’t into public displays like this but there was something about this Omega that was making Harry throw his rule book out of the window, keen to lay claim to him however Louis wanted him to.

Without warning, Louis flipped around, his hands coming up to rest on Harry’s chest. His palms felt molten hot against Harry’s skin, and Harry shuddered, unable to believe this was happening. It seemed Louis wanted to be close to him just as much as Harry wanted it, and it was a lot for Harry to deal with, slipping into an Alpha haze. Louis stepped closer, their bodies as close as could be now, and he ground his hips forward again, the arousal of both men more than prominent behind the confines of their trousers.

“You can dance,” Harry muttered, ducking his head to brush his lips against the soft skin of Louis’ neck, a familiar scent washing over him again as he did so. He wasn’t sure how Louis felt about being scented, but Harry was struggling to hold back now, needing to do something to Louis before he went insane with desire. “Fuck, you really know how to move your body.”

“I try,” Louis murmured, his fingers trailing down and over the silky fabric of Harry’s shirt, teasing his nipples as he moved downwards, brushing over his stomach. Harry felt his muscles tense under Louis’ touch, and he decided to go for it, brushing his nose over the side of Louis’ neck where his scent gland was. Rather than pushing Harry away, the Omega just leaned into it, moaning as Harry rocked his hips forwards again, letting himself be scented, tilting his head to the side to give Harry more room. It was more forward than Harry had ever been with any Omega or Beta in his life, but he couldn’t hold himself back, not that he wanted to at all. “Fuck, Harry…”

“Sorry, s’this okay?” Harry asked, but Louis’ just reached up, his fingers tangling in Harry’s curls, pulling him closer again. Harry smiled before he licked over Louis’ neck, pressing a quick kiss before he sucked a light mark there, enough that he hoped it would still be there in the morning. “God, Louis, you smell so good…”

“Harry, just…” Louis’ voice sounded shot already, and he blinked slowly, their foreheads almost touching with how close they were. Instead of using anymore words, Louis pulled Harry down into a kiss, their lips colliding together messily, Harry’s eyes quickly shutting, hands against Louis’ lower back, keeping them together. Louis hummed into the kiss, and Harry took that as his cue to kiss Louis deeper, his tongue darting out to swipe against Louis’ lower lip.

Louis went easily, tilting his head to the side, parting his lips to allow Harry inside his mouth. It didn't take Harry any time at all to take advantage of that, allowing his tongue to brush against Louis’, tasting the Omega in his arms. It was everything he thought it would be, and more. Louis tasted of the beer he’d drank earlier on, but also something that Harry knew to be unique to Louis, something he wouldn’t forget in a hurry. Louis’ small hands were darting around Harry’s body, tugging on his hair and his shirt before one found it’s place nestled just inside the waistband of Harry’s trousers, fingernails lightly dragging against the sensitive skin of Harry’s lower back.

He pushed his hips forward again, hissing as his cock dragged against the zipper of Louis’ jeans, erring on the right side of painful. Louis swallowed down Harry’s moan, his small hand encompassing the back of Harry’s neck as they kept kissing, ignoring the change in song, lost in a world where just the two of them stayed, kissing and grinding all day.

Their kiss was only broken by a drunken reveller crashing into Harry’s side, Harry barely able to keep himself and Louis upright as the man apologised before he was led away by his friends. He looked down in concern at Louis, keen to see if he was alright, but he was stunned by what he saw. Louis’ lips were red and swollen, covered in both his own and Harry’s spit, and his eyes were dark and hungry. Harry wanted him more than he’d ever wanted anyone in his life. The Alpha inside of him was itching to claim Louis, to take him back to his apartment and take him, to make him his.

Louis surged onto his toes again, pressing his lips against Harry’s for the briefest of moments before he pulled away, wiping off his mouth on the back of his hand. His hand reached for Harry’s, tangling their fingers for a moment, standing still despite the dancers around them. They smiled at each other, ignoring their hard cocks. Harry could still taste Louis on his tongue, could smell his scent in his nose, and he longed to touch him again, to kiss him but it seemed Louis had other plans.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?” he said, and Harry just nodded blindly, squeezing Louis’ fingers for a moment, not wanting to let him go. “I’m glad you asked me out tonight.” He pressed one final quick kiss to Harry’s lips before he slipped away into the crowds, leaving Harry standing there, a little dazed and a lot turned on. Someone ran their hand across Harry’s shoulder, trying to get his attention but he shook them off, stumbling back towards the bar in a daze. He looked over to see Louis had made it back to his friends, and Liam just nodded to Harry, the Alpha nodding back, pleased to see Louis was safe now.

Now, Harry just knew tomorrow was going to be an amazing day. Him and Louis on a boat, on their own, all day long, basking in the Italian sunshine. How much more perfect could it get?

 

Wednesday

“Thank you,” Louis mumbled, handing a few Euro notes to the taxi driver who had dropped him off at the address Harry had text him an hour or so ago. Louis hitched his rucksack up onto his shoulder, looking around the boats bobbing on the water, eyes wide. He immediately felt out of place, like he didn't belong amongst all the grandeur surrounding him, and his eyes moved around quickly, hoping Harry would appear. He walked along the water’s edge for a while, hoping to see a familiar face. When he didn't, he moseyed over to a bench, sitting down and relieving his shoulder of his heavy bag, squinting into the sunshine which was glinting atop the beautiful blue water. It was peaceful, and Louis allowed his eyes to shut for a moment, enjoying the peace and tranquility.

“Are you lost?” came a voice, cutting into Louis’ alone time. He opened one hovering over him, a smirk on his lips. Louis already didn't like the look of him, an Alpha if Louis wasn’t mistaken, and he sat up straight, on the defence.

“No. I’m waiting for someone, but thanks,” Louis said curtly, hoping it didn't encourage any further conversation. He turned back to look out over the water, watching an elderly man fiddling with the ropes holding his boat to the shore.

“I can keep you company if you like,” the Alpha said, coming to sit too close to Louis for his liking. “Hate to think of an Omega like you out here on your own…”

“I can take care of myself,” Louis reassured the man, not bothering to look across to him. He reached into his pocket with his left hand, hand circling his phone, wondering whether he should try and get hold of Harry, to find out if he was running late. “Honestly, I’m fine on my own. I’m sure my friend will be here shortly.”

“No, I’ll wait with you, I insist-”

The man was cut off as a shadow covered both Louis and himself, and Louis smirked, his body immediately picking up on who it was that had appeared.

“I think you’ll find the Omega said no, so clear off.”

“Excuse you, mate? I’m just trying to be friendly here, what’s your problem?” the man replied, rising to his feet, aggression clear in his body language. Louis could feel himself slipping into an Omega headspace, shrinking slightly back into the bench, aware that the other Alpha would protect him.

“My problem is that you’re not showing the Omega respect by listening to him. He said he was okay alone, and you insist on harassing him. You can leave now.”

“Is he yours?” the other man challenged, and Harry looked to Louis, who gave a quick nod of his head, keen to put this to rest and begin to enjoy the rest of their day together. “Otherwise, you can fuck off-”

“Yes, he is.”

“Ha,” the other man scoffed, shaking his head. “He’s not bonded, mate. Don’t you think I’d have noticed that?”

“Bonded or not, the Omega is mine. You need to leave before I have to make you leave.”

Harry curled his hand into a fist at his side, the gold metal of his ring glinting in the sunshine. Louis stood up, swallowing quickly before he stood at Harry’s side, letting Harry slip his arm around Louis’ waist, staring down the other Alpha.

“Fine. Fucking prick tease.”

Louis could sense Harry’s Alpha hackles get up at that, but he reached down, holding Harry’s wrist, trying to calm him down. The other Alpha was muttering under his breath as he finally walked away, a white t-shirt tucked in the back pocket of his black cargo shorts, and Louis was more than pleased to see the back of him. He looked up to Harry, smiling gratefully at him.

“Glad you came along when you did. Wasn’t sure I was going to be able to shake him off,” he mused, watching as Harry picked up his bag for him.

“Sorry I’m late, Louis. I, uh, I hope I didn't overstep-”

“Not at all,” Louis reassured him as the pair started to walk off together. He chanced a glance over at Harry, admiring the small shorts he had on, how long his legs looked, feet stuck in leather sandals as they walked side by side. His tie-dye t-shirt was certainly eye-catching, and Louis noticed the Gucci sunglasses perched on his face as well. Harry looked handsome and powerful, even dressed down like this. There was no denying that. “He wasn’t going to take no for an answer, s’why I let you tell him I was your Omega. Thought he might back off then.”

“I hate Alphas like that,” Harry admitted, coming to a stop in front of a large white boat, more of a yacht, if Louis was honest. “That’s one of the reasons I was upset when I presented as an Alpha, that I thought people would think badly of me, that I was uncontrollable. Because that’s not me. I’m not like that, and I work so hard to keep my Alpha side under control. Even then, I was fighting my instincts to growl at him because I wanted to be the better person, to show him that Alphas don’t need to dominate an Omega, that they can have their own free mind.”

“Hey, it’s okay,” Louis said, stepping in front of Harry, resting his hands on his shoulders. He could feel the Alpha getting upset, and he was keen for it not to ruin their day together. Despite the fact they’d only really spent a few hours together, he felt a connection with Harry that he’d never felt with anyone else, and he was keen to explore that. “Harry, I know you’re not like him. I was totally fine with what you said, and I definitely don’t think you’re a typical Alpha. I think that’s what I like about you, actually.”

Harry blushed at that, and stepped across onto the boat with his long legs, kicking off his sandals as he boarded. He set Louis’ rucksack to one side before he held out a hand, encouraging Louis to step on board. Louis felt nervous as he slipped his hand into Harry’s, stepping off dry land onto the boat, and he stumbled as he arrived on the boat, Harry’s strong arms catching him easily, scooping him against his body so he didn't fall to the floor.

“Shit, I was determined to look like I’ve done this before,” Louis muttered, making Harry laugh. Harry reached over the back of the boat, thanking a man who had thrown the rope anchoring the boat to the shore to him, meaning they were ready to go. Louis straightened up his baseball cap and grinned at Harry, not too bothered he’d made a fool of himself already. “Are we setting sail, then?”

“We are. Want to come with me?”

“What, you’re driving?”

“Sailing, Louis. You drive a car, you sail a boat. But yes, I am in charge today.”

“Ooh, does that mean I can call you Captain?” Louis teased, not missing the blush crossing Harry’s cheeks as he followed him over to the bow of the boat, watching as Harry flicked a few switches on the boat’s dashboard, the low rumble of an engine breaking the peace. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”

“I really do. Do you trust me?” Harry asked, eyes open and honest as he looked to Louis, hands on the ships wheel now.

“I do,” Louis said, meaning every word. Slowly, the boat began to creep forward, and Louis gripped on to the edge of the boat, the sensation of the boat rocking beneath his feet a new one for him. “Oh god-”

“You’re fine, Lou. You’ll get used to it.”

Louis looked up at Harry’s slip of a nickname, but he liked it, liked how it sounded coming from Harry’s lips. They stayed quiet as Harry manoeuvered the boat slowly out of the busy port, and onto the open sea, the boat bobbing on the relatively calm Italian waters. There were a few other boats dotted around, but for the most part, they were alone. It was a freeing feeling, and as Louis’ body heated up, he stood and yanked his t-shirt off from over his head, letting the Italian sunshine beat down on his bare shoulders.

“Did you want to- oh. Uh, sorry, I-” Harry stuttered, licking his lips as he looked over Louis’ bare torso, not focusing on the ocean ahead of him. “You’re very distracting, Lou.”

“Trying to tell me you haven’t seen a topless Omega before?” Louis asked, walking back to his rucksack and grabbing a bottle of suncream out of it before returning to stand by Harry.

“Not one as stunning as you,” he thought he heard Harry mutter as he started to rub the cream into his shoulders, only wanting to accentuate his tan, not burn himself. He contorted his arms around, trying to coat the skin between his shoulder blades, failing miserably until Harry took pity of him. “Do you want me to help?”

“If you don’t mind,” Louis replied, handing over the bottle and turning around, facing the sea. It looked magical, the way the sun danced on the water, the only sound to be heard the low hum of the engine, and the light splash of the waves hitting the sides of the boat as it cut through the water. He shivered as Harry’s hands made contact with his skin, rubbing the cream in small circles across Louis’ back, up to his shoulders and neck despite the fact Louis had already managed those bits himself. “What a helpful Captain you are.”

“I try my best,” Harry’s voice rumbled from behind Louis. All too soon, the hands were gone, and Louis span around, locking eyes with Harry in thanks. “Will you help me now?”

Louis just nodded and watching as Harry removed his own top, revealing his own pale torso and the tattoos inked into his skin. There was a light scattering of dark hair across his chest, a cross necklace hanging down low between his nipples, and Louis wondered idly for a moment how it would feel to suck one of his nipples into his mouth, how Harry’s body would react to that.

“Louis?”

“Sorry. Um, pass me the bottle.”

Louis took his time putting the cream over Harry’s back, admiring how broad the Alpha’s back was, how soft his skin felt under Louis’ hands. He made sure to move Harry’s hair out of the way before he coated the back of his neck, trying to ignore the moan of pleasure Harry made as he massaged the cream in to the muscles of his shoulders, down his triceps.

“There you go, all done,” Louis said, reaching for the flannel he’d laid out to wipe the excess off his hands. “Harry?”

“I’m alright,” Harry said, not turning around which concerned Louis. He grabbed his wrist, spinning him quickly, causing Harry to lose his balance. The Alpha toppled into Louis, and Louis held them both steady, smirking as he felt the press of the Alpha’s erection against his thigh. Harry’s cheeks were bright red, clearly embarrassed about his cock getting hard around Louis. “Shit, I’m so sorry-”

“S’okay. It’s natural. I’m flattered, really,” Louis mumbled between them, bodies still close, faces just centimetres apart. “Nice to know I can still have that effect on an Alpha…”

“You really do,” Harry murmured, his tongue darting out to wet his lips. “Louis, I… I want to kiss you.”

“Then please do,” Louis returned quickly, leaning forward to press his lips against Harry’s. The Omega practically purred as Harry’s hand snaked around the back of his neck again, holding him close. Putting his hands on Louis seemed to be a thing for Harry, and it was certainly something Louis wasn’t going to deny himself. He felt his body go pliant as Harry’s full lips moved against his, not too insistently, just enough that he could taste Harry, could lose himself in the kiss. He hummed happily as they parted, shy smiles on their faces now.

Harry turned back to the wheel of the boat, guiding them further out on the ocean. It was so peaceful, and Louis looked back at the land they’d left behind, everything becoming just a speck in the distance. As Harry sailed, he wriggled himself out of his denim shorts, leaving him in just his navy swim shorts, hopeful that he’d get a dip in the water. The sunshine felt warm and inviting on his skin, and he toed off his trainers, leaving him barefoot.

He walked over to stand beside Harry, letting his hand slip inside the back pocket of Harry’s own shorts, cupping his bum gently. He looked up to see Harry smiling behind his sunglasses, the pair just standing silently together. The boat bobbed around for a while until Harry brought it to a stop, turning to look at Louis.

“Did you want to swim for a bit? We can’t go far from the boat, but we can just take a quick dip for a while?”

“Is it safe?”

Harry nodded, taking off his sunglasses, stepping over to the side of the boat.

“I’ll look after you, I promise.”

Louis just smiled and stepped over, watching Harry lower himself into the water, using his strong arms to support himself. Louis’ mouth watered at the swell of his biceps, and finally, Harry pushed himself away from the side of the boat, using his arms again to keep himself afloat. He could see Harry’s strong legs moving under the water as well, and Louis sighed, realising he couldn’t just stare all day, that he had to get in too.

“Come on, Omega.”

Louis blushed as he turned around, climbing down slowly into the water, shivering slightly as the cold water wrapped around his skin. He submerged himself, rising out of the water again to push his hair out of his face, feet kicking under the water, working hard. He smiled over at Harry, who was similarly wet, and he swam over slowly before he pushed himself onto his back, floating atop the water, eyes shut. He could hear Harry splashing around beside him, droplets of water landing on his face as Harry got closer, apologising quietly.

He reached out, flicking the water with his fingertips in Harry’s direction, laughing as the Alpha shrieked, swimming away again. Louis opened his eyes, craning his neck upwards to watch Harry copying his action, floating on the water too. Louis watched his big hands sculling, pushing him in Louis’ direction until their shoulders were bumping together, their bodies lining up.

“It’s beautiful out here,” Louis mused, eyes open as he watched a few clouds drift across the sky. The water lapped over his body as he kept sculling, Harry’s foot brushing against Louis’. “I can see why you like Italy so much.”

“I don’t want to leave,” Harry admitted, and Louis smiled as Harry’s fingers laced with his for a moment, using their legs and other arms to keep themselves floating. “Especially knowing I’ll be leaving you behind.”

Louis peeked across quickly, a frown crossing his face.

“When are you leaving?”

“Tomorrow,” Harry whispered, regret clear in his face. “I don’t want to, believe me. But I have a meeting I really can’t get out of, especially if I want to get my first collection out within the next year.”

“Hey, no, I get it. That’s important, like, for you and your career. Where do you work?”

“London,” Harry answered easily. “I’m really excited. If this meeting goes to plan, my first collection could be out next year.”

“Is Alessandro coming with you?”

Harry nodded, and Louis pushed down the bubble of jealousy he could feel in his stomach at that, pasting on a smile. They talked for a little while as they floated around before they started a splash fight, both men absolutely drenched, cheeks red and skin warm when they were finally done. Louis clambered up the ladder and back onto the boat first, collapsing on the wooden deck, splayed out as he caught his breath, muscles aching in the best way.

He heard Harry emerging from the water before he appeared on the boat, body dripping with water, and Louis just stared, uncaring that Harry knew he was looking. Harry sat down next to Louis, his knees drawn up to his chest, head tilted back. Louis watched a droplet of water run down Harry’s spine, and he traced the trail it left behind, goosebumps following his touch.

“That feels good,” Harry murmured, and Louis kept going, his fingers tracing up and down the column of Harry’s spine until their skin was nearly dry, shorts sticking to their legs. “Are you hungry, babe?”

Louis nodded, and sat up as Harry wandered off inside the cabin of the boat, coming back with an old-fashioned picnic basket in the crook of his elbow. He sat back down, Louis next to him, and he pulled out a variety of food, setting them down on the blanket Louis had spread out in front of them.

“Oh my god, you did all this for us?”

“For you,” Harry corrected, handing Louis a plastic wine glass before filling it with apple juice. “Sorry it’s not alcoholic, I just didn't want us to be at sea and drunk, doesn’t seem sensible.”

“No, it’s fine. Not sure I’d want to drink if we’re swimming and stuff, anyway.”

Louis accepted the plate that Harry had filled for him with sandwiches and fruit, admiring everything.

“You made this, didn't you?”

“Might have done,” Harry smiled, not meeting Louis’ eyes for a moment. “Hope it’s good.”

“It really is,” Louis mumbled, swallowing down a mouthful of whatever delicious fillings Harry had put into their sandwiches. They shared a bag of Kettle Chips between them, making easy conversation as they ate and drank, still half naked, the sun warming their bare skin. It didn't feel awkward in any way to be in that situation together, and Louis loved how comfortable he felt around Harry, how the sole of Harry’s big foot rested against his calf as they ate. All he knew was that he really didn't want Harry to leave the following day.

They had another swim after lunch, just lightly moving their limbs to cut through the water, not over-exerting themselves. They still made flirty touches with each other, Harry swimming close enough occasionally to brush his lips against Louis’, teasing, fleeting kisses that left Louis wanting more. He wasn’t sure how much of his scent was permeating from his body in the water, but if Harry could smell him, he’d know exactly how much Louis wanted him. The thought of Harry knowing that didn't scare Louis as much as he thought it should.

“No, I don’t want to get out!” Louis shouted from the water, splashing Harry who was now back on the boat, a towel draped around his shoulder. “I want to stay here forever.”

“You do realise you’re not a mermaid, right?” Harry called, towel drying his hair now. “You’re going to be all wrinkly and pruny.”

“You love it,” Louis called, reluctantly swimming slowly back to the boat. It was mid-afternoon now, and Harry was keen to get them back to shore before the sun started to set. Louis understood that, but he didn't want the day to end, knowing he’d have to say goodbye to Harry once it was over. “It’s so beautiful out here. I feel so… free.”

Harry held out a hand as Louis climbed aboard the boat, and Louis took it, letting him pull them together again. They didn't hesitate this time, kissing hungrily, Harry’s hands roaming around Louis’ body as his tongue pushed into his mouth. Louis just let it happen, the Alpha taking control. He mewled as Harry’s hand slid past the waistband of his shorts, cupping his bum cheeks, tugging Louis forward, crotches bumping together. Harry was already hard in his shorts, and Louis moaned into the kiss, sneaking his hand up to Harry’s hair, pulling on it gently. Harry groaned, his fingers digging into the flesh of Louis’ backside as he kissed him deeper, tongues working together, tasting each other.

“Louis, fuck…” Harry mumbled, pulling away from the kiss, a hand coming up to cup Louis’ cheek, running the pad of his thumb along Louis’ cheekbone. Louis nuzzled into the touch, a certain energy passing between the pair of them. “Omega, I want to…”

Harry trailed off, and Louis whined, surging up to put his lips on the Alpha’s neck, sucking a light mark there before he pulled away, licking over it for a moment.

“What do you want, Alpha?”

“Want to put my mouth on you,” Harry confessed, and Louis swore quietly as Harry’s palm pressed against where he wanted to be. Louis moved his hips forward, silently giving Harry permission. His heart skipped a beat as Harry slowly sank to his knees, fingers hooked in the waistband of Louis’ still wet swim shorts. Louis just nodded, and Harry leaned in first, brushing his lips against the swell of Louis’ cock, eyes shut as he inhaled the scent of Louis, making Louis blush.

“Alpha, please-” Louis begged, suddenly desperate to feel Harry’s mouth on his cock. It wasn’t very often that an Alpha got his knees for Louis, preferring him to be the one on his knees for them, so this was a lot for Louis. He looked down just as Harry looked up, his green eyes getting darker, lips red and full from their kissing just moments ago. “Please-”

“I’ve got you, Omega,” Harry purred, finally pulling down Louis’ shorts, guiding Louis’ feet up so he could step out of them. Louis felt exposed like this, entirely naked now in front of Harry, stood up on the boat. There was no-one around for miles, but Louis loved how he could be seen, an Alpha on his knees, just for him.

Harry traced his finger up the side of Louis’ cock, smirking as it twitched from the touch, admiring him for a moment, looking up from where he was knelt on the deck of the boat. It seemed like too long before Harry leaned in, parting his lips, tongue sneaking out to lick the very tip of Louis’ cock, collecting a small bead of precome that had spilled from him. Harry swallowed it down, and then his hand came up, wrapping around the base of Louis’ cock. He wasn’t huge, not like Louis imagined Harry to be, but for an Omega, Louis felt he was well endowed enough that he could satisfy Harry.

“Oh god,” Louis mumbled as finally, the head of his cock slipped past Harry’s lips and into his mouth. It was warm and wet, and Harry’s tongue circled the tip for a moment, running across the exposed head teasingly. Louis’ hand automatically flew down to rest on the crown of Harry’s head, not moving him, just feeling Harry’s head bob as he began to suck gently on Louis’ cock, taking him down until the tip bumped the back of his throat.

Louis moaned at that sensation, squeezing his eyes shut, willing himself not to come too soon. Harry’s mouth felt like heaven around him, the suction was perfect, and Harry’s firm grip around the base of his cock was just enough to keep Louis’ orgasm at bay for now. Louis took a breath before he looked down, watching Harry sink down on his cock again, meeting his hand which was stroking what his mouth couldn’t fit inside.

“Feels so good, Alpha,” Louis muttered. Harry’s free hand snuck around Louis’ back, holding his bum cheek, rocking Louis back and forth slightly. Louis went with it, letting Harry guide his motions, only focusing on how good Harry felt sucking him off, tongue whirling around his dripping head, unembarrassed by how turned on he was. Harry’s dry finger suddenly dipped between Louis’ cheeks for a moment, grazing down the cleft of his bum, brushing against his wet hole. Louis squeaked loudly, bucking his hips forwards, making Harry gag for a moment. He knew he was getting wet, slick beginning to seep from inside him at the proximity to an Alpha who was turning him on to this extent.

Harry must have smelt it and pulled back, a string of saliva connecting his plump lips with Louis’ cock for a second, a visual Louis thought was going to push him over the edge. Harry’s hand kept working over his shaft as he licked his lips, staring up at Louis, tenting his own shorts now.

“Getting slick for me, baby? Feel good?” he asked, and Louis just nodded, biting down on his bottom lip, willing Harry to take him back into his mouth. He let his eyes dip, watching Harry’s big hand around his cock, lazily stroking him. “You taste so amazing, Omega…”

“Don’t stop,” Louis whispered, and Harry nodded before going back to it, sucking Louis down eagerly. Louis moaned loudly, knowing nobody could hear him except for Harry, and he was keen to let the Alpha know how good he was making him feel. Louis gasped as he felt Harry turn his head slightly, making his cheek bulge, the tip of Louis’ cock pushing it outwards. Harry’s eyes met Louis’, smirking with his lips stretched around Louis’ cock, and Louis reached down, stroking Harry’s bulbous cheek, so turned on at the fact Harry was letting this happen so easily.

Harry hummed around Louis’ cock as he started to bob his head again, driving Louis closer to his orgasm. His hand on Louis’ ass kept him rocking back and forth and it wasn’t long until Louis felt the familiar stirring of his orgasm pushing through. Harry sucked him down again, his big hand working over the rest, sliding occasionally between his legs, cupping Louis’ balls, rolling them in his big hand. Louis groaned as Harry’s tongue swept across the head again and he popped off, winking up at Louis.

“Come for me, Omega. Want to taste it…”

Louis nodded and Harry took his cock between his lips again. Louis kept watching, mesmerised by the Alpha and his magical mouth, his orgasm hurtling towards him a rate of knots. He let his imagination run riot, imagining how it would feel to be fucked by Harry, to take his knot, to call the Alpha his and to have Harry bond him. It was with the visual of Harry biting on Louis’ bonding spot that Louis came hard, flooding Harry’s mouth with his release, a loud shout of Harry’s name flying into the air.

Harry kept sucking until Louis felt a little oversensitive, whimpering until Harry pulled off, licking the shiny head for the last time, an errant few drops of come at the side of his mouth. Louis reached down, swiping them off with the pad of his thumb that Harry quickly sucked between his lips, cleaning Louis off. They just smiled softly at each other, and Harry sat back down on his bum, patting the wooden surface next to him.

Louis sat, his legs still feeling shaky from his orgasm, and he glanced across to look at Harry, still hard in his shorts.

“Can I help you with that?” he asked, and Harry cocked an eyebrow at him, nodding slowly. Louis reached for the tie of his shorts, working at the knot as he pushed Harry backwards onto the deck, the Alpha propping himself up on his elbows so he could watch Louis, dark eyes following his every move. “Gonna use my hand…”

“Shit, yes please,” Harry said, his voice deep and raspy from having Louis’ cock down his throat just a few minutes ago. Louis’ nervous fingers fumbled with the string for a moment before it was finally freed, allowing him to push Harry’s shorts down his thighs, exposing his large Alpha cock. Louis bit back a gasp as it stood upright and away from Harry’s body, already wet, a slight swelling present at the base where his knot would pop later on. Harry’s eyes flicked over to Louis, looking at him with concern. “You okay?”

“Yeah, just… you’re so big.”

“Sorry, I-”

“I love it.”

Harry laughed at that, his stomach muscles rippling, making Louis’ mouth water. He reached out slowly, wrapping his slim fingers around Harry’s girth, smirking around the fact he couldn’t get his fingers to meet. They both watched as Louis began to move his hand up and down until Harry stopped him, pulling his hand away.

“What are you- oh.”

Louis just stared as Harry licked a stripe up the centre of Louis’ palm before he nudged him back in the direction of his cock, all but naked, splayed out just for Louis. Louis still felt exposed, still naked from before but he let his hand close around Harry’s cock again, stroking slowly, coming up to almost the tip before he went down again, hand resting against the trimmed patch of hair at the base of Harry’s cock.

“God, you feel so good, Lou…” Harry muttered as Louis picked up his pace slightly, marvelling over the size of Harry’s cock, thinking about how good it would feel to have that fill him up, stretching him open. Harry felt so hard in his hand, pearls of translucent precome dripping from the tip which Louis collected on his thumb, smearing it down Harry’s silky smooth shaft, loving how Harry’s eyes fluttered shut at the feeling of what he was doing.

“Love how big you are, bet you’d feel so good inside me,” Louis muttered, stroking quicker now, the wind dancing gently over his sweaty skin. It felt so good to be out like this with Harry, making the Alpha feel good in the open air, the wind carrying away Harry’s moans and groans. Louis’ grip was firm, and he could sense Harry was close to coming, his knot already starting to swell more at the base.

“Don’t… don’t let me knot, wanna wait to do that with you properly,” Harry admitted, his deep voice sending a shiver down Louis’ spine. Louis nodded and used his free hand to squeeze Harry’s impending knot, stopping it from popping as the Alpha got closer to his orgasm. Louis stroked him faster now, hand firm around Harry’s knot, the Alpha murmuring Louis’ name until he finally came, splattering over Louis’ fist and his own stomach, groaning loudly. His hips pushed up, feet planted on the deck, his cock gliding through Louis’ now wet hand until he sighed, collapsing onto his back, pulling Louis down with him, the Omega resting his head on Harry’s shoulder.

“Fuck, that was good...” Harry whispered, turning to kiss Louis’ lips gently. Louis hummed at the taste of himself on Harry’s tongue but allowed the Alpha to kiss him, not wanting to break the moment between them. “Did you enjoy it?”

“Just a bit,” Louis smiled back, curling up against Harry’s side again. “I don’t normally do this shit with Alpha’s I’ve just met. But with you, I feel… I don’t know-”

“A connection. I feel it too,” Harry admitted, stroking Louis’ cheekbone gently. Louis felt safe and protected in that moment, giving in to his Omega side more than he would usually allow himself to around an Alpha. They laid quietly for a little while, catching their breath, enjoying each other’s company in their private surroundings. “Does it sound crazy if I say I’m going to miss you?”

He pecked Louis’ lips again and Louis shook his head.

“No, it doesn’t. I’ll miss you, too. I want to see you again when I get home.”

“I want that too,” Harry said, not hesitating for a moment. “You have my number, make sure you use it, yeah?”

“I definitely will,” Louis reassured him, kissing him again. “I hate to say this, but hadn’t we better get back to shore? You wanted to get back before the sun set, and I’m getting hungry…”

Harry chuckled and allowed Louis to roll off him, using the muscles of his legs to raise his bum, pulling up his wet shorts, wincing as the fabric clung to him. Louis just got to his feet, walking across the deck entirely naked, before crouching down next to his bag, pulling out a clean t-shirt, boxers and shorts which he got himself into while Harry turned the boat around, pointing it in the direction of land.

