Actions

Work Header

Loving You Is Free

Chapter Text

Harry found the website one night when he was bored and procrastinating studying for an exam. He created an account for the same reason. And he started messaging back and forth with random guys because it was exciting and entertaining. He never intended to actually take the whole thing seriously, but almost two years later and here he was, with his student loans almost paid off and three sugar daddies under his belt.

There was something oddly rewarding about the process. Harry was a people pleaser, and he could get along with most anyone. If Harry could get paid to make someone happier, to provide lonely men with good company, then he was going to jump all over that opportunity. So he did.

His first arrangement lasted for four months, with a guy named Don, who Harry liked and got along with fairly well. He showed Harry the ropes, gave generously and didn’t expect too much from Harry in return. He was a great first time sugar daddy to give Harry the experience as a new SB, and in the end, Don ended it. Harry was pretty sure he just got bored with him and wanted to move on to the next thing, which he was perfectly fine with.

The second arrangement was shorter, with a nice older man that Harry just couldn’t bring himself to sleep with. He reminded him too much of his grandfather. Harry ended that one.

Between the second arrangement and the third, there was a string of first meetings that didn’t lead to anything more, either because Harry wasn’t willing to give what they wanted or because they gave him the creeps. Harry looked back fondly on those, because they toughened him up and also led him to David, his third and most successful arrangement. His relationship with David lasted for the better part of a year. He was Harry’s youngest sugar daddy to date, a forty-two year old American CEO who lived in New York, but travelled to London almost monthly for work, which was when he and Harry would meet up. He flew Harry to New York once as well, Harry’s first trip to The States.

Harry ended the arrangement when he started dating someone he could see things moving forward with. But it was all for naught, since the guy turned out to be a massive tosser, so Harry broke it off with David for nothing. He often mourned their relationship, missed the influx of cash. He didn’t really need the money any more, but having extra cash to spend on the high end clothes and concert tickets he was interested in would be nice.

So that, and a mixture of boredom, was how Harry found himself logging back onto one of the sugar dating websites he’d used in the past for the first time in months. He’d stopped checking it six months into his relationship with David, and hadn’t checked it in the three months since they ended it.

He had an insane amount of messages, so many that he almost didn’t even want to look at them. He’d scrolled through three pages of messages, and was about to call it quits when he refreshed and a new message caught his eye. The potential sugar daddy, or “POT,” had his name listed as “Boo,” which Harry thought was cute, and his profile picture was in black and white and showed the back of his head and part of his profile. Smart, as it was stupid to show your face to strangers who wanted your money on the internet, but still effective as he was shown wearing a suit with his hair slicked back nicely.


 

He looked younger than the norm. Harry clicked to his profile, and was instantly endeared. The caption under his picture read “Live life for the fullest because everything else is uncertain!”, which was just... really cute.

Harry scrolled down to look at his earnings and net worth and whistled under his breath at the figures. His earnings were listed as $1 million+ which was the highest option to choose, and his net worth was listed as $50 million. Then Harry saw his age and raised his eyebrows skeptically. He was only thirty-three. Yeah, worth fifty million at thirty-three. Right.

Harry then considered the option that Boo could be a trust fund or family business baby, and shrugged as he clicked back over to his message. It wasn’t like he had anything to lose.

 

Message From: Boo

Hello,

I’m looking to start an arrangement with someone, and your profile stood out to me. Due to my job, I don’t have much of a social life or time to meet new people. I’m looking for a mutually beneficial relationship. A companion, someone I can meet up with to separate myself from the rest of the stress in my life and someone who doesn’t mind allowing me to let out some steam. Your profile says you’re a good listener, which caught my eye. I’m also almost always up for a good laugh and have been told I have a great sense of humour. I travel frequently for work and having a companion for some of those trips would be nice. I’m known to spoil the people I care about and I value respect and honesty. Apart from work, I try not to take life too seriously.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Boo

 

It was a nice message, pretty similar to David’s initial message actually. He didn’t raise any immediate red flags, well apart from his age. But Boo wasn’t already asking for access to Harry’s private photos, and his situation was exactly what appealed to Harry about sugaring. There were a lot of good people out there who worked too hard and were lonely because of that. Harry liked making people feel a bit less lonely.

“Why the hell not?” He murmured as he began typing a generic message in reply.

 

Message to: Boo

Hiiii!

This definitely sounds like an arrangement I might be interested in. I also read your profile and you seem like a fun time! My last SD arrangement lasted for almost a year, so I haven’t done this in a while and I’m finding that I’m a bit rusty, haha. Anyway, I would love to chat with you a bit to see if there is an eventual mutual interest.

I’ve learned that you can find some pretty great people doing this and I look forward to meeting more. Let me know what else you might be looking for in a potential arrangement and we can go from there and see what we find agreeable.

- H

 

Boo’s profile said that he was still online, but it was already nine pm, so Harry logged off and went to make himself a late dinner. It was best not to look too eager. He made a mental note to log back on and check for messages in a couple of hours when he was getting ready for bed.  

He made his way to the kitchen to find Zayn sitting at the kitchen table, what looked like the makings of an important art project spread out on the surface.

“Hey,” Harry greeted, before poking his head in the refrigerator to see what he could throw together.

“Hey,” Zayn returned, not looking up from his work.

“You eaten?” Harry asked, deciding he was going to make a vegetable and quinoa dish. They didn’t have much; he needed to go grocery shopping.

“Nah,” Zayn said. “Mind if I have a bit of whatever you’re having?”

“Of course,” Harry replied, pulling a pot down from one of the cabinets and turning on the stove.

“Thanks babes,” Zayn murmured off-handedly. He was really absorbed in whatever he was working on. He was always useless when he got really into a project.

Harry met Zayn at a party in the second year of uni. They bonded over a joint, went out on a few dates, fucked a handful of times, and then decided they were better off as friends. Four years later and Harry considered Zayn to be his best friend.

He let Zayn move in with him a few months ago, after Zayn’s girlfriend broke up with him and he was stuck with nowhere else to live. It was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks, until Zayn found find a flat of his own, but Harry found he liked the company and asked Zayn if he wanted to move in long term. It was working out well so far.

Zayn cleared off the table by the time Harry was finished cooking.

“I logged back into Seeking Arrangement today,” Harry said as he sat down across from Zayn, placing a bowl of quinoa in front of him. Zayn was one of two people in Harry’s day to day life who know about Harry’s sugaring. The second person being his sister. Aside from them, he had a few friends in the sugar bowl who he talked to sporadically.

Zayn raised his eyebrows. “I thought you were done with that.”

“So did I,” Harry allowed. “But I’m bored and my tastes are expensive.”

Zayn snorted, knowing all too well about Harry’s proclivity for shiny and expensive things. “Just be safe, and all that, yeah?”

“Of course,” Harry said through a bite of quinoa. “This isn’t my first rodeo, you know.”

“I know,” Zayn rolled his eyes. “But there are a lot of creepy fucks out there. Can’t help but worry.”

Yeah, Harry knew all about the creepy fucks, but he was a big boy now. He knew how to watch out for himself.

Harry told Zayn as much, reassuring him.

“I’ll be okay, Zaynie.”

They cleaned up the kitchen together, watched a short program on telly, and then Harry retired to his room to do a bit of coursework and get ready for bed. He checked to see if he had a new message from Boo before jumping in the shower, excitement sparking through him when he saw that he did in fact, have another message from him.

 

Message from: Boo

Hello again,

Truth be told, I’m new to this. Not sure where to start.

What am I looking for? Like I said, a companion. Pretty much everyone I know is in my business. It will be nice to have a relationship away from that. And I meant what I said about having someone to travel with me for work. I frequently go to some pretty cool places!

Since I’m new to this, why don’t you show me the ropes on this one. It seems like you have experience. Where do we go from here?

Boo xx

 

Harry raised his eyebrows. A newbie. Boo might as well have just hung a neon flashing sign around his neck that said TAKE MY MONEY. If he was legit and actually had money, this was kind of careless behavior. If Harry was anyone else, he’d take huge advantage of this guy. Luckily for Boo, Harry didn’t like to play people. Harry hoped he wasn’t being played in return. He cracked his knuckles and took a deep breath, writing out a carefully calculated reply.

 

Message to: Boo

Boo -

A first timer! What a treat. I remember my first arrangement. Lucky for me, the guy didn’t turn out to be a mass murderer. Lucky for you, I’m not a mass murderer either! … Although that kind of sounds like something a mass murderer would say. Oops, I promise I’m not.

What typically happens is we would now email back and forth, and then possibly skype. We have to see if the other is legit, after all. I’ve now given you access to my private photos on here, but if you want to skype my username is hazzabops.

I prefer email to messaging back and forth on here, so we can do that if you’d like. After we chat and get to know each other for a bit we can arrange a public meeting. It’s not all that different from dating. Coffee, dinner, a walk in the park, it’s all your choice really. I live in London so I can travel anywhere within the city easily.

After a few public meetings, if we’re still interested, we can discuss terms and decide where to go from there. Are you looking for something long term or just a short fling?

Feel free to email me. hazzabops@gmail.com

- H

 

There. That was enough for now. Harry closed his laptop and hopped in the shower, humming to himself as he washed his hair. He hoped this POT was legit. He hadn’t felt this excited about something in a while. He hadn’t realized how much he missed the anticipation of meeting a new sugar daddy, finding out more about them, making them feel good. In all honesty, the money was just a bonus.

He dried off quickly and nuzzled down into his bed without bothering to put clothes on. He tended to walk around naked fairly often. At the beginning, Harry just figured that Zayn had seen everything he had to offer before so why wear clothes? And now Zayn wasn’t in the least bit phased, so Harry continued to not put clothes on unless he had to. It was a rule he lived by.

He plugged his phone into the charger and checked his social media before logging back into SA and his sugar baby email to see if he had anything from Boo. He didn’t, so he locked his phone and fell asleep shortly after.

---

It started out as a joke. Niall and Liam were kind of drunk and Louis was in a bad mood, because he hadn’t been laid in far too long, and it was supposed to be a joke. Niall and Liam made the profile, but when they showed it to Louis he told them to fuck off and delete it, which Niall had every intention of doing. Just… after he explored a little bit. And then he came across H.

It was his profile picture that made Niall pause. Rather than a bright shot of some abs on a beach or at the gym, H’s picture was much softer. He was wearing a simple black jumper and looking down at a small puppy that he held in his hands. The picture only showed a portion of his face, half of it covered by the shadow of the large brimmed hat he was wearing, but he looked fit enough. Niall wasn't really always the best judge of that. But he did think the picture was cute. Different.

 

 

H had one other public picture, which gave away a little more. It showed him standing in front of a window in the shadows, which was effective enough to conceal his identity but also show off a small portion of it, and he was hold his fingers up in a peace sign. He was wearing another one of those hats, along with a pair of sunglasses and a hoodie.

 

 

Intrigued by the difference in H’s picture from all of the others, Niall clicked into his profile to read a bit about him. The kid was 23 and lived in London, and his tagline read “Up for dancing, prancing and a bit of romancing”. Niall snorted and read through the guy’s about me as well.

 

About Me:

In grad school, working on my masters degree. Free spirited and appreciative of simplicity. Very open minded, laid back, and usually up to try anything. I believe self-expression is crucial to living a positive life. I’m a great listener. I love music, enjoy writing when I’m inspired, and I love trying and learning new things.

What I’m Looking For:

I’m looking for someone who is available for a mutually beneficial relationship, someone with a great sense of humour, who is interested in trying new things with me and showing me new things.

 

If anyone was Louis’ type -and Louis definitely had a type, no matter how much he argued that he didn’t- it was this kid. He was just eccentric enough, and he had the long, lean thing going on that Niall knew Louis’ liked, so Niall decided to message him on Louis’ behalf.

He called Liam back into the room before he sent the message, to ask his opinion.

“I think you should delete the profile like Louis asked,” Liam huffed, leaning over Niall’s shoulder to read what he’d written. “Don’t message this guy at all.”

“Look at his profile and tell me he isn’t exactly Louis’ type,” Niall said, opening up a new tab to pull up his profile. “This is fate.”

“It’s not fate,” Liam argued. “It’s a sugar daddy website and some guy who wants Louis’ money.” But he stayed and watched as Niall brought him up again and gestured to the screen.

“It’s this guy?” Liam asked, sounding skeptical.

Niall hummed in affirmation and waited while Liam took the mouse from him and checked H out.

“He does have that long and lanky, quirky thing going on, doesn’t he?” Liam asked after a moment. “Just like Grimshaw. And he likes music.”

“Exactly what I was thinking,” Niall near shouted, triumphant. “Now should I send this or not?”

He read the message back to Liam again and they argued for several minutes on what to include and what to take out. Liam didn’t think they should say that Louis was lonely, but Niall disagreed. It was the truth and the only thing that made sense for someone of Louis’ worth and looks to be doing this.

Niall hit send on the message fifteen minutes later, and the site showed that H was online, so they waited anxiously for a message back. It was a good thing Louis was in his home office on a conference call to America, or else he’d put a stop to this in about three seconds.

“He’s gonna kill us,” Liam muttered and Niall laughed. “How is this even going to work Niall? He’s never going to agree to this.”

“Keep your pants on!” Niall rolled his eyes and scrolled through twitter before checking back over to the website. He had messaged back! Niall and Liam read the message excitedly.

“Aw, he seems sweet!” Niall said, nearly jumping up and down in his seat.

“He doesn’t sound sweet,” Liam scoffed. “What from that sounded sweet?”

“Why don’t you want Louis to find love??” Niall accused, clicking reply.

“It’s a fucking sugar daddy website!” Liam threw his hands in the air in exasperation. Niall couldn’t help but giggle, having way too much fun now.

“What was that?” Louis’ voice asked from behind them. Liam spun around quickly and Niall closed the window, pulling twitter back up.

“Lads…” Louis said, the tone in his voice making it clear that he wasn’t fucking around. “What was Liam saying about the sugar daddy website? Because I know I told you it wasn’t funny and to delete it.”

“It’s Niall’s fault,” Liam said, pointing to him.

Niall sputtered. “You helped, you twat!”

“What…” Louis said slowly, bringing a hand up to rub at his eyes. “Did you do?”

Niall and Liam looked at each other, Liam’s expression making it all too clear that Niall was on his own with this one.

“I found you a sugar baby!” Niall said, praying that Louis would kill him quickly.

“No,” Louis shook his head and chuckled darkly. “See… you didn’t. Because I told you not to. There’s no way you found a sugar baby, because you deleted the profile, like I asked you to.”

Niall swallowed and bit his lip, tongue dancing over his piercing. “He seems pretty cute!”

“You’re digging a deep grave, mate,” Liam muttered.

“I can end your career with a snap of my fingers,” Louis threatened, running a hand through his hair.

“Nah,” Niall waved Louis off, knowing there was no way Louis would end his career. He liked him too much. They’d grown too close. Louis was fiercely loyal to those he cared about. Plus, Niall was too valuable to fire, and Louis knew that.

“C’mere,” Niall said, pulling H’s profile back up. “Just give it a chance and look at his profile. Message back and forth with him a bit, see what you think.”

Louis rolled his eyes and gave Niall a dirty look, but walked up to the computer nonetheless. Niall grinned. He’d make Louis Tomlinson happy if it was the last thing he did, starting with some pretty company.

---

Okay, so Louis had to hand it to them. If Louis had a type, which he doesn’t, no matter how many times Niall tells him that he does, this guy would be it. Liam and Niall picked well. And they kind of captured the essence of what Louis needed, even though he hated to admit it. They were his best friends, they probably knew him better than he knew himself. He just hated that they could see it- that he was lonely. He didn’t need or want people pitying him. He didn’t get this far in life with pity, and he probably could have used some at times. But there was nothing he loved more than proving people wrong.

He kicked Niall and Liam out of his house, promising Niall that he’d give this H guy a chance, so here he was, clicking through his profile and reading over his message. The guy had ex sugar daddies, so he was more experienced in this than Louis was. It made Louis nervous, but he also figured at least one of them should know what was going on.

He threw caution to the wind and messaged the guy back with honesty, letting him know he hadn’t ever done this before. He also reiterated a bit of what Niall and Liam said in the first message.

After hitting send, he opened up a new tab and googled “Sugar Daddies”, clicking through a few links. Jesus, did people really do this?

Before he knew it, he’d fallen down the rabbit hole, sorting through various sugar baby and daddy blogs, learning a bit of the terminology, and trying to figure out what to expect. He researched gifts and allowance and how all of that worked. It looked like typically, allowance was something that was discussed once entering the arrangement, and was a recurring monthly thing, whereas gifts were more sporadic and given occasionally on dates.

Louis didn’t feel super comfortable with all of it, but he did kind of like the idea of being able to support someone. He liked taking care of people, helping others. He didn’t fund seven different charities for nothing.

Over an hour passed since Louis started researching, before he checked to see if H had messaged him back. Nothing yet, so he decided to call it quits for the night and head to bed. He was flying to Canada in the morning. He needed a good night’s rest.

---

It took over forty-eight hours for Boo to message Harry back. Not that Harry was avidly checking or anything… He totally wasn’t.

Okay, so maybe he was.

However, in Harry’s fairly limited experience, it was usually a good sign when POTs didn’t spend all of their time online. It proved that they were actually busy working, earning the money they claimed to have. Harry knew this, he was just a bit anxious. He had a good feeling about this arrangement, and wanted things to work out sooner rather than later.  

Boo sent Harry an email, rather than messaging him back on SA, so the notification popped up on Harry’s phone when he was taking the tube home after a night out. He smiled when he saw the email address, boo82@gmail.com, and opened the email eagerly.

 

Email from: boo82

H,

So sorry it’s taken me a little while to get back to you. I went out of the country on business, so I’ve been in and out of airports and meetings for the past two days.

Thank you for giving me access to your pictures. You’ve got a gorgeous smile. I don’t actually have any other pictures on my Seeking Arrangement profile, but I’m down to skype soon if you’re still up for it. Perhaps tomorrow afternoon, around 4:00? We can discuss plans to meet in person then. My schedule is fairly open for the next week, so I’d really like to meet you while I can. I’ll gift you for your time, of course. After that, like you said, if we find each other agreeable we can discuss the details of an arrangement.