Louis walked over and stood next to Harry, nuzzling in as Harry wrapped an arm around his shoulder, both of them staring out over the bow of the boat, watching it cut through the water, silence present but unobtrusive between them. It felt easy somehow, not how it usually felt for Louis around new people, let alone a new Alpha, and he wished that the day didn't have to end. Harry’s bare foot came up and brushed against Louis’ ankle for a moment, and he tilted his head, letting Harry kiss him softly.

Before they reached the mainland, Harry slipped away, stripping off his wet shorts and getting himself into a floral button down and some dark denim shorts, flip flops on his feet. Louis was watching in interest as he navigated the boat into it’s space along the water’s edge, clambering out the back, instructing Louis to throw him in the rope, anchoring the boat to the shore. He then helped Louis out, kissing the Omega again as they were both finally back on dry land.

“I don’t want to go,” Louis confessed, ignoring his pinging phone, all the messages from the day no doubt filling up his inbox. They kissed quickly, but Louis laughed, the phone still pinging away, and he reached into his bag, fishing out the device. “Fuck, it’s Li. He’s not bright enough to realise I won’t get signal in the middle of the sea, bless him. Hang on a tick…”

He hurriedly tapped out to a reply to the overprotective Alpha while Harry hopped back onto the boat, fetching a few things, removing his keys from it before he joined Louis again.

“Everything okay? He isn’t angry at me, is he?”

“Why would he be angry at you?” Louis asked, smiling as Harry took his hand, the pair walking off together. “Nah, I just said about not having signal, but that I’m safe and that you’ve been nothing but a gentleman.”

“Except for when I had your cock in my mouth,” Harry said, making Louis laugh loudly, shoulder barging Harry away, making him stumble. Harry responded by putting an arm around Louis’ shoulders again, holding him close as they headed for the main street, where Louis could get a taxi back. “I’d ask you to dinner, but I have a stupidly early flight, and I’m going to go straight back to the hotel and pack up.”

“You can ask me anyway, we can do it when I get home,” Louis grinned back, and Harry nodded, coming to a standstill in front of Louis.

“Louis, will you come out to dinner with me when we’re both home?”

“I’d love to,” Louis nodded, staring back into Harry’s eyes, electricity passing between the pair. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?”

“Look at me like you’re never going to see me again.”

“You promise that I will, then?”

“I promise, Alpha. No way I’m letting you go that easily.”

Louis pulled Harry down into a kiss, uncaring of the people walking by that could see their PDA. It felt so much like goodbye, and Louis swallowed down the wave of emotion that passed over him as Harry broke off the kiss, waving down a passing taxi that came to a stop next to them.

“This isn’t goodbye, okay? Just a ‘see you later’,” Louis assured him, running his fingers through Harry’s hair for one last time. “I had an amazing day, you know. I loved spending time with you, being out on the boat. It was wonderful, thank you for making it special.”

“Thank you for trusting me and coming out with me,” Harry replied, kissing Louis again quickly. “I’ll call you okay? I’ll take you out somewhere, woo you…”

“I think you did a good job of that today,” Louis smiled back, lacing his fingers with Harry’s. “I’ll see you really soon, okay?”

“You better do,” Harry whispered as they shuffled closer together, staring deeply into each others eyes. “Go, or I’m not going to be able to let you leave.”

“Fuck, I don’t want to,” Louis murmured, pulling Harry down into another kiss. They kissed quietly for a minute until Harry broke it, pressing his forehead to Louis’ for a moment. “See you soon, Alpha.”

“Be safe, Omega.”

“I will.”

Louis slid into the backseat of the taxi, letting Harry shut the door behind him. He wound down the window, stretching out a hand which Harry took for a moment.

Ciao, amore mio ,” Harry said as the engine of the taxi purred, the taxi driver clearly ready to leave.

“Soon, okay?” Louis called as Harry released his grip, the car pulling away from the kerb. There was a lump in his throat as he looked out of the window, Harry stood staring back at him forlornly. “Don’t forget me!”

“I could never,” Harry yelled back, becoming just a speck as the car took Louis in the direction of his hotel. Louis settled back against the seat, his rucksack on his lap, sniffing back the tears now threatening to fall. Nobody, let alone an Alpha, had made him feel this way before, and he had an urge to scream at the driver to turn around, to take him back to Harry but he resisted, sure they would meet again soon enough.

It would never be soon enough, though, that much Louis knew.

 

One week later

Harry reached for his phone as it chimed loudly again, snatching it up in excitement as it pinged with the arrival of a new text. His face fell as he saw it was from his sister, not that he wasn’t happy to hear from her of course, but there was someone else he’d been waiting seven long days to hear from. He read the message and sent a quick reply, promising to come to dinner soon before he locked his phone again, hoping it was a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Harry had returned from Italy a week ago now, and he’d text Louis the following day, not worried about seeming too keen given what had happened between them on the boat. His message hadn’t delivered and a few days after that, Harry had decided to try calling Louis, the call immediately diverting to an answer service. He left a bright and breezy message, telling Louis he missed him and would like to take him to that dinner he’d promised him, and for Louis to return his call.

He hadn’t though, and with each day that passed, Harry was feeling more despondent. He wondered if Louis felt differently now that he was back home and in his normal life, that Harry was just a holiday fling. Part of him wanted to shake that feeling away, knowing that what happened between them was more than a holiday romance. He had never had an Omega affect him like that, and he’d certainly never been that intimate with an Omega just a day after meeting. Louis was special, and Harry was feeling bereft without contact.

With a deep sigh, Harry turned back to his computer, opening up the new emails that had come in since he’d last checked them a week. More from Alessandro checking in on his designs, an invitation to another fashion event, and more junk he quickly deleted. He wished he’d thought to get Louis’ email address, or at least an idea of where he lived or worked, so he wouldn’t be stuck in this horrible limbo, waiting for the Omega to decide if he wanted Harry as much as Harry wanted him.

For now, though, Harry knew he had to let him go, no matter how much it might hurt. Louis was gone, a fading memory, part of Harry’s past.

Chapter Text

“You’ve got a face like a smacked arse today, what’s up with you?” 

Harry kept his expression neutral as he looked up at his sister, unamused by her words. He knew he was in a bad mood, but he’d tried his best to mask it, plastering on a smile the moment he’d walked into the restaurant to meet Gemma for lunch. As always, though, she knew him better than he knew himself, and had clearly seen straight through his facade. 

“Nothing. I’m fine, Gem, honestly. I’m getting the chicken wrap, what about you?”

“I don’t care about food, I want to know what’s up with my baby brother.”

“Gemma, I’m twenty five years old, I’m not a baby.”

“You always will be to me. Now, spill.”

Harry was about to open his mouth when a waiter appeared by his side, and he and Gemma quickly delivered their orders, thanking him as he took away the menus, leaving them with their drinks. Harry fiddled with the stem of his wine glass for a moment, wondering if he should be honest with her. In the end, he chose to go for it, thinking he had nothing to lose anyway if Louis wanted nothing to do with him.

“Fine. Well, you know I was in Italy?”

“For the Gucci thing? Yeah. I saw some of the pictures Alessandro posted of you, you looked good.”

“Yeah, it was fun. The collection was just stunning, and seeing the whole show up close like that was just amazing. I just kept thinking… maybe that could be me one day, you know? Showing my own collection, having people turn up to see the clothes I’ve designed. That’s my dream.”

“It will be you,” Gemma reassured her brother, reaching for a piece of bread from the basket at the side of the table. “But that’s not what’s really on your mind.”

Harry sighed, wishing Gemma couldn’t see through his front so easily. It was true he’d been in a funk since he’d got back from Italy, trying in vain to get hold of Louis. He’d sent several messages a day but as the days passed and no contact was made, Harry’s hope was fading, and he hadn’t even bothered trying to contact Louis for two days now, getting the hint that the Omega wanted nothing more to do with him. 

“No, I suppose it isn’t,” Harry said, deciding that, as always with his sister, honesty was the best policy. His mind drifted away to thoughts of Louis and himself again, sadness settling deeply in his bones. “I just… I’m not sure I want to talk about it.”

“You know it’ll help. When has talking to me ever not helped you feel better about stuff?” Gemma asked, reaching across the table and setting her hand on top of Harry’s for a moment. “I’m not going to push you, Harry, but I’m here if you want-”

“I met someone in Italy,” Harry blurted out, unable to hold the words in any more. Gemma barely flinched, just nodding, waiting for her brother to continue talking. “An Omega. He was… fuck, he was everything, Gem.”

“Wow. Okay. Was he Italian? You met him at the Gucci thing?”

Harry couldn’t help himself from laughing, imagining bumping into Louis in the midst of the show, the poor Omega looking all confused about why he was at a high fashion show.

“No. Not Italian, and no, I definitely didn't meet him at the show. Think that’s probably his idea of hell, actually.”

“Where then?”

“He was passing by when I was going in to the Museum. I only got a glimpse of him but I could smell him, Gemma. Like, really strongly. I’ve never had this with an Omega before. But I saw him again the next day, across the road from where I was eating with Alessandro. I managed to be brave enough to go over and say hi and… the rest is history,” he finished with a shrug, well aware his cheeks were blushing as he recalled the time he’d spent with Louis.

“Well, that sounds amazing. Doesn’t really explain why you’ve been miserable since you arrived here though?”

“I haven’t heard from him,” Harry mumbled, fiddling with a sugar packet between his fingertips as something to do, a distraction of sorts. “I mean, we swapped numbers and stuff over there, so I know he’s got mine. We, uh, we were a bit intimate on the boat I took him out on, and when he left, he promised that he’d be in touch, that we’d see each other again.”

“So where’s he gone?”

Harry shrugged again, wishing he had the answer to that question himself. 

“No idea. We didn't get as far as discussing where we lived or work. We were, um, I guess… lost in the moment? Anyway, I called him as soon as I could, when he told me he’d be back. I just got his answer machine, and my texts have been ignored. I guess I was just a holiday fling for him.”

“And that’s not what you wanted him to be for you?”

“I didn't think that’s what he intended at all, Gem. He seemed really genuine when he told me he wanted to see me again. I mean, I had to nearly physically put him in the taxi after our day together. I suppose it was all an act, though. Just feels shitty because I felt there was something there, something I’ve never felt before. I don’t… fool around with guys on the first date, that’s not me.  But something about him made me want to, and he didn't make me feel shitty for it. It felt natural, like it was how we were meant to be with each other. We had a connection, Gem.”

“Ah, I’m sorry,” Gemma started, sitting back slightly when the waiter brought over their meals. “Nothing worse than connecting with someone and having them feel differently in the cold light of day. You’ll just have to try and forget about him, focus on work, meet someone else.”

Harry spudded a piece of tomato and cucumber onto his fork, putting them between his lips as he pondered Gemma’s words, debating if that was something he could, or rather, wanted to do. 

“I’m not really sure that’s what I want. I meant it when I said he was different from any other Omega I’ve been with, Gem. That’s why this hurts so much. I’m like- shit, I’m yearning for him. I wake up every day and my body is crying to be with that Omega, to find him and make him mine. It hurts like fuck, but I can’t just turn my feelings off like a tap.”

“Did you… knot him?” Gemma asked incredulously, clearly trying to work out why the Alpha was so gone for Louis. “Is that why-”

“No! God, Gemma, no. We didn't have sex, we just… we fooled around a bit. I think if I’d have knotted him, I’d be feeling even worse.”

There was quiet for a while as they both ate. Harry felt like he was pushing his food around his plate more than he was actually eating anything, his appetite a little suppressed thanks to how he was feeling. 

“All I know is his name is Louis, and he’s got some great mates who really care about him, and he made an impact on me that I’m sure is going to last a lot longer than anything else I’ve ever felt in my life. And the other thing I know is that I miss him so much, it hurts.”

Harry dropped his fork to the table with a loud clang, ignoring the other diners who looked over in concern as he covered his face with his hands, trying desperately not to cry. Harry was most definitely an Alpha in tune with his sensitive side, and although other Alphas at school and at his first job had scoffed at Harry’s outward display of emotions, he’d never been afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. It was why he hadn’t been afraid to be honest with Louis about his feelings, and now, he just felt like it had come back to bite him on the bum.

“Oh, love,” Gemma said, hurrying around the table and crouching next to her brother, a comforting hand on his arm, rubbing up and down to soothe him. “I know it doesn’t help you, but what will be, will be. If he’s meant to be with you, he’ll find his way back to you. If not, then... “

She trailed off, and neither of them needed to hear that sentence become finished. She stood back up and took her seat again, looking over at Harry with concern. 

“Seriously, Haz, you have to try and forget about it. You’ve got so much exciting stuff going on with work… don’t let this drag you down. That collection has got to be submitted in, what is it, a month? So focus on that, and do the best you can. This is everything you’ve ever wanted, Harry, a chance to have items in a collection under a big fashion house. Don’t let a holiday romance ruin everything you’ve worked years for.”

Harry nodded, putting his knife and fork together on the plate, knowing he wasn’t going to eat anymore.

“You’re right, I know you are. I just wish it was as easy to forget him as it sounds, that’s all.”

*****

“Right, who took my lunch? Wankers!”

The others in Louis’ office erupted in laughter at his outburst, and Louis just shook his head, grabbing his emergency stash of biscuits from his top drawer, setting two down next to his keyboard. He glanced over at his diary, pleased to see he didn't have any more appointments that afternoon which meant he’d be able to catch up on some paperwork that had been lingering around since he’d gotten back from Italy. A promotion was good in terms of finances, but it was more responsibility and a lot more paperwork that Louis hadn’t anticipated in the slightest. 

Only the sound of the radio could be heard in the background as everyone got back to work, Calvin sitting along at the next desk to Louis. They’d worked together for years now, and Louis liked having someone so close to him at the office. The peace and quiet was broken by Louis’ phone ringing loudly on the desk, an unknown number lighting up the screen and he reached to snatch it up, heart racing as he answered it.

“Louis Tomlinson speaking. Oh, yes. Of course, Wednesday is great. Thank you very much for calling. Bye bye.”

“You answered that bloody quickly,” Calvin quipped, his eyebrow raised as Louis put his phone back on the desk. “You know it can’t be him, right? He doesn’t have your new number, Lou.”

“I know,” Louis sighed, sitting back in his chair, feet swinging where they couldn’t quite reach the floor. “Doesn’t mean I don’t hope every time it rings that somehow Harry got my number and is calling me to meet up. Stupid Niall, this is all his fault.”

“Well not really, Lou. Who balances their phone on the edge of the bathtub?”

“Me! So I can listen to music when I’m relaxing. And, I must add, I did not invite him into my bathroom mid-bath, so it’s entirely his clumsy arse fault.”

Calvin fell silent then, knowing there was no point in arguing with Louis when he was in this mood. Louis had been devastated when just twelve hours after arriving home from Italy, Niall had barged his way into Louis’ bathroom, sending Louis’ phone tumbling from the edge of the tub to the bottom of the pink-tinged water. Louis had set it in a bowl of rice for nearly three days to no avail before he admitted defeat - that his phone was entirely dead, and that the contents were lost forever. Liam had tried to help him out with iCloud, but Louis hadn’t bothered to set it up. He’d cried when he had realised that meant he’d lost all ways of contacting Harry as well, and had only just started to cheer up.

It had been a rough week for Louis after that. He’d taken a few days off work, with Liam calling his boss to wangle a bit of time off, knowing Louis was in no place to be organising events for such a prestigious place as the V&A in the state he was in. Louis had drunk too much, cried too many tears, and both Niall and Liam had taken it in turns to sit with him, letting him cry onto their shoulders, wailing about how he’d lost his Alpha, that he was going to end up lonely and alone, living in an annexe at one of their houses like Joey from Friends. 

Despite his breakdown, Louis had made his friends vow not to tell anyone else about his fling with Harry, especially not his mum. She’d appeared at Louis’ flat for a dinner, and several times Louis had had to kick Niall under the table (Niall, hearing there was free food, had of course appeared just as Louis had served up) when he almost let Harry’s name slip. Louis had known no good could come of his mother finding about Louis hooking up with a new Alpha, let alone one he was sure he had strong feelings for. It was Louis’ own burden to bear, and he was determined to work through his sorrow on his own, and in his own way.

He came back to earth when Calvin rested a hand on Louis’ forearm, concern etched into his features.

“Seriously, Lou. Have you tried googling Harry or anything?”

“Yeah,” Louis admitted, not wanting to admit fully to how long he’d spent trawling the web for any sign of Harry. “I’ve found a few pages he appears on but there’s no way to contact him from them. It’s probably time I gave up, let’s be honest. He was a holiday fling, an amazing one, but a fling nonetheless.”

“That’s a lie, but if it makes you feel better, you tell yourself that,” Calvin muttered, stealing one of Louis’ biscuits while his back was turned. “He was special to you, Lou. We could all see that.”

“He was a nice Alpha with a big cock. We had fun, alright? Let’s just leave it.”

Louis hated putting on this front, acting like Harry was nothing more than his gender and a bit of fun, but it was his way of protecting himself, especially when his friends brought up the Alpha he missed desperately. He dreamt about Harry, thought about the time they spent on the boat together, how it felt to kiss him, to feel his body against him. How easy it was to talk to him, how perfect it felt to be with him. Now, though, that was all gone.

The intercom buzzed, and Louis was grateful for the distraction, pressing the button to reply to the call.

“Yeah, Kayleigh?”

“There’s a package down here for you, Lou. You need to sign for it.”

“Alright, love, I’ll come down.”

Louis left the office and wandered downstairs, nodding his hellos to a few colleagues as he passed them. He was popular at work, always one of the staff members people went to with problems or just to chat, and if he was honest, Louis loved his job. He loved feeling needed, he loved the way running an event fell on his shoulders, basking in the success each one always turned out to be. 

He arrived at the reception desk, chatting to Kayleigh for a minute before he took the box, which looked to be a series of leaflets he’d requested to be printed for an upcoming event, and was balancing it and trying to pull one out of the box, about to head away from the main floor when he bumped into someone, causing them to drop whatever book had been in their hand.

“Sorry, mate,” he mumbled in apology, head still down as he pushed his way through the staff only door, lanyard swinging from his neck. Normally, Louis would have stopped to help, but his arms were aching from supporting the heavy box, and Louis didn't look back, keen to get back upstairs before Calvin raided his biscuit stash.

*****

The next morning

Harry reached for his coffee, taking a long sip of the hot, dark liquid, letting it slither down his throat. He’d been in his small office since six that morning, unable to sleep as he had been since he’d returned from Italy without Louis, and he was already on his third coffee. He knew it wasn’t particularly healthy to live like this, but at the moment, Harry could see no alternative. He’d worked on some new designs, most of them ending up crumpled and in the bin, but Harry couldn’t bring himself to take a break, or even just leave the office for a week.

There was a loud knocking at the door, and Harry peered at the old-fashioned clock mounted to the wall, brow furrowing when he saw it was only just gone eight, far too early for any colleagues to be calling. He stood himself up, back cracking from being hunched in the same position for a couple of hours, and he unlocked the door, pulling it open slowly in case someone he didn't want to see was on the other side.

“Harry, ciao!” 

“Alessandro?”

Harry stepped to one side as his Italian friend let himself in. He wrinkled his nose at the smell permeating from the beta, something Harry wasn’t used to, and he couldn’t stop himself from questioning Alessandro.

“Alessandro, you smell like-”

“Omega? Si, certamente,” the older man grinned, and Harry chuckled, letting the door to his office close behind them both. “Sorry for the early wake up call…”

“Not at all. Can I get you a coffee?”

“Ah, yes, please,” Alessandro said, arranging his limbs on Harry’s sofa. It was an expense that Harry had been insistent on splurging on when he’d signed the lease for his small office space, his design studio, he preferred to tell anyone that he met. Really, it was one tiny room with a little bathroom, and a tiny kitchenette, but for Harry, it was perfect. 

“There you are,” Harry said, sitting back down in his chair once Alessandro had got his drink, looking more than at home. “I didn't realise you were back here already, to what do I owe the pleasure?”

Scusate?”

Harry laughed softly, forgetting Alessandro didn't understand a lot of his British-isms.

“Uh, basically… what can I do for you? Is this business or pleasure?”

“Oh, most definitely pleasure,” the beta crowed, waggling his eyebrows at Harry. “I have some news for you.”

Harry sat quietly, waiting for Alessandro to say something more. He didn't.

“Well, are you going to tell me?”

“You must guess.”

Harry sighed, really not in the mood for playing games, but he decided to indulge his friend.

“Uh, is it about Gucci?”

Alessandro shook his head, pressing his lips together, looking like the cat who had got the cream.

“Uh, my designs?”

Another shake of the head.

“The Omega you spent the night with? Your family? Oh, I give up, just tell me.”

There was a pregnant pause for a moment and Alessandro sat up, rocking side to side in his chair, clearly excited to share his news.

“I saw Louis.”

Harry’s heart skipped a beat. His mouth suddenly felt ridiculously dry, and he clutched the edge of his seat, knuckles going white with his death grip on it. He swallowed, eyes not moving from Alessandro’s, trying to see if he was playing a cruel joke on him.

“You- where? When? Uh, oh god-”

He started breathing shallowly, his heart racing, and he sensed rather than saw Alessandro get up, coming to sit on the coffee table in front of him, placing his hands on Harry's knees.

“Sorry, Harry, I’m sorry. Breathe, amore mio.”

He disappeared, returning seconds later with a glass of water that Harry took with shaking hands, taking a sip, spilling a few drops down the soft yellow shirt he had on that morning. He barely flinched, which told Alessandro exactly how out of it he was. After a moment, he felt ready to talk.

“Was this in London?” he practically whispered. The thought that Louis was in the same city as him and that they could bump into each other at any moment was almost too much to bear. Realistically, Harry knew that the city was huge, that the chance of bumping into his own sister was remote enough, let alone the man he’d fallen for and was desperate to see.

“Yes, London. The Victoria and Albert museum. I think he works there, he looked busy. Important.”

Harry frowned, a little surprised by that revelation. It didn't seem to be the sort of place Louis would work, but Harry just exhaled slowly, trying to calm down his rapid heart rate. “Did he see you?”

“No. He busy, bumped into me, say sorry and go.”

Harry nodded, his hands still shaking where they were sat in his lap. 

“What do I do?”

“You go see him,” Alessandro said with a wide smile, as if it was the most obvious answer in the world. “You miss him. Go. See if he want you too.”

“I can’t,” Harry mumbled, fear like a vice around his heart. “What if… what if he doesn’t want to see me? He hasn’t got in contact with me, he clearly isn’t interested.”

“Try. What you have to lose? If he say no, you lost him anyway. If he say yes, all dreams may come true.”

Harry mulled over Alessandro’s words in his mind. On the one hand, the Beta was right. He didn't really have anything to lose. As of this moment, he didn't have Louis in his life in any way, shape or form. If Louis admitted he didn't want a relationship with Harry, or even a friendship, he hadn’t lost anything. But if Louis admitted not staying in contact was a mistake… well. Harry couldn’t even contemplate what that would mean for the two of them.

“So. You go?”

“Later. I… I need to get my head straight, first.”

Alessandro arched a brow at that, and Harry just shook his head, smiling slightly for the first time since he’d found out Louis wasn’t all that far from him in the end. 

“You know what I mean. I need to prepare myself. And to be honest, I look a mess. I can’t go and see him like this. I bet he looked gorgeous, didn't he?”

Alessandro pondered that for a moment before he answered.

“He look smart. Black polo, dark jeans. Very tight. Nice shoes. He look… classy.”

Harry nodded, letting that sink in for a moment. Louis’ image was burned into his mind, and he let his eyes close, picturing the Omega again. He’d looked amazing on the boat, both clothed and in just his swimming trunks. Naked, he was a vision, and although Harry felt privileged he’d gotten to see Louis like that, he wanted it more. Every day of his life, if that was any sort of possibility.

“Oh god, what am I going to do?” he moaned, head back in his hands, trying to decide the best course of action. Deep down, he knew there was no way he couldn’t go and see Louis, not now they were so close to each other again. But the crippling fear of rejection that settled heavily in Harry’s belly was threatening to ruin everything he’d ever wanted.

*****

“You sure you not want me with you?”

Harry shook his head, pulling his friend in for a hug where they were stood on the pavement, trying to keep out of the way of Londoners going about their business.

“No, but thank you. I think this is something I need to do alone.”

Alessandro nodded knowingly and kissed each of Harry’s cheeks, whispering a goodbye and good luck before he disappeared into the crowds surrounding them. Harry let out a long breath and started to walk to the nearest tube station. Since he’d made the decision he most definitely had to go and see Louis, Alessandro had clapped his hands gleefully, helping Harry work out the quickest tube route there from where his office was. Now, though, standing with his Oyster card in his hand, Harry was beginning to think it was as bad idea.

He wandered into the depths of the London Underground, following the signs for the Piccadilly line. It was the middle of the day so not too busy, and Harry stepped onto the next train, not bothering to take a seat since it was only a few stops. Harry usually avoided the tube, the cloying scents of Omegas all around playing havoc with his nose, but he tried to breathe through his mouth, trying to remember how Louis had smelt, whether he’d get a chance to inhale that glorious scent again today. He helped an elderly gentlemen on with his case before finally, he arrived at South Kensington station. The doors whooshed open, and Harry took a step out of the carriage, feet landing firmly on the platform. He let the rush of commuters disappear into the labyrinthine tunnels first before he followed, hands shoved deep in his pockets, nerves setting in. 

He emerged up on ground level soon enough, squinting into the sun. It wasn’t a part of London he’d visited much before, so Harry brought his phone out of his pocket, using Maps to help him navigate. It was only a five minute walk, and the closer Harry got to the museum, the more nauseous he felt. He couldn’t help but feel he was imposing himself on Louis, an unwanted visitor that Louis would have to turn away, leaving them both mortified. 

As he turned a corner and the museum came into view, his shaking hands dialled a familiar number, grateful that the caller on the other end answered his call quickly.

“I can’t do this,” he blurted out, trying to disappear into the shadows.

“You can,” Alessandro soothed, his thick Italian accent worming its way into Harry’s ears. “You have to know the truth. It better you know, si?”

Harry bit his lip and nodded before he realised the other man couldn’t see his response through the phone line.

“I know. I just… I can see the building from here. He’s inside there somewhere and… shit. It’s just… it’s a lot.”

“I know. But you must see him. How you say, clear the air?”

“Yes, clear the air. Right. I’ll do it. I’ll find him and talk to him. Wish me luck.”

“Good luck, angelo,” Alessandro mumbled, ending the call before Harry could do so. Harry pushed his phone into the back pocket of his jeans, looking down at his outfit. It wasn’t anything special, just a YSL shirt he’d pulled out of his wardrobe that morning with some dark skinny jeans, battered boots on his feet. It certainly wasn’t the high fashion outfit he’d sported at the museum, but it seemed Louis wasn’t a person who would judge Harry based on only his outfit.

He walked up to the museum front door, watching a group of tourists as they read a sign propped up outside, trying to work out what it said with the use of their guidebook. He smiled at them and hovered nervously for a moment, peering inside. He’d been to the V&A before, of course, admiring the exhibits, a calming and soothing place for Harry to spend time with his thoughts. But this felt different. Someone barrelled out of the door, almost knocking Harry over.

“Sorry!” the man called, and Harry just nodded in reply, already too far away from the running man to be seen. 

“Fuck it,” Harry mumbled under his breath, making the split decision that today wasn’t the day. He whirled around and reached up to tug his headphones down when he collided with another person, sending two cups of coffee splattering to the pavement. “Oh shit, I’m so sorry, I didn't-”

“Harry?”

He’d know that voice anywhere. Slowly, Harry looked up, mouth dry, heart all but stopped in his chest as he looked directly into Louis’ blue eyes, marred in confusion.

“I-”

“What are you doing here?”

Harry could only blink, eyes dropping to the floor, where coffee was dotted all over their shoes and jeans, cooling on the pavement. When Harry didn't answer, Louis filled the void.

“It’s so good to see you.”

Louis stepped forwards but must have thought better of it because he stepped back again, arms folded across his chest by the time Harry looked up.

“My, uh, my friend saw you here. Yesterday. I had to…”

“Yeah, I work here. Events Manager. Doesn’t sound that exciting but I love it,” Louis answered easily with a shrug. “Who was your friend?”

“Alessandro-”

“Ah, Gucci man. I remember, the one you had lunch with?”

Harry nodded again, wishing he had something more to say than a few stuttered words. Louis was right in front of him. This was all he’d wanted for weeks, and he was fucking it up.

“Sorry. I’m sorry, I’ll go. Here’s some money for-”

“No, don’t do that.”

Harry’s hand stopped where they fumbled with his wallet, about to reach for a ten pound note to cover the coffees he’d spilt, and he dared to look up again, seeing sadness in Louis’ face.

“It’s okay, I made you drop them-”

“Not the money, fuck that. Don’t go.”

“No, I shouldn’t have come...Louis, you didn't call-”

“I couldn’t!” 

There was a desperation in Louis’ voice as those words tumbled from his lips, and Harry just stared at him for a moment as Louis looked nervously back at him, wringing his hands in front of him.

“Niall… he knocked my phone in the bath. I tried everything to fix it but it was completely knackered. I lost everything that was on it, including my contacts. I’ve got a new phone-” he struggled to pull the new device from his pocket, waving it around in front of his face for a moment like that was all the proof he needed. “But I’ve got a new number. Believe me, I could’ve killed Niall… all I wanted to do when I got back was call you and arrange that dinner you promised me.”

It felt strange to hear that, despite Harry’s worst fears, Louis had wanted to hear from him. He hadn’t been ignoring him, and Louis had been seemingly as upset as Harry was at the lack of contact.

“So… you weren’t ignoring me?”

“Never,” Louis answered emphatically, shaking his head. “Harry, I meant what I said in Italy. I wanted to see you again, and what we had out there… it was special. I- I wouldn’t have ignored you. I’m not like that.”

“Fuck-”

Harry stumbled forwards with a huge grin on his face, not thinking twice as he grabbed Louis in his arms, spinning the pair of them round for a moment. The joy on Louis’ face was worth the risk, and when Harry finally set him back down on his feet, the world still spinning slightly around them, he didn't let go, hands resting on Louis’ waist as they looked into each others eyes.

“Oh god, I’m sorry-”

Louis just giggled in reply, his eyes scrunching almost closed. He looked more beautiful than Harry remembered.

“Don’t be. I’m just… I’m glad you’re so happy that we’ve run into each other again.”

“You have no idea,” Harry admitted, stroking his hand gently over Louis’ hips, all boundaries already starting to disappear. “You’re really here, aren’t you?”

“In the flesh,” Louis teased, shuffling a few steps closer, their bodies almost together now. “So… can I have your number?”

Harry laughed at that, nodding and accepting Louis’ phone into his hand, tapping in his number. He set his contact name as Haz with an Italian flag next to it.

“There you go. No losing it this time… although I know where you work, so there’s no escape this time.”

“Never wanted to escape in the first place,” Louis reassured him, putting his phone away. “Listen… that dinner you promised me.”

“What about it?” Harry asked, hoping Louis wasn’t about to cancel.

“As much as I love the idea, I  want to do something for you. I mean, you arranged that whole date on the boat for us, so I’d like to do something for you this time.”

“Alright,” Harry smiled at him, leaning in to smell Louis’ neck, his caramel scent pulsing off him in waves now. “What did you have in mind?”

“That would be telling,” Louis murmured, feeling heady now Harry was so close, almost scenting him in the middle of the street. “Just… I’ll text you later, when I’ve sorted things out.”

“Promise?”

“Mm hmm,” Louis murmured, unable to speak now. Harry took a chance and pressed his nose firmly over Louis’ scent gland, making the Omega purr, tipping his head back and letting Harry scent him. “Harry…”

Harry licked over it quickly before he pulled away, not wanting to take things too far already. He could feel the sexual tension bubbling between them, and he could see Louis’ eyes were dark and hungry for more. 

“Patience, Omega… I, uh, I should let you get back to work.”

“I don’t want to go back to work,” Louis whispered, hands grabbing onto Harry’s shirt, not letting him get away. “Don’t want you to go, not when I just found you again. I’d rather go home with you, Alpha.”

Harry shivered at the insinuation, pressing his fingertips in to Louis’ waist again.

“I’ll see you soon, okay? Call me.”

“I will.”

Harry watched as Louis’ tongue darted out to wet his lips, remembering for a moment how it felt to kiss Louis. His lips had felt perfect between Harry’s, how eager his tongue had been, how sweet he’d tasted. The temptation to kiss Louis was overriding every other thought in his body but Harry held back, taking a step away from Louis, knowing their proximity was making it harder to keep himself under control. To help control his urge, Harry leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to Louis’ forehead, a zip of something going down his spine as his lips finally connected with Louis’ skin again.

“Bye, Omega.”

Louis blushed and just waved as Harry turned on his heel and walked away, only turning around once to look over his shoulder, Louis still in the place where he’d left him. The Omega’s hand came up again, fingers just wiggling ever so slightly in Harry’s direction. Harry’s heart practically sang as he rounded the corner, leaving Louis behind. It was only a few minutes later that his phone pinged, and Harry’s sweaty hands reached for it, fumbling with his pin code, finally unlocking it.

From: Louis
Not letting you get away from me again. I missed you. Xxx

Harry bit his lip, not even bothering to try biting back the smile that was crossing his face then. He hurriedly wrote out a reply, laying it all on the line.

From: Harry
I missed you too. Thought I’d lost you. Already can’t wait to see you again. Xxx

From: Louis
Me neither, Alpha. I’ll text you later about our date. Very excited. Xxxxx

Harry grinned and smiled down at a toddler who was peering curiously up at him before they were called back by their mother, little red Mary Jane shoes stomping on the pavement as she ran away, giggling as her mum scooped her up. Harry went back down to the tube station, mind running with thoughts of Louis, their impending date, and how happy he was to finally have the Omega back in his life. This time, there was no way Harry was going to let him get away again.

*****

Louis snatched up his phone from the desk as it pinged. Calvin’s eyebrow arched as Louis smiled down at his phone screen, reading the words of Harry’s latest text. Since they’d literally bumped into each other a few days ago outside the museum where Louis worked, they’d been in constant contact. Louis hated that they’d lost those few weeks, but they were most definitely making up for it now.

“Is that lover boy again?”

“Fuck off,” Louis mumbled, fingers flying over the glass screen as he typed out a reply. Their date was arranged for that night, and Louis’ tummy had been fluttering all day with the anticipation of what the night would bring. “Do I ask you about your private text messages, Calvin?”

“No, you just read them out to the office, Lou,” Calvin quipped, making Louis snort quietly to himself, knowing he was entirely right. “And when are you going to tell us what’s in that box?”

“Um, the first of never,” Louis replied as he locked his phone again, putting it next to his computer. “Did you hear from Jonathan over at Cavalier’s?”

“Uh, yeah…”

Calvin rifled around on his desk for a moment before he pulled out a stack of papers, handing them to Louis.

“I gave him the quote and he seemed happy enough. Said you’d call back though to confirm everything with him. Oh, and Lou?”

“Yeah?”

“I will find out what you’re planning…”

Louis just ignored him and went back to his work, willing the hours to tick away until his date with Harry. Work finished at five, the rest of the office emptying out by quarter past, which meant finally, Louis was alone. He’d already brought along a spare outfit to get changed into, hanging up and waiting for him in the staff room. When he was sure everyone had gone, Louis grabbed his box and headed downstairs to the Japanese exhibit, where he’d planned the piéce de resistance for the night. The museum was unusually quiet, and Louis’ shoes clacked on the floor as he walked around, setting out the tealights he’d brought from home. He spread out a picnic rug on the main wooden floor, setting down a nice bottle of red wine alongside two wine glasses, hoping Harry wouldn’t be too picky. The picnic basket sat at the corner with a few snacks in, and Louis thought it looked pretty good if he did say so himself.

A glance at his watch told Louis that Harry would be there in just under half an hour, so he shoved the spare things into his box, running up the stairs, taking them two at a time.  He dumped it in the corner of his office, pulling off his tie and leaving it draped over his chair. He was starting to feel nervous about the date, hoping Harry would like what he’d thought of, and he stepped into the staff room, stripping out of the day’s outfit and pulling on the one he’d chosen for that night. It was a light grey button down shirt which Louis buttoned to the top, some dark skinny navy jeans rolled up at the ankles, with light grey brogues on his feet.

He turned to the mirror, working some product through his quiff, and finally adding a small spray of aftershave. He didn't want to cover up his natural Omega scent, knowing how much Harry liked his smell.

A ping of his phone startled Louis, and he smiled as he read the message from Harry telling him he was just getting off the tube and that he’d be outside in a few minutes. Louis fumbled in his rucksack for a moment, hand hovering over the lube and condoms he’d packed just in case. He made the quick decision to take some downstairs just in case, hoping Harry wouldn’t think he was too presumptuous later on if he found them. He hurried downstairs, shoving the supplies into the corner of the picnic basket, ignoring how his body tingled with the anticipation of possibly needing those things later, if things got that far.

Although he had of course sought permission to stay late for his date night, Louis still felt odd creeping around the museum while it was closed. His footsteps echoed around the corridors, and Louis double checked his reflection before he got to the ground floor, ready to go and meet Harry. He used his pass to exit through the turnstiles, and unlocked the main door. Standing outside, looking away  into the distance was Harry, and Louis took a moment to watch him, admiring him for a second. He was dressed in what Louis assumed to be some sort of designer suit, the fabric clinging perfectly to the Alpha’s body. Louis only hoped he wouldn’t start to get slick already.

Harry must have sensed he was being stared at because just a second later, he turned around, surprising Louis. His smile was broad, and it was making the most gorgeous crater-like dimple pop in his cheek. In his hand was the most gorgeous bunch of flowers Louis had ever seen, and Louis’ eyes raked over his outfit, the gorgeous soft grey suit, a mint green shirt (which seemed to be a bit sheer, Louis noted) wrapped around his torso, black leather boots on his feet. Louis thought he’d never looked more handsome. 

“Uh, these are for you,” Harry said, taking a step forward, handing the bouquet to a slightly stunned Louis. “I couldn’t turn up empty handed. You look beautiful, Omega.”

“Thank you,” Louis said, sniffing the flowers, burying his face in the colourful spray. “You look pretty handsome yourself. Um, come inside.”

He stood for a moment and then held out his hand, pleased that Harry took it, the pair walking back inside the building. They remained quiet, and Louis appreciated the silence just to sort his thoughts in his head for a moment. His body was thrumming with the excitement of having Harry here with him, the fact they had the whole museum to themselves, and with the idea he might finally get to kiss Harry again. 

“We’re going up to the first floor, I prefer the stairs if that’s okay,” Louis said as he went up a few steps, Harry behind him on the narrow staircase.

“No problem, I’ve got a good view.”

Louis stopped and whirled around, staring at Harry.

“Shit, sorry, it was a joke-”

A loud cackle burst into the stairwell then, and Harry shook his head, a cheeky smile crossing his lips. 

“Oh, it’s like that, is it Lou? Being cheeky already?”

Louis just shrugged and continued on up the stairs, pushing the door open to the first floor. The Japan exhibit was towards the back of the floor so they couldn’t see it yet, but Louis’ heart was racing at the thought of Harry seeing it. He hoped that he’d like his plan, and everything he’d done to make the night as special as it could be. 

“So on this floor, we have some of the country exhibits that are permanently installed here at the V&A. We can take a look around for a bit, if you’d like? I’m not sure if you’ve been here before…”

“Not for a while,” Harry admitted, tugging Louis closer for a moment, looking down at him. Louis loved how Harry’s hair was all soft and curly around his head, the longest curls brushing the bottom of his earlobes. He desperately wanted to run his fingers through it, but held back, knowing it would be all the better when it finally happened if he waited. “Mum brought me and Gemma once when we were kids, I loved it. It’s so different to any other places.”

“It really is. I  mean, it’s not usually my cup of tea but when I was offered the job here a few years ago as the events manager, I couldn’t resist. I love arranging all these special events we hold, seeing people enjoy all the exhibits and stuff. It’s a lot of fun, and I have a great team.”

They were still wandering through the Korean exhibit, Harry pausing to read some of the information plaques dotted around as they went. It was so peaceful, and Louis just watched Harry’s serious face as he took in all the information, staring avidly at some of the things on display. They began to get nearer to the Japan exhibit, Louis’ particular favourite in the whole museum, and Louis began to feel antsy. Harry must have sensed it as at the next artefact, he stood behind Louis, arms wrapping around his waist, chin almost resting on top of Louis’ head.

“Calm down, Omega. I can feel you’re all fidgety…”

“Just nervous,” Louis mumbled, sure his cheeks were going pink at Harry sensing his mood. He stilled as Harry’s hands slipped under the hem of his shirt, stroking the soft skin of his stomach for a moment, lips coming down to the side of his neck where he pressed light kisses for a minute. “Harry…”

“What is it, Lou?” 

Harry’s breath tickled Louis’ neck where his lips were still teasing, sucking gently at the thin skin of Louis’ neck as his fingers still stroked his tummy.

“Kiss me. Please. I want you to kiss me right now.”

Hands and lips disappeared from Louis’ body as he was whirled around, barely keeping his balance before Harry’s hands pressed hotly against his lower back. His body stumbled into Harry’s, Louis’ hands on the broad expanse of Harry’s chest as they gazed up at each other.

“Please-”

Louis’ eyes shut in pleasure as finally, Harry’s lips met his own. It was a familiar feeling, yet one that excited Louis so much as Harry’s full lips worked easily against his own. Louis knew the stubble on his jaw would be grazing Harry’s freshly shaven chin, but he couldn’t bring himself to mind. It felt mind-blowing to just be kissing the Alpha again, and their proximity was doing nothing to turn off Louis’ arousal. He could feel the outline of Harry’s cock pressed against his thigh, Harry’s big hands holding their bodies tightly together, barely a whisper of air between them now.

Harry moaned as Louis’ tongue teased his lips, asking for entrance. Harry parted his lips, and Louis dove his tongue inside, one hand coming up to tangle in Harry’s hair, deepening the kiss. It was wet, and a bit desperate but to Louis, it was everything he’d been dreaming about for the past few weeks. Harry tasted like home, somehow, and he didn't care that he could feel his ass producing slick, already turned on just from something as simple as kissing.

It was as one of Harry’s slid into Louis’ waistband that he pulled back, pecking Harry’s lips a few times, noting how pink and swollen Harry’s mouth looked already. Harry leaned in for more kisses but Louis just shook his head, tugging Harry’s hair to pull him back a little, Harry looking at him with confusion.

“Just… not yet, okay? I have plans, I did something for you…”

“Then show me,” Harry breathed, straightening out his jacket before he did the same to Louis’ shirt. It didn't make much of a difference. If anyone saw them, they would know they’d been up to something but Louis just took Harry’s hand, guiding him towards the Japanese exhibit. He pulled Harry to a stop before he headed in, patting his pocket to double check his lighter was in there, which it was. 

“Just wait here for a sec, okay?”

Harry nodded and Louis darted off, whizzing around to light the candles scattered around, well out of the way of any of the precious exhibits. He took a final look at everything before he glanced at his phone, realising everything was running perfectly to time. Dinner would be delivered in around ten minutes, so he walked back to Harry, smiling at the sight of the Alpha who was now admiring another exhibit.

“Harry? It’s, uh, it’s ready for you.”

Without hesitation, Harry came and stood by Louis’ side, heading to where Louis had set up their romantic evening. He was pleased to hear a small gasp come from Harry’s lips as they walked inside, the place bathed in soft candlelight, some of the naked flames dancing in the breeze as the Alpha and Omega walked by. Louis brought Harry to a stop beside the picnic blanket, gesturing around with his hands.

“This is my favourite exhibit in the whole place. When things get a bit much upstairs, I come down here and wander around, look at all the beautiful pieces. Some of the things are stunning, and I… I wanted to share them with you. I want you to see the things I love, that mean something to me.”

“You did all this for me? In your favourite place? Louis…”

Harry took a step closer and pulled Louis into a tight hug, his long arms enveloping Louis’ smaller body with ease. Louis buried his face in the crook of Harry’s neck, enjoying how small he felt in Harry’s hold.

“Dinner will be here soon,” he mumbled as Harry released him, now holding hands again. “I, uh… I’d like to show you a couple of my favourite things, if that’s okay with you?”

Harry nodded, his beautifully green eyes shining in the candlelight. Louis grinned and guided Harry to some of his favourite pieces, explaining in detail what he loved about each piece. He’d taken care to listen to the guides over the past few years he’d worked here, hearing them speak with such knowledge of the things, and as he repeated some of the facts to Harry, he felt his confidence soar as Harry listened avidly, nodding, looking like he was rapt as Louis just talked.

“I mean, the patterns in this are just stunning, and the colours are so bold and vivid. It’s my favourite thing out of them all, I think.”

“You want to go to Japan, then?” Harry asked, eyes fixated on Louis as he stared around at the exhibits, as if he was looking at them in a different light.

“Oh, definitely. It’s something that’s on my bucket list, for sure. The whole place… the culture, the history… it all fascinates me. Not that you’ll hear me admit that to just anyone, but with you… well, I feel I can say anything and you won’t make me feel stupid about it.”

“Not at all. I’ve been, you know. To Japan, I mean. It was a trip when I was in fashion college. We could choose from a couple of destinations, but I wanted to go somewhere totally different. I learnt from this amazing seamstress about Kimonos, how much work goes into them, choosing the silks, what they mean.”

“God, that sounds amazing,” Louis said, voice full of enthusiasm. “I’m so jealous.”

“Maybe one day we can go.”

Harry’s eyes flew open as he finished his sentence, and his cheeks reddened, clearly embarrassed by what he’d declared.

“Damn, I mean-”

“I’d really love that,” Louis said, cutting him off. He pushed up onto his tiptoes, kissing Harry quickly, unbothered that he’d all but told Harry he saw a future with him already. “Would you like some wine?”

“Please,” Harry replied, and Louis walked over to the blanket, pouring them each a glass. 

“I’m going to get dinner. Wait here for me, please?”

“Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Harry replied as he settled on the blanket. Louis grinned and walked out briskly, determined not to spend a second longer away from Harry than he had to. The journey to the main entrance took him a little longer than he remembered, but the delivery man was waiting for him. Louis handed over payment and accepted the meal, locking the door behind him again before he hurried back to Harry, taking care with the food balanced in his hands.

When Louis walked back into the Japanese exhibit, he smiled fondly at the fact Harry had taken off his boots and jacket, and was now sat cross-legged on the rug, glass of wine in his hand as he stared off into the distance. He must have heard Louis approach as he turned, and when he saw what Louis was carrying, he burst into loud laughter.

“Oh my god… is this your idea of a gourmet romantic meal for two?”

Louis looked down at the pizza boxes in his hand, laughing and nodding before he let Harry take them, setting them down while he kicked off his own shoes, barefoot now as he settled next to Harry.

“Sorry, I don’t do socks. Promise my feet don’t smell too much,” he said as he rummaged in the picnic blanket, pulling out a couple of plates he’d brought from home as Harry opened the boxes, plumes of steam rising up. “And in answer to your rather rude question, yes. Pizza is the food of Gods, and anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t worthy of a moment of my time. You do like pizza, right?”

“Yes, Lou. I love pizza.”

Harry put a few slices on each plate, and Louis turned his body to face Harry as they ate, strings of cheese soon getting everywhere, but neither man seemed bothered. 

“How are things going with your fashion collection?” Louis asked, reaching into the basket and pulling out a few other things he’d brought for the night. His hand bumped against the box of condoms and he cleared his throat, hoping Harry didn't notice the flush appear on his cheeks. 

“Yeah, good, thank you,” Harry answered, adding a few bits of the salad to his plate that Louis had made that morning, sure that Harry was a salad sort of guy. “I think I need to work on a few more pieces before it’s really done, but… yeah. I’m proud of it.”

“I’d love to see it sometime. If you’d want to share it with me, I mean.”

“You want to see my designs?”

“Yeah. I mean, I’m not majorly into fashion or anything, but it’s your work, so I’d love to take a look. Only if you want me to, you can say no-”

“I’d never say no. Not to you. You can come by whenever you want.”

Louis smiled softly at that, picking up a few carrot sticks and adding them to his plate when he realised he’d eaten nothing but pizza yet. 

“Can I ask you something?”

Louis nodded. “Course you can, love,” he mumbled as he swiped his carrot stick into the pot of guacamole he’d brought, wondering if it tasted as disgusting as it looked. “I don’t think like this, it looks...green?” 

“It's delicious,” Harry replied, taking the pot from a distressed looking Louis and setting it to the side. “But back to my question. Don’t feel pressured to answer though, I’m just… I’m being nosy.”

“Spit it out, then.”

“Have you… um, have you had a serious relationship before? With an Alpha, I mean?”

Louis glanced over to Harry, who was now looking down at the floor, nervously awaiting Louis’ answer. He cleared his throat and put down his plate, reaching to place his hand on Harry’s knee.

“Love, I’m twenty six, of course I’ve had relationships. I’ll be honest, though. I’ve been single for a while now, feel like I’m getting old enough not to be playing around. I think I’d like to find an Alpha, think about settling down…”

He pressed his hand against Harry’s knee a little more roughly then, causing the Alpha to look up and meet his eye. Harry’s gaze burned into Louis’ for a moment, the air between them electric.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Louis nodded, watching as Harry started to push the plates away, leaving them to the side of the blanket.

“Come here, Lou.”

Harry patted his legs, and Louis smirked for a moment before he decided he might as well just go for it. With as much grace as he could muster, he got up and moved himself into Harry’s lap, sitting his bum across Harry’s firm thighs, arms around Harry’s neck. This was the closest they’d been since the boat trip in Italy, and Louis was already wanting more. Harry’s hands came to rest on his waist, a couple of fingertips tucked just under the hem of Louis’ shirt.

“Did you,” Louis whispered, suddenly feeling bold now he was pressed so close to Harry, his fingertips dancing ever so slightly into the back of Louis’ trousers. Louis let his fingers play with the curls at the back of Harry’s neck, Harry’s skin soft and smooth under his touch. “Did you ever touch yourself and think about me, after Italy, I mean?” 

“Fuck, all the time-” Harry admitted, leaning in and brushing his nose against Louis’ neck, scenting him gently. The sensation made Louis feel soft, going pliant in Harry’s hold, his head tilting to bare his neck further to encourage the Alpha.

“Touched myself too,” Louis replied, eyes fluttering shut, already feeling a bit dazed with how good Harry was making him feel. It had been too long since he’d slept with an Alpha, and in that moment, all he wanted was the Alpha pressed against him to take him and make him scream his name.

Harry's warm and wet tongue licked over Louis’ neck for a moment before he worked the top few buttons of Louis’ shirt open, exposing the junction of his neck and shoulder where one day a bonding mark would be emblazoned into his skin. Louis mewled at that, tightening his fingers in Harry’s hair for a moment as the Alpha started to pull Louis rhythmically back and forth over his crotch, his arousal becoming more obvious.

“Louis, what do you want?” Harry murmured, his voice raspy and even deeper than normal. Louis wasn’t sure that could have been possible, but apparently, it was. “Tell me, Omega.”

“Want you to knot me.”

All of a sudden, Harry’s motions stopped and Louis leaned back slightly, afraid he’d said the wrong thing. Harry’s jaw was clenched, and Louis scrambled to get off the Alpha, certain he’d offended him in some way. 

“Shit, I’m sorry, I-”

Harry’s hand gripped tighter, holding Louis in place.

“No, Louis, don’t do that - stay. I just… I have something I need to tell you.”

Louis nodded and settled back on Harry’s lap, still feeling a bit tense, like something between them had been disturbed. Harry’s cock was still pushing up against his trousers and against Louis’ thigh, but he ignored that for the moment.

“Louis, I’ve… I’ve never knotted an Omega.”

“Never?”

“No, never. I… I don’t trust myself enough.”

“Harry… what?”

Harry sighed, slipping his hands out from under Louis’ shirt, letting them rest on the Omega’s thighs.

“Being an Alpha is… it’s not what I thought I’d be. I heard all these horror stories before I presented about how out of control Alpha’s get when they fuck an Omega and knot them. So I just… I’ve avoided it. I’ve slept with Omega’s, but I’ve always pulled out before I could get near knotting them. It’s the same with my rut. I always make sure I’m home alone, locked away so I can’t hurt anyone. I don’t trust myself as an Alpha, Lou.”

“But I trust you,” Louis whispered, a hand coming up to cup Harry’s cheek. “I don’t think you’d hurt me. You can be a bit rough with me, and to be honest, love, I’d probably enjoy it a bit too much. But I know you’d stop if I asked you to. You wouldn’t hurt me, or any other Omega, Harry. It’s not… it’s not something you could ever do.”

“You really think so?”

“I do,” Louis nodded, brushing Harry’s bottom lip with his thumb. “I want you to let go. With me.”

Louis grabbed Harry’s hand and pressed it against his own cock, aware that he was starting to get damp in his boxers but he didn't care. He wanted Harry to see how much he wanted him, how much he wanted this with the Alpha. Harry let out a low moan at the back of his throat and started to work his hand against Louis of his own accord. Louis’ hand came up around the back of Harry’s neck and finally pulled him into a kiss. It was hot and desperate, wet mouths moving against each other, taking what they needed from it.

Harry’s tongue was inside Louis’ mouth when Louis felt his shirt start to become unbuttoned, Harry’s shaking hands working them open. When the material flapped apart, exposing Louis’ bare chest, he moaned as Harry ran his hands down the firm planes of Louis’ chest, fingertips brushing against his nipples. His own hands sought out Harry’s shirt, running them over the soft cotton. Harry’s teeth bit down on Louis’ lip before he sucked it into his mouth, and Louis let out another moan, feeling himself get more slick as Harry touched him.

“Harry, please-”

Harry nodded and allowed one hand to dip inside Louis’ trousers, cupping his bare bum cheek inside his boxers. Louis couldn’t help how his body responded, bucking into Harry’s touch for a moment, making the Alpha growl lowly at the back of his throat. Louis succumbed to his Omega side which was desperately clawing at him now, needing more. It wasn’t often he allowed himself to be so vulnerable, ready for an Alpha to take, but he trusted Harry, and there was part of him that couldn’t wait to take the Alpha inside his body, to feel him knot him.

“Wanna get you naked,” Harry murmured as his lips trailed down the side of Louis’ neck, teeth grazing over his bonding spot. “Shall we go home, back to mine-”

“No,” Louis said, shaking his head as he started to pull at the buttons of Harry’s shirt, needing to feel the Alpha’s skin against his palms. “I want you to fuck me here… in my favourite place, with my favourite person…”

“Fuck, Louis…”

“Yes please,” the Omega said with a smirk, and Harry growled, carefully lowering Louis to the floor, hands coming up to work Louis’ trousers open. Louis watched as Harry’s nostrils flared, catching a plume of his scent that he was sure was rolling off him in waves, and he saw how Harry’s pupils dilated, fingers tugging at his jeans. “Alpha…”

“You smell so good, Lou,” Harry whispered before he sucked one of Louis’ nipples into his mouth, his trousers around his knees now. Harry was knelt between Louis’ legs, and Louis whined, hoping Harry would take the hint to get naked himself. It was like Harry read his mind as suddenly, Harry sat up, looking down at Louis with dark eyes. He stood up and yanked off all his clothes bar his boxers as Louis kicked his own jeans away, not caring how exposed he was now. “Your body is beautiful…”

“Then touch it…”

Harry knelt back down, big hands on top of Louis’ thighs, running up to his hips. Louis’ heart was racing, and he knew Harry could smell his slick, that his Alpha senses would be going mad now because of it. He loved that part of being an Omega. He loved being able to drive an Alpha wild with just his smell, and it was definitely working on Harry as well. 

“Shit… have you got… stuff?” Harry asked, leaning over enough to grind their erections together. Louis moaned as he arched his back, pushing them further together as he nodded, hand reaching out for the picnic basket. “In here?” 

Louis nodded again, relieved Harry had seen since he couldn’t reach. Harry stilled his body for a moment before his hand emerged with the lube and condoms in one big hand, and Louis smirked, wondering how those hands would look wrapped around his cock. 

“Came prepared, did you?”

“Just in case,” Louis shrugged, not caring. He wasn’t ashamed that he had a high sex drive, and he was ridiculously pleased with himself for a moment for thinking ahead. “Now fuck me.”

“Say please,” Harry whispered, a hand now between their bodies, rolling back and forth over Louis’ cock.

“Please, fucking please!” 

Louis didn't care he was pleading and just spread his legs further, propping himself up on his elbows so he could watch Harry’s hand at work. Before he could properly see, Harry’s lips were on his, pressing him back against the floor. Louis’ legs came up and around Harry’s waist as they ground together, moaning obscene sounds that were bouncing off the walls. It was the filthiest thing Louis had ever done and he never wanted it to end.

His body felt hot all over. He knew Harry’s cock was big after Italy, but the idea of having it inside him was doing things to Louis he hadn’t felt in a long time. His boxers were saturated with slick now, and he whispered into Harry’s ear to take them off. The Alpha sat back on his knees and gently pulled them down, practically salivating with how much he wanted Louis and his slick.

When Louis was entirely naked, Harry ran a hand over his cheeks, not daring to touch where Louis really wanted him. He thumped the floor with his fist, and Harry arched an eyebrow at him before his finger dipped inside, brushing Louis’ hole. Louis let out what felt like a scream of pleasure, and he stared in shock as Harry collected some slick on the tip of it before he brought it to his mouth, licking it off, eyes fixated on Louis.

“Oh my god…” Louis murmured, turned on watching the Alpha taste his slick. It wasn’t something he’d had an Alpha do before, but now, Louis never wanted him to stop. “Take them off…”

Harry did, his enormous cock springing free against his stomach. They were both naked now, and Harry moaned when he leaned back over, his cock pushing against Louis’.

“Are you ready for me, Omega?”

Licking his lips, Louis nodded, parting his legs even more. He watched Harry’s eyes dip down, not caring how wet he was, how he felt another gush of slick emerge from him as the Alpha took his own cock in his hand, stroking himself, the wet tip appearing over his fist with each movement. Harry ripped open an Alpha condom with his teeth and rolled it down his length with a hiss before he shuffled forwards on his knees, lining up. Louis could sense he felt nervous so he reached up, his hand resting on Harry’s shoulder for a moment.

“I want you. I want this.”

That was all Harry needed to hear. He rubbed the wet tip of his cock against Louis’ entrance for a moment before finally, he pushed in. Louis was so wet that he just slid in, and Louis’ eyes fluttered shut, the stretch of the Alpha’s cock inside him almost overwhelming. It burned in the best way, and Louis just lay there, taking everything Harry had to offer.

“God, Omega...feel so tight and hot…”

“You can move…”

Those were the only words they exchanged for a short while. Harry started to thrust gently, almost as if he were afraid of breaking Louis. As much as the Omega liked it, loved feeling Harry deep inside him, their hot bodies pressed together, he wanted more.

“Harder. Fuck me harder, Alpha, I can take it…”

Harry stilled, concern etched in his eyes overriding how clearly turned on he was. It made Louis want to melt, and he loved how cared for he felt.

“Louis, are you sure-”

“More than I’ve ever been. Be rough with me. I want it.”

“Fuck-”

Harry pulled back, barely keeping the tip inside before he drove his hips forward at full pelt, slamming his cock deep into Louis.

“FUCK!”

It seemed like Harry was going to stop again, so Louis grabbed his cheeks, kissing him deeply. Harry must have taken the hint because he began fucking Louis with abandon, his cock pounding into Louis over and over, slick gathering all over both of them now. Louis’ fingers were tangled in Harry’s curls, keeping their lips pressed together, wanting to feel Harry on every part of his body. He felt so wanton, and he pulled away from the kiss, tilting his head to the side, exposing his neck.

Harry growled, a low and dangerous sound, and Louis’ whole body responded to it. His cock was throbbing where it was rubbing against Harry’s stomach, pulsing out droplets of precome. He sensed Harry’s lips before he felt them on the sensitive skin of his neck. Harry worked at sucking a love bite there, and Louis clawed at Harry’s back, not caring he was probably marking the Alpha up for the next few days at least. Harry’s lips released Louis’ skin, licking over the mark for a moment before he pushed himself up, biceps bulging as he held himself above Louis’ body, hips still thrusting between Louis’ legs.

“I’m close, Omega-”

“Do it.”

Louis could feel himself losing control now, and he shoved Harry off, leaving the Alpha whining and confused until Louis managed to roll himself over onto his hands and knees, presenting himself to the Alpha. He knew he looked a mess down there, covered in slick, open for Harry, but he looked coyly back over his shoulder, smirking at how the Alpha was licking his lips as his eyes remained staring at Louis’ hole, shining with his slick.

“Oh god, Omega…”

Without a second of hesitation, Harry grabbed the base of his cock and pushed it inside Louis until his hips connected with Louis’ backside, both of them moaning loudly, the sound echoing from the walls. Harry’s hand grabbed Louis’ hips roughly, and in the back of his hazy mind, Louis was hoping there’d be bruises tomorrow reminding him of what they’d done.

“Gonna knot-”

“Yes, fucking hell, please-”

Louis could feel himself starting to stretch even more as Harry’s cock started to swell at the base, almost splitting him in two. Louis’ fists grabbed at the blanket underneath him, eyes screwed shut as Harry’s hips pounded against him, driving them both closer to what they wanted. Louis felt like he was slipping into that place where everything felt amazing, like he was being taken care of in the best possible way, and he hung his head, letting the waves of pleasure overwhelm him.