My skype username is also boo82. I’ll be online tomorrow at 4:00 if you wish to speak with me. I’m looking forward to it!

Louis x

 

Louis. His name was Louis. Harry said the name out loud a few times, causing the woman sitting next to him to give him a strange look and move a few inches away.

Whatever. Louis. God, the name just sounded rich. And if he wasn’t lying about the business trip, then he was starting to sound more and more legitimate.

Harry typed a simple response.

 

Sounds great! See you tomorrow at four. - Harry x

 

Hey, if Louis was sharing his name, Harry might as well return the favor. He’d save his last name for way later on down the line.

There was a probably noticeable spring in his step when he walked into the flat, trying to be quiet in case Zayn was asleep. Judging by the noises coming from his room, he wasn’t asleep, but he probably didn’t want to be disturbed either. Good on him. Harry couldn’t remember the last time Zayn brought someone home. In fact, he didn’t think Zayn had brought anyone home since he moved in, which most likely meant this was the first time he was pulling since his break-up with Perrie. Again, good on him. Sounded like he was with a guy.

Harry fell asleep with a pillow over his head, trying his best not to eavesdrop.

The next day, he logged on to the skype account he used solely for talking to POTs at six minutes to four. He added Louis and then scrolled through tumblr while he waited for Louis to accept his request and give him a call. Harry was slightly nervous, but he was even more excited.

A couple of minutes past four, the notification that Louis was calling him startled Harry and he jumped slightly before accepting the call. A few second passed before Louis showed up on the screen and Harry’s eyebrows skyrocketed. There was absolutely no way that this gorgeous man was in need of a sugar arrangement. No fucking way.

“Hi,” He said, a soft timbre to his voice. “Harry, is it?”  

Harry blinked at him a handful of times before realizing himself and going into what he liked to call Sugar Baby Mode, where he turned up the charm to it’s highest power.

“Yes,” Harry said, smiling his most dazzling smile at him. “I’m Harry. And you’re Louis?”

“Hey, you pronounced it right!” Louis chuckled and returned Harry’s smile. Fuck, he was stunning. There had to be a catch here somewhere. “That’d be me, and I’m glad you’re definitely who you say you are.”

Harry shrugged bashfully. “Here I am!”

“I hate to say this,” Louis bowed his head apologetically. “But I don’t have as much time to talk as I thought I would. My business partner called right before I got on and he’s on his way over, but I’d like to make plans to meet with you before I have to go.”

“Oh,” Harry said, slightly disappointed. “Okay, sure.”

“What would you like to do... Dinner? Coffee?” Louis asked. “I’m not usually free until the evening. How does dinner sound?”

“Sounds fine to me!” Harry said, having found it best to let POTs take the reigns on this in the past. “I’m free any night this week except Wednesday or Thursday.” He had plans with Gemma on Wednesday. They were going shopping and to a film. And he taught an undergraduate class on Thursday evenings.

Some sugar daddies didn’t like feeling like they weren’t their sugar baby’s main priority, but Louis just nodded easily and picked up his phone, presumably to check his schedule. “How about Tuesday then? Sketch Lecture Room at 8:00?”

Harry struggled to keep his jaw from dropping. Sketch was one of the most expensive restaurants in the city. You couldn’t eat there for less than $200 a person. Louis was most likely showing off, but if he could afford it, that would be a true testament to his legitimacy.

“That sounds great,” Harry said, trying to sound like he went to Sketch with his POTs every day.

“Perfect,” Louis said, and Harry watched him type the appointment into his phone. He looked up suddenly, his gaze directed above the webcam and cursed quietly.

“I’m really sorry, I’ve gotta run,” Louis said, attention back on Harry. “But I really look forward to seeing you Tuesday.”

“Me too,” Harry said honestly.

“Have a nice evening,” Louis said, waving briefly to the camera before ending the call.

He sounded so professional. He was taking Harry to arguably the nicest restaurant in the city. And he was so good looking, his voice so light and lovely. Harry wondered just what exactly he was getting himself into, why this guy needed to pay for companionship. He probably had some weird ass kink. Why else would someone that gorgeous have trouble finding a date?

 

When Tuesday arrived, Harry was nervous as all fuck. Getting reading for a first meetup was always anxiety inducing. It was important to look flawless, like a million bucks. Because then Louis would find him worthy of a million bucks.

Harry’s room was a wreck, clothes thrown everywhere as he tried to decide what to wear. Zayn sat in the middle of Harry’s bed, giving his input.

“I’d definitely go for the black YSL boots,” Zayn said, pointing to the pair in question. “black button down with your signature top few buttons left open, but not too many since this is a posh place you’re going to. I’m serious, Harry, don’t you dare show the butterfly.”

Harry rolled his eyes, but he knew Zayn was right. This wasn’t the time or the place for the butterfly.

“Actually,” Zayn continued, considering Harry. “Just go all black. Do the black blazer with it. You’ll look proper smart.”

Harry whined. “If I go all black, I should at least get to wear a fun shoe.”

It was Zayn’s turn to roll his eyes. “Fine.” He surveyed the line of Harry’s boots as Harry dressed the rest of himself. “The dark leopard print ones.”

Harry beamed. Zayn was right. They’d be perfect.

He dressed and primped himself in the mirror before turning to Zayn for inspection.

“Yeah?”

Zayn nodded, eyes grazing up and down Harry’s body. “You clean up good, Styles. Go kick some ass.”

Harry took a deep breath and thanked Zayn again, reminding him to send a text to check up on him every hour if he didn’t hear from Harry before then, before he left. This was routine. Harry never went to an initial meeting without telling either Zayn or Gemma where he was supposed to be.

Then he took a picture of himself in front of his full length mirror and sent a snapchat to Rita with the caption, on my way to meet a new POT!

Rita was the closest friend Harry had in the bowl. She was a couple of years older than him, and had been sugaring for way longer. He met her online when he first started sugaring, and when they learned that they both lived in London, they decided to meet up. They hit if off and Rita showed Harry the ropes, gave him advice. Rita knew all of the ins and outs of the bowl.

She snapped him back as he made his way down to the car waiting for him outside, an excited selfie with the caption, ARE YOU BACK IN THE BOWL?!

Harry laughed and snapped her back with a thumbs up before locking his phone and sliding it into his back pocket. He went over the basics of what he planned to bring up on the way to the restaurant. Work, Louis’ hobbies. Most people in the sugar bowl would tell you not to bring up money on the first meet-up, and they would be right. The first date was all about selling yourself, making yourself appealing. After the meeting, if both parties were still interested, then they would discuss the nature of the arrangement. Babies shouldn’t expect any type of payment for an initial meet-up, although generous daddies sometimes gave gifts or compensated for travel.

This was how an ideal arrangement would start, but Harry wasn’t sure how things would go with Louis, since he was new to the bowl. Harry wouldn’t bring up money, and hopefully Louis would follow his lead. All Harry really planned to do tonight was flirt and get to know one another.

Harry looked up at the restaurant in awe when the car stopped. He shook himself. He needed to pretend like he fit in here, like he did this every day.

Louis had emailed Harry an hour or so before, letting him know that the reservation was under Tomlinson. Harry wasn’t sure if that was his real last name or not, but he didn’t question it as he told the hostess that he was with the Tomlinson party.

“Right this way,” she said, and Harry followed her, already in Sugar Baby Mode, swaying his hips a bit as he walked and straightening his posture. It was likely Louis would see them approaching before Harry would notice him.

Harry spotted him when they were a few feet away from the table. He looked fucking fit, his hair slicked back into a quiff, his suit tailored perfectly across his shoulders. He smiled and stood up when Harry and the hostess reached the table, and he was shorter than Harry imagined he’d be, a couple of inches smaller than Harry was. He shook Harry’s hand and his grip was warm and firm. The hostess disappeared quietly as they sat down.

“It’s nice to meet you, Louis,” Harry said once they’d both taken their seats.

“Likewise,” Louis returned, gesturing to the pitcher of water on the table. “Would you like some water?”

“Please,” Harry nodded, picking up his glass and holding it out to Louis. “The webcam didn’t do you justice.” Honestly, there had to be a catch somewhere.

Louis’s cheeks colored as he poured Harry’s water. “I could say the same for you. I took the liberty of ordering us some champagne.”

Harry grinned and leaned back into his chair. “And what are we celebrating?”

“I’d say the fact that I made it this far at all is reason for celebration,” Louis winked.

Harry giggled. “Yeah, I have to ask. What’s the catch?”

Louis arched a brow. “Catch?”

“You’re young, you’re assumably wealthy, and you’re outrageously good-looking.” Harry pointed out. “Let’s just say, I’m usually only lucky enough to get one of those traits out of an arrangement, and you can easily guess which one that is. I’m just… having trouble believing you have a hard time finding a date.”

Louis hesitated, and Harry briefly worried that he’d overstepped, before Louis spoke again.

“I just have to be honest with you here,” he said. “This whole thing was my friends idea.”

Well, shit. That kind of sounded like Harry was the punchline to some joke. Louis must have noticed his face fall, because he shook his head quickly.

“I mean, they made me the profile and were actually the ones to send that first message to you,” he elaborated, which didn’t really make Harry feel any better. “But it’s been me since then. This whole thing is kind of fascinating to me. My friends are worried about me, think I’m lonely… which I’ll admit I am. I just figured, why not give this a try. Make them happy, and possibly get something out of it in the process.”

“Okay,” Harry said slowly, absorbing that information.

“And believe it or not,” Louis continued, “I do have a difficult time finding a date. Simply because of just that... I don’t have the time. The only people I meet these days are through work, and when I’m not at work I tend to be sleeping.”

“Gotcha,” Harry nodded. That made more sense. “So what do you do for work?”

“I work in the music industry.” Louis hesitated. “I’m uh… the CEO of a record label.”

“No fucking way,” Harry murmured, impressed despite himself. “Sign anyone I know?”

Louis shrugged. “Probably. Two of my bands are in the charts right now.”

“That’s so sick,” he told Louis, not even faking his interest. He wanted to ask who the bands were, but also wanted to give Louis his privacy. “Do you primarily work with bands, rather than solo artists?”

Louis nodded. “So far, but I signed my first solo act a few months ago. He’s gonna be great. I’m really excited about it.”

He looked proud. It was cute. Harry was going to comment on how cute he was, flirt a little, but they were interrupted by the waiter, who poured their champagne and took their drink and appetizer orders.

“What about you?” Louis asked, gesturing to Harry once the waiter left them. “You’re in school?”

Harry nodded, taking a sip of champagne. “I’m working on my masters. Graduating in the spring. If I finish my thesis that is.” That was a big if.

“What are you studying?” Louis looked at Harry openly.

Harry wasn’t used to answering too many questions about himself on the first meetup; it was kind of refreshing. Most POTs didn’t care what he studied, just knew that he was in school. David didn’t know the details of Harry’s degree until well into their arrangement. He’d always found it odd that POTs didn’t ask him what he was studying, since that was usually the first question out of anyone else’s mouth as soon as Harry met them.

“I double majored for undergrad. Political Science and Gender Studies, but my masters is in Political Science,” Harry supplied. Most people found what he studied boring, so he just told Louis the basics. “More specifically the Welfare state. I’m writing my thesis on the Welfare state as a means for gender equality.”

Louis hummed in interest. “And so is Law school in your future?”

“Hopefully,” Harry nodded. “I’ll probably take a gap year, really study for the exams.”

“That’s admirable,” Louis said. “Law school, I mean. My lawyer is probably my favorite employee. Good lawyers are really valuable and hard to come by.”

“Oh, I bet. Especially in your line of work.” Harry nodded and steered the conversation back to Louis. “So what do you like to do when you’re not working?”

Louis laughed. “Now there’s a novel concept. Me not working.” Harry couldn’t help but notice that his laugh sounded a bit forced. “I don’t know, sleep, visit my family. I quite like football.”

Football was a safe topic, so Harry asked him about that. Apparently Louis owned a team. No big deal.

They made small talk over the next hour or so. It was one of the better first meetups Harry had been on, the conversation flowed smoothly and the food was amazing. Louis was charming and funny. Was passionate about his work as far as Harry could tell, and really

Harry just had a nice time looking at him. He was so pretty.

At the end of the evening, Louis gave the waiter his card without sparing the bill a glance, and then walked Harry out, standing with him while they waited for Harry’s car.

“I had a really nice time,” Louis said, reaching into the pocket of his coat. “This is for you.” He placed an envelope in Harry’s hand. “A thank you for meeting me.”

Well, it looked like Louis did a little bit of research on the proper etiquette for these things. He’d treated the meet up like a regular date, didn’t discuss money, but gifted Harry at the end of the night to let him know he hadn’t forgotten about that part. Good. This was good. Harry really hoped he was looking for something long term.

“Thank you,” Harry said, pocketing the envelope. It was bad form to look now, although it felt like a card of some kind, rather than cash.

“Can I have your number?” Louis asked and Harry gave himself a mental fist bump. This was looking really good. “Is that the next step to these things?”

“Yeah,” Harry said, taking Louis’ phone from him and punching his number in. He sent a text to himself before handing the phone back.

His car pulled up to the curb and Harry leaned down to press a kiss to Louis’ cheek.

“I had a really nice time,” he said when he pulled back.

“Me too,” Louis grinned. “I’ll text you.”

“Please do,” Harry replied, before closing the door.

He told the driver his address and waited until the car was moving to take out the envelope and see what was inside.

“Shit,” he murmured. It was a one thousand dollar Amazon gift card, meaning Louis had easily spent twelve hundred or more on Harry for their first meet-up. He definitely felt like the real deal.

Harry’s phone lit up in his lap a block or so from his flat. A text message from Louis.

 

Can’t wait to discuss the details of our arrangement. xx

 

Harry smiled and locked his phone. He had him.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Over the next two days, Louis decided that Harry should be illegal. He couldn't stop fucking thinking about him. He just wasn’t at all what Louis had been expecting, with his gruff voice and cheeky smile and long, perfect legs. He was well-spoken and sweet. Louis wasn’t sure what he’d been expecting, but it wasn’t Harry the grad student who wanted to go to law school and dressed head to toe in Yves Saint Laurent. If they’d met under different circumstances Louis might have asked him if he sang. He had rockstar charisma.

He waited until Thursday night to contact Harry again. Louis wasn’t sure what the typical protocol was, but that was how long he’d usually wait to contact someone after a first date. He really wanted to see him again, couldn’t believe he was actually seriously considering becoming a sugar daddy. He didn’t even recognize himself anymore. Niall would gloat for days if this actually worked out. In fact, he probably shouldn’t even tell Niall. He wasn’t going to tell Niall.

Louis typed out a text message to Harry after he got home late and popped a freezer pizza in the oven.  Any semi sane person would already be asleep, so Louis didn't really expect an answer, but Harry was a uni student. Louis suspected there was a chance he'd be awake after midnight.

Do you have plans tomorrow? My afternoon freed up and I’d like to grab coffee or something if you’re up for it.

Louis hit send and placed his phone on the counter before he headed to his bedroom to change out of his work clothes and into some sweatpants and a tank top.

He grabbed a beer from the fridge when he got back to the kitchen and took a seat at at the island, turning on the kitchen TV. His phone lit up while he was flipping channels. A reply from Harry.

I have a class from 1-2 but I’m free after that :)

Louis took a gulp of beer before typing out his reply.

Great !! The Starbucks on Piccadilly at 3:30?

Harry replied almost instantly.

See you then!

Louis smiled down at his phone like a twat, before pulling himself together and turning back to the telly with a sigh. Late night telly sucked. That’s what he got for working until nearly midnight. He clicked to his DVR recordings and selected the newest Game Of Thrones episode.

“Oh, piss off,” Louis muttered when his stomach growled loudly. He hadn’t eaten anything besides for a handful of almonds since a lunch meeting that afternoon. His mum would tell him he needed to take better care of himself if she knew.

He watched Daenerys Targaryen spew yet another speech about slaves and justice while he waited for the pizza to cook, and then ate half of it quickly, before storing the leftovers in a tupperware container and placing it in the fridge. It would most likely go bad or Niall would eat it the next time he came over.

Louis thought over his arrangement with Harry as he readied himself for bed. He wondered how long the typical sugar arrangement lasted. Harry said his last one lasted for a year? Louis wondered if that was standard. He wouldn’t mind being stuck with Harry for a year if he was being honest with himself. He seemed like great company. Louis had fun with him at dinner, and he imagined they’d have more fun after they loosened up and got to know each other a bit more.

The idea of being able to look forward to weekly meetings with Harry, or even taking him on his business trips, having him there to greet him at the hotel when Louis returned from a stressful day of meetings… it was all just really appealing. Harry hadn’t said anything about sex, but the idea of sex with Harry was appealing as well. Really fucking appealing. Louis hadn’t been laid in ages, and picturing Harry spread out beneath him, or wrapping his long legs around Louis’ waist, panting Louis’ name in that deep voice… fuck. Louis needed to stop picturing it before he wound himself up and ruined his sleep.  

It was almost the end of October, they could start a monthly agreement in a few days. Louis could wait to fantasize about having sex with Harry until then.

---

Louis was going to be late to the coffee shop. Liam and Louis’ assistant, Eleanor, both grabbed Louis as he was leaving the office with a stack of papers that needed his signature.

“Where are you going in such a hurry?” Liam asked, as Louis signed the papers quickly, making a show of how much this was inconveniencing him.

Louis hadn’t told Liam about Harry yet. Didn’t want to jinx anything by telling him before their arrangement was solidified, but he figured they were close enough to things becoming official.

“I’ve, uh…” He swallowed. “I have a date with that guy.” He looked pointedly at Eleanor, trying to convey that Liam shouldn’t give anything away about the whole sugar daddy thing. “From that website.”

Liam arched an eyebrow. “No shit?”

“Good for you, Louis,” Eleanor said warmly, handing him the last paper to sign.

“Yeah,” Louis said as he scribbled his name. “My second one actually.” He looked at Liam again. “Don’t tell Niall.”

“Fuck off,” Liam snorted. “Of course I’m telling Niall.”

Well, there went the not telling Niall plan.

“Fuck you,” Louis shoved Liam good-naturedly. “I’m gonna be late though, gotta run.”

“Have fun!” Liam shouted after him as Louis ran from the building.

Harry was waiting outside when Louis arrived, leaning up against the side of the building lazily. He was wearing blue jeans that hugged his legs in all the right ways, and a knee length coat with tan suede boots. Much more casual than dinner the other night, but he still managed to look posh. He was so pretty, Louis imagined he was able to look posh in almost everything.

“Sorry I’m late,” Louis said when Harry looked up at him. “Got held up at work.”

Harry grinned, a dimple pushing into his cheek. “But, I thought your afternoon was free.”

Louis sighed wistfully. “I’m never free. I can always get caught up with something. Probably would have ended up stuck there until this evening if I didn’t have plans with you.”

“Well,” Harry winked and kicked off the building. “Glad I could be of service, then.”  

They ordered their drinks and moved to sit at one of the tables by the window.

“So, how was the rest of your week?” Harry asked, taking a sip of his green tea latte and looking at Louis with interest. Louis wondered if he was really interested, or if he was just that good of an actor. He imagined Harry did plenty of acting in this line of work.

"Busy," Louis replied with a shrug. "Same old, same old. I'm flying to Canada tonight but wanted to see you again before I left.” He smiled bashfully. “Thanks for meeting with me."

"Of course," Harry smiled back, eyes warm. "I like you Louis."

Louis blushed. Fucking embarrassing. You'd think he'd never talked to a cute boy in his life. In all fairness, it had been a nearly a year since he'd last been on a date, but still. He wasn’t new to this. In uni he could wrap boys around his finger in about ten seconds. He needed to work on his game.

He changed the subject. "What about you? How's your week been?"

"Had an exam before I came over here," Harry told him, running a hand through his hair. It was something Louis was starting to notice he did a lot, and he found that he really wanted to run his fingers through the shiny curls himself. "Studied for that all week. Pretty sure I smashed it."

“Good,” Louis nodded. “That’s good.” Man, he didn’t miss school at all. Although he supposed university was better, where you could study something you actually liked. That made coursework a lot more fun.

“I hated school,” He said to keep the conversation going. “Almost failed out of secondary. Did shit on my A levels.”

Harry sat back and crossed his legs. “But look at you now.”

Louis chuckled. “And to think my geography teacher once told me I’d never amount to anything.”

“No!” Harry gasped, as if he couldn’t believe a teacher would ever say such a thing. However, Louis was such a little shit in school, it wasn’t all that surprising to him.

“Before my sisters went to uni, I used to try to pick them up from school as often as I could when I went home,” Louis told him. “I made sure to look proper posh and gloat in his direction.”

Harry laughed, a real belly laugh, his face lighting up as he hunched over and slapped his knee. Louis grinned smugly. It wasn’t that funny, but it still felt good making Harry laugh, like he was achieving something important. He used to be great at making people laugh, but he played it so cool now days.

“That’s beautiful, Louis,” Harry said once he caught his breath. “So you have sisters?”

Louis nodded. “I have five. And a brother. All younger.”

He wondered briefly if he was sharing too much with Harry. Although he already knew Louis’ name and had probably worked out where he worked, Louis’ family was google-able after that. However, he made a mental note to include some discretion in their arrangement agreement. Against his better judgment, he already trusted Harry though, so he didn’t think discretion would be a problem.

“I’ve only got one sister,” Harry informed Louis, continuing the family discussion. “But she’s older than me. One of my best friends.”

He smiled as he told Louis a bit about her, and Louis grew even more fond of him. He appreciated Harry’s obvious love for family. It was something Louis had in common with him, even though he didn’t see his family as often as he’d like these days. He still talked to his mum nearly every day, and caught up with his sisters and Ernie whenever he could.

“So, what are you thinking about us?” Harry asked, gesturing between them once the conversation died down and they’d finished their coffee.

The decision had already been made before they met up, but seeing Harry again just solidified it, blew all of Louis’ doubts out of the water.

“I’m all in if you are,” Louis said honestly, looking into Harry’s eyes.

Harry beamed. “I’m all in.”

---

Harry left the coffee shop and headed home, preparing for a long night of grading papers for the two Government 101 discussion classes he taught. He hadn’t made any other plans, not knowing how long his meet-up with Louis would last, and decided he’d just get a head start for the weekend.

He was set up in the living room, stacks of paper laid across the coffee table. He sat on the floor in his underwear, his laptop next to him where he was logging grades and answering emails.

He’d made his way through six essays when Zayn got home from work, walking into the flat with his art bag slung over his shoulder.

"Hey," He said with a nod, taking in the mess of papers. “Grading?”

"Hey," Harry nodded back at him. “Yeah.”

“Cool,” Zayn said, walking over to sit in the armchair next to the couch. He dropped his bag on the floor and yawned.

"Hey, I've got someone coming over later," Zayn told him. "So, like... If you're gonna be here… can you like, wear clothes?"

Harry laughed, but agreed. "Alright. Who's coming over?"

Zayn looked down at his fingernails and shrugged. "This guy I've kind of been seeing."

Oh, really. Harry waggled his eyebrows. "Oh, really?"

Zayn rolled his eyes and blushed. "Well, don't go on about it,"

Harry shook his head and smiled. "Nah bro, just happy for you."

He was. He hadn’t been sure if Zayn was ever going to get over Perrie. This was a nice step. Harry wondered if this was the same guy he'd heard in Zayn's room last week. Most likely. Lucky Zayn. The guy had pretty moans.

“I’m gonna order in some takeaway in a bit,” Harry said, turning back to his laptop to pull up menus on the internet. “Want some?”

Zayn nodded. “Yeah. Mind waiting for Niall though? He’ll probably want to eat.”

So the guy’s name was Niall. That wasn’t necessarily a name you heard every day. “No problem,” Harry replied. “When’s he coming over?”

Zayn consulted his watch. “About half an hour.”

“Okay,” Harry said easily. He studied Zayn for a moment, took in his nervous fidgeting. “Hey… you like this guy?”

Zayn hesitated, like he wasn’t sure if he should divulge that information, but then he nodded. “Yeah.”

“Cool,” Harry smiled. “I’ll go make myself decent.”

He pushed up and made his way to his room, patting Zayn on the shoulder as he passed him. Harry was happy for him. Zayn had such a big heart, he deserved to have someone take care of it again. Zayn tended to only stick with people if he really liked them, so Harry hoped this Niall guy was good news. Anyone would be crazy not to realize how lucky they were to have Zayn. If this guy was smart, he’d know that.

Harry slipped into some sweat pants and a plain white t-shirt, and fixed his bun before heading back out into the living room to get back to work. Zayn was nowhere to be found, probably having retreated to his room to get ready as well.

Harry was writing comments in the margins of a particularly horrid essay when someone knocked on the front door.

“Zayn!” Harry called, not wanting to get up from the floor, but he watched with interest as Zayn hurried out of his room and to the door.

They greeted each other before Zayn let Niall in, closing the door behind him. Harry’s first thought was that this guy was perfect. Literally everything he pictured in someone for Zayn to date. His hair was dyed a lovely shade of lilac, and he wore a tank top that showed off a chest piece and two full sleeves of tattoos. He had his lip pierced as well as one eyebrow, and he wore small plugs in his ears.

“This is my roommate, Harry,” Zayn introduced him as he led Niall over. “Harry, this is Niall.”

“Nice to meet you,” Harry said, holding his hand out for Niall to shake.

“You too, mate,” Well fuck, he was Irish. He bent over to shake Harry’s hand with a calculating smile that turned confused.

"Do I know you?" Niall asked when he pulled his hand away and straightened up. "You look really familiar."

Harry thought on it for a moment, but he was pretty sure he would have remembered the Irish punk if they'd met before. He looked a bit older than Harry and Zayn, so they probably hadn’t had a random class together before, and Harry couldn’t think of anything else.

"No," He shook his head. "I don't think so."

“Huh,” Niall said, look still calculating, but after a few seconds he shrugged easily, like he couldn’t really be bothered to figure out why Harry looked so familiar to him.

Harry looked at Zayn, who shrugged as well.

“We’re going to order in some food for dinner,” Zayn told Niall as they both took seats on the couch. “You eaten? You want anything?”

“Sure,” Niall said, rubbing his belly. “I’m starved. Good with whatever.”

They decided to keep it simple and ordered pizza. Harry and Niall chatted a bit while they waited for the delivery, getting to know each other.

“So how did you two meet?” Harry asked, pointing between Niall and Zayn.

“Zayn’s me tattoo artist,” Niall said, reaching over to pat Zayn’s leg. “Half of this beautiful work is his.”

He started pointing to various tattoos that Zayn had done. Harry had to agree, Zayn’s work was gorgeous. He’d done a few of Harry’s tattoos as well.

“So you’ve known each other a while?” Harry asked, interested. He didn’t know what it was, but their dynamic was already really intriguing. They were already comfortable enough with each other for Niall to keep his hand on Zayn’s thigh in front of Harry, and Zayn was more relaxed than Harry had seen him in a while, body sagging into the couch.

“For about two years, or somethin’ like that?” Niall said, looking to Zayn for confirmation.

“Niall was actually the first customer I ever had,” Zayn said and Niall nodded, holding his arm out to show Harry the four leaf clover he had tattooed on his bicep.

“Asked him out right there!” Niall said with a laugh. “But he was datin’ Perrie at the time. Tragic, that.”

Harry looked to Zayn, who rolled his eyes and sighed, like he’d heard about how tragic his dating Perrie was several times before. Harry was thoroughly amused.

“Anyway,” Niall continued. “When I found out they broke up I started plotting my move. Figured I’d wait several months to ask him out again, but then he surprised me and popped the question first!”

“I didn’t fucking propose,” Zayn said, exasperated at Niall’s word choice. Yep, Harry was amused.

He watched their back and forth for a minute more, before turning back to his work. When the pizza arrived, he grabbed a slice and packed up his stuff to retreat to his bedroom and give Zayn and Niall some space. Later, he fell asleep to the muted sounds of Zayn’s storytelling voice and Niall’s laugh.

 

Harry woke up around noon the next day, went to the gym for a couple of hours, and then returned home to shower and get ready for a Skype date with Louis. They were meeting over Skype to hash out the details of their arrangement, since Louis was in Canada for work.

For once, Harry wasn't totally dreading discussing the details of an arrangement. Discussing allowance was often awkward, especially when sugar daddies had different expectations for the arrangement than Harry did. But he felt like he and Louis were on the same page. Harry liked to think he had a pretty good read on Louis, didn't think he was going to be all that surprised with what Louis would want. He was expecting something long term with a handful of monthly dates and trips every now and then.

The only thing Harry wasn't sure about was if Louis wanted sex to be part of their relationship. Platonic arrangements weren't unheard of, but they were very rare. In the past, Harry’s arrangements included sex, and lucky for him, they were very consensual and standard. He didn't imagine Louis would be all that different... if he did want sex that is. Harry kind of hoped he wanted sex if he was being honest. He wanted to blow Louis at least once, hear what he sounded like when he came. However, Harry wouldn't bring it up unless Louis did first.

“I’ve got to leave for a meeting in an hour and I’m sure you’re busy,” Louis noted after they said hello. “So I don’t want to take up all of your time.”

Considerate, although it wasn’t really Louis’ job to worry about that. Harry tended to make his schedule around his arrangements. He didn’t say that though, just waited patiently for Louis to continue.

“I was thinking four dates a month?” Louis asked, looking at Harry for approval. “And I’m sure you’ve noticed how much I travel, usually two or three weekends a month. I’d like for you to accompany me on one of those per month if possible. I’ll give you your options and you can choose the location that sounds the most appealing, and what works best with your schedule.”

Harry knew Louis travelled a lot, but he didn’t realize he travelled that much. He hadn’t anticipated going on a trip every month, wasn’t sure he wanted to give up that much time until he knew Louis a little bit better.

“Let’s go ahead and say that’s a definite yes for the four dates a month,” Harry said, making a mental note to write all of this down later. “And then we can try out the monthly trips for the next two months before we make that a permanent part of the arrangement.”

Louis nodded. “That’s reasonable.” He typed on his computer, and Harry was almost positive that he was writing them up a contract of sorts. Good. Harry wouldn’t have to then.

“Now, about allowance...” Louis hesitated before continuing, looking away from the webcam. He was fidgety, messing with his hair and his shirt. Harry wondered what he was so nervous about bringing up. He was cute when he was nervous.

“I’m not really into the idea of like, pay for play...” Louis finally said, examining his fingernails and avoiding eye contact. Ah, so sex was on the table.

“That’s good,” Harry nodded in response, hoping his nonchalance would put Louis at ease. “Because neither am I. Sex can definitely be included in our overall arrangement, rather than seen as an added bonus on certain dates.”

Louis looked relieved. “Cool, that sounds good. Do you have any limits or boundaries I should be aware of?”

Harry shrugged. “If you’re thinking something kinky, just talk it over with me first. No need to be nervous. If I haven’t tried it before I’ve probably thought about trying it.”

Who was Harry kidding? He was in no way vanilla, he’d definitely thought about trying it before.

“What about kissing?” Louis asked, finally looking at Harry again. “You don’t have any Pretty Woman rules about that?”

“First of all, I’m not a prostitute,” Harry said, gently but firmly. It was important to him that Louis knew there was a distinction. “And second, no. I love kissing. Definitely no rules about that.”

“I’m sorry,” Louis apologized, looking worried that he might have offended Harry. “I didn’t mean-”

“I know,” Harry assured him, waving his hand. "And there’s nothing wrong with being a prostitute, that's just not what I am. I don't want you to think about it like that. This is a relationship, Louis.”

Harry could already tell he was going to have a hard time convincing Louis that he wanted to be in this arrangement. He figured actions would speak louder than words in this case. He'd just have to show him as time went on.

“Right,” Louis swallowed visibly. “Sorry, you know I’m new to this. It’s going to take some getting used to.”

“I know,” Harry smiled softly. He wished Louis was there, so he could reach out and squeeze his hand in reassurance. “Don’t worry, you’re doing really well.”

Louis huffed out a laugh. “Thanks.” He paused again. “So back to your allowance...”

Harry sat up a bit straighter.

“How much are you expecting?” Louis looked at him expectantly.

Harry rested his chin on his fist and winked. “Well, that depends on how much you’re looking to spend.”

One of the first rules of sugaring was to never name a price. You never knew if the POT was thinking more than you were, and if you were just going to screw yourself over by naming a lower price.

“I was thinking ten thousand a month plus gifts?” Louis said, making it sound like a question.

Shit, that was almost double what Harry got from David, even on the months when he was in London frequently. Harry wondered how much more he could get out of Louis, knowing sugar daddies tended to name lower than they were actually willing pay. Harry was nothing if not a spectacular negotiator.

“What about twelve?” He countered. “Two thousand per date, and then double for the weekend trips.”

Louis barely even blinked before he nodded and started typing again. "Right, yeah that sounds fair."

Well, that was easy. Damn it, maybe Harry should have hedged for more.

"For the payment plan," Louis continued, still typing, "I'll pay you half at the beginning of the month, and then the remainder in weekly installments. That way you won't be out too much if I have to cancel or vice versa."

"Sounds perfect," Harry said. It really did. He couldn’t have asked for a better arrangement, especially when he’d just planned on tiptoeing back into the bowl.

“Awesome,” Louis seemed happy with that agreement, smiling to himself as he finished typing.

“November starts next week,” he said. “Do you want to wait to start until then? Or do you mind if I take you out tomorrow evening? I’m totally fine either way, but I would like to see you sooner rather than later.”

Harry thought for a second. He was pretty sure he didn’t already have plans for tomorrow night, and he found that he wanted to see Louis too.

“Sure,” He told Louis. “I can do Sunday. What were you thinking?”

“I’m not one hundred percent yet,” Louis said. “My flight back should land in London around five. Let’s plan on eight? Dinner. I'll text you the details later, once I figure them out."

"Should I pack an overnight bag?" Harry asked. He wasn't really trying to be flirty or suggestive, it was a question he needed to know the answer to. He had class on Monday mornings. However, Louis looked like Harry asked if he should pack his dildo collection or something.

"Uh..." He stammered. Harry was reminded again of just how new Louis was to all of this.

"I have class Monday morning." Harry explained, taking pity on him. "So I just need to know if I should bring my stuff with me."

“I mean… if you want?” Louis said, swallowing visibly. “I won’t want you to think I like… expect-”

“Well it’s the third date?” Harry interrupted him, realizing he needed to take the reigns here. “You might expect someone to put out by the third date, am I right? This is just like the start to any other relationship, Louis.”

Hell, Harry often put out after way less.

“Well… yeah,” Louis admitted. “I guess when you put it that way.”

“Great,” Harry said, smiling at Louis to let him know this was all okay.

“Yeah,” Louis said, seemingly growing more confident. “Great.”

----

Louis was in a shit mood when he landed back in London on Sunday evening. He’d had a terrible morning full of meetings that weren’t going his way, and then he’d snapped at his mum over the phone on his way to the airport, which just ended up making him feel like shit. And to top it all off, his flight was delayed, which meant he missed his connecting flight, and he was tired and grumpy and just really wanted to make sure he was back in time for his date with Harry.

However, he didn’t want to inconvenience Harry, so he texted him to let him know his flights were fucked, and to tell him he could cancel their plans if Harry wished. Harry told him not to be silly, said he’d cleared his entire schedule for the night anyway, and that he didn’t have any problem going out later than originally planned. And well, Louis couldn’t help but scoff at himself, thinking that of course Harry would be accommodating. Louis was paying him after all. They already had reservations at a ritzy hotel, Louis figured he shouldn’t let them go to waste.

He texted Harry when he landed, letting him know he was heading straight to the hotel from the airport. Harry’s text back was cheery.

Meet you there! :) x

Louis had the car drop Eleanor off first; he didn’t need her questioning why he was meeting his date at a hotel restaurant for dinner. He checked in at the desk and then went up to the room to freshen up and change clothes before meeting Harry at the rooftop restaurant. He dressed in black jeans and a nice gray jumper, his fringe falling in his face, unmanageable after hours of travel.