“Oh… fuck, Lou- shit, I’m- AH!”

“ALPHA-”

There was a burning sensation between Louis’ legs as Harry’s knot finally popped and Harry pushed it inside him with one hard thrust. The sensation made Louis come as well, spilling onto the picnic blanket underneath them, his whole body shaking with his orgasm. He was barely supporting himself, and felt grateful when Harry’s arms slipped around his bare waist, holding him against him.

“Oh god, Omega… this is… fuck. This is the best fucking feeling in the- ah god, Lou, do that again-”

“What?”

“Clench around my knot. Please-”

Louis mustered up the energy and repeated the action, loving the feeling of Harry’s chest vibrating against his back. They were both sweating, and Louis felt more full than he had in a long time. He hadn’t been knotted by an Alpha in too long, and although he had toys to simulate a knot, especially for his heats, nothing felt the same as an Alpha’s hot, pulsating knot inside of him. He wished for a moment that Harry wasn’t wearing a condom, that he could feel himself being filled up with the Alpha’s come, but he hoped they’d get a chance for that next time.

“Lay us down… I’m tired, babe.”

Harry nodded, and slowly started to move the pair of them until they were laid on their sides, Harry curled up behind Louis, the two of them knotted together. Harry’s hand came to rest on Louis’ chest, cupped over where his heart was still racing in his chest. Louis felt lucid enough to remember this was Harry’s first knot with an Omega, and he wrapped his fingers around Harry’s warm wrist, bringing his hand to his lips where he kissed it softly.

“You alright?”

“Mm hmm,” Harry hummed in reply, and Louis could hear the small smile on his lips. Slowly but surely, Harry’s fingers began to stroke back and forth over Louis’ skin, drifting over to his nipple for a moment, making Louis take a deep breath in, pleasure rippling through his body at the touch from an Alpha he was already so intimately connected with. “That was… I have no words, Lou.”

“Worth the wait, then?”

“You’re worth everything, Lou,” Harry whispered into Louis’ hair, making Louis shiver. “I’d have waited forever to see you again, but I’m glad it wasn’t that long.”

“Me too,” Louis mumbled, kissing Harry’s hand again. “I… I’m glad you found me again.”

Louis arched his neck so he could see Harry and they kissed softly, lost in each other. Their legs were tangled together, hands touching whatever body parts they could reach, and it didn't take long for the pair to begin to feel sleepy, exhausted from the vigorous sex they’d had.

“Sleep, Omega. I’ll look after you.”

Louis smiled to himself, loving how much he trusted Harry already. He was very exposed, naked and in a building his Omega didn't register as entirely safe, but there was an inner calm about him that came from knowing the Alpha curled up around him would protect him through anything.

“Don’t leave, ‘kay? Wanna sleep with you.”

“We already did that, Lou,” Harry joked, pressing a soft kiss to Louis’ shoulder. “But seriously, I’m not going anywhere. I promise.”

Louis nodded and shuffled his body backwards, moaning when Harry’s knot pulled on his still sensitive rim, until his back slotted against Harry’s stomach and chest. Harry’s hand stayed where it was on his chest, and Louis let himself relax, the need to sleep washing over him. Harry’s knot showed no sign of deflating anytime soon, so Louis shut his eyes, safe in the arms of his Alpha.

The room was silent around them, nothing to be heard except for the steady rhythm of their breathing, and Louis had never felt more content. He’d almost slipped into sleep when four whispered words against his hair made Louis still, shocked but happier than he’d ever been.

“I love you, Louis.”

*****

Harry blinked as he slowly awoke from his dreams, stretching out his stiff limbs. He winced at the rough surface beneath him, but when he looked down and saw the person still asleep on the floor in front of him, he smiled to himself, carefully brushing Louis’ hair out of his face. He looked beautiful in the throes of sleep, lips slightly parted with his breaths, his naked skin tanned and soft. Harry trailed his fingertips down the sides of Louis’ torso, watching goosebumps pop up in his wake, and he leaned down, kissing Louis’ shoulder softly, loving how it felt to wake up with the Omega.

Louis stirred slowly from his sleep, and when he saw Harry and they finally locked eyes, something rushed through Harry’s veins. Not caring about morning breath, Harry leaned down and connected their lips softly, a hand coming up to cup Louis’ stubbly cheek.

They only parted when Louis heard a thud, and Harry stopped kissing him, listening out for more sounds.

“Shit- what time is it?”

“Uh…” 

Harry reached for his phone, hitting a button to make the screen light up.

“God, it’s nearly eight. We slept all night…”

“Fuck!”

Louis scrabbled to get up, naked body a vision to Harry as he started grabbing at their discarded clothes, throwing Harry’s at him.

“What’s wrong?”

“People start getting here at eight! We have a tour at eight thirty as well, a school group that I booked ages ago. Fuck, look at this place-”

Harry’s eyes flitted around as he took in the detrius from their night together. Food was scattered around, the picnic rug was crumpled thanks to the fact they’d had sex on top of it, and the box of condoms had been knocked over, several packets now laying scattered on the wooden floor of the museum. Harry almost wanted to snap a photo of it, so he’d remember it forever, even though he knew he’d never forget what he and Louis had shared.

“Lou, it’s okay. Let’s get dressed and we can clear up.”

Louis nodded, and they silently got dressed, doing up little buttons in a hurry before Harry shoved his feet into his shoes. Louis was throwing things randomly into the picnic basket while simultaneously chomping down a slice of cold pizza, turning Harry’s stomach somewhat.

“I worked up an appetite last night,” Louis just shrugged when he caught Harry watching him. The pair just laughed and kept working together until it was clean, no sign from the night before obvious to anyone who didn't know. “Does it smell like sex?”

“Hope so,” Harry smirked, coming up and holding Louis at the waist. “Kinda like the idea of everyone knowing what we were up to.”

He leaned down to kiss Louis, letting it become a bit too heated. Louis parted his lips and Harry’s tongue dove inside, seeking out Louis’. Kissing Louis felt like nothing Harry had ever felt before, and he felt such a pull to Louis, like he never wanted to let him out of his sight again. His hands drifted around to Louis’ lower back, pulling him against his body. His own body was responding in its natural way, and he growled when Louis pulled away, dark eyes looking up at Harry.

“Omega…”

“Not now. They’ll be here in a second, I need to get you out of here.”

Harry reluctantly agreed and let Louis grab his hand, picnic basket in Louis’ other hand. They silently walked through the building, coming to a set of stairs that they descended together. Louis used his pass to open a back door to what looked like an alley, and the warm early morning sunshine bathed their skin as they stepped outside together.

“Promise me I’ll see you again?” Harry asked, not caring how desperate he sounded. The thought of not seeing Louis again after what they’d shared the night didn't sit well with him, and his Alpha felt calmer when Louis kissed him, still holding his hand.

“I promise. You have my number, and you know where I work. Do you want to come 'round tonight, maybe see my place?”

“I’d love that,” Harry grinned, laughing when Louis poked his index finger right into Harry’s dimple. “Oi, be careful.”

“Sorry, let me kiss it better.”

Louis laid soft kisses on and around Harry’s dimple before he trailed them over to Harry’s lips, the pair quickly losing themselves in another kiss. 

“Oh, and Haz?”

“Mmm?” Harry asked, grinding his cock against Louis’ thigh, not caring that they could be spotted. 

“About what you said last night when we were falling asleep…”

Louis pulled back, and gave him a cheeky smile before he spoke again.

“I love you too.”

He surged forward and kissed Harry harshly for a moment before he gave him one more dazzling smile and disappeared inside the museum again, the door slamming shut behind him.

Harry just stood, alone in the alley, fish-mouthing at the space where the Omega had been stood just moments ago. He was still hard in his trousers, and he groaned, closing his eyes and tilting his head back to the sky. The Omega was going to be the death of him, that much he was certain. What a way to go , he thought to himself with a smile on his lips as he spun on his heel, heading out, more than ready to begin the day. As he strolled off towards the tube, Harry pulled out his phone and sent Louis a quick message, already counting down the hours until he saw him later that night.

From: Harry
Best date ever. So happy it was you. Can’t wait to see you later. Xxx

From: Harry
P.S. I love you. Xxxx

From: Louis
Sappy Alpha.

From: Louis
I love you too xx

 

August 2019

“Is a three month anniversary really a thing?”

“It is to me,” Harry grinned over at the Omega stood opposite him, hands on his hips, a sassy look on his face. It was exactly what Harry loved about him, and Harry stepped over next to Louis, taking his hand as he led them over to the counter to check in. “Hi, I’ve got a room reserved for Styles?”

“Certainly Sir, let me check,” the beta behind the desk said, smiling over at the couple. Harry felt possessive all of a sudden and wrapped his arm around Louis’ shoulders, pulling him in against his body. He disliked when he felt his Alpha taking over like this, but he knew Louis liked it so he went with it, kissing the Omega’s hair softly while the woman behind the desk looked on. “Special occasion?”

“Anniversary,” Harry grinned in reply as Louis just rolled his eyes, still not convinced it was worth celebrating three months together in such a fashion. “Could I order some champagne to be sent up to our room later on, please?”

“Harry-”

“Let me spoil us, Lou,” Harry muttered, and the woman behind the desk smiled again, nodding as she inputted their order into her computer. Harry handed over his credit card, and squeezed Louis’ arm a bit tighter as the Omega shuffled closer, a bit sleepy after their early morning flight. He then accepted their key card and kissed Louis’ head before he pulled away, taking both of the suitcases while Louis trailed along behind him. “Come on, love, we can have a nap before we go out to dinner if you want.”

Louis nodded and stepped into the lift, leaning against the wall as Harry pressed the button for the eighth floor. It was a hotel that Alessandro had recommended as one particularly good for romance, with stunning views and amazing room service, and Harry was hoping it would live up to his high expectations. The lift pinged open, and Harry nodded to tell Louis to exit first, smirking as he watched his Omega’s curvy bum as he walked ahead of him, stopping outside their room.

Harry set the bags on the floor and swiped the keycard over the lock, the door opening with a click. Louis pushed it open and walked inside, gasping as he took in the view. Harry watched his boyfriend practically run to the window, throwing open the doors to the balcony and stepping outside, Rome spread out in front of them. A light breeze slipped in past the curtains at the windows, and Harry slowly walked over, stepping up behind Louis, pressing his body against the Omega’s.

“Harry, this is- oh god, this is stunning. Look at this place!”

Louis’ enthusiasm was infectious, and Harry grinned, nuzzling the Omega’s hair, dipping his head so he could press his nose against his scent gland, inhaling deeply, scenting him. Scenting was definitely a thing for the pair of them, and Harry did it whenever he had the chance. Louis'  scent was comforting and calming as always, and Harry’s hands went up and under the hem of Louis’ polo top, resting against his bare skin for a moment. 

“It’s what you deserve,” Harry muttered, kissing down the side of Louis’ neck again, feeling his body begin to respond to being so close to the Omega. Louis hummed and pushed back into it, tilting his head to expose his bonding spot more. Harry was finding it increasingly difficult to hold back whenever they had sex, wanting more than anything to bite Louis, make him his, and he’d come scarily close a few times, his Alpha almost taking over. 

“Alpha…” Louis moaned, a hand snaking up and into Harry’s hair. 

“Not now, Omega,” Harry whispered, pulling back slightly and taking a deep breath. “Plenty of time for that later. Let’s sleep now, I’ve booked us a table somewhere nice tonight.”

“Too good to me,” Louis smiled back. “Carry me to bed, Alpha.”

“So demanding,” Harry teased as Louis hopped up, his legs wrapping easily around Harry’s body, something they were too practised at since Louis often insisted Harry carry him around as much as he could get away with. He gently laid Louis on the bed and stood back up, pulling off his boyfriend’s Vans and jeans, leaving him in just his t-shirt. He tugged his own shirt off, and kicked off his boots, laying down next to Louis, smiling to himself as Louis immediately rolled into Harry’s side, resting his head on his bare chest. “I love you, Lou. Best three months of my life, you know that?”

There was no answer, and Harry angled his head back slightly so he could look down at Louis. He chuckled to himself when he saw the Omega was already asleep, eyes shut, lips parted as he breathed in a slow, deep rhythm. Harry just kissed the top of his head and let his own eyes shut, already excited to spend the next few days alone in Italy. He had a feeling it was going to be the trip of a lifetime.

*****

Harry hurried along the street, smiling at a few locals who were already bustling about on their way to work, and he hoped he was going to make it back before  Louis woke up. It had been hard to leave the Omega in bed this morning, naked and exhausted from the fun they’d had the night before, and Harry had had to drag himself up, getting dressed in the semi-darkness of the room, determined to put his plans into motion for their special day. Today was the actual three month anniversary of them becoming boyfriends, and Harry was determined to make it memorable. He’d never been so deeply in love with someone before, and he wanted to treat Louis and spoil him. 

The staff smiled at him as he dashed into the foyer, a huge bouquet of flowers in his hands, along with a selection of fresh pastries from a small bakery they’d discovered a few days ago, eating until they’d both felt sick. The lift finally arrived, and Harry stepped inside, taking care not to bash the flowers. It sent him flying up to the eighth floor pretty speedily, and he quickly jogged down the corridor, opening the door as quietly as he could. He sighed in relief when he saw Louis was still asleep in bed, the sheet barely covering his bare bum by now, and Harry felt his stomach flip over at the sight.

“Love?” he called as he perched on the edge of the bed, stroking Louis’ bare back. “Lou, wake up, sweetheart.”

“What is it?” Louis croaked, turning over, exposing his entire body as the sheet slipped further down, but he didn't seem bothered. He blinked slowly, his long lashes parting to reveal his beautiful blue eyes that Harry loved so much, and he couldn’t resist dipping lower to brush his lips against Louis’ for a moment. “No, morning breath…”

“Really don’t care,” Harry murmured against Louis’ lips again, loving how warm the Omega felt. “Happy anniversary, Lou. These are for you…”

He reached down to the floor and picked up the flowers, presenting them to Louis who sat up, his cheeks flushed pink as he accepted them.

“Oh Haz… they’re beautiful. I love you, thank you so much…”

“It’s my pleasure. Want you to feel special today.”

“You make me feel special every day,” Louis giggled, tugging Harry closer for a kiss. He looked Harry up and down for a moment, then frowned. “Why are you dressed? It’s our anniversary, we’re meant to be having some very good celebration sex right about now.”

“Oh, I’m saving that for later, I promise. Aren’t you sore from last night?”

Louis smirked and shook his head, tucking his bottom lip between his teeth, looking coyly up at Harry. 

“Can’t help if I like taking your big Alpha cock, can I?” he shrugged, and Harry cackled loudly, the noise bouncing around the large room. “Do you have plans then?”

“Yep, but I’m not telling you anything,” Harry teased as Louis finally got out of bed, walking over to the drapes entirely naked and swooping them to one side, revealing the beautiful Italian sunshine lighting up Rome perfectly. “You need to shower and get ready for the day. It’s my turn to woo you and take you on my idea of a dream date, like you did for me back at the museum.”

“Take a lot to top that one,” Louis mused as he swept past Harry again, going to the small wardrobe where Harry had hung their things. Louis had been adamant they’d be fine sat in his suitcase on the floor as they usually were when he went away, but Harry had ignored him, merrily hanging up Louis’ t-shirts and shirts, and folding his shorts and jeans into the drawers. Harry knew that Louis loved being taken care of, not that he’d admit it to anyone but him. “You joining me?”

Harry shook his head regretfully, knowing he had a few calls to make while Louis was in the shower.

“I showered last night, woke up a while after we dozed off. I’ve got a few calls to make, babe.”

“Alright, your loss,” Louis called as he walked into the bathroom, leaving the door open as he started up the shower, singing lowly to himself. Harry just smiled and got on with his calls, checking things were arranged with Alessandro. He just finished up his final call when Louis emerged from the bathroom, skin dripping, a towel hung loosely around his waist.

“Are you trying to kill me?” Harry moaned, pressing the heel of his hand down on his cock, which was hardening at the sight of Louis like this. No body wash he could buy could disguise Louis’ natural scent, which somehow smelt even stronger today, and Harry felt drawn towards him, getting up on his feet and drifting over, running his palms over Louis’ naked chest. “You smell so fucking good today…”

“I only used the hotel body wash,” Louis said, pushing Harry away lightly to grab some clothes. 

“No, it’s all you,” Harry hummed, crowding Louis against the wardrobe door. “Beginning to regret turning you down before your shower now… really want to knot you-”

“Save it,” Louis chided, wriggling out of Harry’s hold again and shamelessly dropping his towel before he grabbed some boxers, pulling them up and over his hips. “I smell food. Gimme.”

Harry laughed and removed his hand from his crotch, not caring Louis could see how affected he was. He fetched the paper bag full of pastries and opened it, letting Louis have first dibs before he dove in himself, hand clutched around a warm croissant. They ate at a small table on the balcony, Louis only in his underwear, driving Harry wild. He still felt a little out of control, and he watched a droplet of sweat work its way down from Louis’ jaw to his collarbones. He had a need to lick it off, and growled lowly.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“You…” Harry purred, dragging his chair closer, placing a hand on Louis’ exposed thigh. “You just… your scent today. It’s fucking amazing, making me feel all heady.”

“Well, you’d better calm down if we’re going out for the day, hadn’t you?” Louis said, finishing off the last of his breakfast pastry. “I’m getting dressed, maybe you can stay out here and calm down.”

Harry just nodded, not wanting to irritate his Omega on their special day. Louis emerged ten minutes later, looking gorgeous in some denim shorts and a skinny fit t-shirt which did nothing to hide his curves whatsoever. Harry held his hand possessively as they went down to the street, hating anyone who even glanced at the Omega by his side. Harry shook his head, trying to will these feelings to go away, and hailed a taxi, shoving Louis in, watching his bum as he climbed in.

Harry spoke in Italian to direct the driver to their destination, and Louis showed no sign of knowing where they were going, which pleased Harry. Louis looked like an excited child on the journey, face pressed against the window as he watched where they were going eagerly, pointing out a few things he recognised, places he wanted to visit before they went home in a couple of days. Luckily, it wasn’t long until they arrived, and Harry paid the driver, thanking him before he rounded the taxi, opening the door for Louis, who thanked him softly before he took Harry’s hand again.

“Gucci? You’ve brought me shopping? Really?”

“Yep,” Harry grinned, tugging Louis towards the entrance. “Not just ordinary shopping though, I’ve arranged something with Alessandro just for the two of us.”

“What- we’re going to shag in a Gucci store?”

Harry just stared at Louis, not at all surprised he’d come out with something like that.

“As much as I wish I could make that happen, no. But I think you’re going to enjoy it anyway.”

Harry held his hand tightly as they walked inside, weaving his way through the huge flagship store with the practised ease of someone who’d been there countless times. He took Louis to the lifts and pressed the button for the floor he knew they’d be heading to, and stepped out first, grinning when he saw his old friend stood there.

“Harry, Louis! Hello, my loves! Lovely to see you back in Italy!”

“Thank you for having us again, my old friend,” Harry said, releasing Louis’ hand so he could quickly hug Alessandro. “I haven’t introduced you properly, have I? Alessandro, this is my Om- my boyfriend, Louis. Louis, my dear friend Alessandro.”

Harry hoped Louis couldn’t see how his cheeks were flushing at how he’d nearly called him his Omega, something that felt a little premature right now. Louis just ignored it, stepping forward to shake Alessandro’s hand, accepting his congratulations over their three month anniversary.

“If you could follow me,” Alessandro said, the heels of his leather brogues clicking on the floor as he headed off. There was an ornate set of white wooden double doors with lavish gold handles, and Alessandro put his hands on both, pulling back and opening the doors with a flourish. Harry smiled at what his friend had set up, and led Louis inside, nodding his thanks to Alessandro who was already leaving and shutting the door behind him, leaving them alone. 

“What is this?” Louis asked, starting to walk around the perimeter of the room, fingers running over the racks of clothes that were pushed back against walls, over the backs of the gilt fabric sofas, across the lavish floral wallpaper on the walls. “Harry, what have you done?”

“Well, I obviously work in fashion,” Harry began, suddenly feeling nervous that Louis was going to hate his suggestion. “I’ve not really had a chance to properly share my love of all things Gucci with you, so I thought we’d have our own little fashion show today. I’ve put together some pieces that I love, and I think you’d look good in. I’d really love it if you wore them for me, love.”

Louis just stared at Harry before his eyes flitted over to the rails again, eyebrows raising at the sight of the clothes he was sure he’d never in a million years choose to wear.

“So… this is a present for you?” he asked, his voice laced with humour now, and Harry just laughed, shrugging as he knew Louis was entirely right. “Right, I see how it is. And what do I get out of this?”

“I may have bought you a little something to wear later on for me…” Harry murmured, his voice low, willing his body to stay under control for now.

“From Gucci?” 

“Nope. Definitely not from Gucci.”

“Oh. Fuck, yeah okay,” Louis breathed out, walking back to Harry and tucking his hands in Harry’s back pockets, their torsos pressed against the other. “Better undress me then, hadn’t you?”

Harry could only nod, his mouth suddenly as dry as a desert. He felt glad that Alessandro had left them alone, as right now he wasn’t sure he could promise not to defile the beautiful room they were in with his beautiful Omega. His hands grasped the bottom of Louis’ t-shirt and pulled it off over his head, dislodging his artfully crafted fringe for a moment before his fingertips came up, swooping it into place.

“Okay, first up,” Harry muttered, dragging himself reluctantly away from Louis’ bare body. “I really love this shirt, and I think the colour will look so gorgeous on you. With…” he rummaged on the rack again, pulling out some similarly coloured trousers. “These.”

“Seriously?”

“Yep,” Harry grinned, shoving the items at Louis who just stood there. “What are you waiting for?”

“You to dress me?” 

“Oh right, okay,” Harry hummed, unbuttoning the shirt on it's hanger. He smiled as he realised it was more his size than it was Louis’, and he rolled back the sleeves, letting the lavender material drape down Louis’ thighs as he fastened each of the small buttons. He then got Louis out of his shorts, resisting the urge to bury his nose in the crease of Louis’ thigh, to mark him up there, one of his favourite places in the world to put his mouth. He then tapped each of Louis’ legs to make him lift them, slowly pulling up the trousers until he could fasten them around Louis’ slender waist. He carefully tucked in the shirt and stood up.

“I look like a fucking twat,” Louis said as he turned to face the mirror, and both he and Harry burst into laughter at the same time, bent over, clutching their stomachs. “Jesus, Haz…”

“Oh, the finishing touch,” Harry laughed, grabbing a grey blazer and sliding it up Louis’ arms. “Perfect.”

“You actually wear this stuff and somehow make it look good?”

“I do,” Harry agreed, loving the fact the Omega wasn’t bothered about making a bit of a fool of himself in front of him. “Perhaps this sort of thing is more my style than yours?”

“Just a bit,” Louis chuckled, starting to undo the buttons of the shirt already. “I think we should both have a go at this.”

“At what?” 

”Playing dress up,” Louis said, strolling over to the rail of clothes, the fabric of the shirt billowing behind him as he walked, making his scent waft through the room. “Fucking hell, it’s hot in here. Open a window, would you?”

Harry was a bit surprised at the request. Since he’d been with Louis, his flat had been warmer than normal thanks to Louis’ hatred of being cold, and Harry often found himself sweating as they watched T.V., sweating under a blanket together at Louis’ insistence. Harry didn't think it was particularly warm in the old stone building, but he did as the Omega asked. A soft breeze blew through, and Louis sighed in contentment as it trickled across his skin.

“Put these on, please,” Louis instructed, handing over a colourful selection of patterned fabrics to Harry, who just shrugged and started stripping off there and then. He slipped on the black and white striped scoop neck t-shirt, pulling on a bright red blazer with pink lapels on top of it. Harry knew Louis had put this together for a laugh, but secretly, Harry loved the mixture of bold colours and patterns. A pair of pale pink trousers followed, and Harry pulled those up, fastening them at the waist before he tucked in his t-shirt, doing a twirl for Louis. “That’s not fucking fair,” the Omega said, amusingly stomping his foot on the floor.

“What isn’t?” Harry asked, looking down at himself. 

“You don’t look like a twat!”

“Um, thank you?” Harry replied, trying to decide if Louis had just complimented him or not.

“Seriously. How do you pull that off? I pulled out those things thinking it would look awful, but you look… fuck, you look amazing. Which is great, because you’re gorgeous. But why don’t I look like you?”

“You look amazing,” Harry said, growling as he hated how Louis was putting himself down. “Don’t think I won’t rip these clothes off right now and fuck you until you believe me.”

Louis just blinked and nodded, swallowing obviously. 

“Now, let me choose you something else.”

The pair of them laughed for hours together as Harry continued to put together outfits for Louis, each one more outlandish and crazy than the one before. Harry’s favourite look on his boyfriend was a dark grey pinstripe suit, with no shirt underneath, baring his collarbones. He then draped a checked robe over Louis, shoving his feet into some too-big cream loafers. Louis had wailed about wearing a dressing gown over a smart suit, and to shut him up, Harry kissed him until their lips were swollen, and Louis was moaning about being damp in his boxers. Harry didn't mind in the slightest.

He’d tried to put Louis in a few pieces of jewellery as well, but the Omega had been adamant he wouldn’t wear any of it, forcing his boyfriend to try things for him. Harry had layered up rings on his long fingers, and Louis had muttered some dirty words about how good they’d feel against him as Harry fingered him later that night, and Harry vowed to buy himself a few things, just in case Louis felt like making those things come true.

“Now this rail,” Harry said, now wearing only the pale pink trousers Louis had picked out earlier, stilling as he saw Louis fanning his face desperately with his hands, his cheeks bright pink. “Are you okay, Lou? I can take you back to the hotel-”

“I’m fine. Just a hot flush, that’s all. Carry on, I want to see what ridiculous things you have on there.”

“Well, that’s the thing. I, uh, I made sure Alessandro put some things up here I knew what you’d like.”

Harry lifted off a couple of the garment bags, passing them to Louis who stopped fanning himself long enough to take them from the Alpha, who was watching his face for reactions as he slowly pulled the zips down, revealing the outfits inside.

“Trackies!” Louis said gleefully, tugging out the comfy looking hoodies and jogging bottoms, grinning over to his boyfriend. “Ah, so you do know what I like!”

“Course I do,” Harry grinned, watching as Louis shrugged on a cosy looking black hoodie, Gucci stitched down the arms and across the shoulders. It made Louis even tinier if that was possible, so Harry did what felt natural. He scooped Louis into his arms and held him close to his chest, kissing his lips sweetly. “You are so cute.”

“Rude,” Louis said through a grin, tilting his chin back for another kiss. “This is exactly what I love to wear. I wish I could afford this… Harry, what are you doing?”

Harry’s nose was buried deep into the crook of Louis’ neck now, inhaling deeply, letting his nose fill with the Omega’s scent.

“You just… I can’t get enough your scent,” he rumbled out, his Alpha screaming out for him to take the Omega right then, to make him his. “Seriously, Omega, you smell… you smell different today, but still like you. I can’t explain…”

“I dunno,” Louis shrugged, whining as Harry started sucking on the sensitive skin of his neck, no doubt intending on leaving a mark. Harry could feel Louis getting hot and sweaty all over, and the way Louis was wriggling told Harry it wasn’t in an entirely comfortable way. “Alpha, don’t-”

“Lou, I’m worried, is something wrong?”

“No. At least, I don’t think so. I just feel weird. But it’s fine. I want to try these bits on.”

“Good, because they’re yours.”

Louis’ head snapped up at those words, and he just stared at Harry, his jaw dropped as he pulled himself out of Harry’s hold.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, they’re yours. They belong to you. I told Alessandro I wanted to treat you to something that you’d like, and I knew this would be it. So these two outfits are yours. I just wanted to have some fun with the stuff that was more me.”

The smile that lit up Louis’ face was worth every penny that the clothes had cost Harry, and he just about steadied himself as Louis ran over and practically jumped at Harry, legs wrapping quickly around his waist. Louis didn't hesitate before he pulled Harry into a deep kiss, the Omega’s cloying scent wrapping around Harry as his tongue brushed Louis’.

“I think you’d better get me back to the hotel, don’t you?” Louis purred, kissing down the side of Harry’s jaw, making the Alpha’s cock twitch again. “I want to thank you for today…”

“Fuck, yes please,” Harry rasped out, his voice low and husky as he knew exactly what they were heading back for. “You going to wear that back?”

Louis shook his head, already jumping down from Harry’s arms and tugging the hoodie off over his head.

“Nope. Fucking Italy is too hot for this…”

“My turn to make you hot and sweaty soon,” Harry mumbled, crowding up behind Louis again, his erection nestled against Louis’ curvy bum. His mind was going crazy with the thought of knotting his Omega again, and he loved the moan Louis let out as he ground his hips forward, circling his cock against Louis’ backside. “Hurry up, please. Not sure how much longer I can resist you for.”

*****

Louis clutched at his head as he let his eyes flicker open, the pounding across the front of his forehead almost debilitating for a minute. The room was shrouded in half-darkness thanks to the closed drapes, and Louis frowned, wondering what was happening. Harry was laying next to him, wearing only tight black boxers, and Louis felt his stomach swoop at the sight, a gush of slick emerging from him.

It was then that Louis noticed how hot he felt, how his body was prickled with sweat from head to toe and he moaned, reaching a hand down to palm himself. Someone in the back of his mind, Louis recognised these symptoms, but all that was crowding his mind was HarryHarryHarry , and the need to get his Alpha’s cock inside him. Harry was soft, still apparently deep in sleep but Louis rolled onto his side, pressing his cock against Harry’s bare thigh, whining in relief from the pressure he was putting on his cock.

His mouth felt dry, and his skin felt sticky, and Louis just hoped he didn't smell, aside from his usual Omega scent that drove Harry crazy. He felt frantic somehow as he continued to thrust his hips up against Harry’s body, and without thinking, he dragged himself up onto his hands and knees, body already aching everywhere with a need for his Alpha, and he crawled across the bed, positioning himself on top of Harry, who remained asleep. Louis gently pressed his palms on Harry’s bare chest as he lowered himself down fully onto the Alpha beneath him, relishing the skin on skin contact.

He started to slowly circle his hips, grinding his cock against Harry’s, biting down on his lip to try and keep his sounds inside. He didn't register when Harry’s hands came up and cupped his bum, keeping them moving together, and he just did what felt right. He felt some sort of primal need to keep going, and when Harry moaned lowly in the back of his throat, Louis felt another familiar gush from his backside, soaking the seat of his boxers.

“Lou…” Harry rumbled, Louis feeling the vibrations against his chest. “What are you- oh god…”

“Need you, Alpha,” Louis whimpered, unashamed of his need to be filled. “Need your cock and your knot-”

“Louis, shit-” Harry stuttered, trying to sit up but he couldn’t since Louis was pressed along the entire length of his body. “Baby, is this your heat?”