Harry was already sitting at their table, looking beautiful as always in a patterned button down, the top few buttons undone. Louis was starting to think that was a signature Harry thing, keeping several buttons left open. It was fine with him. Harry had a pretty chest.

“Hiiii!” Harry said, smiling brightly when Louis sat down. “How are you? I like your hair like that.”

“Thanks,” Louis blushed, and reached up to fix his fringe. “Could be better,” he answered the question honestly. “Long day. What about you?”

They made small talk throughout dinner, Harry asking Louis about his trip and Louis asking Harry about school. They already knew enough about the basics of each other to ask about the important things. Louis respected that, just had to remind himself not to tell Harry too much, about work especially. So he let Harry take over the conversation for a while, content just to listen to the comforting tone of his voice.

The check came quickly and Louis charged it to his room bill. He was nervous for the rest of the night. The remainder of the night was new territory. They’d never made it this far before. However, Harry seemed perfectly comfortable as they took the elevator to their suite. Louis wondered how Harry always managed to stay relaxed as he slid the key into the door and lead him inside, secretly hoping he approved of the room. It wasn’t anything spectacular, just a one bedroom suite, but he found himself wanting to impress Harry nonetheless.

Harry didn’t say anything, but he seemed content as he walked into the living area and dropped his small bag onto the floor by the couch. He then sat down on the couch and looked at Louis, patting the space beside him in invitation. Louis took a deep breath and walked over to join him, sitting closer to him that probably necessary.

“You okay?” Harry asked, eyes concerned. “You seem keyed up.”

“Did you have sex with your other sugar daddies?” Louis blurted out, before he could think better of the stupid question. He knew the answer, he just wanted confirmation. And it was something that had been bugging him since this whole thing started.

Harry paused, but then shrugged. “Yeah.”

Louis nodded once, grateful for the honesty.

"Did you enjoy it, though?" He asked, skeptical. He hated the idea of Harry being used for sex. He didn’t want it to seem like he was using Harry for sex.

Harry shrugged again. "It was alright. I mean, I enjoy sex. My last sugar daddy, the one I told you I was with for a long time, was generous in bed and always made sure I got off too. It's not the bad deal you're building it up to be. He was like any other boyfriend when it came to sex."

"I guess I just don't know what to expect," Louis said honestly. "I mean, did you like... call him daddy?"

He didn't think he'd mind if Harry wanted to call him daddy. That was probably a bit weird, but Louis couldn’t be fucked to give a damn.

However, Harry just blinked at him. Then he smirked. "No, I called him David."

David? Louis felt like he was missing out on a joke. "...What was his name?"

"His name was David..." Harry said slowly.

Louis felt like an idiot. He was completely sober. There was no excuse for his idiotic behavior.

Harry took pity on him. "Is this because we were planning on sex tonight? We don't have to have sex if you don't want to. I feel like you're stressing over this and I don't want to be added stress. That's the opposite of why I'm here."

"No, believe me... I want to." Louis clarified. Man, did he want to. "I don't know what's up with me today. There's been so much crap going on at work, my head is just a little..." He waved his arms around to try and demonstrate the chaos that was happening in his head.

Harry hummed sympathetically and stood up. "Why don't you tell me about it while I make you a drink?"

Louis watched him walk over to the bar, his hips swaying, teasing.

"What do you drink?" Harry asked, turning back to him briefly.

"Um," Louis said, naming the first drink to come to mind. "Vodka tonic."

Harry nodded and started making the drink, gesturing for Louis to speak. So Louis spoke, telling Harry another story about what was going on at work in simplified terms, leaving out names and other important confidential information. Harry offered input in all of the right places, showing Louis that he was actually listening to him, which was nice.

Louis continued his story as Harry walked back and handed Louis his drink. But rather than join him back on the couch, Harry walked around to the back and placed his hands on Louis shoulders, squeezing.

Louis paused, slightly startled.

"Keep talking," Harry leaned down and whispered into Louis' ear. "I'm just going to give you a massage."

Louis shivered, but swallowed and kept talking.

He took a sip and hummed. "Good drink," he interrupted his story to tell Harry.

"Thanks," Harry said softly. "I bar tended for about a year and a half, before I started my graduate degree."

Louis bet Harry was the kind of bartender to swim in tips with that easy smile. Probably flirted with all of the customers.

He couldn't concentrate on his story anymore, his attention more focused on Harry's talented hands working out the knots in his shoulders and upper back. He kept pausing to appreciate Harry's work. Louis hadn't realized how tense he was. He should probably invest in regular massage appointments for stress relief. Or maybe he could just get Harry to do it every now and then. Eventually, he just stopped talking and closed his eyes, relaxing completely into Harry's touch.

And then he felt Harry's breath against his ear, and the press of lips against his neck, and his eyes flew back open. He must have tensed back up, because Harry hummed and captured Louis' earlobe between his teeth, before whispering in his ear again.

"Relax for me, Lou," He murmured.

"Uh," Louis said, conscious of the way his breathing was getting heavier. Harry's arms left Louis' shoulders and slid down his chest to rub at his stomach, all the while his lips continued to press kisses into Louis' neck, his breath hot and moist against Louis' skin. Louis could already feel himself hardening in his pants, the pace of his heavy breathing quickening. He couldn't believe he was already so worked up and chalked it up to it having been ages since he last had someone else's hands on him.

Harry’s hands played with the hem of Louis' sweater, fingers dancing lightly across the skin of his stomach. Harry's kisses against Louis' neck became more persistent and Louis couldn't just sit there while Harry worked him up for any longer. He turned his head and captured Harry's lips with his own.

Harry responded enthusiastically, moaning and licking into Louis' mouth. They kissed for a long time, Louis getting drunk more off of Harry's tongue than the vodka he still held in his hands. He pulled away when the angle started fucking with his neck.

Harry drug his hands back up Louis' chest, pulling his jumper up with them. Louis helped Harry get the jumper up over his head, and then Harry rounded the couch and knelt down in front of him.

He ran his hands up and down Louis' thighs before bringing them to rest of the button of Louis' jeans. He looked up at Louis from underneath his eyelashes. Jesus, he was pretty.

"Can I?" He asked, fingers playing with Louis' waistband. "Please?"

Louis' stomach did some kind of somersault thing, faced with the fact that Harry was asking politely for permission. Fucking permission to do whatever it was he had planned with Louis' dick.

"Yeah," Louis swallowed and nodded.

Harry beamed at him and leaned forward to kiss Louis' stomach. He undid the button of Louis' jeans, and then he pulled the zipper down with his teeth. Fucking shit. He peered up and Louis and smirked before sliding his hands down his legs.

So he was putting on a show. Well... okay then. Louis could enjoy a nice show. Maybe he'd get Harry to dance for him at some point, since he so clearly liked showing off so much.

Louis pushed down his briefs as well, sighing when his cock popped free. Harry eyed his length with eager eyes and Louis waited in anticipation. Harry nodded slightly to himself, and then leaned back on his haunches, grabbed a tie from his wrist and pulled his hair up into a bun at the top of his head. And that probably shouldn't have been one of the hottest things Louis had ever seen in his life, but it most definitely was.

"I've been wanting to get my mouth on you since our first date," Harry said, talking more to Louis' cock than to Louis. He wrapped his fingers around the length and Louis sucked in a breath.

Harry pumped him a few times, working Louis to full hardness, which didn't take much. He'd been growing steadily harder ever since Harry got his mouth on his neck.

The air rushed out of Louis when Harry finally wrapped his lips around the head and sucked. He kissed the tip and then ran his tongue down Louis' length, teasing him. Louis really needed him to get a move on before he died.

"Harry," he said, lifting his hand to push a stray curl behind Harry's ear. "Please."

Apparently that was all the encouragement Harry needed, as he fit his mouth around Louis' cock again, and sucked him all the way down. Louis felt himself hit the back of Harry's throat and forced himself not to buck his hips up. Good God.

"Shit," he breathed. Harry pulled back, ran his tongue over the head, and then went back down, bobbing his head. Louis' hips jerked up of their own accord. He was about to mutter an apology, run a hand over Harry's cheek comfortingly, but Harry fucking moaned, enthusiasm picking up. Had he liked that?

Louis hesitated to fuck up into his mouth again, but then Harry looked up at him with his watery eyes and nodded, as if he could read Louis' mind and was answering his unspoken question. Louis grabbed the back of Harry's head and thrust up experimentally. Harry reacted with another moan, sucking hard on Louis' cock.

So Louis started to rock his hips, building up a rhythm. And fuck, Harry just took it. Enjoyed it, if his whines and moans were any indication. Literally what good did Louis do in a past life to deserve this?

It didn't take long for him to get close. He'd have the decency to be embarrassed about his shit stamina later, but he was so close and he really needed to come, so he continued to use Harry, thrusting in and out of his mouth while Harry continued to meet him halfway, working his tongue.

"Fuck, I'm gonna come," Louis said, grabbing Harry's bun and pulling him off of his cock, but Harry fought him, trying to get his mouth back around Louis, which ended with Louis coming on his face, painting his lips and chin with come.

Louis sagged back against the couch and Harry licked the come away from his dick greedily, sucking it off of the head, not bothering to clean his face. He only pulled away when Louis pushed at his shoulder, oversensitive.

Louis watched as Harry sat back and wiped the come off of his face with the bottom of his own shirt, revealing his toned, tattooed stomach. Shit, Louis wanted to lick those abs.

Harry blinked up and Louis and smiled. Louis huffed out a laugh.

"You should come with a warning label." He said, breathing still heavy, not fully recovered.

Harry giggled and moved up to join Louis on the couch again.

"Here, let me," Louis said, reaching over to get a hand in Harry's pants and return the favor.

"No need," Harry said softly, voice rougher that it had been before. Louis felt a strange sense of accomplishment.

"What do you mean?" Louis asked, slightly offended when Harry batted his hands away.

"I mean, I- um," Harry looked away, face flushed. "I kind of already..."

Louis looked down and saw that  it looked like Harry had finished himself off already. When he’d found the time to do that, Louis didn't know. He’d been far too caught up with his dick in Harry’s mouth

"Wait," He said. "When you were..."

Harry nodded bashfully, his cheeks heating up even more. "I love it like that. So.. yeah... couldn't really help myself."

Louis blinked. "You love it like what?"

Harry bit his lip and hesitated. "Rough. Love feeling used like that."

Oh.

Oh.

Louis swallowed. "Oh."

"Bit weird, I know," Harry said, ducking his head down to look at his hands. This was maybe the first time Louis had ever seen him not practically oozing confidence. It was... well it was pretty endearing to be honest. Louis felt his heart swell with affection.

"Not weird," He said, reaching over to run a hand over Harry's thigh comfortingly. "Pretty fucking hot, actually."

Harry smiled and leaned over to kiss his cheek.

Louis glanced at his watch. It was almost midnight.

"You staying?" He asked, hoping the answer was yes. He knew they'd discussed Harry staying the day before, but nothing was set in stone.

"If you want me to," Harry said, fingers playing with the seam of Louis' jeans. "I'd like that."

"Yeah," Louis said. "Me too."

Harry stood up and stretched. "Mind if I use the shower?"

Louis shook his head and watched as Harry grabbed his bag from where it was resting on the floor next to the head of the couch and made his way to the bedroom. Louis sat in silence until he heard the shower turn on and the bathroom door click shut. He stood up, deciding he should get ready for bed as well. He changed into a pair of joggers and a tank, preferring to shower in the morning.

He slid beneath the covers and flipped on the telly, using it as white noise in the background while he pulled out his iPad to check his emails and messages. His most recent email included an audio file from Niall, sent with the caption "wrote a sick tune with Ed this weekend !! Think it'll be great on his album, but he said we can use it for whatever... Miss ya btw. Hang this week ?"

Louis hoped Niall was right, and that the song would go well on Ed's album. Louis met Ed almost a year prior. Ed had been singing on the streets and he was damn good, caught Louis’ attention instantly. Louis walked up to him and said he'd love to talk with him about a business opportunity. They met at the nearest deli for lunch and Louis hired him two weeks later to write songs for the label, with every intention of signing him later on. He asked Ed if he wanted to make his own record a few months after hiring him. It took a while to convince him that he was special enough to have a musical career of his own, but Ed finally agreed after weeks of convincing. Now he just needed to make the finishing touches on his album. Louis already knew exactly which song he wanted to use for the first single, hoping to release it around Christmas, with the album release in the Spring.

Louis downloaded the audio file and pressed play. The song started with fast strumming, which surprised Louis. Ed was very into slow ballads that consisted of a lot of intricate guitar picking. Which was great, but this was different. Louis bobbed his head along with the beat, smiling when Niall started drumming along on a bongo. And then Ed started singing the hook in his falsetto before the music swelled.

"Sing!" Niall shouted, accompanied with a series of "ohs" from Ed.

"Louder!" Niall shouted again. More ohs.

"Fuck yes," Louis whispered.

And then they went into the next verse, more spoken than sung. Louis thrust a fist into the air. This was it. This was the song the album needed. He pulled up the messaging app, letting the music play as he texted Niall.

Fucking SICK song mate. What do you think about it being the second single for summer ?!

The water shut off in the bathroom and Louis heard Harry moving around. He lowered the volume on his iPad as the song finished. Niall texted back quickly.

i told ed that's what you'd say !! legend ! glad you like it bro 

They made tentative plans to go to lunch the following day and Louis was back to checking his emails when Harry walked out of the bathroom, wearing nothing but a pair of tight black briefs. Louis ran his eyes over his body indulgently, admiring his muscled stomach and long legs. He had more tattoos than Louis originally thought. A pair of laurels framing his hips, and a banner that said "love" on his chest being the ones that stood out to Louis the most. Well, aside from the big ass butterfly inked on his stomach. That one was pretty prominent. It suited Harry though.

"Watcha watching?" Harry asked, sliding beneath the covers next to Louis.

"Oh," Louis said, glancing at the telly. "Not really watching." He held up his iPad. "Working. I do better with background noise."

Harry pouted. "The bed should be a work free zone."

Louis actually laughed at that, genuinely amused. "No place in my life is a work free zone."

Harry pouted even deeper. God damn it, he was adorable. He inched closer to Louis and Louis jumped when Harry's hand started rubbing at his crotch beneath the sheets.

"I could go again," Harry said, grinning up at him. Louis was beginning to wonder how dumb he'd been, inviting Harry to go on business trips with him. He’d never get any work done.

"Let me live," Louis teased, stopping Harry's hand, but lacing their fingers together to let Harry know he wasn't upset. "You don't owe it to me."

Harry's face turned hard. "I know I don't owe it to you."

Louis remembered their conversation from before, when Harry told him that this was a relationship and he did what he wanted. He just... wasn't sure if he quite believed that yet. However, he could tell that he'd upset Harry.

Louis sighed. "I keep fucking this up, don't I?"

"No," Harry said, shaking his head slightly. "I just wish you'd stop thinking of yourself like that. What do I need to do to convince you that I like you and that I'm not just doing this solely for the money?"

Louis furrowed his eyebrows. "But... aren't you doing it for the money?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "No, you dickhead!"

Louis gave him a look.

"Okay," Harry amended. "Well, yeah. But I mean… I still wouldn't be here if I didn't like you. Try to get that through your thick skull, okay?"

They looked into each other's eyes for a moment. This was dangerous territory. Louis wasn't sure if he'd be able to separate Harry from any other boyfriend if he thought about him like that. He was in danger of falling for him, and that scared him, because he knew this relationship wasn't built to last. He kept those thoughts to himself, though.

He nodded at Harry. "Okay. I'll try my best."

"Thank you," Harry said.

He leaned over and pressed a soft kiss to Louis's lips before announcing that he was going to sleep if Louis was just going to work. He turned away from him and settled down beneath the sheets, his hair spread out on his pillow. Louis admired him for a few moments before turning back to his iPad. He was aware of Harry's breath evening out while he answered emails. He worked for another half hour or so before placing the iPad back on the bedside table and turning off the telly and his lamp. He hesitated before moving closer to Harry and wrapping an arm around his waist.

Louis fell asleep with his face in Harry's soft, sweet smelling curls, and he slept deeply without dreaming about work for the first time in ages.

 

Chapter Text

Harry didn't make it back to his flat until seven the next evening. His morning had, sadly, been an uneventful one. He woke up when his phone alarm went off, to find that Louis was already gone. He'd left him a note though, resting on his bedside table next to a long, thin box that was tied with a bow. There was also an official looking document that Harry was sure was their contract, with something scribbled across the top.

Harry read the note first.

 

H -

Sorry. Had to go to work early and you were dead to the world. Didn't want to wake you.

Feel free to order in room service for breakfast and don't worry about check out. It’ll be taken care of.

Forgot to show you the contract of sorts that I wrote up, so have a look over it and let me know of any changes that need to be made.

Thanks for last night. I had a great time. I'll be in contact later this week.

- L

xx

 

Harry pouted. He'd really wanted to get his hands on Louis' dick again before he left. He didn't think he'd ever enjoyed sex with anyone that much, let alone with one of his arrangements. Louis made the prettiest breathy moans he'd ever heard, and his dick was so thick and pretty, and the way he just used Harry... It was just a lot, and Harry loved it. He sighed, thinking about the morning sex that could have been as he picked up the box, saving the contract for last.

He slid the ribbon off, careful not to mess up the bow, and took the lid off of the box.

"Oooh," he breathed to himself, running his fingers over the silky scarf that laid inside. It was the prettiest blue color, almost as pretty as Louis' eyes, and decorated with pink skulls. It looked like an Alexander McQueen. Harry had always wanted a McQueen scarf.

Harry checked the label. Sure enough, it was an Alexander McQueen. And it was so pretty. He took the scarf out of the box to examine it closer and noticed another note at the bottom of the box. He picked it up and smiled at the short message.

 

You seem into fashion and my sister tells me McQueen scarves are staple items for all fashion lovers. You might have one already, but I thought this one suited you.

- L

 

The gift receipt was included in the box as well. Harry felt a bit emotional. He shook his head, feeling ridiculous for getting all worked up over a fucking scarf. But the scarf was also maybe the most thoughtful gift Harry had ever received from a sugar daddy. Louis actually took the time to think about what Harry was interested in, what he might actually like. He was a good one.

He read over the contract next, which had “Not at all official. Just for us to know where we stand! Everything is subject to change at any point if one of us feels differently :)”, handwritten across the top. The contract was short, just touching on allowance and everything else they’d covered when they originally hashed out the details. The only thing Louis touched on more in depth was discretion, which Harry totally understood was needed in his line of business. Louis stated that he had two friends who knew he was in an arrangement, but they didn’t know any details about Harry. If anyone in Harry’s life knew about the arrangement, Louis wanted Harry to treat it the same way on his end. He wasn’t to give anyone any details about Louis.

Harry grabbed his phone from the nightstand to text him.

 

Had a great time last night. No worries about discretion. My roommate and sister know that I’m in the bowl, as do some other friends who are also in the bowl. Nobody knows specifically about you though and I’ll keep it that way. Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Xx

 

He left the hotel an hour later and headed to campus, a reply from Louis coming in as soon as he sat down for class.

 

Thank you :)

 

Harry smiled at the simple response and slid his phone into his bag to replace it with his laptop and notebook. After class he had a meeting with the professor whose class discussion he ran. Then he camped out in the library for the better part of the afternoon and evening, working on his thesis and studying for an upcoming exam.

When he got home he was exhausted and hungry, dumping his shit in his room before venturing out to the kitchen to make up some dinner. Which was when Zayn bombarded him.

"What are you doing tonight?" Zayn asked, rushing into the kitchen as soon as Harry started making noise.

Harry paused, surprised to see Zayn rushing anywhere.

"Uh, sleeping?"

Zayn smiled hesitantly, running a nervous hand through his hair.

"What?" Harry asked, immediately suspicious. "What do you want?"

"Niall invited me to go out for drinks with some of his friends," Zayn told him, and Harry had a feeling he knew where this was going. "He said I could bring some friends too. Please?"

Harry sighed. He was really tired and was looking forward to a night in. "Zayn..."

"Please?" Zayn asked again, blinking up at Harry through his goddamn eyelashes way too innocently. He was too pretty to say no to and he knew it. "I just... I want his friends to like me, and you know how I am with new people. I'm so awkward, but you're great with people! Please, Harry. I could really use the moral support."

Harry sighed again. He definitely couldn't say no to that. He knew how shy Zayn could be, and sometimes it came across as indifferent or snobby. He was more at ease when he was around people he knew.

"Yeah,” Harry agreed after a moment. “Okay."

Zayn let out a sigh of relief. "Thanks mate," he said, smiling his annoyingly beautiful smile. Harry hated him sometimes.

"What time are we going?" he asked, putting the finishing touches on a turkey sandwich.

"Um," Zayn said, licking his lips nervously. "In an hour."

"Zayn," Harry scolded, taking a large bite out of the sandwich. It would take him that long just to shower and get ready, let alone get ready and get to wherever they were going.

"I know," Zayn said, already rushing out of the kitchen to get ready himself. "I'm sorry. Thanks Harry!"

Harry huffed and finished the sandwich quickly, before placing his plate in the sink and rushing back to his room to hop in the shower. He mentally picked out his outfit as he washed himself. He wasn't necessarily trying to impress anyone, and Niall was chill; Harry figured his friends were probably the same. So he decided he's just go simple, with black jeans and a black tee. Maybe with his gold boots, just to make a small statement.

Despite hurrying to get ready, Zayn began to nag him as it got closer to eight o'clock.

"You want me to come or not?" Harry asked, agitated, although he knew this was just a testament to just how much Zayn liked Niall. Zayn was late to everything, so the fact that he actually wanted to be on time was really telling.

They were still late though, not arriving at the bar until half past. Niall had presumably told Zayn where to find them, since Zayn walked through the bar on a mission, knowing exactly where he was going. Harry followed behind him easily, the place not very busy on a Monday night.

Niall and his friends were sitting at a table in one of the back rooms. Niall saw them as they neared and stood up, gesturing them over.

Harry watched on affectionately as Niall greeted Zayn with a sloppy kiss, half on his cheek, half on the mouth.

"Mates, this is Zayn," he said turning to the table. "And his roommate, Harry."Harry looked over and waved to the group with a smile. Niall and his two friends shuffled closer together in the middle of the table to make room for Harry and Zayn to sit down, before the remaining introductions were made.

“This is my best mate, Liam,” Niall said, gesturing to an adorable puppy of a man with warm brown eyes, and then to the gorgeous brunette to his left. “And his fiancée, Sophia.” They were one of the most attractive couples Harry had seen in a long while. He couldn’t help but think that they’d make beautiful babies.

“Didn’t tell me I was going to be fifth wheeling, Zayn,” Harry joked after they settled in. He didn’t actually mind, and Zayn knew he liked hanging out with couples.

Niall laughed. Harry was starting to get the impression that he laughed at everything, he was such a laidback guy.

“Wasn’t supposed to be couples! Our other friend was supposed to come too, but he got caught up at work. Hate it when that happens.”

“And it always happens,” Liam said, then to Harry and Zayn, “He’s a workaholic.”

Harry got the feeling they didn’t consider this a good thing.

“Well, there’s nothing wrong with hard work,” he acknowledged. He’d learned to appreciate hard workers over the past couple of years. Zayn, seemingly following Harry’s train of thought, snorted quietly beside him.

“Guess you’re right,” Niall admitted after a pause and Liam nodded despite himself.

“What do you do, Niall?” Harry asked while they were on the topic of work, realizing he didn’t know. He was a couple of years older than Harry and Zayn; Harry couldn’t imagine he was still in school.

“I’m a songwriter,” Niall informed him, and Harry envied the easy, happy way he announced it. Most people didn’t sound that enthusiastic about their jobs.

“Harry likes to sing,” Zayn said suddenly. “He used to be in a band. And he’s a pretty good writer.”

Harry made a face at him, not knowing why Zayn would bring that up. That was just an invitation for people to ask him to sing, which he didn’t really feel like doing on the spot.

“Well, Zayn’s a good singer too,” he countered.

Zayn made a face back, obviously sharing the same sentiment as Harry.

“I know he is!” Niall agreed, sliding an arm around Zayn. “He used to sing along to whatever music was playing at the tattoo parlor.”

“You write songs, Harry?” Liam asked, leaning back and looking at Harry with interest.

“Nah,” Harry dismissed him with a wave of his hand. “Just like, poetry and stuff. Every now and then.”

“Poems are just lyrics without music,” Niall pointed it out, and Harry had never thought of it that way, but he supposed Niall was right.

Liam and Niall exchanged a look Harry couldn’t decipher and then Niall turned back to Harry. “We should get together sometime and see if we can put something together. If you’re up for it.”

Harry shrugged. Writing with Niall sounded like it could be fun. “Sure. Why not?”

They changed the subject after ordering drinks, and Harry moved closer to Sophia upon learning that she was a stylist. The two of them discussed the new Givenchy line while Zayn, Niall and Liam talked about sports. Zayn didn’t even like sports, but Niall apparently did, and Harry watched in amusement as Zayn tried to appear interested. But eventually he gave up and joined Harry and Sophia’s discussion instead.

Zayn went home with Niall at the end of the night, but not before Niall promised Harry that he’d bring his guitar next time he came over. Harry found he was looking forward to it. He returned home by himself and pulled out his journal, flipping through the pages he’d scribbled ideas down in. He hadn’t written in forever, but he knew inspiration would strike when the moment was right. In the meantime, he threw his creativity and determination into his thesis.

 

Louis texted Harry the next morning, asking him if he was available for a date on Thursday night. Harry had tentative plans for dinner and drinks with his friend Jonny, but nothing that couldn’t be rearranged. He told Louis that he’d free his schedule for him for a late dinner after his discussion class was over, which then turned into a small argument that Harry didn’t need to feel obligated to spend time with Louis if he already had plans. Harry insisted that it was fine, however, Louis wouldn’t budge, and Harry didn’t want to argue with him.

This kind of thing was new for Harry. His previous arrangements didn’t question his availability and took what they could get, so Harry wasn’t sure what to do with this behavior. In the end, he tried something different and told Louis that Friday would work better for him, since that seemed to be what would make him happy.

On Thursday night he ended up bar hopping with Jonny, who decided it was a good idea to start badgering Harry about his love life as they made their last stop of the night.

“Come on, Styles,” Jonny said as they neared the front of the line for entrance at the club. “That guy was flirting with you all night and I’ve never known you to pass up a good looking shag, unless you’re getting it somewhere else. So what gives?”

Harry considered telling Jonny that he was seeing someone, but he knew Jonny would ask questions Harry didn’t have the proper answers for, so he just shrugged. “Dating here and there. Nothing steady. Just didn’t really feel like going home with that guy.”

Jonny raised his eyebrows and Harry rolled his eyes. “Had a killer shag just last week, so stop your nagging.”

Jonny laughed at that. “Glad to hear it, mate. Just making sure there’s not someone you aren’t telling me about.”

Harry started walking as the line moved and Jonny followed him. “You know I’ll tell you if there’s someone worth telling you about.”

Which was the truth- if Harry was dating someone he could tell people about, Jonny would be one of the first to know.

Jonny nodded as they showed their IDs to the bouncer at the bar and walked in. It was a nicer place, somewhere Harry hadn’t been before, and he liked it. There weren’t too many flashing lights and the music wasn’t too loud. Back before he starting sugaring, this was the kind of place Harry would have loved to tend bar at. It was a classier place, and known to be expensive, but with the money Harry had recently been wired from Louis, he could afford to splurge.

“First round is on me,” Harry told Jonny as they neared the bar.

He looked around while they waited for the bartender to finish serving the other people there, and perked up when he spotted Niall’s purple hair a few people down from them. He gestured for Jonny to follow him and went to say hi.

“Hey,” He tapped on Niall’s shoulder and Niall turned around. “What’s up, bro?”

Niall’s eyes lighting up at the sight of him and he smiled. “Harry, hey!”

“This is my friend, Jonny,” Harry gestured to him. “Jonny, this is Zayn’s…” He trailed off, not knowing exactly what Niall was to Zayn at this point.

“Boyfriend,” Niall supplied with a huge grin. “Asked him to make it official just earlier.” He held his hand out to Jonny. “Niall. It’s good to meet ya.”

“No shit,” Harry said to Niall, happy to hear the news. He already had a huge soft spot for Niall and the way he treated Zayn. He hoped they lasted. “So I suppose this is where I tell you I’ll break your face if you break his heart... or you know, whatever.”

Jonny laughed softly and mumbled something about that being an “empty threat if I’ve ever heard one.”

Harry decided not to take offense to that and kept his attention on Niall. “Just take care of him, yeah?” He didn’t think he could stand seeing Zayn with a broken heart again.

“Of course,” Niall said, face intense like he couldn’t imagine doing otherwise. “He’s actually here with some of my mates right now. You guys wanna join?”

Harry looked to Jonny, who shrugged and nodded. Niall waited while they ordered their drinks and then led them to the upper level of the bar, to a round booth in the back. Harry saw Zayn sitting on the end, facing them. His demeanor brightened when he saw Niall approaching with Harry and Jonny in tow.

“Picked up these stragglers at the bar and asked them to join us,” Niall said, pointing to Harry and Jonny with his thumb. “This is Zayn’s roommate, Harry, and his friend Jonny.”

Harry and Jonny waved. Zayn scooted over to make room for Niall, and Harry was about to pull up a chair, but then he caught sight of Louis among the small group, sitting on the edge and blinked in surprise. Louis looked just as surprised to see him.

Harry didn't know what to do or how he was supposed to react; they hadn't discussed the possibility of running into each other in public yet. Luckily, Louis recovered first.

"Nice to meet you, Jonny," he said, offering his hand. "Hey Harry. Long time no see." He winked.

Harry paused. Okay, so they weren't going to pretend like they didn't know each other. However, he didn't know exactly how much Louis wanted to divulge, so he just nodded, figuring he'd be careful and follow Louis' lead. A thin, pretty brunette who was sitting next to Louis surveyed Harry with squinted eyes, having noticed their exchange.

The rest of the group shuffled closer together in the middle of the table, making room for Harry and Jonny to sit down. Jonny took the place next to Niall and Zayn and Harry sat down next to Louis- and then the remaining six people introduced themselves. Liam and Sophia were there, and they introduced themselves to Jonny and told Harry it was nice to see him again. A nice looking man with ginger hair named Ed lifted his hand in greeting, and a gorgeous blonde couple named Taylor and Karlie, who were American, introduced themselves next. Then there was a small but stocky guy named Josh, the brunette who was named Eleanor, and Louis.

Although he’d already met Liam and Sophia and they weren’t punk, Harry had still been expecting more grunge from a group of Niall's friends, and was surprised to see that Louis actually looked the most alternative out of all of them, besides Niall. He was wearing a loose, red scoop neck that showed off his chest piece, and his hair was pushed back beneath a beanie. Harry had yet to see him so dressed down, aside from the week before when he'd been in bed. He looked about five years younger. He looked hot.

“Hey,” Harry said quietly, the soft greeting only for Louis.

“Hey,” Louis said back. “Jonny is your…” He trailed off and swallowed, and Harry realized he was worried that Jonny might be his boyfriend or something. They’d never discussed exclusivity and Louis was most likely playing it safe, didn’t want to overstep boundaries. Harry respected that.

“Childhood best friend,” Harry told him, smiling reassuringly.

Louis smiled back and nodded. “Cool.”

"How do you already know Harry, Lou?" Eleanor asked, pulling a pack of cigarettes out of her purse. The rest of the table turned their attention to them.

Harry almost choked on his drink. Shit. How were they supposed to know each other?

"Um," Louis said, and Harry was very close to panicking when he felt Louis put a reassuring hand on his knee beneath the table. "We've actually kind of been seeing each other?"

Okay, so they'd probably go with the casually dating route. Harry could totally roll with this. He looked across the table. He intended to make meaningful eyes at Zayn and throw an apologetic look Jonny’s way, since it now looked like he’d lied to him earlier, but his eyes caught sight of Liam first, who was looking at him with his mouth slightly open. And then Harry saw Niall, who's mouth also dropped open as what looked like realization passed across his face, before he schooled his features.

"I didn't know you were seeing anyone, Louis!" Taylor said, drawing Harry’s attention to her. She rested her elbows on the table with her chin in her hands, looking at the two of them with a mischievous glint in her eye.

"That would be because I don't share the details of my private life with you, love," Louis said, sounding slightly condescending. Taylor rolled her eyes, but acted as if she was used to that kind of sass from Louis, the comment bouncing off of her easily.

"So, is this the one you met last week after we got in from Canada?" Eleanor asked, an unlit cigarette hanging from her lips. Oh, so that had to mean Eleanor was Louis' assistant. Louis previously mentioned flying back with her.

"Yes," Louis confirmed, squeezing Harry's knee gently. He was comforting him for a change. Harry liked that. "That would be Harry. Still fairly new though," He addressed the group at large. "So don't make a bother about it."

Hopefully that comment would appease Jonny. Harry looked over at him and was relieved to see that he didn’t look bothered, just amused. Then finally, Harry made eye contact with Zayn, who lifted his eyebrows in question and rubbed his thumb and first two fingers together discreetly, the unofficial sign for money. Harry nodded, knowing Zayn was asking if Louis was his new sugar daddy. Zayn gave him a subtle thumbs up, before turning his attention to Eleanor, who was offering cigarettes to the table.

Harry turned back to Louis. "Sorry," he said, lowering his voice. "I had no idea, or else I wouldn't have agreed to come over here."

"It's fine," Louis whispered in his ear, turning his back to the group briefly. "Liam and Niall know. That I'm in an arrangement, I mean. Liam knows your name so he knows, and I'm sure Niall just figured it out. Mind keeping it on the DL for everyone else, though?"

"No problem," Harry agreed wholeheartedly. He didn't want everyone knowing either. He knew people could be quick to get nasty and judgemental. Fortunately, not from his own experience, but from stories he’d heard from Rita. "Zayn knows on my end."

"Figured he was the roommate you told me about," Louis said easily, before turning to Eleanor when she tapped him on the shoulder with her pack of cigarettes.

Harry was surprised to see him accept the offer, leaning into Eleanor to light the fag on hers. Louis took a deep inhale and tilted his head back, blowing the smoke out slowly, cheek bones hollowing. It was one of the hottest things Harry had ever seen in his life. He wanted to lean over and bite his jaw.

"You told me you didn't have any friends you could kick back and relax with," Harry teased, leaning down to whisper into Louis' ear.

"I said I didn't have any friends to kick back and relax with who weren't connected to my industry," Louis corrected, taking another drag from the cigarette. "I work with all of these people. Well... aside from Taylor and Karlie. They're friends of Ed's."

Harry nodded, comprehension dawning as he started putting the pieces together. Louis had told him that all of his friends were people in the industry. And Niall was a songwriter. They worked together. Which had to mean Louis was the workaholic friend he and Liam has been talking about the other night. It all made sense.

"Niall and Liam are the friends I told you about, who originally made my SA account," Louis explained in a low voice, eyes searching the table to make sure nobody was listening. "That's why they know, by the way."

Harry thought back to meeting Niall for the first time, how Niall thought he looked familiar but couldn't quite place him. He realized now that Niall most likely recognized him from his SA account.

“Wait,” Louis said after a moment, holding up his hand. “So you’re the roommate of Zayn’s who writes music?”

Harry coughed in surprise. “Niall told you about that?”

Louis shook his head. “No, Liam did. Said you wrote music and had the It factor. Niall was gonna write with you to see if you’re any good.”

Harry sputtered. Wait, what? “The It factor?”

Louis shrugged. “I thought the same thing when I first met you. Just your persona and everything… you’d sell. Liam was doing some unofficial scouting. Like I told you, I’m always working. So is he.”

“Well, thanks,” Harry acknowledged. “Not sure if I’m interested in that professionally, though.”

Their relationship would probably compromise any chance of that happening anyway. However, if Louis and Liam were looking for an attorney or legal help, Harry would love to learn more about the music industry in that sense. Although he did enjoy writing, he doubted he’d ever come up with something useable.

Louis nodded his understanding and looked back up at the table, so Harry did the same. Everyone was conversing, but it was also pretty obvious that they were all very interested in Harry and Louis. Liam and Niall's curiosity was understandable, since they knew the dynamics of their relationship, but the entire table kept glancing over at them with interest. Liam’s look was calculating, and Harry knew he’d have the most trouble with him. It seemed clear he didn’t trust Harry yet.