“I don’t know,” Louis whined, unable to compute what it was Harry was saying to him. “Just need my Alpha-”

Louis loved how Harry growled at those words, and he sighed in pleasure as Harry’s big hands pushed down on his ass as his hips pushed up, forcing their bodies even closer together. Louis began kissing over Harry’s bare chest, flicking his tongue against Harry’s nipple for a moment, and he barely flinched as Harry started to slip his hands into the waistband of Louis’ boxers, touching his bare bum before his finger slipped between Louis’ cheeks, ghosting over where Louis craved to be touched.

“Alpha, please-”

“I’ve got you, Omega,” Harry growled as he grasped Louis’ hips, flipping them over with ease. Louis loved how his back slammed down against the mattress, entirely pinned down by the Alpha looming over him. “I need to know you want this, Louis.”

“I do, so bad, want you, want your cock, want your knot. Need you to fill me up, make me feel you. It hurts, Alpha-”

Harry sat up for a moment between Louis’ thigh, smirking as he looked down at the Omega, hard and barely restrained by the cotton fabric of his underwear. He slid his big hands up the expanse of Louis’ toned yet curvy thighs, and Louis whimpered, fisting the sheets underneath him, too aware he was getting wetter. The slight flare of Harry’s nostrils told him the Alpha could smell it, and he watched Harry’s eyes darken, getting taken over by his natural instincts to fuck the ready Omega.

“I need to taste you, Omega,” Harry mumbled, shuffling down on the bed so he was on his stomach between Louis’ legs, pushing his thighs apart with his big hands. “I’ll knot you soon, baby, give you what you want, but I need to see how perfect you taste, is that okay?”

Louis just nodded, his eyes staying scrunched shut as he prepared himself for the first flick of Harry’s tongue over his hole. He felt Harry’s hands come down to his bum again, pulling him apart slightly, and Louis mewled at how exposed he felt, how much he wanted Harry to put his mouth on him. There was no semblance of shame as he begged Harry to taste him, and Louis heard himself scream as Harry pressed his tongue flat against Louis’ hole for a moment, allowing himself to taste every droplet of slick leaking from his boyfriend.

“Oh, fuck- please, please, more,” Louis begged, struggling to keep still. Harry’ hand trailed up from where they were holding his inner thighs open and clamped down on Louis’ hips, pinning him to the bed. “Alpha-”

He peered down as Harry looked up, and almost came from the sight of Harry’s face covered in spit and slick. The Alpha licked his lips obscenely, humming at the taste of Louis, and he let his eyes drift down to where precome was spilling from Louis’ cock, hard and heavy against his hip. 

“You taste so fucking good. Could keep my mouth on you all day,” Harry mumbled before he sank back down, licking eagerly over Louis’ slick hole. The Omega focused on keeping himself still, on how good Harry’s tongue felt in his most intimate place, the place he wanted only Harry to touch from now until the end of time. “Love you, love eating you out…”

“I love it too,” Louis uttered, his hands now tangled in Harry’s thick curls. “So good to me…”

“You’re so wet,” came Harry’s voice again, his breath hot against Louis’ hole. “Just for me?”

“Yes, only you,” Louis said, struggling to stay coherent now. His body was thrumming with desire, his hole clenching around Harry’s tongue, and he had a deep-rooted need to be knotted. By now, Louis was sure he was somehow in early heat, perhaps triggered by the unusually warm Italian weather and the change to his contraceptive injection of last month. Either way, Louis knew what he needed right now, and it was his Alpha. “Fuck me.”

“Shit,” Harry mumbled again, pressing his puckered lips to Louis’ hole for a final time before he sat back up, wiping his mouth off on the back of his hand. “You sure?”

“Need it,” Louis confirmed, wriggling down the bed, planting his feet on the mattress, trying to entice Harry. He needn’t have bothered, as Harry was already hard as Louis watched him pull off his own underwear, the sight of the Alpha’s cock making him salivate. Harry looked big and hard, and Louis shut his eyes for a moment, imagining how that would feel inside him, knotting them together. “Inside me. Now.”

“So demanding, Omega,” Harry hissed as he worked a hand over himself, still staring at Louis’ naked  body as he did so, eyes roaming all over him. “You want this, hmm?”

Louis nodded again, slick still continuing to pour from him. He moaned as Harry ran the wet tip of his cock around Louis’ entrance, teasing instead of pressing inside where Louis wanted him. They locked eyes for a moment as Harry guided his cock up and down between Louis’ cheeks, both of them worked up and needy now. Louis’ body ached with a need to be filled, and he screamed out Harry’s name when, finally, the Alpha pushed his hips forward, the tip of his cock sliding easily into Louis’ waiting body.

“Yes, yes, yes,” Louis chanted as Harry sank deeper inside until he was buried fully, Louis clenching around him now, enjoying how it felt to be filled. Harry’s cock was the biggest Louis had ever taken, and he loved the burn of how Harry stretched him out each and every time they had sex. Right now, though, Louis didn't want to wait. “Fuck me. Want it rough, hard-”

“Shit, so filthy aren’t you?” Harry murmured as he pulled his hips back, driving them forward hard and fast, bumping Louis up the bed. “Such a fucking needy Omega for me, just want my knot, don’t you?”

“And your come,” Louis moaned in reply, as Harry pounded into him again, his rhythm relentless. “Want your pups, Alpha-”

Harry stopped his thrusts at those words, and planted his palms on the bed, looking down with dark eyes at the Omega who was just blinking up at him. Louis hadn’t been thinking when he’d blurted out his thoughts, and he stuttered, wondering if he’d said the wrong thing.

“Shit, I-”

“You want my pups?” Harry growled out, his voice lower than Louis was sure he’d ever it. Louis just nodded, Harry’s eyes following his every move. “Fuck, that’s so fucking hot. Want to get you pregnant, give you my pups. Fuck, yes-”

Clearly that thought did it for Harry because Louis was now being fucked to within an inch of his life. Harry was pounding at him now, bodies both sweating as they moved together, and Louis brought his legs up and around Harry’s waist, his heels pressing against Harry’s bum, drawing him in ever closer. Harry kept leaning down and nosing against Louis’ scent gland, licking it and scraping his teeth over Louis’ bonding spot, making the Omega lose his mind. It was almost too much, an overload of the senses, but Louis didn't ever want Harry to stop.

“Gonna knot you, fill you up, baby,” the Alpha growled, fucking Louis harder again, their skin slapping obscenely. “So fucking lucky to have you-”

Louis was slipping into something he’d not felt in a long time. Harry’s words washed over him like a soft wave, and he hummed, shifting his legs higher up Harry’s back, subconsciously opening himself up more for the Alpha between his thighs. He felt so good, on fire wherever Harry touched him, and in that moment, it was clear to Louis what he wanted.

“Bite me. Fuck, want it, bite me, make me yours-”

“Omega, don’t-” Harry said through a strangled gasp, clearly struggling to keep himself under control. “Don’t say that-”

“I want it,” Louis said, feeling like he wanted to cry. His skin burned with a need to be marked, and he tilted his neck to the side, trying desperately to show Harry what he needed so viscerally. “Bite me, Alpha. Want to belong to you-”

“Louis, I…” Harry stuttered, his hips still thrusting wildly between Louis’ legs, and he stared down at Louis, licking his lips. “Fuck-”

Louis held his breath as Harry dipped his head, nosing over Louis’ bare bonding spot at the junction where his neck met his shoulder. He shivered at having the Alpha touch him there, so deliberate and certain, and Louis had never wanted anything more. He whined, not caring how desperate he sounded, and shuddered as Harry’s tongue laved over the spot for a moment.

“Fuck me and bite me-” Louis demanded, his head swimming now. His hand cupped the back of Harry’s head, pulling him closer, as if he was trying to make them one being. “Do it-”

“Omega-” Harry growled, and that was it.

Louis screamed as Harry bit down hard on his bonding spot, piercing the skin. Louis’ body was filled with a rush of endorphins which pushed him to his orgasm, spilling hotly over himself and Harry. He could feel Harry’s teeth digging in deeper, uniting them, and Harry’s body held him down, giving Louis nowhere to go. His hips were still moving, pushing Harry’s Alpha cock deeper inside, and Louis screamed again as Harry’s knot began to swell.

“All fucking mine,” Harry growled out before he began to lick over Louis’ new permanent mark, the one that told the world he belonged to Harry. “Forever, you’re mine forever-”

Louis sighed and flopped back onto the bed, spent and exhausted as Harry kept using his body. He locked eyes with Harry as the Alpha grunted, pushing his swelling knot past Louis’ sensitive and sore rim, groaning as he started to come. Louis felt pleasure like no other as Harry started to fill him up, his knot popping fully and locking them together. It felt different now that they were bonded, and Louis let his eyes flutter shut, lost in the moment as Harry kept kissing his bond mark, drifting down to his collarbones but always returning to the new mark, kissing it as if making sure it was real.

“I love you, my Omega,” Harry murmured into Louis’ eyes, making him shiver as Harry’s breath brushed over his skin. “Love you so much.”

“Love you too, Alpha,” Louis sighed, feeling his body slip further into sleep. “Yours…” was the final word that fell from his lips before the Omega gave into sleep, surrounded by his Alpha, and their shared love.

*****

“Alpha?” Louis moaned as he woke up, sore and sated. He winced as he pushed himself up from the mattress, brow furrowed as he frantically looked around for his Alpha. He felt a sudden sense of loss when he realised his mate had vanished, and he ignored the sharp pain in his bum as he stumbled out of the bed, ignoring the mess their love making had left behind on both the bed and his body.

He reached for his phone, cursing when he realised it had died, but a scrap of paper on Harry’s bedside table caught his attention. Louis ran around and snatched it up, biting back a sob as he read Harry’s hastily scrawled words.

Louis

I’m so fucking sorry, I never should have taken advantage of you in that state. I’m so sorry, I love you so much. I don’t trust myself around you right now, I need you to be safe. 

I love you, my beautiful Omega. 

Harry xxx

Louis let out a scream of frustration before he balled up the note, throwing it against the wall in rage. Although he was in heat, Louis felt lucid again, and he grabbed whatever clothes he could find, pulling them onto his still hot body. His fresh bonding mark pulsed, and Louis hissed as he pressed his fingers against the raw mark, hurrying over to a mirror to admire it. It was a dark purple bruise at the moment, still slightly bloody, but Louis smiled, loving what it symbolised. He just had to get Harry to realise this was what he wanted, that he didn't regret a thing.

Without thinking it through, Louis snatched up his phone and a charger, plugging it in before he shoved it in his pocket and left the room. In the back of his mind, Louis was aware that being out in public whilst in the throes of an unscheduled heat wasn’t the best idea, but he was driven entirely by the need to find his Alpha, to unite them again. He fanned himself with his hands as the lift took him downstairs, and he stumbled out into the Italian early evening. It was still warm, and Louis ignored how his clothes were sticking to his body as his eyes raked around, looking for Harry.

He wandered around for what felt like ages until his phone vibrated in his pocket. Louis slid it out, ignoring Liam’s text checking in on him, and he pulled up Harry’s message thread.

From: Louis
Harry where are you? I need you, I’m looking for you tell me where you are please

It was only a second before Louis’ phone buzzed in reply, and he leaned back against a brick wall to support himself, a wave of tiredness washing around him as he read Harry’s words to him.

From: Harry
You better not be out, it’s not safe, Omega. 

From: Louis
I’m looking for you. Tell me where you are and I’ll come to you.

From: Harry
the fountain. Xxxx

Louis grinned to himself as he realised Harry was at a spot they’d found the other day on their travels. They’d sat outside in the Italian sunshine eating ice cream, watching some young children excitedly splash in the cool water, smiling fondly at the sight. Louis knew it was a quick walk away and he headed off in what he hoped was the right direction.

As soon as he saw the silhouette of his Alpha, Louis broke into a run. It was like Harry could sense him approach, as he span around, a look of distress evident on his face. Louis was aware of the eyes of passing Alpha’s on him, no doubt smelling his potent scent laced with the pheromones of his heat but Louis couldn’t bring himself to care as his body crashed into Harry’s, holding tightly onto him.

“Fuck, don’t you ever leave me again, you hear me?” Louis muttered against Harry’s shirt, already feeling comforted by the presence of his Alpha. “We’re fucking newly bonded, Haz, you can’t do that to me.”

“I’m so sorry,” Harry whispered, tears falling from his eyes onto Louis’ hair. “I’m a horrible person, I never should have done that, Louis, I’m so fucking sorry-”

Louis pulled back, frowning up at the Alpha in front of him, who looked a bit of a mess, tears falling from his jaw, hair a sweaty mess on top of his head. Louis, though, thought he looked beautiful. 

“Harry, will you stop? You’re an Alpha. You did what your body wanted, what I wanted .

“But Louis-”

“Did I ask you to bite me?” Louis asked, determined to make Harry understand.

“Well, yeah, but-”

“Did I enjoy it?”

“I think so, you came, and held me-”

“Then what’s the problem?”

Harry sighed, running his hands over his face before he looked at Louis again, his eyes red and shiny with unshed tears. 

“I had no right to bite you, not in your heat. I didn't give you a choice-”

“I ASKED YOU TO!” Louis yelled, feeling full of frustration now. “Harry, how many times do I have to tell you I wanted this?”

Harry looked a little stunned at Louis’ emotional outburst, and pressed his full lips together, making them disappear for a moment.

“Alpha, listen to me. I know we’ve only been together a few months. I’m not stupid, I know that. But fuck me, if I don’t love you with everything I have. I have never felt the way I do for you about anyone else. Not ever. I’ve wanted you to bond with me for a while now. I want this, Harry, I want us. I want to be your mate, I want a family with you, I want to carry your pups in my belly, fuck, I want to marry you-”

“No!”

Louis stopped, eyes flying open at Harry’s interruption, and he could almost feel his heart shatter into a million pieces as he realised that wasn’t what Harry wanted.

“No?” he whispered, barely about to vocalise the word.

“You can’t-- you can’t say that, please -”

“Shit, oh god, fuck,” Louis muttered, taking a step back, but as he went to run, Harry grabbed his wrist, pulling him back around, looking earnestly at him. “Let go of me-”

“You can’t propose to me,” Harry started, his eyes flitting around Louis’ face, landing on his bond mark for a moment before they returned to his eyes. “You can’t do that, because that’s my job. I’ve always wanted to propose to my Omega, and fuck Louis, I love you but I won’t let you take that away from me.”

Louis laughed loudly at the realisation Harry didn't not want to marry him, but that he wanted to be the one to ask.

“You have to forget you said that, okay? Let this be my thing, please?”

Louis nodded shyly, letting Harry pull their bodies together.

“I don’t regret it,” Louis reiterated, needing Harry to understand. “I’m yours now. How can I regret that?”

He hummed again as Harry nudged his jaw, exposing the side of his neck where the obvious mark was. 

“I like how my mark looks on you,” Harry murmured, his voice low again, and Louis could feel his erection start to press against his hip. “Louis, need to get you back to the hotel-”

“Again?” Louis asked, cocking his eyebrow, shuddering as a bead of sweat trickled down his spine. “Fuck-”

“You’re in heat. It’s not safe for you to be out. Want to take care of you. You’re my Omega now. Let me keep you safe?”

With a smile, Louis nodded, laughing as Harry swept him off his feet and into his arms, hoping he wasn’t leaking slick onto Harry’s body. He nuzzled against his Alpha’s chest, letting Harry kiss his forehead as he started to walk in the direction of their hotel.

“Everyone’s looking,” Louis whispered, cheeks flushing pink at the fond smiles they were getting.

“Let them look,” Harry said, barely straining with Louis’ weight in his arms. “Proud to be carrying my Omega. I love you, Lou.”

“Love you too,” Louis replied, relaxing in Harry’s hold. “Haz?”

“Mm?” Harry hummed, looking left and right before he crossed the road, shifting Louis up his body slightly. “What do you need?”

“Your cock,” Louis retorted cheekily, loving how Harry’s eyes flicked down to his before they focused on where he was going. “Think you need to show me I’m yours when we get back to the hotel- fuck, Harry!”

Louis clung on for dear life as Harry broke into a run, dashing for the hotel, and Louis just laughed loudly, throwing his head back, safe in the arms of his Alpha.

*****

Louis looked up as the waiter approached their table and looked to Harry, getting a nod before he started to clear away their empty plates. He soon disappeared, leaving Harry and Louis along once more. Harry rested his open palm on the table, and Louis quickly slotted his own hand into it, loving how Harry’s long fingers curled around his own. He smiled across to his Alpha, who looked ridiculously handsome in a white Gucci shirt, and some flared Gucci jeans. Sometimes, Louis couldn’t believe Harry really was his now.

“I don’t want to go home,” Harry confessed, stroking his thumb now over the back of Louis’ hand. “It’s been wonderful, being here with you.”

“I know,” Louis said, feeling the same pang of regret at the fact they were going home tomorrow. Their time in Italy had been extended by a few days thanks to Louis’ heat, which had now passed. Harry had refused to leave their hotel room again until it was passed and he knew it was safe for Louis to be out, and Louis hadn’t even bothered to argue. They’d enjoyed each other’s bodies a lot over the past few days and neither man regretted a single thing, not even the fee Harry had to pay to adjust their return date with the airline. “Can we go for a walk before we go back to the hotel and pack?”

“Sounds perfect,” Harry agreed, taking the bill from the waiter, who sidled away again. “Your bum feel alright now, by the way?”

Louis flushed but nodding, trying to avoid wriggling too much in his seat. He’d never had so much sex in his life, and he was definitely feeling the after effects of an amorous few days. He was quite sure his boyfriend had spent more time inside his body than he had out of it, and the thought made Louis smirk.

“Stop the dirty thoughts,” Harry said quietly, trying not to be overheard. “Let me pay for this, then we’ll head out.”

“Let me-”

“No, Louis,” Harry called as he beckoned the waiter over, handing over his credit card to cover the meal. “I take care of what’s mine, remember?”

The waiter smiled as he handed the machine over to Harry, turning away as the Alpha inputted his pin. Louis just sat back, smiling at how obvious was being about the fact they were bonded. Not that anyone could miss the bond mark on Louis’ neck, proudly displayed thanks to the black shirt he had on, undone to his chest, the collar pulled apart to ensure his mark was visible. Louis wore it as a mark of pride, and he loved when Harry absentmindedly touched it with his fingertips whenever they were together.

“Thank you so much,” the waiter said softly as he handed Harry back his card and receipt, nodding to Louis as he walked away. Louis just watched as Harry got up, coming behind Louis to pull his chair out. Louis would never admit to his friends how much he loved his Alpha taking care of him like this, leading him around, keeping him safe and secure against his side. 

“Ready to head out, love?” 

“Yup,” Louis agreed, hooking his jacket over his arm. The weather was still warm, and Louis was still feeling the after effects of his heat, his body still a touch warmer than it usually was, which resulted in Louis kicking off the covers every single night, much to Harry’s frustration. He’d taken to sleeping with a blanket on the floor beside his bed now, not wanting to upset his Omega in any way. Louis fell more in love with him because of that small fact.

Harry took his head and led them out of the restaurant, weaving them easily through the small Roman streets. There were many other couples who had the same idea, and Louis thought about their stories, how they met and fell in love, wondering if it was similar to what had happened between himself and Harry. 

Louis felt a feeling of contentment settle deep within his bones as he and Harry strolled down the road, hand in hand, comfortable silence between them. He felt peaceful, like he had everything in life that he wanted. He had a wonderful family, the best friends a guy could ask for, and an Alpha who loved him and looked at him like he was the sun, moon and stars.

They turned a corner, and Louis smiled at the sight of the familiar fountain, where just a few days ago Louis had felt like his world was ending. He tugged at Harry’s hand, pulling him to a stop.

“I want to make a wish.”

“You want to what?”

“Make a wish. You know, throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish. I, uh, it was something Mum and I used to do when I was little. You got a coin?”

Harry rummaged in his pocket, pulling out a small Euro coin and handing it to Louis with a small kiss. 

“Go on, then. Make your wish.”

Louis smiled and tried not to skip over to the fountain, coin clutched tightly in his palm. Louis’ mind was flooded with memories of doing this with his mum when he was a little boy, grinning at her as he ran back over to her, hugging and excitedly whispering that he’d made a wish. She’d always made him keep it to himself, telling him that if he shared it, it wouldn’t come true. Louis, in his wide eyed innocence, had believed her.

Softly, Louis mumbled a few whispered words under his breath before he flicked the coin into the water, watching it land with a small splash. There was a hum of activity around him, a few people gasping, and a titter of conversation striking up, but Louis ignored it, watching the water ripple, settling back down to the calm, smooth surface it had been before. Louis exhaled slowly, a smile crossing his face. He turned around, gabbling excitedly to Harry.

“Harry, I- oh my god.”

He hadn’t expected what he turned to see. Now, the crowd noise and gasps made sense, and Louis’ hand shook as he brought it up to his mouth in shock, the moment sinking in. Harry was in front of him on one knee, an open black velvet box in his palm. He was looking up at Louis with a look of complete love and devotion, and Louis stepped forward, coming to a stop in front of his boyfriend, the crowds around them falling silent. The only sound was Louis’ beating heart, and a few phones snapping pictures of the moment.

“I told you this was my thing,” Harry said with a smile, locking eyes with Louis. “I know this is fast. But what between us hasn’t been? I’ve never been more sure of anything as I am about you. You are the most beautiful Omega I’ve ever laid eyes on, and I want to be the one you wake up to every day, that kisses you before you fall asleep, who holds you when you’re happy, or sad, or you just need a cuddle. I know we’re bonded and that means we’re forever, but I would love nothing more than to call you my husband as well. You complete me, Louis. I didn't know I was missing anything until you came into my life, and made me whole. So Louis William Tomlinson, my beautiful Omega… will you marry me?”

Louis could feel tears burning at the back of his eyes at Harry’s words, and he nodded, his hand slowly falling back down against his side.

“Yes. God, yes-” 

Harry took his left hand, kissing the back of it gently before he removed the gold band from the box, pushing it onto Louis’ ring finger. It was a slim band, and it looked perfect against Louis’ tanned skin, telling the world he was Harry’s fiancé now. Harry got to his feet, and Louis didn't waste a second before he crashed into Harry, kissing him as the crowds around started to applaud and cheer at the romantic moment unfolding before their eyes.

“We’re getting married,” Harry muttered against Louis’ lips, his arms around Louis’ waist, hands resting on Louis’ lower back. “You’ll be my mate, and my husband.”

“I love you so much,” Louis confided, kissing Harry again, ignoring the camera flashes still happening around them as tears tumbled hotly down his cheeks. “I can’t believe you did this-”

“I was planning on it, even before we bonded,” Harry confessed as Louis lowered himself to his feet again. “I bought the ring in London. Then the other day when you said you wanted to marry me… it just confirmed everything I ever wanted, and that was to ask you to marry me, here in Italy.”

“Best anniversary trip ever,” Louis grinned, pecking Harry one last time before he turned shyly to the audience, smiling. A couple of people approached the happy couple, showing them various photos and videos they’d taken, and Harry tried his best to translate as everyone indicated they wanted to send the images to the pair, both of them turning on their AirDrop modes on their phones, smiling as the videos and images rolled in, moments to treasure, to share with their family and friends when they got home.

“Oh my god-” Louis said suddenly, turning to face his fiancé.

“What?”

“We’ve got to tell everyone tomorrow that we’re getting married! The boys are gonna freak !” 

“In a good way?” Harry asked, looking nervous all of a sudden.

“Yeah, I reckon so. I mean, they’ll be shocked, because this is the last thing they’d have expected from me, but fuck it. I’m happy, and they will be.”

“Good. Because I only ever want to make you happy,” Harry said, sidling up to Louis again and kissing his cheek. The crowds were starting to disappear now, leaving them alone. “So, what did you wish for- oh, no, don’t tell me, it won’t come-”

“I wished for this,” Louis revealed, holding up his left hand. “I wished that we would live a long and happy life together. That we’d get married, have pups. Just enjoy a life that’s ours. And I can tell you now because my wish came true. I found you, and I’m in love with you, and you’re mine. You are my wish, Harry.”

*****

“Ready for this?” Louis asked, hovering nervously outside Liam’s flat, where he knew the rest of his friends were. They’d just come from seeing Harry’s mother and sister, revealing the news of their engagement and bonding to many tears of joy, and Louis had already told his family he’d be up to visit at the weekend. He just didn't bother to tell them why. Now, though, the prospect of telling his friends sat heavily in his belly, and he watched Harry nod, nerves evident in his entire face and body. “It’ll be okay.”

“Liam’s scary when he’s angry. You think he’ll be angry, Lou?” Harry asked as Louis rapped on the door, forgoing the use of his key like he usually would do, all of the friends happy to let themselves in and out of each others flat’s as they pleased.

“Well, if it isn’t the intrepid explorers,” Niall grinned from the other side of the door, pulling Louis into a quick hug, slapping his back before he grabbed Harry. “Have a good holiday? Come in, come in…”

Louis nodded and shuffled in, his heart racing in his chest.

“Yeah, it was amazing. Best holiday ever, actually. We’ve-”

“What’s that?” Niall asked, face clouded in confusion before his eyes widened and he pointed at Louis, a look of shock on his face. “LIAM!”

“Don’t fucking call for- hiya, mate,” Louis gabbled, trying desperately to ignore Niall’s hand actions as Liam appeared in the doorway. “You alright?”

“Liam, look!”

Niall just pointed and Liam stared at him, a bit agog.

“Louis… something to tell us?”

“Uh, yeah,” Louis began, taking Harry’s hand and squeezing tightly, glancing over to his Alpha who looked like he was about to turn on his heel and run away. “We’ve got some news…”

“I can see that,” Liam said, his voice steady, muscular arms folded over his chest.

“So, Harry and I… we’re bonded,” Louis began as Niall grinned, while Liam’s face remained blank, staring at the nervous couple. Louis slowly raised his left hand, revealing the band wrapped around his ring finger, the one he hadn’t stopped touching, reminding himself that this was real, that Harry had proposed, that he was going to be Harry’s husband. “Oh, and we’re getting married…”

“What the FUCK?!”

Chapter Text

“Louis! Has Eli hidden my passport again?”

Louis sighed and turned his attention to his sixteen month old son, frowning at him as the baby toddled around, still wearing just his nappy.

“Elijah Tomlinson-Styles, did you take Dada’s passport, hmm? Did you hide it?”

Elijah giggled and wobbled away as quickly as his little pudgy legs could carry him, crouching and hiding behind his toy box much to Louis’ amusement.

“Louis, I-” 

Harry stopped dead as he walked into Elijah’s bedroom, smiling at the top of his son’s head poking out above the box, and his husband sat on the floor.

“Oh no, did you lose Eli again, Papa? Wherever could he be?”

Harry stomped around loudly and Louis just watched as Eli’s feet started to wriggle on the floor, clearly laughing as he knew his daddy was looking around for him, not even trying to be subtle.

“Is he in his cot? No…. Is he in the wardrobe? No….”

“Dada-”

Harry gasped, pretending to be shocked and Louis bit back a laugh, trying to find a comfortable position and failing, but he stayed where he was anyway, too amused by his little family to care about a little discomfort for the next few minutes.

“I heard him! I wonder if he’s… behind the toybox!”

The baby boy squealed in delight as Harry scooped him up quickly against his chest, nuzzling against his bare belly and blowing a raspberry against it.

“Help Eli!”

Louis just shrugged, unable to move.

“Sorry, Eli, Dada’s got you now. Haz, I literally can’t get up…”

“My poor Omega,” Harry mumbled, setting their son down on the floor and walking over to his stranded husband. “Hold my hands, sweetheart…”

Louis took Harry’s bigger hands in his own and gripped tightly, letting the Alpha pull him to his feet. He stumbled and cupped the bottom of his bump as Harry steadied him easily, placing his palm on the swell of Louis’ stomach.

“Alright?”

“Yeah. Just… this bit is hard work. Running around after a sixteen month old and being eight months pregnant isn’t exactly a barrel of laughs.”

“You’re the one who was begging for my knot,” Harry murmured quietly into Louis’ ear, kissing his neck. Louis shivered, already sensitive as it was from his pregnancy, but being around his Alpha did something else to him. “So beautiful like this, Omega… all full of my pup…”

“And your other pup is shoving something that looks suspiciously like your passport in his nappy,” Louis mumbled back, and Harry groaned, quickly taking off after their sassy son. He was most definitely like Louis in both looks and temperament, and already Louis had a feeling Eli was going to be an Omega like himself. He laughed as Eli screamed loudly as Harry snatched his passport back, putting it on top of the wardrobe and out of reach of little hands. “He’s just going to miss you, Alpha.”

“I know, and I’m going to miss both of you,” Harry said softly, picking up Elijah and walking his family back to his bedroom. He set Elijah down on the bed as Louis lowered himself slowly to the mattress, watching Harry finish up packing. “If I didn't have to leave, believe me, I wouldn’t-”

“None of that crap, please,” Louis snapped, shaking his head. “We’ll be here waiting for you, but Haz, you have to do this. I know how proud you are of this collection. It’s been a long time coming but it’s so brilliant. You deserve every second of what Alessandro’s arranged for you. You need to go out there and smash it, because you’re that bloody amazing, okay? Do it for me and Eli.”

“And our pup,” Harry mused, pulling the clips over his folded clothes. Alessandro had already promised that he had a new Gucci suit lined up for his protege over in Italy, but still, Harry had packed more than enough things for his four day trip over to Italy. The debut of Harry’s second collection, his first collaboration with Alessandro and Gucci had been planned for over a year, so when Louis had fallen unexpectedly pregnant with their second child, it had thrown a bit of a spanner into the works with the timings. However, Louis was nothing if not a sassy and determined Omega, and made Harry promise not to cancel his show, too proud of his husband to even contemplate cancelling it for something small like the fact he was pregnant. 

“Dada no go,” Eli pouted, plopping down on his bottom in the middle of Harry and Louis’ bed. Looks wise, he was completely Louis, but he certainly had Harry’s full lips and pout. Louis could see Harry struggling emotionally as Eli’s eyes filled with tears, and Harry came to lay down next to his son, pulling the pup into his arms. “Dada stay.”

“I’ll only be a few days, my love,” Harry reassured him, stroking through Eli’s mousey brown hair. “And you need to be my big boy, look after Papa for me. I promise I’ll FaceTime you when I’m there, and bring back you back a present too.”

Eli clapped his hands together at that, already understanding the word present, which made Louis smile to himself. He carefully turned so he was laid on his side, trying to get comfortable and support his sizeable bump. He felt bigger than he ever had with Eli, his bump popping much earlier than his first pregnancy, but his Alpha did everything he could to reassure Louis he loved his body and his bump.

“Right, someone needs a bath and bed,” Louis said, and Harry immediately sat up, looking down at Louis. “Harry, I’ll do it-”

“No, you won’t, Omega. You stay there and relax, let me take care of our pup, okay?”