Taylor on the other hand, looked like she was having the time of her life, watching them with a smirk and nudging Karlie. Harry watched as she whispered something into Karlie’s ear and Karlie rolled her eyes, looking over at Harry and Louis as well.

“It’s not that weird, Tay,” Karlie said, voice not as quiet as Taylor’s had been.

“Kinda weird,” Ed said from his spot next to them with a shrug.

Harry wondered what was so weird about him, before it dawned on him that most likely nobody here had ever seen Louis with a date. Harry remembered their first date, how Louis had been unable to relax. His friends and coworkers were probably more used to that side of Louis as well. They weren't accustomed to seeing Louis as anyone other than the boss.

Harry smirked to himself. He could have fun with this.

"What are you drinking?" he asked, leaning into Louis' side and peering into his glass.

"Whiskey sour," Louis told him, tilting the drink in Harry’s direction. "Want me to get you one?"

They weren't on an arranged date, so Harry was happy to buy his own drinks, but if Louis was offering...

"Yes, please," Harry accepted the offer, taking the cigarette from Louis' fingers. He took a drag and handed it back to Louis, who was staring at him with calculating eyes. Harry grinned back at him with a cheeky wink.

"I'm gonna go get Harry a drink." Louis announced after a moment. "Anyone want anything? Besides Niall, who I know already wants another pint."

"Cheers, mate!" Niall said happily, downing the rest of the pint in front of him.

Everyone else declined his offer and Harry stood up to let him out of the booth, before sitting back down. Harry looked back to the table to find everyone staring at him. Great. Louis had just unintentionally fed him to the sharks.

"So, how'd you meet Louis, Harry?" Eleanor asked him with a kind smile.

"Um," Harry hesitated, trying not to look at Liam, who appeared nervous, like Harry might spill all of Louis' deepest and darkest secrets. "The internet."

Eleanor nodded, like that made sense, as did Karlie. Harry had never been more thankful that times were changing, and meeting people on the internet wasn't considered creepy or weird anymore.

"I'd ask how you two met as well," Eleanor said, turning her attention to Zayn and gesturing between him and Niall. "But Niall talks about you all the time, so I think we all already know."

Zayn stuttered and blushed as Niall laughed and shrugged.

"Told ya I've been head over heels, forever!" he told Zayn. "Here's your proof."

Liam took pity and engaged Zayn in a conversation about tattoos, saying he was looking to get another one soon. Harry listened to them for a minute or so until he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He pulled it out to a text from Jonny.

 

Killer shag from last week??? ;)

 

Harry stifled a laugh and looked up at Jonny, rolling his eyes but nodding in confirmation. Jonny winked and then joined in Liam and Zayn’s tattoo conversation. Harry turned his attention to Eleanor and Josh, who were arguing about something.

"He doesn't want Camila doing anymore press right now," Eleanor was saying as she ran a hand through her hair. "He literally said that this afternoon. He said Normani and Lauren were up for it and Camila's getting a break."

"Does Camila want a break though?" Josh countered. "She likes the attention. And the public likes her."

"I don't want a frontman," Louis' voice came from behind Harry, his tone stern. "So she's getting a break, whether she particularly wants one or not."

He sat down and placed a drink in front of Harry. "Also, don't talk about clients in front of people who haven't signed non-disclosures. Jesus Christ, you both know better."

"I'll get one drawn up tomorrow," Eleanor said with an apologetic sigh. "Wasn't thinking, Louis. Sorry."

"Standard protocol," Louis told Harry as he slid an arm around his shoulders. "Probably should have had you sign one before now anyway."

"That's fine," Harry told him, more turned on by Louis taking charge than he would like to admit.

"So, what does everyone here do for you?" Harry asked, tracing circles onto the thigh of Louis' jeans with his pinky finger. Normally he'd take care about how touchy he was with a new arrangement, especially in public, but Louis had initiated contact first. Harry was starting to learn just how tactile Louis was, and he found that he didn't mind at all.

"Eleanor's my assistant. I hate to admit it but I'd be lost without her," Louis replied, running his fingers through the curls at Harry's neck. "Josh works in the PR department. Liam is VP of the label. Highest up after me. Or after Eleanor if I'm being honest. She probably knows more than him."

"Damn straight," Eleanor muttered on Harry's other side.

Louis rolled his eyes at her and Harry giggled. "And Niall and Ed are my best song writers."

Harry was ecstatic to now have friendly names and pretty faces to put with Louis' work stories.

Four drinks later, he felt Taylor's eyes on him again, so he sunk deeper into Louis' side and whispered into his ear.

"Want to have some fun?"

"What do you mean?" Louis asked, taking a sip of his drink.

"I mean," Harry kissed Louis' neck. "That I get the feeling that your colleagues seeing you with anyone is different. And it'd be fun to put on a show, yeah?"

Okay, so maybe he had a small exhibition kink. And maybe he was an affectionate drunk.

"I have a reputation to maintain," Louis replied, teasing. His words negated by the way he was leaning into Harry's touch.

"C'mon," Harry whined, moving the hand on Louis' leg, dangerously close to his crotch. "They're so into it. They think they know you. They’ve already decided you're no fun. Prove them wrong."

Louis looked up into Harry's eyes for a moment, considering, before making his decision. He leaned in to kiss him, tasting like whiskey and cigarette smoke, and Harry sighed into his mouth. Harry loved kissing, loved the simple intimacy of it, and finding out the different ways people kissed. Louis kissed with a mission and Harry didn't know if he always kissed like that, or if it was just because there wasn't familiarity between them yet. Either way, he liked it.

He didn't like it when Louis pulled away after a short while, tapping Harry's knee as if to say, okay, that's enough.

"You'll take me home tonight, yeah?" Harry asked, quietly but loud enough for anyone who was listening to overhear.

"Does this count as one of our dates?" Louis asked, voice significantly lower than Harry's.

Harry was about to break at least thirty-six sugar bowl rules that he’d probably regret later, but he shook his head.

"Think of it as an extension of tomorrow night."

Louis ran his eyes over Harry's face before carefully agreeing. "Okay."

---

Louis woke up early the next morning to a phone call from his mother. He thought about ignoring it, but they’d been playing phone tag for the past few days, so he grabbed his phone before the ringtone could wake Harry up, sliding out of the bed and murmuring a hello into the speaker as he headed out of the room.

“Why are you whispering?” Jay asked, voice also lowering subconsciously.

“Don’t want to wake him,” Louis replied, still half asleep and not thinking about the consequences of letting his mum know that he had someone sleep over.

“Who?!” She screeched into the phone. Louis actually physically pulled the phone away from his ear and made a face.

“Jesus,” He muttered as he closed the bedroom door behind him and made his way to the kitchen, deciding he’d go ahead and make his morning tea.

“Did I wake you up?” Jay asked incredulously. Louis could understand. He barely ever slept until his alarm went off, dreams or stress waking him up at the asscrack of dawn most mornings. The two nights he’d slept with Harry had been some of the best sleep he’d ever had. He wasn’t ready to think about what that meant. It was way too soon.

“Yeah,” Louis said, then glanced at the clock. “It’s only half six mum, stop acting like it’s noon.”

“When’s the last time you’ve slept past half five?” Jay countered. “And who was sleeping with you? You haven’t gotten out of that question.”

Louis hesitated, but decided he’d give his mum the same story he’d given the crew the night before. She’d be happy for him. She was always going on about how she worried she was about him, and how she wished he had someone to take care of him and keep him company.

“I’m kind of seeing someone,” he admitted, putting the kettle on the stovetop.

Jay gasped. “Why haven’t you told me?”

“It’s still really new, mum,” Louis said. He’d decided this was the best way to go about things, as he technically wasn’t lying. “Not much to tell you about.”

“Hmm,” Jay hummed, like she knew he wasn’t telling her the whole truth. Mothers were way too perceptive. “Well, you’ll let me know if it does turn into something, yeah?”

“Of course,” Louis assured her. You’d think he was seventeen not thirty-three, with the way she nagged. “Promise.”

He sat at the island and waited for the kettle to boil, steering the conversation away from himself.

“Now, how are you? How are Ernie and Doris?”

They chatted for a bit about what was new, and Louis promised his mum that he’d check on Daisy and Phoebe in the dormitories and find the time to take them out for dinner soon. They were mostly adjusted to their first term at uni, but Jay still worried about them. Louis constantly assured her that they seemed to be doing fine. They had keys to his house and were welcome to stay over if they ever needed to get away. So far, they’d only stayed over two weekends and Louis took that to mean they were doing well. It wasn’t like when any of the rest of them went off to uni. Daisy and Phoebs were together- they had each other.

After hanging up with his mum, Louis re-entered the bedroom to see Harry still fast asleep in his bed, his legs tangled in the sheets and his long curls spread out against the pillows. He was honestly one of the most beautiful things Louis had ever seen, with his creamy skin and sweet face.

It startled him how easily he could to get used to seeing Harry in his bed. He’d woken up next to him two separate mornings, and that made two mornings that he’d woken up content. There was just something about the intimacy of waking up in bed with someone that Louis had severely missed. He knew it was different this time. Harry wasn’t really his boyfriend, but Louis couldn’t help basking in the intimacy anyway.

He’d been slightly apprehensive taking Harry to his home already. He was sure there was a timeline to these things that they were disregarding, but it had been difficult to make rational decisions a few drinks in, when Harry was kissing his neck and whispering into his ear; he was intoxicating.

Louis watched him sleep for a few moments, before he decided that was creepy and glanced at the clock on his bedside table. It was a little after seven. He’d typically be working already by now, even if it was just from home. His schedule varied from day to day, but he was either at the office or working from home by six thirty or seven every morning. Some might say he worked too much, but really Louis just didn’t trust anyone to do a lot of the things he did.

He had a meeting at the studio at eleven, and he didn’t feel like waking Harry just yet, so he decided to work from home for a few hours. He sent a text to Eleanor, who was probably just waking up, letting her know that he wouldn’t be at the office and to meet him at the studio when it was time. Then he hopped in the shower, finding that he kind of wished Harry was with him.

Last night was just as satisfactory as the week before. Louis was too tired to really do much of anything, but he’d finally gotten his hands on Harry’s dick as they brought each other off together.

Harry was still asleep when Louis got out of the shower, so Louis went to his home office to get some work done. About an hour in, he got a business Skype message from Eleanor.

 

When do you want me to book the tickets to LA for next weekend?

 

Louis’ usual response would be “now” or “why haven’t you already?”, but this was a trip he hoped to take Harry on. However, he hadn’t asked him about it yet, so he made a mental note to ask Harry when he woke up.

 

This afternoon. Gonna ask Harry if he wants to come before we book it.

 

He switched back to the tab he was working in, but was interrupted by Eleanor again.

 

You’re taking him along on business trips already???? Thought you said it wasn’t serious??

 

Louis belatedly realized the contradictory actions there, and cursed to himself. He and Harry were going to need to discuss the details of their public fabricated relationship. Louis’ friends and family were far too nosy.

 

Mind your business

 

It was a childish response, but he didn’t have anything better to say. Eleanor was quick to respond.

 

Your business is my business asshole. Literally my job.

 

She had him there, but luckily Harry walked in before Louis could formulate a sassy reply that would more than likely dig him into a deeper hole. Harry had thrown on his underwear, but that was the only article of clothing he was wearing. He ran a hand through his hair and looked at Louis with sleepy eyes. Louis hoped morning sex could still be on the table.

“Morning,” Louis smiled at him.

“Thought you left me again,” Harry murmured, sitting on the couch across from Louis’ desk.

“Nah,” Louis said. “Just getting some work done here. More productive at home sometimes, without all of the interruptions. You don’t have class today, do you? Should I have woken you?”

Harry shook his head. “Just the last Friday of every month. And then on Mondays and Wednesdays… and I lead a discussion on Thursday evenings like I told you.”

Louis remembered Harry saying something about having class the previous Friday, which meant he should be free when Louis was planning on going to L.A.

“How do you feel about Los Angeles next weekend?” Louis asked conversationally, leaning back in his chair as he tried to focus on Harry’s face and not his abs.

Harry considered him. “Pretty good,” he said after a moment. “Never been before.”

“Oh?” Louis asked, surprised for some reason. Harry just seemed so southern California sometimes. Louis could picture him in morning yoga classes and doing juice cleanses. He’d fit right in in Los Angeles. “I think you’ll like it. I’ve got an event to go to. We’ll just be there for the weekend, but it should still be fun. We'll leave Friday morning and be back on Sunday.”

Harry nodded. “Okay, I’m in.”

“Great,” Louis replied, much more excited for the trip now than he had been before. “I’ll book it.”

He messaged Eleanor to tell her about the new plans.

 

Jesus are you marrying the guy???

 

Louis huffed, not bothering to grace that with a response. Eleanor could just piss right off as far as he was concerned.

“Do you want me to go to the event with you?” Harry asked, examining his fingernails. “Or am I free to do my own thing while you’re busy.”

Louis hadn’t considered the possibility of taking Harry to the event with him, and he wasn’t sure that was the best idea so soon. Louis liked to keep up his professional demeanor at business endeavors. He needed people to take him seriously, and Harry had proved last night that he had a way of getting Louis to throw his inhibitions out the window.

Plus, he was taking Fifth Harmony to the event, and the girls would never leave him alone about Harry. He was already pushing it by bringing Harry along in the first place. If they found out, there would be endless teasing. But Louis didn’t want to offend Harry.

“Let’s keep this one discreet,” he said, hoping Harry wouldn’t see this as Louis wanting to keep him his ‘dirty little secret’. “Since it’s the first trip I’m taking you on, and that.”

Harry, however, couldn’t seem less bothered. “Of course,” he said easily, scratching his stomach.

“I mean,” Louis continued, watching Harry’s fingers move across his body. “You’ll be free to come and go as you please, obviously. Go shopping, sight-seeing, whatever you want. Don’t want to take you somewhere and then keep you holed up in the hotel the entire time. That wouldn’t be worth it for you.”

Harry smiled at Louis warmly. “Sounds perfect.”

 

 

Chapter Text

The next week passed by quickly. Louis was busier at work than he’d been in a while, as the label finished up Ed’s album and worked with Fifth Harmony’s management to create the press tour for their first album, which was dropping in a month. He took Harry out again, and Harry slept over again, and they texted each other every now and then. Harry had figured out who Louis’ acts were, and when Fifth Harmony or 5 Seconds of Summer came on the radio, he’d text Louis. It was clear that he took the time to send Louis things that he would be interested in, or that would brighten his day.

He found himself wanting to know more and more about Harry, felt like they were a bit on uneven ground there. All Louis knew about him was that he had a sister, was studying Political Science, and that Niall was fucking head over heels in love with his roommate. Harry knew much more about Louis, but Louis didn’t know exactly where the line was drawn with these things. He figured Harry was playing it smart by being so secretive. There were a lot of creepy fucks in the world. But Louis couldn’t help it, he wanted to know everything about Harry. He was falling fast.

The night before their flight to Los Angeles, Louis started sorting through various sugar daddy and baby blogs again, wondering if arrangements that turned into something more ever existed. Unfortunately, while it did seem to happen occasionally, it was very rare. While Harry seemed into Louis, it was also part of his job to seem into him, so Louis told himself to get a grip as he finished packing and readied himself for bed. If worst came to worst, he’d get his heart broken again. He was a veteran pro when it came to heartbreak: he’d learned how to handle it. And this time, he’d just blame it all on Niall and Liam.

A small voice in his head told him that Harry was supposed to help relieve stress, not cause more, but he was already in too deep. He’d rather keep things the way they were, and try to learn more about Harry, than stop the arrangement all together. And truthfully, he didn’t know Harry’s financial situation. Sure, he wore flashy clothes and had great taste, but that could all be part of the image. Louis didn’t want to abandon him if he really needed the money, especially if he was using it put himself through school.

Louis’ phone lit up as he slid into bed a little while later. A text from Harry.

 

Can’t wait to see you tomorrow. x

 

Louis sighed and locked his phone without answering and turned over in bed, anticipating a restless night’s sleep.

 

Which is exactly what he got. He felt like death when his car pulled up to the airport. His eyes felt heavy and he had a massive headache. And Eleanor didn’t help matters when he met up with her at security.

“You look like shit,” she told him sweetly, looking stunning as usual in black skinny jeans and a leather jacket- the looming international flight doing nothing to daunt her style.

“Cheers darling,” Louis replied, rolling his eyes, but he looked down at his sweats and thought about the circles under his eyes and couldn’t disagree.

“Where’s Harry?” Eleanor asked as she leaned down to take off her shoes, getting ready to walk through security.

“Meeting us at the gate,” Louis told her, toeing off this shoes as well. He’d asked Harry if he wanted a ride to the airport the night before, but Harry politely declined, saying he was staying the night at his sister’s and she’d bring him. Louis wondered what his sister thought about him- about Harry’s lifestyle. He’d never tell Lottie. She’d never let him live it down.

When Louis and Eleanor finally reached the gate, it appeared they’d arrived before Harry. They still had plenty of time before boarding, so Louis tried to hide a yawn as he pulled out his phone to thumb through emails before he had to go into airplane mode.

He looked up a few minutes later when Eleanor nudged his shoulder, to see Harry approaching them, and if Louis thought Eleanor was overdressed for an international flight, she was nothing compared to Harry. He was wearing skin tight white jeans and a flowing patterned shirt, and he carried a large cross body carry-on bag.

“I love him,” Eleanor said very seriously, sitting up a bit straighter. Louis shook his head. She would. He could totally see her husband, Max, in the exact same outfit.

Harry raised a hand in greeting when he saw them looking at him and Louis smiled back.

“Honestly, Lou,” Eleanor said, giving his knee a squeeze. “Where did you find him? He’s gorgeous.”

Louis ran his eyes up and down Harry’s body, admiring the muscles in his thighs and the way his curls brushed his strong shoulders. “Yeah, I know.”

“Hey,” Harry said when he reached them, sitting down next to Louis and crossing one leg over the other.

“You alright?” Louis asked, reaching up to fix his fringe, a bit self conscious. He looked so out of place next to Harry and Eleanor.

“Yeah, I’m excited!” Harry said, jiggling his foot. “What about you guys?”

Louis thought about what a busy weekend it was going to be for him and shrugged, but Eleanor said she was excited as well. She had friends in Los Angeles, so she was looking forward to seeing them.

They chatted for a bit and Eleanor excused herself to the restroom when it was five minutes to boarding.

“You look cute by the way,” Harry said once they were alone. “In your joggers.”

He winked and Louis scoffed, despite the fact that he could feel himself blushing.

“Your blush is cute too,” Harry teased, grinning cheekily now.

“Harold,” Louis said, pointing his finger at him sternly. Harry giggled before letting out a yawn, which Louis echoed.

Eleanor returned from the bathroom just as the call for business class was announced.

“That’s us,” Louis said, reaching for his bag and standing up.

They made their way onto the plane, Harry and Louis with seats together, and Eleanor in the row behind them. They got settled in comfortable silence, and watched as everyone boarded the plane after them and the flight attendants did their instructional bit. Louis didn’t break the silence until they were in the air and he’d gotten his laptop out of his carry-on.

“Feel free to watch a movie or whatever,” he told Harry when he sat back down.

Harry nodded and scanned the options, but seemingly didn’t find anything he wanted to watch, because he pulled out what looked like an incredibly boring book on law and a highlighter, and started to read.

 

When they arrived in Los Angeles and were driving to their hotel, Louis couldn’t help but admire the way Harry stared out of the window in excitement at the city. He remembered his first time in a new country and city. It had all felt so surreal the for a while. Hell, even now there were times he couldn’t believe this was his life. His friends and family gave him shit for working so much, but he wouldn’t trade the opportunities he achieved for himself and for his clients for anything. He was happy to give Harry an experience like that too.

“I feel proper Kardashian,” Harry said, admiring the palm trees that lined the parking lot of the hotel. Louis rolled his eyes at him.

They went through check in and Louis could practically feel Harry buzzing beside him as they made their way up to their room. Louis was personally exhausted from travelling, but he let Harry have this, thought it was cute the way he rushed to the window to look at the view.

“What’s your schedule look like?” Harry asked, moving away from the window to examine the hotel suite instead.

Louis sat down on the couch and checked the time on his phone. He had a couple of hours before he needed to be anywhere.

“I’ve got a consult this evening, and then meetings in the morning and the event tomorrow night.” He looked up at Harry. “You hungry?”

Harry nodded and sat down next to Louis. “I could eat.”

They consulted the book that sat on the coffee table for a place to eat, deciding on a sushi restaurant. Harry excused himself to the bathroom to freshen up and Louis changed into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

They went for sushi and frozen yogurt, and Harry decided he wanted to stay out and explore, so Louis gave him some spending money before heading back to the hotel by himself, already regretting the decision to go out with Harry instead of taking a power nap. He’d need to inject some caffeine into his bloodstream if he wanted to stay awake all evening. He was knackered and the time zones were already fucking with him and he imagined Harry would feel the same if he wasn’t running off excitement and adrenaline.

However, when Louis got back to the hotel after his meeting, around ten o’clock, it was to find Harry sound asleep in bed, his breathing just on the edge of snoring. Louis spotted a couple of shopping bags next to Harry’s suitcases, and figured he’d had a fun evening. He yawned and changed out of his clothes before sliding into the bed next to him, smiling to himself when Harry stirred and moved closer.

Harry was awake before him the next morning, which was a first, but Louis knew jetlag could be a bitch. They ordered room service for breakfast and Harry blew Louis in the shower before he had to go. He left Harry with more spending money and a peck on the mouth, trying not to think about how domestic that was on the elevator down to the lobby. Luckily, Eleanor was waiting for him, and she started hitting him with a bunch of information immediately, effectively taking his mind off of Harry for a while.

Louis returned to the hotel mid-afternoon, and was surprised to find Harry in the room. He’d figured Harry would be out shopping, or at the pool or something, but he was sitting at the desk in the living area, fingers rubbing at his temples as he looked gravely at his laptop.

“Hey,” Louis said cautiously, dropping his briefcase by the door.

“Hi,” Harry murmured with a sigh, raking a hand through his hair.

Louis frowned. He didn’t necessarily expect Harry to seem happy to see him at all times, but Harry had always seemed happy to see him up until this point, so his attitude kind of threw Louis off.

“Everything alright?” he asked tentatively, taking a seat on the couch.

Harry threw him a sheepish, apologetic smile. “Yeah, sorry. How was your morning?”

He was taking the attention off of himself, something Louis was starting to notice he did a lot. Harry was always steering the conversation away from himself and onto Louis, and now that he was aware, it didn’t really sit well with Louis. He didn’t want to pry, but he wanted Harry to feel comfortable enough with him to talk about himself.

“No, really,” Louis said, not willing to let it go this time. “What’s up?”

Harry sighed and closed his laptop, walking over to join Louis on the couch.

“Just checked my grades and I did shit on a test I thought I did decently on,” he said, collapsing onto the couch dramatically. “It’s alright. Just kind of angry at myself. I should have studied more.”

Louis hummed sympathetically. He hadn’t expected Harry to be the type to beat himself up over a bad grade, but apparently he was. Louis couldn’t particularly relate. Sometimes he was still shocked he even graduated, since he spent most of his college and uni years making a total arse out of himself.

“Sorry,” Harry forced out a laugh and looked down at his lap. “I’m sure a bad grade seems so trivial to you.”

“Hey,” Louis chastised, placing a hand on Harry’s knee. “Your problems aren’t insignificant to me, alright? Not at all.”

“Right,” Harry agreed, but he sounded like he didn’t really believe Louis. “Okay. Sorry.”

Louis thought back to the first night they slept together, how Harry had taken charge and taken care of Louis, forced him to relax. Louis wondered when Harry had last received the same treatment, when he’d last had someone go out of their way to take care of him. Louis glanced at his watch. He still had quite a bit of time before he needed to get ready to leave.

He stood up and held out a hand for Harry.

“C’mon,” he said, when Harry looked up at him in confusion.

As Harry took his hand and stood up, Louis linked their fingers, leading him to the bedroom.

“We going somewhere?” Harry asked when Louis started shedding his clothes, clearly under the impression that he was changing his outfit to go out.

“No,” Louis shook his head. “We’re going to stay here and I’m going to take care of you for a bit. That okay?”

Harry swallowed and glanced at the bed before looking into Louis eyes and nodding. Louis walked over to Harry in his underwear and started working the buttons of his shirt, leaning up on his toes to kiss him. He slid the shirt off of his broad shoulders and guided him to the bed as he licked into his mouth.

When they reached the bed, Louis pushed Harry to sit down gently and straddled his thighs, kissing him.. Kissing Harry was one of his new favorite pastimes, the way he breathed hot and moist into Louis’ mouth and let out soft, whimpery sighs. He was pretty sure he could kiss him forever and never get bored.

Louis raked his fingernails down Harry’s chest and kissed his way down to his neck, sucking on his pulse point. He rocked his hips down a handful of times and gasped softly when he felt Harry’s hardening length. Louis wanted to fuck him, wanted to watch Harry fall apart underneath him. He moved them further up the bed and pushed Harry back against the sheets and loomed over him. Harry looked up at him with open eyes, waiting for Louis to make the next move, and fuck if that wasn’t hot. In all of their sexual encounters up to this point, Harry had always been the one calling the shots. Louis found that he quite liked the roles reversed.

He slid down his body and kissed down Harry’s stomach to the waistband of his jeans, before working the button quickly and pushing his pants down and off. Harry’s hard cock tented his briefs, precome already wetting the fabric. Louis had yet to get his mouth on Harry’s cock, and he licked his lips in anticipation, glancing up at Harry, who was propped up on his elbows, watching him with flushed cheeks.

They made eye contact, Harry’s pupils blown wide, and Louis teased his fingers up and down Harry’s length, watching his reaction. Harry rolled his hips up and Louis mouthed at him briefly through the cotton. Harry closed his eyes and sighed and Louis decided he wanted to kiss him again and moved back up his body.

He bit Harry’s lip playfully as they kissed and Harry groaned into his mouth, the sound shooting straight to Louis’ dick, causing him to grind down against Harry’s lap again. Harry wrapped his arms around Louis’ neck and ran his fingers through his hair as Louis reached in between them and got a hand inside Harry’s pants, and finally, finally around his length.

“Oh,” Harry whimpered when Louis squeezed experimentally, eyes glassy and breathing uneven.

“That’s right baby,” Louis soothed, kissing his neck. “Let Daddy take care of you.”

His hand froze and his heart possibly stopped. Had he just… did he just…

Louis’ face felt hot. He’d just referred to himself as Daddy. That probably fell under the ‘kinky things that needed to be discussed beforehand’ category. Hell, Louis probably should have discussed that with himself beforehand. However, before he could start to officially panic, Harry let out a needy whine.

Daddy,” he whispered the word like a prayer, fisting his hands in Louis’ hair and kissing him fiercely.

Well.

Okay, then.

Something curled deep in his stomach and Louis suddenly felt like he needed to be inside of Harry like, yesterday.

He pulled away from the kiss and Harry whined. Louis kissed his cheek sweetly to placate him.

“I’ll be right back,” Louis said, slipping out of Harry’s arms. “Going to get some lube and condoms. Wanna fuck you. That sound alright?”

Harry bit his lip and nodded. “Yeah. Please, fuck.”

Louis kissed his shoulder before standing up. His eyes searched the room, trying to remember which bag he’d stored the lube and condoms in. Their suitcases were scattered throughout the room and he honestly wasn’t sure, his mind too full of Harry to remember. Harry watched him from the bed in amusement, like he knew exactly what was going on in Louis’ head.

“There’s some in my toiletry bag,” Harry took pity on him, nodding to the bathroom.

Louis nodded and rushed to the bathroom. He rifled through Harry’s toiletry bag and found a strip of condoms and a bottle of Astroglide in one of the side pockets. Clutching them like a lifeline, he returned to the bedroom, where Harry was jacking himself off, one finger circling his hole. No fair, Louis thought. He wanted to be the one doing that.

He dropped the lube and condoms onto the edge of the bed and climbed over Harry again, grabbing his hands and stopping him.

“Who told you you could do that, hmm?” he asked, gently pinning Harry’s hands above his head. Harry could easily pull away if he wanted. They were treading in deep waters, so Louis wouldn’t be at all surprised or offended if he did want to pull away.

He didn’t though--just moaned and rocked his hips up in abortive, desperate thrusts.

“You going to keep your hands here if I let go?” Louis asked, wanting to occupy his own hands elsewhere. “Be good for me?”

Harry’s breath stuttered and he nodded enthusiastically, keeping his hands in place as Louis let go. “Yeah, yeah. Please.”

He fisted his hands in the sheets above his head and Louis didn’t think he’d ever been more turned on in his life. He grabbed the lube and poured a generous amount into his hand and started stroking Harry’s cock again, watching in awe as precome dribbled out the tip and down the side, joining the wetness in Louis’ hand.

With the fingers of his other hand, Louis circled Harry’s hole, already clenching around nothing in anticipation.

“Please,” Harry gasped, bringing a hand to Louis’ hair before remembering himself and throwing the hand back over his head. “Need it, Louis.”

Louis kissed his hip. “Alright, baby. Alright.”

He drizzled some more lube on Harry’s hole, and then pressed a finger inside, groaning at the tightness.

Harry spread his legs even more, giving Louis easier access, and Louis was worried he’d come on the spot from the sight before he even got inside. It didn’t take long before Harry was panting, asking Louis for another finger, which he happily provided, actively searching for Harry’s prostate.

Harry cried out when Louis finally found it, his dick twitching in Louis’ hand. Louis pressed his fingers deeper, wanting to coax that sound out of Harry again and again as he worked up to three fingers.

“Louis,” Harry gasped, pushing his hips back against Louis’ hand. “D-Daddy. I need- Please, I need…”

He trailed off on a whimper and Louis looked up to meet his eyes, wide open and searching.

“What is it you need, baby?” Louis asked, holding back a groan as Harry rocked down on his fingers.

“Fuck me,” Harry whispered, biting at his bottom lip. “Need you to fuck me. Please.”

He looked so desperate for it, stomach muscles clenching, hips constantly moving, that Louis took pity on him.

“Yeah, love,” He said, pulling his fingers out slowly. “Of course.”  

He opened one of the condoms and slid it down over his neglected dick, moaning at the touch. Harry made eye contact with him and spread his legs even further, presenting himself to Louis.

“Fuck,” Louis said, wrapping a hand around one of Harry’s thighs. He used the other hand to slick himself up with more lube, and then guided himself into Harry, cursing at the tight heat.

“Oh, my God,” Harry groaned, eyes rolling back into his head. Louis wholeheartedly agreed.

He didn’t move when he finally bottomed out, enjoying the feeling of Harry clenching around him. Jesus, he could come just from his, wasn’t going to last long at all.

“Move,” Harry demanded, and half of Louis wanted to chastise him for being so needy, but the other half of him agreed, so he started to thrust in and out shallowly. He watched as Harry panted beneath him when Louis sped up his movements, his chest glistening with sweat.

“So beautiful,” he murmured, and Harry leaned up to kiss him sloppily, yet somehow still sweet. He collapsed back against the pillows, looking completely wrecked when Louis thrust deeper and wrapped a hand around his cock.

“Can I- can I come?” Harry pleaded a short while later, his hands clenched in his own hair as he rolled his hips desperately, and fuck... Louis hadn’t realized he was waiting for permission.

“Yeah,” Louis nodded, fisting his dick tighter. “Come for me, Harry.”

And apparently that was all it took, as Harry came with a shout two strokes later, back arching off of the bed. Louis watched him briefly in amazement, before his orgasm was forced out of him as well, taking him by surprise. He leaned down and gasped into Harry’s mouth, kissing him as they rode the waves out together.

He didn’t pull out until Harry stilled beneath him, chest heaving as he caught his breath. Louis pulled out slowly and tied the condom off, tossing it in the waste bin beside the bed before collapsing down next to Harry, laying in silence as he listened to their heavy breathing.

“So… Daddy?” Harry said a little while later, after their breathing evened out.

“Sorry,” Louis winced. “I don’t know where it came from.” A lie. He knew it came from some overwhelming instinct to take care of Harry, to make him his. “Regardless, I should have talked it over with you first.”

Harry propped himself up on his elbow and shook his head. “S’okay. I mean, I clearly liked it.”

“Yeah?” Louis asked hopefully, turning his head to look at Harry.

Harry nodded and leaned down to kiss Louis softly. “We probably need to have a kink talk.”

“Right,” Louis swallowed. They definitely needed to lay some ground rules, sort everything out.

“When we get back to London,” Harry announced, laying back down.

“When we get back to London,” Louis agreed.

----

Harry spent the entire flight back on edge, while Louis either slept next to him or typed away on his computer using the airplane wifi. The trip was lovely. Harry had access to the hotel spa and Louis gave him plenty of spending money to use during the day while he was working. Harry loved what he saw of Los Angeles and half wished the trip was longer. But despite all that, he was stuck thinking about nothing but the previous afternoon. Harry wasn't used to anyone taking charge like that, taking care of him like that. He typically took the reins and stealthily convinced the people he was sleeping with that whatever he did was what they wanted. It was expected of him to initiate sex. He'd done it with Louis the first night, and every other time since, so Louis caught him completely off guard by switching their roles.

It was the best sex Harry had ever had. And it shouldn't have been. All Louis did was fuck him, and Harry had been fucked before. But the way Louis had talked to Harry, treated him like something precious that needed to be taken care of... Harry wasn’t used to that. He's always liked to take care of people, but Louis had turned that around on him. Louis wanted to please Harry, and that made Harry want to please him even more in return. The want and need to please Louis was almost staggering. Unlike anything Harry had ever felt before.

And then there was the daddy thing. Despite being a sugar baby, Harry hadn’t ever seriously considered daddy kink. Sure, he knew about it, and the thought crossed his mind a couple of times, but he never thought he’d be calling someone daddy in bed… and liking it. Calling Louis 'daddy' felt like the most natural thing in the world. And fuck, it turned Harry on.

He felt like he could trust Louis, so that meant he could explore things he'd always wanted to with him, and that scared him a bit. He’d always kept his guard up before. By the time they landed back at Heathrow, Harry had worked himself up into a fidgety, anxious frenzy. He never wanted anything this much, not with an arrangement. This wasn’t how they were supposed to go. He felt vulnerable, and he didn’t like feeling vulnerable.

“You alright?” Louis asked as they retrieved their carry-ons from overtop their seats.

Harry raked a hand through his hair. “Can we talk about yesterday before we part ways?” He asked, knowing he’d stress until he saw Louis again if they didn’t, and he couldn’t handle extra stress on top of preparing for the end of term right now.

“Sure,” Louis smiled nervously at him. “You want to come round to mine?”

Harry swallowed and nodded, before following Louis off the plane and out into the airport. They waited with Eleanor for their luggage, and then Louis went to find someone to bring their luggage to the car.

Harry turned to Eleanor as Louis walked away.

“Did you enjoy the trip?” Eleanor asked him, as she scrolled through her iPad mini. She always had that damn thing in her hand.

“Yeah,” Harry rolled back and forth onto the balls of his feet. “It was a lot of fun. What about you?”

“These weekend trips can be a bit exhausting,” Eleanor said honestly, running a hand through her hair. “Especially when I know my husband is waiting impatiently for me at home.”

Harry blinked and looked down at her left hand. He’d never noticed the wedding band before, but then again he supposed he’d never really paid attention.

“How long have you been married?” He asked. “Your ring is beautiful, by the way.”

“It’ll be a year in January,” she told him, smiling down at her ring. “You know, we should all go out sometime. Me and Max and you and Louis. I think he’s getting pretty serious about you.” She winked at him. “He’s never taken someone he was seeing on a business trip before.”

“Oh,” Harry looked down at his feet bashfully, thinking of a quick excuse. “Nah, he just knew I’ve always wanted to go to LA.”

Eleanor winked again. "Whatever you say. It was nice to see you again, Harry." She waved goodbye and retreated just as Louis came back, with a man pushing a luggage cart in tow.