“Alright,” Louis agreed, slumping back against the pillow. Harry reached down to the floor and pulled up Louis’ pregnancy pillow, helping him position it under his bump. Eli wriggled out of the way, his bare feet slapping on the floor as he ran to the bathroom, always a baby that loved a bath, and Harry leaned down, kissing Louis quickly. “You’re too good to me, Alpha.”

“It’s what you deserve,” Harry said, deepening the kiss for a moment. He groaned, leaning more into it, and it was Louis who had to push him off, the pair blushing and all flustered. “Just wait until Eli’s in bed, okay? We’ve got a whole night…”

Louis bit his lip and nodded, already feeling turned on by how much his Alpha loved him and his body when he was pregnant. He watched Harry walk out of the room, pulling off his t-shirt, baring his toned and broad back to Louis. He might have been with Harry for nearly a decade now, but he never failed to lust after his husband at every chance he’d gotten. When he’d got pregnant with Elijah, their friends had teased them, telling them it was the end of their sex life, that life as they knew it was over. Instead, it seemed the opposite was true. Harry wanted Louis more than ever, and Louis had had some of the best sex he’d ever had while he’d been pregnant. 

He could hear Elijah and Harry chatting away as they ran the bath, the little boy giggling at something his Dada said to him. Slowly, he sat up and pulled Harry’s suitcase towards him. He rifled through for a moment, checking his husband had everything he needed, even double-checking his ticket. Luckily, everything was fine, and he hoisted himself up off the bed, walking off to the kitchen. He made himself a cup of tea and Elijah’s bedtime drink, taking them into the sitting room as squeals and giggles drifted down from the bathroom.

He winced as the pup inside his tummy kicked, and he rubbed the sore spot, glancing down at his rounded belly. His t-shirt- well, Harry’s, if he was honest, his own clothes were getting too tight to be comfortable now - clung to him, stretched around him, and Louis smiled.

“Alright, love, I know you’re in there, and we can’t wait to meet you. But you have to wait a couple more weeks, okay? Dada has something very important to do, and I can’t have you and look after your big brother at the same time.”

He kept rubbing his tummy soothingly in circles, watching TV until Harry carried their son downstairs and into the room, leaving him on the sofa next to Louis. He was in his favourite dinosaur onesie, his hair all warm and fluffy from the hairdryer, and Louis pulled him into his lap, not caring it wasn’t exactly comfortable. 

“You had a nice bath, sweetheart?”

“Best,” Elijah agreed sleepily, resting his head on Louis’ chest as Harry passed over his drink in his special cup they used for bedtime. The three of them sat together quietly as Fireman Sam played on the TV, and even Louis was feeling tired by the time the credits rolled. 

“He’s asleep, Lou. Let me carry him upstairs.”

Louis nodded and let Harry lift up their sleeping son, his heart feeling full as he watched his two boys together, and he followed him slowly up the stairs as Harry lowered the baby into his cot, kissing his forehead as he tucked him in.

“So peaceful when he sleeps,” Harry muttered, moving out of the way so Louis could kiss him goodnight. “Night night, little pup.”

Harry took Louis’ hand as they left the room, pulling him into a hug right there in the hallway. 

“Us time now,” he murmured, and Louis shivered before he yawned, making Harry chuckle. “Or sleep? I don’t mind.”

“Sure?” Louis asked, not wanting to let his Alpha down.

“Definitely. You’re growing my pup, and looking after my other pup all day on your own. No wonder you’re tired. Let’s go to bed, Omega.”

Louis agreed, and Harry went downstairs to turn off the lights and lock the door as Louis got himself into bed, wearing just his boxers, always too hot at night when he was pregnant. Harry climbed in behind him just as he was dozing off, a hand cupping his belly.

“G’night, Lou. I love you.”

“Love you too, Alpha,” Louis murmured, pressing back against Harry’s body, needing the closeness he knew he was going to miss terribly while being separated from Harry when he was in Italy. The bonded couple rarely spent any time away from each other, and that was the way they both liked it. Louis had travelled with Harry a lot when they were newlyweds, tagging along on his fashion trips to Italy to work with Alessandro, and now they had Elijah, Harry tried not to travel too much, not wanting to be away from his Omega or pup. It worked for them, and they were happy. “Sleep well.”

“You too, love,” Harry said quietly, kissing the back of Louis’ neck. “Sweet dreams.”

*****

“You ready?” Harry murmured, and Louis just nodded, sensing another gush of slick pour out of him as Harry trailed his finger around his entrance, making him moan. “Baby, you have to be quiet or you’ll wake Elijah up…”

“Sorry, just feels so good,” Louis replied, twisting his body so he could make room for Harry behind him. “Please get inside me, Alpha, need to be full-”

“Oh, you will be.”

Louis bit down on his hand as he felt the Alpha’s cock nudge at his leaking hole, teasing him until he wanted to beg for it, not caring how desperate he sounded. Harry sucked a mark into Louis’ shoulder blade as he finally pressed inside, taking it slowly until he was completely buried inside his Omega.

“So good for me, Omega, take my cock so well,” Harry soothed, gripping at Louis’ hip not too gently. Louis didn't mind, and was secretly hoping Harry would leave marks all over him that wouldn’t fade until he was back from Italy. “Love taking it, don’t you?  Taken me for years, only Alpha for you-”

“Yes, only one,” Louis stuttered out, his mind going hazy with the levels of pleasure he was feeling. Everything felt a million times more sensitive when they had sex and he was pregnant, and tonight was no exception. He’d been woken up early, the sun only just starting to rise, by Harry’s morning wood rubbing against his thigh, and he’d turned, kissing Harry deeply, telling his Alpha what he wanted whilst shrouded in the low light of the room. It would be the last time they could fuck for a few days, and Louis was determined to make the most of the early morning peace and quiet as his Alpha fucked him from behind. “Harder, Alpha-”

“Okay, I’ve got you-”

Harry cupped Louis’ inner thigh and lifted it, giving himself more room to fuck in harder, making the pregnant Omega groan. He buried his face further into the pillow as Harry slammed into him over and over, whimpering with pleasure and oversensitivity, needing to be touched. Harry was so in tune with his body that he gently lowered Louis’ leg, making it tighter for him but he wrapped his big hand around Louis’ leaking cock, holding him firmly.

“Oh fuck… yes, Alpha, fuck me-”

“You don’t even need to ask, Omega,” Harry said, stroking Louis in time with his thrusts. Louis could only hear the sound of their heavy breathing, and he reached up, playing with his own nipples for a moment. He was grateful that Elijah was too little to get himself out of his cot at the moment, and there was no risk of them being interrupted until Harry was well and truly done with him.  “Smell so good, Louis… so sweet and sexy…”

Louis groaned at that, loving that his Alpha loved how he smelt. He knew his scent was more pungent when he had Harry’s pup inside of him, Liam and Niall often complained about his strong smell, but Harry could never get enough. Even in public, he was forever nuzzling into the Omega’s neck, grazing his lips across Louis’ bonding mark, openly claiming the Omega as his own which Louis secretly loved. 

Their bodies moved as one, Harry whispering dirty words of love and desire into Louis’ ear, kissing and biting at his skin as Louis laid as still as he could, completely lost in a world of his own pleasure. Louis had never had sex like it, was the thing. He’d had plenty of sex with Alphas and Betas (and even another Omega on the odd occasion in his youth), but none of them had ever come close to how good sex with Harry was. Harry made him feel wanted and desired, made his body tingle from head to toe, utterly worshipped him, and Louis could never get enough. Their sex life was very important to the pair of them, not because of how good it made them feel but because of how close they felt because of it. Their strong bond made everything better, and Louis felt like the luckiest Omega in the world to have Harry as his Alpha.

“Want me to knot you or not?” Harry mumbled, always sure to ask the Omega what he wanted, especially when he was pregnant. Louis had had a particularly bad cramp once whilst being knotted when pregnant with Elijah, and it had been a horrible moment, stuck on Harry’s knot and screaming as his calf tightened, unrelenting as Louis had cried in pain, Harry trying to help whilst stuck inside his mate. 

“Please-” Louis nodded, needing that closeness for the final time for a few days. He knew it wasn’t necessarily the best idea,  and that he’d be a mess of slick and come when they were done, but right now, he couldn’t bring himself to care. Harry’s hand was still around his cock as he pounded slightly harder into Louis’ waiting body, his slick making everything smooth for the pair of them. Louis’ head was swimming now, everything feeling pleasantly fuzzy as he neared his orgasm, and he just relaxed, trusting his Alpha entirely to take care of him. “Knot me-”

“You’ll get it, Omega.”

Harry’s deep voice made Louis shudder, and he felt the Alpha’s knot begin to swell, stretching his rim as they fucked desperately a few more times, Louis rocking his body back onto it. There was the all too familiar sting as Harry’s knot popped, and his hips nudged forward, easing it into Louis’ body. Louis whimpered again, the sting and stretch almost too much but he wanted it too badly to move away. He felt Harry’s hips settle against his bare bum and released a long, slow breath, feeling his Alpha start to fill him with his release.

“So good, Alpha. Love you,” Louis muttered, still in a bit of a daze as Harry’s hand flew faster over his cock to bring him to orgasm. “I- I…”

“S’okay, Omega, I’ve got you,” Harry whispered, shuffling closer against Louis’ back. “Come for me, baby-”

Louis felt Harry’s teeth drag over his bonding spot, and right then, he knew what Harry was going to do. He didn't bother to mask his cry as Harry bit down, reopening the mark with his teeth, something he did frequently, and Louis came instantly, splattering his belly and Harry’s hand in hot come, his body shaking now. Harry slowly released Louis’ neck, licking over the mark, waves of pleasure rolling through Louis now.

“All mine. Forever mine, aren’t you, Omega?” Harry purred, and Louis just about managed to nod,  his neck thrumming in slight pain, his rim aching with the fullness of Harry’s knot splitting him open. It was all too much but in the best possible way. He let his eyes shut as Harry’s hand finally let go of his spent cock, stroking up and down Louis’ belly, smearing the come around, not that either of them cared. “So beautiful… you okay?”

Louis just nodded, not feeling in a place to speak. He stayed still as Harry held him close until his knot deflated, carefully pulling out when he could. Louis winced as come started to drip out of him, mixing with the slick that was already staining his inner thighs, and he waited for his Alpha to clean him up, as he always did. To his surprise, Harry scooped him up instead of using a flannel and carried him to the bathroom, not letting go as he flicked on the shower and stepped under the spray, the Omega nestled safely in his arms.

“Always take such good care of me,” Louis said quietly, always feel less sassy and more soft after he’d come and Harry had knotted him. Harry washed him quietly, and then shampooed his hair, kissing his baby bump when he knelt down on the tiles to wash Louis’ legs and feet. After, Louis was wrapped in a warm fluffy towel and put back to bed while Harry got himself dressed, an early flight meaning he had to leave. “I don’t want you to go,” Louis whispered, his eyes filling with tears at the idea of being separated from his Alpha after such an intimate morning.

“I know, baby, I-”

He was stopped by a soft cry coming down the hall, and he gazed over his shoulder.

“Let me go and get Eli…”

Louis nodded as Harry disappeared, slipping into a pair of boxers and one of Harry’s jumpers before he reappeared, their sleepy baby in his arms. Louis smiled at the sight of his son who was rubbing his eyes and held out his arms, Elijah coming easily into them. Louis kissed the top of his head as Harry continued getting ready, finally zipping up the case and setting it by the bedroom door.

“You two stay here, okay? I’ll call you from the airport and then when I land.”

“Dada,” Eli said, his bottom lip wobbling as he realised his daddy was leaving him. “No.”

“I’ll be back soon, I promise,” Harry said, sitting on the edge of the bed by Louis, pulling his small son into his lap. “And if you need me, Louis, if anything happens with the pup, you need to call me. You promise me?”

“I promise,” Louis nodded, trying to hold himself together for both his son and his husband. “We’ll be fine. It’s, what, five days? We can manage five days, then you’re home with us.”

“I am.” Harry’s hand rested on Louis’ bump as his other arm held Elijah against him. “Can you say good luck to Dada, hmm?”

“-Luck,” Elijah said sleepily, tucking his head against Harry’s chest again, making the Alpha smile. “Dada ‘tay.”

“I can’t stay, my love. Dada has to work, but I promise I’ll be home soon. You be a good pup for Papa, okay?”

Elijah nodded and wriggled down from Harry’s lap, wandering over to play with the handle of his suitcase while the Alpha and Omega said a tearful goodbye to each other. They kissed softly, keeping it chaste as their son was in the room, and Harry thumbed over Louis’ still sensitive bond mark, staring deeply into his eyes.

“I love you, Omega. You take care of yourself, okay?”

“I will. And I love you. Good luck. You know I’m so proud of you, and I wish I could be there for you.”

“You’re here, you’re with me,” Harry murmured, taking Louis’ hand and pressing it to his heart. “I’ll phone you later.”

Louis just nodded, swallowing down the lump in his throat as Harry got up, crouching down next to his son.

“Be good, pup. I love you very much.”

Elijah pressed a hand to Harry’s cheek, staring at him for a moment. “Love Dada.”

They hugged again, and Harry gave Louis one last look before he disappeared. Elijah’s smile disappeared and he dissolved into tears, crawling onto the bed and into Louis’ arms.

“Oh, don’t cry, my darling. How about we go and see Uncle Liam and Uncle Niall today, hmm? Maybe they can play with you and-”

“Cream?”

“I think they might be able to get some ice-cream, yes pup,” Louis said, stroking his son’s warm hair and wiping his tears away. Elijah sniffed and looked up at Louis, touching his bump with his tiny hand. “Saying hi to the baby?”

“Hi,” Eli grinned, waving at it to Louis’ amusement. “Coco?”

“Only because your dada isn’t here,” Louis agreed with a grin, helping Elijah down from the bed. “You know he doesn’t like you having Coco Pops for breakfast, but what he doesn’t know, doesn’t hurt, right?”

“Love Pa,” Eli said, grabbing Louis’ finger and tugging him towards the door. “Love Coco!”

*****

Italy, two days later

Harry bustled around at the venue where his first show was due to take place in just a few hours time, glancing at the people working for him, putting things together. Everyone was busy, the noise was working chatter and Harry smiled as Alessandro walked towards him, a cream fedora on top of his head as always.

“Ah, hello Harry,” he called, pulling his friend into a hug before he kissed both cheeks, Harry’s hands on his shoulders. “How things go?”

“Good so far,” Harry agreed, mopping his sweaty forehead with a hankie he kept stuffed in the pocket of his wide legged flares. “Stressful and busy, but it all seems to be going well.”

His phone pinged and Harry’s hand dove into his pocket, panicked as he was every single time it went off in case it was his Omega telling him he’d gone into early labour. It was Louis, but it was a photo of Elijah with his Uncle Niall, curled up together watching Thomas the Tank Engine on telly. He turned the phone to show his Beta friend who cooed over the picture, his hands clasped over his heart.

“Your son is so cute,” Alessandro said as Harry tapped out a reply. “No new pup?”

“Not yet, thank god,” Harry murmured, sending the text off to his husband before he put his phone away, knowing he needed to concentrate. Alessandro had actually taken his phone away from him the other day because Harry had been obsessively checking on it. It hadn’t been nice, but Harry had focused on his work for the first time since he’d arrived in Italy a few days ago. He’d been put up in a very posh hotel, but it was too quiet without his loud and sassy Omega, and their equally rambunctious son running around, making the place like home. Consequently, Harry hadn’t slept very well, and had even fallen asleep on FaceTime to his husband last night, pining across the ocean for him. Harry didn't even bother to feel pathetic about it. “No, Sally, you need to, no, on top of it…”

He wandered over to one of the wardrobe assistants and helped her position the outfit correctly, needing everything to be perfect. The world’s fashion press had been invited to today’s event, and Harry was already feeling the pressure. There had been a lot of speculation about his third collection, especially since the collaboration with Alessandro and Gucci had been announced, and Harry had been determined to deliver. He’d designed each piece by hand in his office, getting Louis’ approval before anything was made, and now, it was a collection he was beyond proud to put his name to.

The Styles/Gucci Amore collection had attracted the attention of the likes of Vogue and Anna Wintour, GQ and Elle amongst others, and Harry was already nervous to meet them tonight at his event. He knew things were being set up already, the set designer already there and sorting things out, but he so badly wanted to sneak off and have a look to make sure everything was just right. He knew he was a bit too obsessive, but this was his life, his collection, his career, and it had to be right.

“Harry, come with me,” Alessandro called, and Harry nodded his approval to the assistant as she draped another piece of fabric over her model, thanking her quietly before he shuffled off, the bottoms of his trousers grazing across the floor as he did so. “I show you your outfit.”

Harry grinned in excitement, already knowing he would love whatever his mentor had chosen for him. He was sure nothing would top the white velvet suit he’d worn a few years ago on that fateful night he’d first laid eyes on his Omega across the square, but his stomach flip-flopped as he followed Alessandro upstairs and into his office space, a white Gucci suit hanger waiting for him on a set of double doors to the side.

“You’re too kind, really,” Harry murmured as Alessandro hooked it down, walking over to lay it on his workbench. He slowly pulled the zip down as Harry bit his lip in anticipation, so excited to see what was inside. He gasped as the fabric was revealed, and Alessandro pulled it out, holding it up so Harry could see the entire outfit. “Wow, it’s just… wow. I love it so much.”

It was a beautiful custom glittery green suit, the fabric shimmering and sparkling in the lights. Harry knew it was eye-catching but that was what he wanted tonight. It was his night, and apparently Alessandro wanted him to shine. He reached out, running the tips of his fingers across the flowers adoring the suit, shaking his head in awe of the man’s creativity and talent, wishing he could come up with something some lavish.

“Honestly, thank you. This is just… it’s the most beautiful thing. Thank you so much.”

Alessandro just nodded in reply, blushing slightly from Harry’s obvious love of his new outfit, and together, they carefully worked together to get it back into the garment bag, sealing it up before the show tonight so it wouldn’t get dirty. Harry knew he only had a few hours left backstage before his audience arrived, and his nail technician and hairdresser were due to arrive at his hotel in just two hours time to get him ready.

The pair headed back downstairs and mingled amongst the models getting ready, tweaking a few things here and there on the outfits as they were readied for the show. Harry switched around the models for a few outfits, picturing it better on different people, but for the most part, he was happy. He had poured his heart and soul into the collection, and could only hope the industry and his peers liked it as much as he and Alessandro did.

There was a moment of calm as everyone worked around him, and Harry lowered himself onto a stool, realising he hadn’t heard from Louis in a while. His Omega always liked to be in frequent contact when they were apart, especially when he was pregnant, and he couldn’t deny that he was worried about Louis being so heavily pregnant and far away from him. He tapped out another text and tried to distract himself with a walk around the venue, admiring the set up with wide eyes and a big smile.

“You like it?” Giulia, the set designer asked, resting a hand on Harry’s forearm to get his attention. He slipped out of his daze and nodded, admiring some of the artwork she’d hung on the walls. Harry was adamant they use work from local art colleges, offering pieces for sale to promote young talent, and Giulia had certainly risen to the challenge.

“It’s wonderful. This is everything I imagined and more. And the art… it’s so amazing. I can’t believe some of these were drawn by teenagers, they’re so good…”

“Truly talented children,” Giulia agreed, guiding Harry around the set with a long-nailed hand on his elbow. Harry didn't usually like to be touched by an Omega other than his own, but he let it go, eyes raking around the room in awe. He hadn’t spent a lot of time with Giulia before today, conversing mainly through email or with Alessandro, but somehow, he wasn’t surprised by her tactile manner given how he’d seen her watching him from the moment he walked onto the set. “The seating is all around so people can choose. I no do a seating plan. I prefer fluidity.”

“Totally agree,” Harry said, preferring an informal setting for his works. “And the music is all ready as well?”

“Si, it is. I like your choice of songs, it very… heartfelt,” she said, peering up at Harry under her lashes. He gave her a tight smile and deliberately wandered off in another direction, silently hoping she didn't follow. Sadly, she did and rested her head on Harry’s shoulder as he stood looking at the welcome board for the evening, greeting the guests and informing them of how things would be. “I hope tonight good, Mr Styles…”

“Tomlinson-Styles,” Harry corrected automatically, proud of his marital name. He and Louis had got married eight years ago in Italy, and it had been a magical ceremony. All of their friends and family had flown out to attend, and it had been the proudest moment of Harry’s life. They’d spent their honeymoon on the Italian riviera, wanting to stay close to the place where they’d first met and fallen in love, and had even hired a boat from the same marina, spending the day at sea, eating, swimming and making love in the sunshine. They’d spent a good few years together enjoying each other and their marriage before they decided they wanted to create a family, and Louis had fallen pregnant within just a few months of them trying. Elijah’s arrival had completed them, but when Louis had fallen pregnant again when their son was just nine months old, both men realised they had enough love for another pup in their lives. It was a fairytale romance, without a doubt, and Harry would always talk about it with whoever would listen.

“Ah, sorry,” she murmured, still not moving her head so Harry took a step sideways, feeling more than awkward now. He knew Louis trusted him a hundred percent, but he didn't want to give his husband any reason to doubt him or his fidelity in every way. “After the show…”

Harry swallowed, almost dreading hearing the end of that sentence. He turned, folding his arms as he looked at her, hoping she’d notice the wedding ring on his finger.

“We could go for a drink? Celebrate the show?”

“I’m married,” Harry said, wiggling his ring finger at her. “My heavily pregnant Omega is at home with our son, so I will be going back to the hotel to call them and tell them all about my show. I’m sorry, you’re very nice, and you’ve done a great job here, but-”

She put her hands up, taking a step back.

“I understand. My mistake. I no mean to do this.”

Harry just nodded as she turned and walked away, his cheeks pink from the interaction. He was alone now, and took the time to wander around, even just sitting in one of the chairs for a while and letting the atmosphere soak him in. He smiled at a few people carrying in bunches of fresh flowers that were going to be dotted around the space, but other than that, he was in his own little world, unable to believe this was happening to him.

It had been his dream since he was young to have his own collection, and it didn't seem real that he was already on his third, and a collaboration with Gucci, no less. Meeting Alessandro had been one of the best things he’d ever done, and the older Beta had been an amazing role model for him, all the while understanding when Harry took time out for his mate or his pup. He was Harry’s best friend, and he and Louis had grown closer too, the Italian Beta often staying with them in their home now when he visited England.

“You okay? You quiet today,” Alessandro mused as he sat down next to Harry, finally removing the fedora from his head as he looked questioningly at his friend. Harry just nodded, fiddling absent-mindedly with his wedding ring. He always felt closer to his mate somehow when he touched it, and right then, he had a horrible pang in his chest, just missing Louis’ presence. He was usually backstage at these events with Harry, calming him down, making him laugh, and Harry was desperately missing him. “Your Omega is fine, si?”

“Yeah, I think so. I mean.. I haven’t heard from him for a bit. But I assume he’s okay. He’d call if not. I just… I miss him? Is that pathetic?”

“No,” Alessandro answered swiftly, shaking his head. “You two are… how you say? Uh… anime gemelle … soulmates. Meant to be. Go beyond the bond.”

“I think you’re right,” Harry agreed, always feeling like there was something deeper between himself and Louis than the typical Omega and Alpha mating bond. 

“A few days and you go to him, and your pups,” Alessandro said, wrapping a comforting arm around Harry’s shoulders. “For now, enjoy this. Your moment, si ? You deserve this…”

Harry turned and smiled at Alessandro, grateful for his friend’s support, especially since Louis couldn’t be there with him. They sat there for a moment longer until Harry finally got up, knowing he should get on with something. This was probably the most important night of his career, and he couldn’t spend it on his arse just moping about his mate.

“I’m going to head back, start getting ready. Can I nip upstairs and grab the suit?”

“Of course,” Alessandro said before pulling Harry into a tight hug. “I meet you at your hotel. Sei ?”

“Perfect,” Harry agreed, waving goodbye to Alessandro as his attention was captured by another of the wardrobe assistants with a question. He smiled and nodded to some of the models as he made his way back upstairs, grabbing the garment bag and heading outside. He was a fifteen minute walk away from his hotel, but he decided to make it instead of driving given the sun was shining. He hooked the bag over his shoulder and pulled his sunglasses out from where they’d been tucked in the front of his shirt and put them on, his eyes appreciating the relief.

He text Louis again as he walked, weaving his way through the familiar Italian streets, feeling more than grateful he got to be in this beautiful country. It held such fond memories for him, and he knew it would always be a part of his life one way or another. He and Louis had recently bought themselves a small holiday home here too and were meant to be coming out here towards the end of the year with their new pup to have some family time. Harry already couldn’t wait.

He arrived at the hotel a little earlier than planned and smiled at the staff while he waited for the lift, cringing as he pulled his now sweaty shirt away from his body, wanting to dive into the shower. He stepped into the lift and pressed the button for the fifth floor, zooming up silently and stepping out into the plush corridor, his keycard now in his hand. He opened the door to his hotel room and resisted the urge to collapse on the bed, hanging his suit on the back of the door before he walked to the bathroom, flicking on the shower.

He shed his clothes onto the floor and stepped under the spray, immediately lowering the temperature of the water slightly. It rained down on him and Harry just shut his eyes, tilting his head back as the water pounded down on his face. It was peaceful, and Harry just stayed there for a moment, enjoying the last few moments he’d have to himself.

Half an hour later, he was showered, his hair still damp when the phone beside his bed rang. It was the hotel receptionist letting Harry know his team had arrived and Harry asked him to send them up. There was a knock at the door and Harry walked over, opening it with a smile. He was only in shorts and a tank top, but the people on the other side didn't seem to mind. They greeted him with the two-cheeked kiss and bustled in, already pulling things out of their bags as they got prepared.

Before he sat to have his hair trimmed and coiffed, Harry double checked his phone, worried he still hadn’t heard from Louis. It had been hours now, and he knew that even if Louis had taken Elijah out somewhere, he should have taken his phone with him or at least be home by now. To settle his mind, Harry opened the message thread he had with Louis’ best friends Liam and Niall and sent off a message of concern, asking them to check in on his Omega. Satisfied, he locked the device and headed over to the chair.

“And how are you, Harry?” Carolyn asked, one of the people Harry had flown over for the event. He was surprisingly precious about his locks, and he trusted very few people to cut his hair. Louis always took the piss out of him for it, but it was one thing Harry was willing to suffer. “Louis got long left?”

“Nope,” Harry said with a smile at the mention of his mate and husband. “He’s eight months now, so only about four weeks to go. Not even sure he’ll make that, to be honest, he’s got so big already.”

“You know if it’s a boy or girl?”

“Louis didn't want to find out, he said he loves the surprise,” Harry shrugged as Carolyn draped a gown around his shoulders. “I don’t care as long as the pup is healthy. I’ve got a feeling it’ll be another boy, though.”

“Ah, how lovely,” she cooed, combing through Harry's longish locks. “What are we doing with this then?”

“Just a trim, please. Not too much off, my Omega likes it longer.”

Harry ignored the smirk the hairdresser gave him in the mirror, entirely unbothered he was completely whipped for his mate. Louis always said he liked something to grab onto during sex, and who was Harry to deny him that? They chatted about the show, Elijah, Louis and anything else they could of as Carolyn worked her magic, Harry feeling more nervous as more hair fell to the floor. Eventually, she was done and worked some product through the top of his hair, smoothing out his curls until he finally looked up.

“You like it?”

“Perfect,” he agreed, staying still as she swept the gown away, brushing down his shoulders. “Thank you, I appreciate you coming out here for this.”

“Honestly, it’s my pleasure. I’m excited for the show, Harry, you deserve this.”

“Ah, does that mean it's my turn?” Jenny, Harry’s nail technician said, brandishing a bottle of dark polish as she walked towards him menacingly. Harry squeaked and pretended to run away before he chuckled and came back, hugging the petite woman quickly. He sat still as she painted each of his short nails in black, applying two coats before she applied the top coat, instructing him to sit still for ten minutes.

“Shit, that’s my phone,” Harry moaned as she finished off his pinky finger, and he nodded as Carolyn picked it up. “Who is it, is it Lou?”

“No, someone called Niall? Said all is okay, Louis will call later.”

Harry relaxed back into the chair, still puzzled about why Louis hadn’t let him know himself, but hearing from Niall was better than nothing. He chatted to the women around him as his nails dried, and when Jenny was happy he wouldn’t ruin them, he got up, thanking them as they finally left him alone. He opened the garment bag again and admired the glittery green suit adorned with pink flowers, knowing everyone in the fashion world would have something to say about his choice of outfit, but he didn't care. He wore what he liked, and that was good enough for him. 

He slowly undressed himself, smirking at himself in the mirror as he caught sight of a few faded marks Louis had left on his shoulders and hips the other night when they’d made love. He loved wearing marks Louis had given him in the throes of passion, and there was a part of him that sometimes wished he was the Omega in the relationship, the one that got to proudly show off his bond mark everyday, could show the world he belonged to Louis as much as Louis belonged to him.

Harry shook off the thought as he pulled on the soft black shirt Alessandro had custom made for him, admiring the cut as he fastened the little buttons, smoothing down the fabric. He sat down on the edge of the bed as he pulled on the trousers. They were very snug, and Harry reached a hand inside, adjusting himself. The only person who got to see those parts of him was Louis, and to Harry, that was important. He finally pulled on the jacket, deciding to leave it undone for now and turned to the full length mirror, admiring his outfit. It was bold and garish, but he loved it. Just before he left, he slipped his feet into his comfortable Gucci black leather boots, and took a photo, sending it off to Louis. He slid the phone into his pocket, grabbed his keycard and made his way out of the hotel, the nerves settling in in full force.

A few hours earlier, in England....

“Good boy, Eli, wait there for Papa, okay?”

Louis turned and pulled the front door closed behind him, locking it with the key. They lived in a nice part of town, but in Louis’ mind, you could never be too careful. His home was his castle, especially with his second pup on the way, and he wasn’t about to risk anyone getting inside while they were away. He walked over and took his son’s hand, the suitcase in the other and they slowly made their way down the driveway to Liam’s car, which was waiting for them.

“Louis, are you sure this is a good idea?” he asked as he hoisted up the case into the boot as Louis got Eli situated in the car seat Liam always kept at his home for emergencies. He hadn’t yet had any children of his own, but Louis was sure the Alpha was close to settling down with his girlfriend. “Is he in?”

“Yes, Liam, he’s in, and yes, I’m sure this is a good idea. I’ve got a doctor’s note so I can fly and everything,” Louis said as he waddled around the car, gently lowering himself into the passenger seat. He fastened the belt around his big bump and let out a long breath, pleased the day had finally arrived. “My Alpha is an idiot if he thinks I’m not going to be there to support him on the biggest day of his career. I’d walk over hot coals if I had to, Liam…”

“Somehow, I don’t doubt that,” Liam said with a roll of his eyes, pulling away and into the traffic. They chatted lightly as Liam headed towards the airport, Eli already dozed off happily ensconced in his car seat, his stuffed animal in his chubby hands. Louis rubbed his belly soothingly, feeling a little out of sorts, but he wasn’t about to admit to that, knowing Liam would just turn the car around and send them home. He might not be Louis’ Alpha, but the Omega part of Louis would listen to him anyway, even if he hated himself for it afterwards.

When they arrived, Liam navigated easily to the drop off zone, cutting the engine and hopping out once he’d parked. By the time Louis managed to manoeuvre himself out of the car, Liam had put the suitcase on the pavement and had a sleepy Eli on his hip, frowning at the pregnant Omega.

“What is it, Liam?” Louis snapped, pressing the button to allow the handle of the suitcase to slide up to its full height.

“I’m just worried about you…”

“I might be pregnant, and an Omega, but believe it or not, I can take care of myself and my pup,” he snapped, taking Eli from the Alpha opposite him. “I appreciate your concern, I do, but I need to do this for myself, and for my husband. I will call if anything happens, but I’ll be fine. In just a few hours, I’ll be with Harry and it’ll all be good.”

Liam just sighed, sensing there was no point arguing with the sassy Omega. It had been that way years ago when Louis had dashed off with the near stranger he’d met out of the blue, allowing himself to be whisked away on a day trip against Liam’s better judgment, but luckily, that had turned out for the best. Harry was a wonderful Alpha to his best friend, and Liam never doubted the love they had for each other, not for a second. It was a lovely thing to see.

“Right, okay. Take care, okay?”

“I will.”

Liam leaned in and kissed Eli’s pink cheek, and hugged the Omega for a moment, briefly scenting him. Louis shivered but understood why Liam was doing it, warding off any unmated Alpha’s who thought they might have a chance with Louis, despite his mark, obvious pregnancy and pup with him. He allowed it, inhaling Liam’s calming Alpha scent too until they broke away, Louis not wanting to miss his flight.

“You’re a good Alpha,” Louis murmured, quickly cupping Liam’s cheek with his hand before he finally stepped away, grabbing the suitcase with his free hand. Elijah was getting a little heavy to carry for Louis, especially with his bump in the way, but Louis knew his pup was too sleepy to walk just yet. “Bye, Liam.”

Liam waved and Louis slowly made his way inside, checking the pair in. Louis had packed light, only anticipating staying in Italy for a few days, and they had a selection of clothes at their Italian home as well, so a cabin bag was sufficient for now. Louis had splashed out on business class tickets and passed through security with Eli, finally resting in the lounge. When his phone beeped, he pulled it out, a pang of guilt flooding his belly when he saw it was yet another text from his husband, checking in on him. He sent him a photo he’d taken yesterday of Niall and Eli, acting as if it was happening right now to soothe his Alpha, but Louis didn't like how badly he felt about deceiving his Alpha, even if it was for nice reasons.

“Sir?” 

Louis looked up to see a smiling woman in uniform stood in front of him.

“We are about to begin boarding, we’d like to welcome you aboard first as you are travelling with a young pup. Do you have an Alpha travelling with you?”

“No, we are travelling to see my mate. He is away with work, we’re surprising him…”

Louis nodded in thanks as the woman picked up his suitcase, and he picked Elijah up again, the boy still dopey from before.

“Plane?” he asked, rubbing his eyes, and Louis nodded, smiling softly at his sweet son. “Dada?”

“That’s right, love,” he said, as he handed over his tickets, following the woman down the tunnel to the small plane. “We’re going on a plane to see Dada for his show. Isn’t that exciting?”

“In sky?”

“Yes, we’re going to fly in the sky, Eli. Dada’s going to be so surprised to see us. Here’s our seat, you need to sit on Papa’s lap, though, and be a good pup.”

“I’ll pop this up here, but give one of the flight attendants a shout should you need anything more,” the woman said, and Louis smiled and nodded, putting his attention back on his young son. Elijah appeared to have woken up in the excitement of the plane, and now had his little palms pressed against the small window, watching the airport out of it, his eyes open in wonder.

“You like it?”

Elijah just nodded before he sat back, resting his head against Louis’ belly.

“Miss Dada.”

“Me too, love,” Louis said, stroking his hand through Eli’s hair again, not phased it would probably send the small boy back to sleep. “Not long now, though…”

*****

Harry peered out from behind the curtain where things were now in full swing, watching as the invited guests took their seats. He could see his mother and sister just along the way, catching Gemma’s eye and winking at her from where he was hidden away. He watched as she elbowed their mother, pointing at Harry who grinned back before disappearing again. He started to wander around nervously, looking at each of the models who were now wearing one of his designs, fully made up with the most outrageous hair-do’s, but it somehow worked.

“Amazing, no?” Alessandro asked, dressed to the nines himself in a glittery pink blouse and wide black flares. “All for you, Harry Styles.”

“This wouldn’t be happening without you, though,” Harry murmured, hugging Alessandro tightly. He grabbed a fistful of the man’s shirt as he held him, wishing there was more he could say to express his gratitude. “I can’t believe this is happening to me, of all people…”

“Why? You have amazing talent, I see it for so long. This the… um… icing on the bun!”

“Icing on the cake,” Harry chuckled, as Alessandro waved away his correction. “It is. Ten year old me is freaking out right now because I’m actually doing it. I’m releasing my third collection, and I’m working with Gucci. This is the stuff of dreams, it really is.”

“You deserve this, truly. All these people are here for you. Tu , Harry.”

“Yet the one person I want here more than any other can’t be here,” Harry said, regret lacing his tone. “Louis’ never missed an event or a launch of mine. Remember that one in London, when he argued with the Sunday Times fashion editor because she’d taken his seat?”

“Oh lord…” Alessandro moaned, covering his face as he remembered the event all too well. The Omega had gotten a little too sassy for his liking, but Harry had watched on with a bemused expression, falling more in love with Louis as each moment ticked by. The Alpha was never ashamed of his Omega, far from it… he worshipped the very ground Louis walked on. “How can I forget…”

“That’s my Omega, totally unforgettable,” Harry chuckled, resisting the temptation to check his phone yet again. “Shit, five minutes until we go… I’m going to do one more check.”

He nodded to himself as he took off, tweaking a few things here and there, removing a bow from one model’s hair, changing up a set of earrings, and finally, he was happy. He took a breath and slowly walked back to the curtain, peeking out. The venue was now full, no empty seats at all, and Harry’s heart was jack-rabbiting in his chest. He knew the designs were good, no, great , he had no doubts about that. But he always felt jittery before he had to go out and address the people who had come to watch.

He could see Alessandro was already out on the floor sat with a few of the other Gucci designers involved in the collection, and Harry wiped his sweaty hands on his trousers, not doing a lot to mop up the sweat, instead just smearing it around a bit. Harry grabbed a bottle of water that was on the side and took a swig, licking his lips as he prepared to step out in front of his waiting public, aware time was up. This was it. His latest collection was about to be released to the world.

“Going out there without your good luck kiss, are you?”

Harry stilled at the sound of the too-familiar voice, and he felt his eyes burn with tears before he’d even turned around. He held his breath as he let the curtain fall again and he slowly moved his feet around, almost not wanting to see that his dreams had come true. It had, and there he was, pregnant and beautiful, their son stood by his side in the sweetest little shirt, tie and trousers Harry had ever seen.

“Lou-”

Harry hurried over to his husband, grabbing him in a tight hug before he let go, falling to his knees in front of his pup who dived into his daddy’s arms.

“We plane!” Elijah clapped, grinning at Harry, his blue eyes shining with excitement. He patted Harry’s cheek gently as he stood up, the toddler clutching the leg of his trousers as he finally crashed his lips against Louis’. Harry felt overwhelmed with emotion as Louis’ pregnant belly pressed against his own body, his hands shaking now.

“You’re here, just- how?”

“How could we not be? I’ve not missed a launch yet, and I wasn’t about to start today,” Louis whispered against Harry’s lips, cupping the underneath of his bump as he watched Elijah’s little fingers pull at Harry’s shiny suit. “That suit is definitely something else…”

“Well, I don’t look half as good as you,” Harry said, his eyes raking up and down the Omega’s pregnant form, willing himself not to outwardly react. Louis was wearing an emerald green flowing shirt that skimmed over the swell of his bump, fitted trousers adorning his lower half. Harry knew Louis was sometimes conscious of his pregnant body, so the fact he’d come out and dressed up just for him meant the world. Harry leaned back in, scenting Louis’ neck, inhaling the familiar and comforting scent of his mate. “Louis, you’re stunning.”

“Ah, stop. I think the best dressed person here is definitely Eli. Going to steal the show, aren’t you, love?”

Eli nodded, tugging on his tie, making it skewed but Harry didn't care. His son was absolutely perfect, and he realised together, they looked amazing, the picture perfect family. Eli toddled over and held his hands up, Harry immediately hoisting him up onto his hip. Eli rested his head against Harry’s shoulder, and Louis held out his hand, Harry taking it before bringing it to his lips and kissing it.

“Ready to come out with me?”

Louis nodded, and with a burst of confidence that he needed with his family by his side, Harry pushed his way through the curtain, the gathered audience immediately hushing as they saw the family on stage. Harry squinted into the bright lights, smiling at the few familiar faces he could work out from where he was stood on stage, squeezing Louis’ hand tightly for support. He walked forward a few steps and Louis passed him a microphone from the stage hand off to the side.

Buonasera a tutti , grazie per essere venuti oggi . And… that’s the extent of my Italian for tonight.”

That comment garnered laughter from the audience, and Harry felt better as he looked out at the amount of people staring back at him. Louis stepped closer, radiating his scent which instantly calmed Harry down a bit, the sweet smell surrounding the three Tomlinson-Styles.

“Thank you so much for coming here tonight for the launch of my third collection, Styles/Gucci Amore . This is honestly a dream come true for me, collaborating with the best fashion house in the world, my best friend by my side. Without him, this collection wouldn’t have been possible, so can we please give a huge round of applause to my wonderful mentor and friend, Alessandro Michele.”

Harry dropped Louis’ hand for a moment to applaud, Eli even joining in which drew a few chuckles from the audience. Harry could see something happening off to the side and glanced that way, smiling when he realised a few spare chairs were being brought in for Louis and Elijah. 

“This collection was inspired by one very special person to me. I didn't think it would ever become what it is, but I’m insanely proud of it, just as I am this man. He’s been my rock while I’ve worked late nights, flown back and forth for meetings with Gucci, all the while raising our son, and growing our new pup.”

Harry turned to his mate then, seeing him blush as Harry pressed a hand to his belly. Eli wriggled and Harry let him down, watching him run over to Anne who was stood at the side, her arms open as Eli jumped into them, nuzzling into his grandmother’s neck.

“Louis, this is for you, as is everything I do. I named this collection for you, and I hope you love it even half as much as I love you.”

He pressed his lips to Louis’ as a round of applause rang out, unashamed of their display of affection.

“I love you so much,” he mumbled, only for Louis to hear, and he saw the tearful Omega barely holding it together. “You have no idea how happy I am you’re here..”

“I think I’ve got an idea,” Louis replied, letting Harry’s Alpha pheromones wash over him, relaxing him.

“So without further ado, may I present to you, the Styles/Gucci Amore Collection. Thank you.”

He took Louis’ hand and guided him down to the seats that had been brought in, letting his Omega sit before he sat next to him, their hands laced on Harry’s thigh. The room lights dimmed, leaving just the catwalk spaces lit up as music was pumped in through the strategically placed speakers. Harry felt goosebumps up his arms as Molly, the first model, appeared on stage, strutting with measured steps along the catwalk and pausing at the end of the stage.

Harry glanced around, looking at the various fashion journalists on the first row already taking notes, pens flying across notepads, some on iPads or phones. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see his pup now on his Auntie Gemma’s lap, mumbling something to her as she nodded, trying to entertain him. Harry smiled, knowing Elijah had been a hit with the crowd.

“This place is amazing,” Louis whispered as Molly started to head back, the next model already in place in the wings. “I’m so proud of you, do you know that?”

“I do,” Harry agreed, shuffling his chair closer so his leg rested against his Omega’s. His nose twitched as he caught another waft of Louis’ scent, much stronger than it usually was, and he frowned. “Are you alright?”

“Fine, why?”

“Your scent, it’s… strong. Not bad, you know I love it, but…”

Louis looked at Harry, a puzzled expression on his face.

“You only usually smell like this when you’re slick, Omega. When you’re turned on…”

“Oh. Uh, I’m not,” Louis replied, blushing slightly. “Probably just a pregnancy thing. Don’t worry about it.”

Harry nodded and turned his attention back to the catwalk as two young men walked out, decked out in complementary outfits, every detail personally designed by Harry. He felt such a rush of pride as he saw how the outfits fitted the models, how it was the small details he noticed. He remembered spending three hours hand-stitching one particular design on Brett’s blazer, and now he saw it modelled, it was worth every second of back ache he’d had the following few days.

Louis kept wriggling in his seat next to him, and with each movement, Harry felt more and more overwhelmed by his mate’s scent, to the point where he was worried he would end up with a boner he couldn’t conceal. He cleared his throat and tried to keep his focus on the models, another tall and willowy female stepping out next to a shorter and curvier model. Harry had been keen to have models of every shape and size in his show, knowing that it wasn’t just stick-thin model types that bought his clothes. He wanted to appeal to everyone, and that meant showcasing the clothes on a variety of body shapes.

Harry managed to keep himself together until the end of the show, but by the time the models all walked for one final time, he was feeling almost heady, his mouth was dry and he couldn’t keep still. He swallowed and looked to Louis, alarmed to see his mate’s face scrunched up in pain as he hunched over his full bump, his free hand resting on top of it.

“Louis, is it the baby?”

Louis shook his head, his lips pressed together tightly as he rode out whatever wave of pain he was going through. Harry knew that he was due up on stage to join the models and Alessandro any moment now, but there was no way he was leaving his pregnant Omega until he was sure he was okay. He ignored the stage as Louis breathed his way through, and finally, Louis’ shoulders relaxed, any sign of being tense slowly dissipating.

“Was that a contraction? Louis, are you in labour?”

“No, I’m sure it’s just braxton hicks. Alpha, I’m only thirty six weeks, calm down. I’d tell you if it was anything to worry about, okay?”

“Well, allow me to worry, Omega. You flew for hours today when you really shouldn’t, although I’m so grateful you did. And now, you’re having pains, so I’m well within my rights to worry. That’s my pup in there, and you’re my Omega. It’s my job. Promise me you’re okay?”

“Yes, so get your arse up on that stage, everyone’s waiting. Think I’ll sit this one out though, if that’s okay?”

Harry nodded and kissed Louis quickly, glancing back as he walked over to the stage steps, still not satisfied Louis wasn’t lying to him. The applause became thunderous as he stepped onto the stage, bowing slightly before he took his place next to Alessandro, flanked either side by the array of models. The flashes from the approved press were somewhat blinding, and Harry just grinned, trying to ease the flame of worry burning in his belly about his Omega.

“Dada-”

Elijah was being helped up the steps by Gemma, and Harry crouched down, beckoning his son over as the audience continued to applaud all of them. Elijah became shy as soon as he saw everyone watching him, and he buried his face in Harry’s neck, hands pulling at the hair at the back of Harry’s head.

“You’re alright, love. I’ve got you,” Harry soothed, joining Alessandro again as the press took their final photos. “We’re going to sit with Papa again in a second, okay?”

Elijah just nodded, finally getting brave enough to look up. He smiled at the people around and laughed when Alessandro reached out, tickling him under the chin. Although Alessandro hadn’t spent as much time with Elijash as he’d like, the two seemed to get on well as the Beta had an easy way with children, and for Harry, it was important that his friend get along well with his family, the most important people in his life.

“Louis’ not well. I need to take him home,” Harry murmured to the Beta, who nodded, looking concerned. “He’s fine, just… I’m not risking anything with him or our pup.”

“I understand. Go, look after your family,” Alessandro replied, kissing Harry on either cheek. “I will speak for you, say a family emergency.”

“Grazie, my friend,” Harry said as he hurried off stage, his pup still in his arms as he approached Louis, who looked pale and in pain again. “Omega, talk to me. What is wrong?”

Louis’ watery eyes looked up at Harry in alarm, and Harry’s heart felt like it shattered into a million pieces as he felt Louis’ panic and fear pulsating through their bond.

“I think the baby’s coming, Harry.”

*****

“Scusi, can you go faster, please?”

The taxi driver just shrugged as Harry growled, turning back to Louis who was wincing again, clutching his belly. Harry felt helpless, unable to do anything to help his Omega, but he knew being stressed himself would do nothing to calm down his mate, and he took a deep breath, taking Louis’ hand.

“You’re alright, Omega, I’ve got you. We’re getting to the hospital as quickly as we can. Just hold on, baby-”

“Harry, I love you but for the love of God, shut the fuck up. This baby is coming whether we get- OWWWWWWWW!”

He grabbed Harry’s hand tighter again as another wave of pain swept through his body, and Harry could feel the skin of belly go taut under his hand, well aware of what a contraction felt like. As much as Harry wanted to scent the Omega, to lick him and calm him down, he had a feeling Louis didn't want that kind of contact right now so he stayed back, whispering platitudes as he willed the taxi driver to push through the traffic and arrive at the hospital.

“Alpha, I can’t give birth in a taxi, I won’t have our pup here-”

“You won’t. If I have to carry you myself, Omega, I will. You will get to a hospital, I promise.”

Luckily, Harry was able to keep his promise as twenty long and arduous minutes later, the taxi pulled up outside the hospital with a squeal of tyres, braking so roughly that Harry had to brace himself on the seat in front of him as well as restrain his Omega.

“Grazie,” he muttered, throwing some Euros at the driver, hoping it was enough and also not caring if it was way too much. He got himself out of the car and ran around to the other door, lifting Louis out, knowing there was no way his mate could walk all the way in. Louis was whimpering as another contraction took hold, and Harry marched on, ignoring the stares he got as he approached the main doors which thankfully slid open upon his arrival.

“I need some help, my Omega is having a baby! Aiutaci, per favore !”

There was a bit of noise as staff surrounded the couple, and a porter produced a wheelchair that Harry lowered Louis into, a nurse coming up next to them, looking concerned.

“English?” she asked, and Harry nodded, grateful to have found someone to speak to in his own language. His Italian had got better but in a stressful situation like this, the last thing he wanted to worry about was a language barrier. “Come with me, please.”

“Alpha!” Louis cried in alarm as he was pushed away, and Harry jogged over to his mate, taking his hand to calm him.

“I’m right here, Omega. I’m not going anywhere,” he assured him as they made their way down the corridor, Louis yelling out as another contraction took hold. “You’re doing so well, Lou…”

“Fuck this! This fucking hurts, oh my GOD!” 

Thankfully, it didn't take them long to reach a room, and Louis was instructed to get up and onto the bed, a hospital gown thrown to the end of it he had to put on. The Omega whined, so Harry helped him up, stripping his clothes as nurses began to prepare whatever they needed for the apparently imminent birth of his second pup. Harry felt sick; he was nervous about the prematurity of their pup, of Louis giving birth somewhere other than their approved Omega Birthing Centre, and of everything being okay. His thoughts flew to Elijah, who he’d left in the safe hands of his mother and sister, but he knew the pup would be upset, not understanding what was going on, and why his Dada and Papa had disappeared.

“I need to get you into this,” Harry instructed, pulling off Louis’ trousers, grateful for the huge elastic panel that was around his bump, making it much easier to take them off. He threw them to the floor as Louis groaned again, throwing his head back against the pillow as he yelled his way through another contraction. “Omega, you need to-”

“No! This is all your fault, you and your fucking huge knot getting me pregnant again- ARGH!”

Harry ignored Louis’ harsh words, knowing he’d been through this his entire labour with Elijah too until he’d become a soft ball of love once their pup had been born. He just nodded and helped Louis into the gown, hating seeing his Omega in so much pain.

“Nurse, can he have something for the pain?” Harry asked as he collected up the clothes he’d thrown to the side, taking a pile of blue fabric the nurse handed him. “Is this for me?”

“You come to theatre?” she asked, and Harry nodded, unfolding it to reveal a scrub top. He quickly changed there and then, not wanting to leave his Omega’s side for a moment. The clothes were ill-fitting and smelled a little too chemically for Harry’s taste, but he posed for Louis anyway, trying to draw a laugh out of his Omega as a nurse worked an I.V. into his arm.

“How do I look, babe?”

“Like fucking George Clooney,” Louis murmured as the cannula was taped in place, getting ready for his caesarean section. “Alpha, don’t leave my side.”

Harry walked back over, nuzzling Louis’ neck and scenting him, licking over his bond mark. He stroked Louis’ hair back, full of admiration of what his Omega was going through to bring their second pup into the world. The pain Louis withstood for this never ceased to amaze Harry, and he loved Louis more than ever in that moment. His Omega had an inner strength Harry could only wish to possess.

“I’m going nowhere, Omega. I’m right here. I’m by your side, where I always am. Can you believe this is happening? Our pup is going to be born in Italy, Lou.”

“Seems right somehow,” Louis mumbled, resting back as there was a bit of respite from his contractions. “I’m scared, Harry.”

“You’ve done this before, my beautiful, strong Omega. I know you’re scared, but it’s going to be okay. Soon enough, our beautiful new pup is going to be here, and we’re going to be parents again. I can never thank you enough for doing this for me, for our family.”

“I love you,” Louis whimpered as he squeezed Harry’s hand hard as another contraction took hold. Harry was a bit alarmed by how thick and fast they were coming, and he felt relieved as two people in scrubs walked into the room. “Oh god…”

“Hello, I am Giancarlo, this is my colleague Sylvain,” one of the men said in broken English, smiling slightly at the bonded pair. “We are to deliver your pup. Please come with us.”

They took the brakes off Louis’ bed and began to wheel him out of the room, and Harry felt a little like a spare part as he trailed along behind it, hearing his Omega whimper through yet more pain. The corridors were like a rabbit warren, and Harry was more than lost by the time they wheeled Louis into a large theatre, the lights bright, everything clinical around him. He went to stand next to Louis as someone instructed his Omega to sit on the side of the bed, his small legs dangling in the air.

“You can hold his hand,” a man’s voice reassured Harry, and he did so, hating how fearful his Omega looked and felt through their bond. He watched as Louis tucked his chin to his chest, his back exposed to the anaesthesiologist behind him. He could feel Louis’ hand shaking in his own, and he wished there was more he could do for his mate. He leaned in slightly, scenting his Omega, and he saw a small smile on Louis’ lips, telling him he knew exactly what the Alpha was trying to do.

Soon enough, the epidural was in place and Louis was on his back, drapes set up and blocking their view from the surgery about to take place. Harry had grabbed a stool and was sat by Louis’ head, stroking through his hair as the medical staff bustled around, getting things ready. Harry’s feet felt sweaty in the horrible plastic shoes he’d had to put on, and he hated the ridiculous hair net thing he was wearing, but it would all be worth it in a few minutes when their new pup was here.

“Louis, we are about to cut, you should only feel some pulling and no pain.”

Louis nodded and squeezed Harry’s hand tighter as the surgeons began, and Harry chatted aimlessly, trying to distract his mate from what was happening on the other side of the barrier.

“I reckon Eli’s running rings around Mum and Gem, do you? He won’t want to sleep because we’re not there, they’re probably bribing him right now,” he mused, making Louis giggle at the thought of their rambunctious toddler ruling the roost. Anne had always been a softie when it came to her only grandchild, and Harry already couldn’t wait to see his mother with both of his children. “Alessandro text me, he said everything went really well with the launch, everyone loved the collection-”

“I’m so sorry I ruined it for you,” Louis muttered then, the Omega’s eyes filling with tears. “I shouldn’t have come-”

“You think there’s anywhere in the world I want to be other than here right now, Lou?” Harry asked, rubbing his nose against his Omega’s. “Imagine if you’d gone into labour at home on your own with Elijah, and I couldn’t be there. I’d have never forgiven myself. Compared to you and our unborn pup, the collection isn’t even on my radar. You are everything that matters to me, you and our pups.”

A loud wail stopped the conversation in their tracks, and Harry’s eyes widened as he realised he was now a father of two. His pup was out in the world, and he was theirs, made from the love he and Louis shared. He got shakily to his feet and peered down at the screaming newborn pup in the hands of the surgeon, laughing when the baby was held up to him so he could see the sex of their newest family member.

With the biggest smile on his face, Harry looked back to his mate, a lump in his throat.

“It’s a boy, Lou, another boy!”

Louis’ grin just widened as they watched a nurse carry away their baby, weighing him and wrapping him up before finally, he was brought over to Harry, who took him in his nervous arms. 

“Omega, you’ve done so well. He’s so, so beautiful.” 

Harry leaned down to the pup’s neck and scented him gently, wanting him to smell like his family already. Once he was happy, he turned to face his mate, making sure to angle the baby so Louis could see him.

“Let me hold him,” Louis asked, and Harry obliged, carefully transferring the now sleepy bundle over to his Papa. Harry’s heart felt full as he watched the two bond, Papa and pup as one at last. It reminded him so much of the arrival of Elijah, and Harry got a little too emotional, wiping away a stray tear as Louis pressed a kiss to his pup’s small pink cheek. “Harry, I know what I want to call him.”

Harry just waited to hear Louis’ choice, eager for the surprise, but somehow content in the knowledge that his mate would pick something perfect. Elijah had been his choice, and Louis had loved it from the moment he’d heard it, and now Harry was practically bursting with anticipation, waiting for Louis to reveal his choice.

“Well? Don’t leave me in suspense,” Harry teased, taking a quick photo of the pair, wanting to remember the moment forever. “Omega…”

“Sorry, Alpha, got lost in our pup for a moment.”

Louis’ blue eyes flashed up to Harry for a moment, and Harry’s eyes caught sight of his bonding mark, full of love and adoration for the wonderful Omega had given him two sons.

“Luca. Luca Alessandro Tomlinson-Styles. He’s born here in Italy, I want him to have something Italian about him. Do you like it?”

Without saying a word, Harry leaned over and took back his newborn, nestling him in the crook of his arm, taking Louis’ hand in the other.

“My beautiful pup Luca. I love it, Omega. Elijah and Luca. They sound good together, don’t they?”

“They do,” Louis agreed, wincing slightly as the surgeons finished stitching him up. “Is he alright?”

“He’s perfect,” Harry nodded, mesmerised by his son’s beautiful little face. He already had dark hair on top of his head, albeit matted at the moment, and Harry could already see his lips were so much like his own. Some small Alpha part of him wanted his new pup to look like him, to carry on his curly-haired, green-eyed genes, but the more romantic part just wanted him to be another mini Louis, just like Elijah was. “So absolutely perfect. I love him so much already. Thank you for my beautiful baby, Omega.”

“I love you, Alpha,” Louis murmured, reaching out to touch his pup’s cheek with his finger, grazing the soft skin. “Our family is complete now, isn’t it?”

“We’ve always been complete,” Harry said, locking eyes with his beautiful Omega for a moment. “We’re just adding to our happiness, my love. With every pup you give me, my love for you just grows, and in all the world, Louis… I never thought I’d be this lucky.”

He bent down, kissing his pup’s forehead one more time, still holding Louis’ hand. Life, he realised then, didn't get anymore perfect. It stayed that way as Louis was stitched up, finally being wheeled back to a private room where the new family could bond together. Harry squished himself onto the side of Louis’ bed, careful not to jostle his healing Omega, but nothing felt more right than to sit next to his Omega with their newborn in his arms.

“Do you think Elijah is going to understand what’s happened?” Louis asked sleepily, his eyes fixated on the sleeping bundle in Harry’s arms as he spoke. “Poor little love must be so confused, we just disappeared and now he’ll see us again and this time we’ll have a new pup with us…”

“He will be fine, Omega, don’t worry,” Harry soothed, moving Luca into the crook of his left arm so he could wrap his right around Louis’ shoulder, pulling them closer together. “We will help him to understand that he has a brother, and that he is to take care of him always.”

“He’s going to be a wonderful brother,” Louis agreed, yawning now then wincing when the movement tugged on his fresh stitches. “Ouch, I’d forgotten how much this bit hurts.”

The pup in Harry’s arms started to grumble then, and the proud new parents smiled down at their son, Harry rocking him lightly to try and soothe him. 

“I think he’s hungry, Alpha,” Louis smiled, and as if on queue, a dark-haired nurse appeared with a bottle, handing it to Harry who expertly slid the teat between Luca’s lips, watching him guzzle hungrily. “Ah, see. Papa’s intuition was right.”

“Of course.”

Harry just watched his new son drink for a moment, mesmerised by his small lips around the teat, his eyes fluttering shut as slowly his belly was filled with the warm liquid, settling him once more. 

“I love you, Omega. You have given me not only a marriage but two beautiful pups. How can I ever thank you for everything you’ve done?”

“Just love us,” Louis murmured, slipping into sleep where he was laid on the bed, trusting his Alpha implicitly to take care of the newborn while he rested. “Love is all I will ever need from you, Alpha.”

 

A week later

Louis eased himself off the bed where he’d been happily napping for the past few hours while Luca slept. Harry had been insistent that Louis rest as much as possible since he’d come out of hospital a few days ago, and Louis had taken full advantage of that. He wandered over to the white wooden crib where his pup whimpered, mouth open and looking for food, and Louis’ heart felt so full, he felt like he was going to explode. He reached down, wincing as a shot of pain passed through his incision site for a moment, but once the pup was in his arms, Louis forgot all his pain.

“Are you hungry, pup, hmm?” he asked, gently rocking him from side to side for a moment. He loved these peaceful moments where it was just him and Luca, the house silent around them. Louis pushed back the blind, looking out at the wonderful view, feeling more than privileged to be there in Italy, in their home from home. The sun was shining, a gentle breeze was in the air, and as he left the confines of his and Harry’s bedroom, his ears perked up, hearing the happy squeals of his firstborn. “Seems your big brother is swimming again with Dada, he’s definitely a water baby.”

Louis’ feet felt cool on the tiles as he walked through to the kitchen, preparing a bottle before he went out to the patio, settling on one of the loungers with his pup in his arms, watching fondly as his husband splashed around with Eli. He pushed the teat of the bottle between Luca’s lips, and tried not to smirk as Harry emerged from the pool, dripping wet with their little boy in his arms, both grinning widely.

“Papa! I swim!” Elijah shrieked, flailing his arms and splashing Louis and Luca with a few cool droplets, making the baby whimper again. 

“Hey, calm down, we don’t want to get Papa or Luca wet, do we?” Harry said, settling the little boy down on the floor and stripping off his onesie swimsuit and his swim nappy, letting him run around naked for a while. Their house was completely private, and both Louis and Harry knew how much Elijah enjoyed the freedom of no clothes every now and then, much like Harry himself often did. “How’s my pup?”

“Hungry, I think,” Louis smiled, watching Harry towel dry himself off a little, admiring the droplets of water cascading down his firm chest. He resisted the urge to follow one with his tongue, and smiled as his Alpha rested his feet on the edge of Louis’ lounger. “You two having fun?”

“He loves the water,” Harry said, smiling as Elijah toddled back towards them, a bucket of cars in his hand. He plopped his bare bum down on the floor and emptied them out noisily, zooming them across the tiles as Louis and Harry watched on. “He had his arm bands on, and he wasn’t scared at all, Lou. My clever little Pup isn’t scared of anything.”

“You love being out here, don’t you?” Louis asked, handing his son over to Harry to wind him. He watched Harry sit him on the towel across his bare legs, the pup looking even tinier in Harry’s big hands which expertly winded him until a little burp could be heard. “In Italy, I mean.”

“I love being anywhere my family is,” Harry said softly, holding the baby boy against his now dry chest. “You think Eli likes Luca yet?”

Louis shrugged, smiling slightly. It had been an interesting experience bringing Luca home for the first time a few days ago. Harry had made an announcement about the birth of Luca shortly after his birth to quell any rumours about why he’d disappeared from the launch, and they’d been inundated with cards, presents and congratulations. They’d chosen not to bring Elijah into the hospital, and he’d stayed at their home with Anne and Gemma until Louis and Luca had both been discharged. Louis had been relieved to get home with his new pup, but Elijah hadn’t been over the moon with his Papa coming home with a new Pup.

He’d refused to pay the baby any attention, asking if they could take him back. Louis had been upset, and Harry had had to take Elijah away and have a chat with his young pup, telling him that Luca was his brother and he wasn’t going anywhere. Harry had then helped Elijah hold his brother for the first time, and Louis had felt a bond start to form between the two, hoping things would be easier.

Elijah still didn't pay Luca a lot of attention, but he was kinder now, offering to help Louis when he dressed the pup or fed him, patting his head as he toddled past with Harry. Louis always knew bringing a new pup into the family wouldn’t be easy but he’d been surprised at how emotional it had all been. Harry had been his rock from the moment Luca had arrived, and he knew he’d be struggling without the endless help of his Alpha. Harry happily changed nappies, got up in the middle of the night to feed Luca, and then rose early to make Eli pancakes for breakfast, letting Louis rest and heal.

“He tolerates him,” Louis chuckled, thanking Eli quietly as the toddler handed him a toy car with a smile. “It’s a lot to get used to. For so long, it’s just been the three of us, and now there’s this new baby taking away our attention. He’ll get used to it, we just need to make time for him too.”

“And for us,” Harry said, standing up and coming to sit next to the Omega. Luca was already milk drunk, little lips pink and pouting as his eyelids drifted shut, a tiny hand wrapped around one of Harry’s. “Let me go and grab his chair, then he can sit out here with us.”

Louis nodded and settled back as Harry disappeared with their son in his arms, returning minutes later with the special rocking chair they’d used for Elijah when he was a newborn. Luca was curled up and dozing as Harry left him there, cuddling up to the Omega’s side as they watched their other son play, still amused by his toy cars, lining them up in some sort of order Louis couldn’t work out.

“Can I take you out next week, before we go home?” Harry asked, his head against Louis’ chest now. “I just know how important this place is to us, and I’d like to spoil you for a bit. You deserve it after everything you’ve been through.”

“I’d love to, Haz, but our pups…”

“Alessandro has offered to come and sit with them. You know he loves the children,” Harry said, smiling at the fact he’d clearly organised everything already. “I’ve made you something to wear as well. It was going to be in the collection, but then I decided I just wanted you to have it.”

Louis blushed, loving that his mate was so thoughtful. He felt nervous at the idea of leaving both of his children for the first time, but he knew once he was out with Harry, he’d be fine, and his pups would be safe and well in Alessandro’s care.

“Then I’d love to,” he said, letting Harry kiss him softly. It felt good to have his Alpha so close again, and he tilted his head to the side, giving Harry access to his neck as the Alpha licked over his bond mark, feelings of love pulsing over Louis in waves. “You going to woo me, Alpha?”

“I’m going to woo you so hard, you won’t know what’s got into you, Omega,” Harry purred, right into Louis’ ear making him shiver. “Although… hopefully me.”

Louis cackled at that, making Elijah look up at him with a frown. He got up onto his little feet and walked over, resting his hands on Louis’ thigh as he stared at him.

“Papa swim?”

“Me? You want me to swim?”

“Yes! Papa swim!”

Louis scooped up his son and ran towards the pool, making Eli scream in his arms.

“You want your swimsuit on?”

“No! NAKEY!” 

Louis just laughed and walked down the steps of the pool, the water warm as he submerged the pair of them, keeping a tight hold on his pup. Elijah slapped his palms on the surface of the pool, sending water all over the two of them as Harry laughed from the poolside, pulling Luca’s chair closer to himself, well in the shade from the Italian sun.

“Ah, you got Papa all wet!”

Elijah just giggled some more, and Louis gently flicked some water back at his son, loving how his blue eyes shone with pure happiness. 

“Love Papa,” Elijah said after a few more minutes splashing, resting his head against Louis’ collarbones. “Love Dada.”

Louis nodded, kissing the crown of his son’s head for a moment, but he was interrupted by Elijah’s soft voice again.

“Love Luca.”

*****

“Louis, you look…. Wow.”

Harry swallowed, looking his husband up and down for a moment. Every part of him was screaming to walk over and scent him, claim him over and over so the world knew that Louis was his, but the more rational part of him knew the bond mark on Louis’ neck and the ring on his finger spoke loudly enough. Still, Harry’s mouth felt dry and he drew his bottom lip between the rows of his teeth, hungry eyes sweeping all over Louis’ body. 

“Will I do?”

“More than,” Harry assured him, finally taking a few steps closer to his Omega. He could already smell the sweet scent of Louis’ pheromones washing over him, still strong from being pregnant, and this was something Harry could definitely live with. He’d felt sad when Louis’ scent had changed a few weeks after the birth of Eli, and already he was dreading the same thing happening this time around. “You’re beautiful, Omega.”

“Thank you,” Louis muttered, blushing as he fiddled with the hem of the silk Gucci shirt he was wearing. “I know it’s a bit big, but my tummy hasn’t gone down yet, and-”

“And you look perfect. That tummy housed my beautiful pup, Omega, embrace it.”

Harry placed his hands on Louis’ tummy, pressing down gently for a moment, willing Louis to understand how much he loved his body; pregnant, not pregnant or post-pup, it didn’t matter to him. Every part of Louis was gorgeous, and part of Harry wanted to take him there and then, to prove to Louis how much he still wanted him.

“I do, I promise. I love my body for giving us our babies, Alpha. I just… I wanted to wear what you made me tonight, even if I don’t feel sexy in it just yet. I want to show everyone I’m yours, to feel like I belong. I don’t know, maybe it’s silly…”

Harry hooked two fingers under Louis’ chin, bringing their lips together briefly before he spoke, muttering the words against Louis’ own lips.

“It’s never silly to want people to know you’re my Omega. And once again, you look stunning. I’m the luckiest Alpha in the world to call you mine, believe me.”

Louis grinned again but the wail of baby Luca stirred them from the trance they had in looking at each other, and he hurried off, ready to soothe his newborn. Harry decided to go and find Elijah and see what he was up to. The silence was unsettling, and more often than not, it meant Eli was getting up to mischief, just like his Papa.

He arrived in the bedroom he and Louis had designated for their eldest son, and smiled at the sight of Elijah stacking some wooden blocks together, trying to make a tower as tall as he could. He huffed when his clumsy toddler hands knocked everything over and Harry walked towards him, kneeling on the floor, ignoring his expensive trousers in favour of paying his son some much needed attention, and the smile he got in return was worth the dirty knees he had.

“That was a really good try, little one. Shall I help?”

Eli just nodded, his tongue sticking out of the corner of his mouth as he brought a blue block over to stack on top of the red one sitting on the rug, clapping to himself when he put it on top and it stayed there.

“Daddy go.”

“Alright, my love,” Harry agreed, gently adding a yellow one to the stack. Eli started to clap again at Harry’s success, and they continued like this until the stack was ten whole blocks tall, Eli getting more excited as time went on. 

“Show Papa!”

“Go and get him, my love. He’s with Luca,” Harry said, easing himself to his feet, careful not to knock over the tower he and his son had created. Moments later, Louis appeared in the doorway, Luca in the crook of one arm, and his hand in Eli’s by his side, a big smile on his face. Harry’s heart swooped at the sight, wishing he could capture the moment forever and he decided to, taking out his phone. “Stay there a moment…”

Louis realised what was happening and tilted his head ever so slightly to the side as he and Elijah smiled for the camera, and Harry melted at the image immortalised forever on his phone. 

“Oh wow, did you and Daddy make this tower together?” Louis asked, admiring the stack of blocks as Eli ran over to it, nodding proudly.

“Big.”

“It's tall,” Louis agreed, jiggling Luca gently side to side to settle him. “You did such a good job, Daddy and I are very proud. Now, are you going to be a good boy for Uncle Alessandro tonight?”

“Good pup,” Eli nodded as the doorbell went, and he gasped, his eyes widening. “I show Uncle!”

He raced off and Harry lengthened his strides to catch up with his speedy son, pleased Elijah was still too small to open the door alone. He hoisted his son up onto his hip and opened the door, beaming at the man stood on the other side, a large eye-catching green hat on his head.

“Welcome! Come on in…”

Elijah lunged at the other man then and Harry let him go easily, smiling at the sight of one of his closest friends and his eldest son bonding together. Eli was chattering away and although Harry was sure Alessandro barely understood a word, it was a beautiful moment.

“Thank you for tonight. I can’t wait to have a bit of time with Louis…”

“You are so welcome,” Alessandro nodded, letting a now wriggly Elijah down onto the floor. “Where is the pup?”

“Right here,” Louis smiled, practically gliding into the room now. Harry let his sweet scent fill his senses once more, and once Louis had transferred Luca into Alessandro’s arms, he walked up and scented his Omega, licking lightly over his bond mark, feeling Louis shudder under his ministrations. “He’s had a bottle, so he should sleep until we’re home. If not, there’s a bottle in the fridge, it just needs to go in the warmer…”

“We manage. You go, eat, drink, have fun, si? I call if problem.”

Harry could sense Louis frowning at the mere idea there would be a problem, so he nodded, reaching for his keys.

“There won’t be a problem, but good to know. They’re all fed, and Eli’s bedtime is in about an hour. And don’t let him swim, no matter how much he begs.”

“I won’t. Go, Ciao!” 

Alessandro walked away then, giving Harry no choice but to lead his nervous Omega out of the house and to their car on the driveway. They held hands as Harry drove them through the small Italian streets, finally coming to a stop outside a very familiar looking marina.

“Harry, you didn’t…”

“I did,” Harry confirmed with a smile. He slipped out of the car and came round, opening the door for Louis, who got up and just grinned, looking out at the place where they’d spent a blissful together at sea all those years ago before they’d confirmed their love for each other and mated and married. “The memories of that time always make me smile, Omega. I thought we’d relive some by taking a boat out, sharing a meal and some memories…”

“This is… it’s perfect,” Louis grinned, turning and pushing onto his toes and hugging his Alpha tightly. Harry could feel the slowly deflating swell of Louis’ tummy pressing against his own, and it ignited a low-lying desire in Harry to knot and impregnate the Omega once more, but he pushed it aside, knowing those sorts of things were a way off just yet. Louis hadn’t felt up to having sex after Eli for some time, and Harry was determined to be as patient as his Omega needed. His scent and his touch were always enough. “Can we go on?”

“After you,” Harry signalled, holding out a hand to indicate Louis should lead the way. He did, and Harry steadied his mate as they climbed aboard the glamorous yacht, trying hard not to ogle Louis’ bum as he boarded first, supported by one of the crew. They decided to stay on the deck as the boat set sail, and Harry closed in behind Louis, their hands both on the metal railing as they cruised over the clear blue water.

“I love this place,” Harry admitted, the words low and for Louis’ ears only. The wind whipped through his hair, Louis’ shirt flowing easily in the breeze but neither man minded. Harry dipped his head so he could press his lips to Louis’ neck, kissing the bond mark before he scented his Omega again, laying claim to what was his. “It seems so long ago we were out here for our first proper date, then after we got married…”

“And now look at us,” Louis replied, his words being carried away on the sea breeze. “Married for eight years, with two beautiful boys. Who’d have thought a quick glance across the street all those years ago meant the rest of my life was mapped out for me?”

“I hope you say that in a good way,” Harry chuckled, his hands now on his Omega’s hips, pulling Louis’ backside against his crotch for a moment.

“The best way,” Louis confirmed, leaning his head back to lean on Harry’s chest. Harry loved the petite size of his husband, how easily their bodies fitted together, and he relished every time they got to be like together, especially when it was time they got to spend alone. He loved his children more than anything, but there were times he craved time with just his Omega, and they always made sure to enjoy every moment they spent alone. “This is one of the most wonderful things you’ve ever done for me, Alpha.”

“You deserve it for everything you’ve brought to my life,” Harry said, kissing the top of Louis’ head. I can’t wait until Eli and Luca are old enough to come with us on a trip like this. I think they’ll love the ocean.”

“Well, Eli’s already a water baby, so I’m sure he will.”

Harry just nodded and they stared off at the horizon, watching the sun slowly start to sink down. The yacht began to slow down, and Harry realised they must be almost where they needed to be, and he pulled back, seeing a crew member hovering nearby. Harry gave a small nod, telling the Omega it was okay to approach, and he shuffled closer, looking nervous as he addressed the couple.

“Alpha, the meal that you requested is now ready to be served.”

“Thank you. My Omega and I will be through shortly.”

The Omega nodded again and quickly disappeared as silently as he had arrived, leaving Harry and Louis alone once more. It was peaceful, being out here on the ocean like this, and for a moment it felt slightly alien to Harry. He was so used to the noise of his two sons surrounding him, whether it was Luca’s wailing for a bottle or to let them know he wanted to be changed or cuddled, or Eli’s exuberant playing, or begging to be taken outside for a swim. Still, it was wonderful to finally get some alone time with his husband, and Harry was determined to make the most of it.

“Are you hungry,  my love?” Harry asked, keen to let Louis take charge for the night. Louis nodded, and Harry stepped back, taking Louis’ hand in his as he led the way back into the interior of the boat. It wasn’t an ostentatious yacht, but it was certainly one that indicated the owner had money. Harry had called in several favours to secure it for the night for himself and Louis and it was worth every second of work he’d have to do on a bespoke outfit for the owner’s wife. “I hope you’ll like the meal.”

“I haven’t had to cook it, so I’ll love it,” Louis grinned, gasping as Harry led him into a dining room. There was just a table for two set up, a candle in the middle, and two glasses of wine already poured and waiting for them. Harry pressed his hand to Louis’ lower back as he walked him over,  pulling out the chair for his husband before he took his own opposite, immediately reaching for Louis’ hand across the table. “Harry, this is beautiful.”

“No more than you deserve, sweetheart.”

His phone pinged then, startling them both and he saw the worry flash in Louis’ eyes as he extracted it from his pocket, opening the message from Alessandro and then smiled fondly when he saw the image on the screen. He quickly turned it to show Louis who grinned too, the pair entirely unsurprised at what they saw. It was a picture of their children sound asleep in the living, Eli curled around the moses basket where Luca was soundly sleeping. It was the sweetest sight, and it melted Harry’s heart.

“Is it weird to say I miss them? I mean, I love being out here with you, I really do, but I miss our pups, Harry.”

“Me too, darling. But we’ll be home soon, so let’s make the most of tonight, okay?”

Harry lifted his wine glass and held it in front of him for a moment, nodding to Louis who took his own in his hand, swirling the deep claret liquid around.

“Here’s to us, Lou. Married eight years, with two beautiful children. All because we fell in love. I love you and I’m so unbelievably happy you’re my Omega, and that we belong to each other.”

“Harry…” Louis said, swallowing down the lump in his throat. “I love you too. I’m so glad we met each other and bonded. You and our children are my whole entire world.”

They clinked glasses gently before they sipped on the wine, Harry humming in pleasure as it slid down his throat, smooth and fruity. He hadn’t drunk for a while, choosing to support Louis when he was pregnant and unable to drink, but he didn’t want to get too fuzzy-headed tonight, wanting to remember each moment with his Omega.

They chatted easily about the plans for when they returned home to England in a few days time, finally able to procure a British passport for baby Luca, and the necessary documents to allow them to take him home. Harry loved that his son had Italy listed on his birth certificate as his place of birth, and he was already planning on their next trip out there as a family, very much thinking of the country as their second home by now. The starters were brought out and they took their time eating and talking, enjoying being able to just worry about feeding themselves and not their children for a change.

“Were you scared?” Harry asked in a lull in the conversation, watching a frown develop on Louis’ brow at the sudden change in direction of the conversation. “When you realised Luca was on the way, I mean. We weren’t near a hospital…”

“Yes, but I knew I was safe because I was with you. I knew you’d never let anything happen to me or our pup.”

“Damn right I wouldn’t. I’d have run with you in my arms if that’s what you had needed of me, Omega.”

Louis reached over and snatched Harry’s hand up again, kissing the back of it for a moment. 

“God, can you believe we have two children now, Harry? Two beautiful boys, and they’re all ours.”

“We are the luckiest,” Harry agreed, lifting Louis’ now empty plate away from in front of him and placing it on his own. “And yes I can believe it. I’m quite surprised we only have the two pups if I’m honest, Omega. If it were up to me, you’d be constantly pregnant with my children…”

“Harry…” Louis murmured, wriggling in his seat, and Harry caught a waft of his scent emanating from him then, and he wondered for a moment if the mention of it was enough to make Louis slick. “Not here, my love. Wait until we get home.”

“But…”

“Maybe tonight, okay? I crave to be with you.”

“That sounds like the perfect end to tonight, Omega- oh, thank you so much, that was wonderful,” Harry said to the waiter who appeared, clearing away their things silently and quickly. “I hope Alessandro managed to get them into bed alright.”

“I’m sure he’s fine, love, stop worrying,” Louis reassured him, stroking his foot up the inside of Harry’s calf for a moment. “I love it here, though. This country is just beautiful, and I love that Luca was born here. So many good memories.”

“What’s your favourite? Apart from us meeting here, I mean,” Harry asked, keen to see if his fondest memories were like Louis’.

“That’s an easy one, actually,” Louis grinned, sipping on a glass of water, the ice cubes clinking on the thin glass. “Do you remember when you found out I was pregnant with Elijah?”

“Oh goodness, of course. I don’t think I could ever forget it if I tried,” Harry laughed, shaking his head as he recalled the memory.

3 years ago

Harry sighed as he stepped out of the car, stretching out his back. He’d been away since the very early hours of the morning, working on some new designs with Alessandro and his team, and he couldn’t wait to be home. He was lucky enough that his Omega had flown out last week to surprise him, and even though Louis only had two days left before he had to return to work, Harry was grateful he’d come at all.

He walked up the driveway of their small house that they’d bought just after they got married, the pair preferring to holding in Italy more than anywhere else in the world. It also meant their friends and family could holiday there too, and Harry was always happy to let them stay whenever they wanted. The sun was shining, it was a warm day, and Harry couldn’t wait to get his arms around his Omega and to relax for the rest of the day.

He opened the door, a smile on his face but that immediately disappeared when he walked in to the sound of a wailing smoke alarm, billows of dark smoke coming down the corridor from the direction of the kitchen.

“OMEGA! Louis?!” he yelled, racing down the hallway, scared his Omega was in danger. He coughed and spluttered as he approached, but it seemed Louis was okay as he was wafting a tea towel around, trying to disperse the plumes of smoke from where they were lingering. “What on earth are you doing?!”

Louis was still coughing and Harry raced over to the double doors that led onto their small veranda, throwing them open. Immediately the air became clearer in the room and Harry hurried over to Louis, placing his hands on his hips as he checked him over, wincing as he saw tears streaming from Louis’ irritated eyes.

“I was-” Louis cut off with another coughing fit, and Harry led him outside, pushing him down into a chair while he went back inside to fetch a glass of water. Louis gulped down a few sips before he took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before he began to speak. “I’m so sorry, I was just trying to make dinner, to do something nice…”

“Oh, my love,” Harry mumbled, scooting his chair closer to Louis’ and taking his husband’s hand. “It’s okay, we can order something in, or go out-”

“No, you don’t understand! I was meant to make a stir fry, your favourite! It was going to be special and then I was going to tell you, and it would be something you’d remember forever-”

Louis coughed again, and Harry frowned, wondering how much the smoke had affected his Omega’s brain since he seemed to rambling now.

“But as usual, I’m a bloody useless Omega and I’ve fucked it all up-”

“No, stop, Louis. You haven’t fucked anything up, it’s okay, really. It’s just dinner…”

“No, it’s not!” Louis stamped his foot with those words, and Harry sat back in surprise, not used to Louis being quite so emotional. “This was going to be so special!”

“What’s special, Lou?  I don’t… I don’t understand. Omega, please calm down…” Harry leaned in, scenting Louis gently, relieved that Louis let it happen for a moment. “Talk to me, sweetheart. Tell your Alpha what’s got you so worked.”

Louis looked up, his eyes glassy then as he stared into Harry’s eyes for a moment, and the Alpha was hit by another rush of love for his Omega, feeling unbelievably lucky that he was the one who had Louis, the only Alpha in the world that would ever call Louis his.

“I…” Louis stuttered over his words again, and he surprised Harry, reaching for his hand and pressing it to his belly, smiling softly. “I’m having your pup, Alpha.”

Harry just stayed still, unable to believe what he was hearing.

“You’re… you’re pregnant?”

Louis just nodded and Harry let the biggest smile cross his face, pressing his hand more firmly to Louis’ tummy, like he could feel the pup already.

“Omega… this is… this is the best thing that’s ever happened. When did you find out?!”

“Yesterday,” Louis said, laughing as Harry stood up, quickly collapsing onto his knees between Louis’ legs, nuzzling his stomach. “Alpha…”

“Let me, Omega. I’ve just found out about my pup, let me enjoy you for a moment.”

Louis sat still as Harry carried on, sliding his hands up under the shirt Louis was wearing, both of them ignoring the burnt smell coming from the kitchen.

“I love you so much,” Harry breathed out against the tanned skin of Louis’ belly, still in awe of the fact he’d put a pup inside his Omega, his husband. “Is that why you wanted to cook?”

“Yeah. I was going to serve the meal, and then tell you I was having your pup. But I ruined that-”

“You ruined nothing, you hear me, Omega? You’ve just made me the happiest Alpha alive, I don’t care about a meal, I don’t. All I care about is you and me and our little pup. Our baby Tomlinson-Styles.”

He pushed up higher and pressed his lips to Louis’, the pair losing themselves in their kiss for a few minutes. Harry only stopped when he’d pushed Louis onto his back on the bench, his body bracketing around Louis’, pinning him in place.

“Not here. Sit up, Omega, I need to take care of you, treat you like the precious Omega you are. I will go and buy us some food, and feed you, and make sure you and our pup have all the nourishment you need.”

“Seriously Haz, there’s some Super Noodles in the cupboard, we can just-”

“My pup will not have super noodles,” Harry spat out in disgust. He hated that Louis ate that junk anyway, let alone when he was carrying their pup inside his belly. “I will go and get fresh food.”

Louis just sighed and nodded, taking Harry’s hand as he held them out, hauling the Omega to his feet. “At least we won’t forget tonight, I suppose…”

“Life with you is always an adventure,” Harry grinned, walking Louis back inside, ignoring the charred pan sat on the now cool hob. “And what bigger adventure can we have than starting our own family?”

**

They were both laughing by now, tears streaming down their faces as they recalled the comical moment. Louis was right - it was definitely a moment they wouldn’t forget, and Harry couldn’t wait until Eli and Luca were old enough that they could tell them the tale of Louis’ cooking woes. Conversation flowed easily as the main courses were brought out, the sun starting to set around them as they ate.

Despite the beautiful meal and having some time alone, Harry could see Louis was getting twitchy as the waiter hovered, asking about desert.

“Did you want to take desert home, omega?”

Louis’ face fell, like he’d been hoping Harry hadn’t noticed how fidgety he was in his chair, but the Alpha reached for his hand, trying to tell him that he was okay, he understood.

“Your Omega wants to be with our babies. It’s okay, Louis, we can go.”

“Are you sure? I don’t want to ruin tonight…”

“You haven’t. Not at all. It’s been perfect having a few hours to ourselves, out here on the water. But I understand it is hard for you to be separated from Luca, especially while he is so young. Shall I ask for our deserts to be boxed up so we can enjoy them later?”

Louis nodded, looking more settled now he knew Harry was okay with his wants. 

“Please. We could sit by the pool and eat once we’re home.”

Harry nodded and got up, rounding the table quickly and kissing his Omega before he disappeared, heading off to sort out heading home as soon as possible. When it was arranged, he rejoined Louis who was by now standing on the deck, leaning against a railing and watching the sunset at the horizon.

“It’s so beautiful out here,” Louis whispered, his voice all but carried away on the breeze as the boat headed for land. Harry nodded in agreement, his hands around Louis’ waist, resting on his tummy. He already missed the swell of it from when Louis was pregnant, but part of him had an idea that one day, there would be another baby in there. Not just yet, but it was certainly something he hoped would happen when their boys were a little older. “Thank you for tonight.”

“You’re more than welcome. I live to make you and pups happy, Louis. Everything I do is for the three of you. You’re my life.”

Louis twisted his head back and kissed the Alpha slowly and sensually, only parting when the engines stopping, and the boat started to glide into the marina. Deckhands helped dock the boat, and soon, Harry was clutching Louis’ hand, leading him back to dry land and to their waiting car. Harry got Louis in before he turned, accepting the bags from the members of crew, shaking their hands and thanking them for their hospitality, each and every one of them nodding their thanks.

Harry drove them both home, the Italian streets quiet now thanks to the late hour. The radio played in the background, a soft song that Louis sang along to, and Harry just basked in the sound and scent of his Omega, feeling entirely content with his world. He felt Louis’ body relax as he pulled into the driveway of their house, eager himself to get in and see his children now.

Louis, though, couldn’t wait and as Harry turned off the engine, he darted out of the passenger seat and hurried up the few steps to the front door, throwing it open. Harry raced in after him, wishing there was some way he could calm him Omega.

“Oh my god…” he murmured, walking into their living room to see the state it was in. it looked like Santa’s grotto on Christmas Eve, almost every toy Eli owned scattered around, left on every available surface. There was a half drunk glass beaker of milk balanced on the edge of the coffee table, and Harry pushed it into the middle as he turned, looking for Louis. 

There was no sign of life downstairs so Harry took the stairs two at a time, desperate to find his Omega now, but as he walked down the corridor towards Eli’s bedroom, he smelled the sweet scent of his Omega as he leant against the wall, looking fondly at something. He approached cautiously, not wanting to disturb whatever was happening, and what he saw melted his heart.

“Look at them, Alpha,” Louis whispered, turning to look at Harry with love in his eyes, taking Harry’s hand. “How sweet is that?”

Harry chuckled quietly as he took in the scene in front of him. Alessandro was sound asleep in the rocking chair in the corner of Eli’s room, Luca curled up against his chest, a big hand on his back holding him in place. Eli was fast asleep on the floor, his legs tucked up under him one of his toy cars still clutched in his tiny hand. The room was a mess, certainly moreso than Louis and Harry had left it but neither minded.

It was Louis who crept over first, gently lifting Luca from Alessandro’s arms, kissing the baby’s full lips for a brief second while Harry walked in, scooping up Elijah from the floor. He walked him over to his bed and took off his trouser, tucking his son into bed.

“Goodnight, sweet boy,” he whispered, kissing Eli’s forehead and tucking in his favourite bear beside him in the cot. Elijah was small for his age, and neither Harry or Louis felt comfortable putting him in a bed just yet. He then picked up a few things from the floor so Elijah wouldn’t hurt himself on them in the morning before he walked out of the room, following the scent of his Omega to their room, where he found Louis laid on their bed, their sleeping baby on his chest. “Are you quite comfortable, Omega?” he teased, and Louis just smiled, rubbing Luca’s back gently.

“Very. Do you mind getting him a bottle, my love?”

“Of course not,” Harry said softly, leaving the room. He decided to go and wake up Alessandro first, the man startling when he realised his arms were empty. Harry shushed him and led him out of the room, thanking him for the night.

“Your Eli… he is… how you say? Uh… spirited,” Alessandro laughed, yawning widely. “He not want to sleep. He run around, take off all his clothes…”

“Oh goodness, I do apologise,” Harry chuckled, covering his face with his hands for a moment. 

“Don’t. You have wonderful bambinos, Harry. Beautiful. You have nice night with your Louis?”

“The best,” Harry agreed, opening the front door. “I, uh, I’ll be into work later in the week. I just want a few days with my family, if that’s alright?”

“More than. You enjoy your family, Alpha.”

Harry hugged the man in front of him, staying at the door until Alessandro drove away. He locked the door behind him and walked to the kitchen, preparing Luca’s bottle with practised ease, shaking it as he walked up the stairs. Louis was changing Luca’s nappy when he walked in, and Harry stood and watched his Omega, accepting the warm little bundle when he was done. 

“My handsome little man,” he mumbled, sliding the teat between Luca’s lips. Louis started to get changed then, and Harry watched with dark eyes as Louis shed his clothes slowly, hanging up the shirt Harry had made for him by hand, stitching each of the pieces together, a fabric he’d chosen personally. “Omega, you’re so beautiful…”

Even if the dim light of the room, Harry could see Louis blush, walking towards the bed in just his boxers. It was the first real time he was allowing his Alpha to see his body since he had given birth, and Harry appreciated the sight more than Louis knew. He held his breath as Louis sat next to him, his skin radiating warmth, his Omega scent washing over Harry, making him feel heady.

They sat in silence as Luca finished up his bottle, and Harry winded him gently, lulling the baby boy back into a deep sleep. The moses basket was still stood in the corner of their bedroom, and Harry let Louis kiss his son before he walked over, settling him into it, pulling the light sheet over his sleeping body. Harry watched his son sleep for a moment before he turned back to his Omega, who was now on the bed, watching Harry’s every move.

He undressed himself too, and laid down next to Louis, surprised when the Omega shuffled closer and kissed him deeply, tangling his legs with Harry's.

“Omega…”

“I want to, Alpha. I want to be with you tonight.”

“Are you sure?”

As always, Louis’ comfort and safety were Harry’s top concerns, but he couldn’t ignore the butterflies in his belly when Louis nodded, guiding Harry’s hand behind him to feel where he was already getting slick. 

“Love you so much, Omega,” Harry murmured against Louis’ lips, kissing him like he needed Louis to know how much, for him to believe he was loved and cherished. “Bring me so much happiness, you know. Two pups, such love…”

“I love you, Alpha. Now kiss me, please.”

Harry did, tenderly and sweetly, like Louis was a delicate flower in bloom, casting his light over everyone that came near, holding them under his spell. Harry would happily bask in for the rest of his life, but for now, he had an Omega to worship.

“My beautiful Omega…”

END.