“Where’s she going?” Louis asked, nodding to Eleanor’s retreating body.

“Said she’s going home to her man,” Harry replied with a chuckle.

Louis made a face. “The pair of them are disgusting. They literally coordinate their outfits every day.”

“They sound cute,” Harry insisted and Louis rolled his eyes before leading them out of the airport.

Louis’ phone started going off the second he took it off airplane mode, and he argued on the phone with Liam the entire ride to his house while Harry checked his social media on his phone.

“Irving will have his head,” Louis was saying as the car pulled into his driveway, “And I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side. Just tell her to really think about it.”

He listened as Liam said something on the other line and Harry followed him into the house in silence. He walked to the living room and made himself comfortable while Louis finished the call in the kitchen.

“Okay Li,” Harry heard him say. “I’ve really gotta go... Yeah- Harry’s here... Yeah, I know… Okay. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

A few seconds later he flopped down onto the couch next to Harry and sighed, a beer in his hands. He’d also brought one for Harry, and he placed it on the coffee table. “Sorry about that.”

“Not a problem,” Harry assured him. Waiting around while arrangements made business calls wasn’t a new experience for him. “I’m kind of used to it.”

Louis nodded, like that made sense, and Harry decided he didn’t want to beat around the bush.

“So, about yesterday,” He began, fiddling with the rings on his fingers. Louis sat up straighter.

“I had fun,” Louis said, crossing his legs and sipping on his beer. “Did you have fun? Would you like to do it again?”

“Yeah I, um…” Harry couldn’t believe he was about to suggest this. He really couldn’t be giving Louis freebies all the time. The lines of their relationship were going to get blurred really quickly. “It’s still technically the weekend. I could still like... stay over tonight? I mean, only if you want obviously. I’m sure you’re tired and you have work tomorrow and-”

“You can stay over whenever you want, Harry,” Louis interrupted him with a smile. “Trust me, it’s not exactly a hardship.”

Harry sighed, still feeling the need to explain himself. “It’s just that like, yesterday calmed me down a lot? I was really stressed and you got me out of my head, and it was really nice. I needed that.”

“It was nice,” Louis agreed. He reached over and carded a hand through Harry’s hair. “Could you… tell me what you liked about it?”

Harry picked at a fingernail and his heart pounded. He hadn’t expected to be this nervous. He was supposed to be the confident one, was always very open about sex. Sex was natural and people had different needs or wants and that was natural too. But he never really got to explore his own kinks in his line of work. Exploring them with Louis, handing over his trust like that... It was extremely nerve-wracking.

“Babe,” Louis encouraged softly, still playing with his hair. His soothing tone calmed Harry’s nerves a bit. His voice was so lovely.

“I liked that you wanted to take care of me,” Harry said honestly, deciding it shouldn’t be anything to be embarrassed about. “And the feeling that I could give you control and you’d... give me what I needed.”

“I liked taking care of you too,” Louis whispered. “And when you gave me control… when you asked permission to come,” Louis scratched his face. “I uh… I liked that a lot.”

Harry blushed, clearing his throat and shifting in his seat. “I liked that too. And I liked it when you pinned my hands to the bed, told me not to move them.”

Louis nodded and rubbed his hands together. “And the daddy thing? Because... I really liked that. Don’t know where the fuck it came from,” he shrugged and it looked forced. “But I liked it. Like, I know it comes from wanting to take care of you, but I guess that I got off on it so much took me by surprise, and I don’t know where that came from.”

Harry could understand that, especially since he didn’t know where him getting off on it came from either. All he knew was that he did get off on it, and he liked being taken care of and giving up control, and he maybe wouldn’t mind if Louis spanked him. But that was probably a discussion for a different time.

“I got off on it too,” Harry said, moving closer into Louis’ space. “But you already knew that.”

Louis giggled. God, how could he be so hot one minute and then so adorable the next? “I might have had an inkling.”’

Harry smiled and closed the small distance between them, crawling halfway into Louis’ lap as he kissed along his jaw and sucked on his neck. Louis sighed and tugged softly at Harry’s hair.

“Do you want to play a little bit tonight?” Louis asked when Harry moved to kiss his collarbones. “Let me try to get you out of your head again?”

Harry’s breath hitched and he pulled away from Louis’ collarbones to look into his eyes. Louis matched his gaze, intense and focused. It was the kind of stare that had Harry’s stomach clenching and made him want to surrender everything. He nodded and Louis pushed Harry off of him gently and stood up, holding his hand out for Harry to take.

He walked them to the bedroom and Harry’s heartbeat picked up, excited and anxious for whatever they were about to do. He wanted to ask Louis what he had planned, but he also wanted it to be a surprise.

Louis pushed him to sit down on the edge of the bed and straddled him. Harry immediately moved to put his hands on Louis’ thighs while Louis kissed him. God, Harry loved his thighs. They were so tight and muscular. He wondered about Louis’ gym routine.

“You always feel and taste so good,” Louis said against Harry’s lips. He nibbled down to his neck and inhaled. “Smell so good too.”

Harry felt his body become pliant at the praise. Louis undressed the top half of Harry’s body, unbuttoning his flannel shirt and pushing it off of his shoulders as he pushed him to lay back against the sheets and kissed down his chest.

“We should probably have like, a safeword, right?” Louis murmured against Harry’s stomach, before tracing the outline of his butterfly tattoo with his tongue. “I’m not anticipating things will get too intense, but just in case, so you can tell me if you need a break or if things get too much.”

Harry considered. It was a good, responsible idea. Necessary precaution.

“The traffic light system?” he suggested, knowing enough about BDSM to remember that was a thing people frequently used. “Green for keep going, yellow for let’s pause and talk it out, red for stop?” The idea that they might be doing something that could require a safeword was getting him all riled up. He felt himself getting hard and rocked his hips up.

“Perfect,” Louis kissed his belly button and then smiled up at him. Fuck, he was so god damn radiant. Harry felt a little overwhelmed being the subject of his attention, as Louis ran his hands up Harry’s stomach and rubbed his nipples with his thumbs. Oh, God.

“Remember you saying you like it rough, right?” Louis asked, squeezing and rolling Harry’s nipples with his fingers. Oh, God. He’d always had extremely sensitive nipples. Louis was going to fucking ruin him.

“Yeah,” Harry nodded, whining when Louis continued to rub his nipples, working them to hardness as he sucked a mark onto Harry’s stomach.

“Think you can come more than once?” Louis asked, voice huskier than it had been moments ago.

Harry couldn’t even formulate a proper response to that, just whined deep in his throat and rocked his hips up impatiently. Louis chuckled and the sound went straight through Harry, his dick hard and straining against his jeans.  

“Let’s see how far I can get you.”

Louis moved down his body and knelt at the end of the bed, unbuttoning Harry’s jeans and sliding them off with his underwear. Harry sighed when his cock sprang free, resting hot and hard against his stomach. Louis eyed it hungrily, before pinning Harry’s hands to the bed and kissing down the length. He ran the flat of his tongue back up and took the head into his mouth, before pulling away. Then he did it again.

“You’re so fucking hung,” he whispered, kissing the tip. He was going to tease him until Harry was begging for it. Harry could already tell.

Bring it on. Harry loved begging.

“Louis, please,” he moaned when Louis licked back down his length, still refusing to take him all the way down.

“Please what?” Louis asked, glancing up at Harry, his fringe hanging into his eyes.

“Do something,” Harry pleaded. “Anything.” He lifted his arms and wrapped his fingers around the headboard, knowing this would get Louis going. “I’ll keep my hands up here, I’ll be good.”

Louis looked at him with wide eyes for a moment, seemingly stunned into silence. Harry arched a brow and bit his lip, a challenge. Louis lifted his eyebrows in answer, a smirk working it’s way onto his face. Challenge accepted.

“Yeah?” he asked, working a hand back up to pinch one of Harry’s nipples. “Let’s see how good you can be.”

Harry grunted and Louis ducked down, taking Harry all the way into his mouth and swallowing around him repeatedly. Fuck. Harry groaned. He hadn’t had his dick sucked in so long. And Louis knew what he was doing. For some reason, Harry hadn’t expected that. Louis acted like he didn’t do relationships, and Harry didn’t think he did casual sex all that often either. But blowing someone this good took lot of practice. Harry would know.

He did something sinful with his tongue and Harry’s back arched off the bed. Louis grabbed his hips and held him down as he sucked, Harry struggling not to thrust up into his mouth. Louis pulled off of him, a string of saliva connecting his lips to the head of Harry’s cock. Harry nearly came from that sight alone.

“I want you to be still for me,” Louis chastised and Harry whined in protest. Louis clicked his tongue, like he was disappointed.

“Thought you said you were gonna be good,” He murmured, hand stroking Harry’s dick now.

“I-” Harry didn’t know what to say. He was out of his element, and even though he’d been feeling a bit cocky earlier, he really just wanted to come now. And he had a feeling he knew just how to get Louis worked up enough to get him there. How to get them both there.

“Sorry, Daddy,” He said softly, feeling his face flush. Louis’ breath stuttered. Harry liked that. Liked that he had an effect on him. “I’ll be good, I promise.”

“Good boy,” Louis said, and this time it was Harry who’s breath stuttered.

His hand squeezed Harry’s cock again and Harry tried his best to keep still, his hands clutching at the headboard so hard he was sure his knuckles were white. Louis worked at him with his mouth and his hand until Harry felt the familiar tightening deep in his stomach.

“Lou- Louis,” He panted, head feeling a little fuzzy. “I’m gonna… can I?”

“Come whenever you want, baby,” Louis said, looking up into Harry’s eyes again. “Want you to.”

He mouthed at his cock and Harry came with a shout a few strokes later. Louis didn’t bother cleaning him up, just continued to stroke, not letting up as Harry’s cock softened. Harry winced, a little oversensitive.

Louis pressed a kiss to Harry’s thigh as he squeezed. “Think you can give me another one like we talked about? I’d really like it if you came again for me.”

Harry winced again, but nodded. He was sensitive, but it wasn’t too much, and he found he wanted to please Louis more than anything.

“Still green?” Louis asked, his hand pausing for a moment.

“Yeah,” Harry breathed. “Yeah, still green.”

“Give me your hand,” Louis said, and Harry unwrapped his hands from the headboard, giving his right hand to Louis, who wrapped it around Harry’s dick in place of his own.

“Play with yourself,” he said, moving Harry’s hand for him before he stood up. “I’ll be right back.”

Harry’s eyes followed Louis as he walked into his bathroom, flipping the light on. He stroked himself gently, working himself back to hardness, and smiled when Louis came back with a bottle of lube and a condom.

He tossed them onto the bed and took off his shirt before settling back down. Then he grabbed Harry by the hips and pulled him closer, crouching down and throwing Harry’s legs over his shoulders. He reached for the lube and squeezed some onto his fingers. Harry’s ass clenched in anticipation, his hand still working over himself, already growing hard again.

Louis teased his hole with the tip of his finger and Harry nearly started begging again, before he pushed his finger in and sucked on one of Harry’s balls. A second finger quickly followed.

“Jesus Christ,” Harry moaned and Louis started moving his fingers in and out and around, scissoring, stretching Harry open. Harry shuddered.

Louis lifted up and kissed Harry’s hip, adding a third finger, thrusting in and out of Harry mercilessly. Harry stopped moving his own hand, tightening his grip at the base, already close again, wanting to be good and wait until Louis told him to come.

“I didn’t say you could stop,” Louis said, thrusting his fingers in and out harder.  

Harry whimpered but started to stroke himself again, unable to stay still though. He whined and his stomach clenched. He couldn’t take it, completely overwhelmed by Louis’ attention and his own hand.

Louis noticed his distress and moved up his body to kiss him.

“It’s okay, kitten,” he said, licking into Harry’s mouth. “I’ve got you. You’re doing so well, darling.”

“I can’t,” Harry panted, biting Louis’ lip desperately, his legs kicking restlessly.

“Yes, you can,” Louis told him, kissing him fiercely.

“I need to come,” Harry whined, slightly embarrassed at how needy he sounded, but that only made him more desperate for it. “Please, I-”

“Okay,” Louis nodded, and Harry let go, shouting as Louis fingers pounded into him and he splattered come in between their bodies.

He collapsed bonelessly into the sheets, breathing hard, and Louis pulled his fingers out of him slowly. He kissed Harry soundly and Harry sighed into his mouth, exhausted and content. Louis continued to kiss him while he came down and his breathing evened out. And then Harry realized Louis was still hard, unused condom lying next to them on the bed. Louis’ dick poked into Harry’s hip when he shifted, and that just wouldn’t do.

“I wanna,” Harry reached for Louis’ hard cock, where it was tenting his sweatpants.

“I’ve got it, baby,” Louis waved him off. “Don’t worry about it.”

“But,” Harry squeezed his eyes shut, feeling confused and dejected, and also a little worried and even more confused about why he was feeling that way. “I’m... sorry. Was I- was I not good?”

“No!” Louis rushed to assure him, running a hand through Harry’s hair comfortingly and kissing his face. “You were so good, Harry. Such a good boy. Came apart so beautifully. I loved watching you lose yourself like that.”

Harry wrinkled his nose in confusion. “Then why don’t you want me to-”

Louis cut him off with a kiss. “I don’t want you to tire yourself out. I’m the one taking care of you, remember?”

Harry broke away from the kiss. “Wanna take care of you too, though. Wanna take care of my Daddy.”

He couldn’t believe the words were even coming out of his mouth, but they felt good. They felt right.

“Shit,” Louis groaned. “Here, let me--” He pushed his pants off and grabbed the bottle of lube, his cock red and pretty and hard. He slicked himself up and grabbed Harry’s thighs, pushing them together.

“Gonna fuck your thighs,” Louis said, almost matter of factly. “Use you until I come, yeah?”

He started thrusting before Harry could even say anything in response to that, so Harry did the next best thing, and wrapped his arms around Louis’ neck, kissing him while Louis fucked his thighs. Louis’ throaty moans and breathy gasps filled the room. Harry could listen to those sounds forever. There was nothing hotter than hearing someone fall apart and lose themselves.

It didn’t take Louis long to come between them, making an even bigger mess on Harry and the already sticky sheets. Harry didn’t even fucking care, could fall asleep in the mess and sleep soundly until morning, but Louis got up after a minute and retrieved a wet wash cloth from the bathroom. He wiped Harry clean and whispered more nonsense into his ear about what a good boy he was. Harry fell asleep shortly after that, with Louis wrapped around him and kissing his hair.

 

Harry left early the next morning, waking up at the same ungodly hour as Louis so he could go home and shower and get his books for class. Louis called him a car, made him tea and offered him a bowl of cereal before kissing him goodbye, saying he’d be in touch in a few days so they could plan their next date. He also sent him off with a gift, a black leather YSL wallet that Harry unwrapped in the car, then grinned at for a good two minutes.

Louis continued to be thoughtful and perfect, and Harry felt a sinking feeling deep in his stomach. He was falling for him.


Chapter Text

Harry's first stop after the Los Angeles trip was Gemma's. He went to class in the morning, and then headed to Gemma's later that afternoon. She answered the door with the god damned cat on her shoulder. Harry had refrained from many a joke about Gemma turning into an old cat lady since she got her, but there was only so much he could take.

"Hey, mate," Gemma greeted him, stepping aside so he could walk in, and then asked in a put on Valley girl accent, "how was California?"

Images flashed through Harry's mind of Louis looming over him and holding his hands down. He cleared his throat. "Amazing. I loved it there."

Gemma sat down on the couch and Harry joined her, telling her about the trip. He talked about flying first class, and how lovely the weather was, and about the shopping he got to do. "And I got you a prezzie."

"Well," she said, her face lighting up, even though she had to have known Harry would bring her back something. "Let's see then."

Harry reached into his bag and very seriously pulled out a palm tree keychain, handing it over dutifully. Gemma grabbed it, examining it closely before glaring at him.

"Really? The poor sod is paying you twelve grand a month and you get me a fucking key chain?"

Harry smirked and reached back into his bag to pull out her real gift, which was a set of speciality handblown wine glasses he'd picked up at a random boutique. They'd made him think of Gemma instantly and he eagerly anticipated her reaction.

"Oooh!" she cooed over them, pulling one out of the box for inspection. "You know me well. They're so pretty. Thank you."

She smiled at Harry and stood up to take the glasses to the kitchen.

"You hungry?" she called out. "I could whip something up."

"Nah," Harry shouted back, laying back on the couch. The cat hopped up onto his chest and he started stroking it. "I've got plans with Zayn later. Just wanted to drop by for a little bit."

She popped her head out. "Everything okay?"

He thought about telling her about how deep things had gotten with Louis over the weekend, but decided against it. She probably wouldn't understand the frustration and conflicting feelings rattling around in his head and would just tell him to go for it.

Why'd he have to go and develop feelings? Why did Louis have to be so different from anyone else he'd ever had an arrangement with? Anyone he’d ever dated? It was like Louis could read him. Harry was good at staying private, but Louis just saw right through it all. And their lives were already more intertwined than Harry was comfortable with, thanks to Zayn and Niall.

"I'm fine," Harry answered. "Just tired. Jet lag, probably."

Gemma hummed in understanding and walked back into the living room with a bowl of granola, sitting down in a chair facing the couch.

"So I have to tell you something, and you're probably gonna be mad."

Harry stopped petting the cat and squinted his eyes at her, immediately wary and suspicious. He and Gemma never got mad at each other, so her saying that made him nervous. "... What?"

She took her time chewing and swallowing a mouthful of granola, stalling, and Harry huffed in annoyance.

"So mum called me yesterday," she started finally, swirling her spoon around in the bowl. "She was worried because your phone was off and she'd been trying you all weekend."

Harry put the cat on the ground and sat up. He didn't like where this was going.

"I wasn't thinking," Gemma continued, not making eye contact with him. "And I told her it was probably because you were out of the country. International charges and everything."

Harry nodded and gestured for her to continue. He really didn't like where this was going.

"So of course she asked who you were with," Gemma said slowly, and Harry groaned. "And... I panicked and told her you were with your boyfriend."

Harry groaned again. He could just imagine how that conversation went. He was going to get an earful from his mum for not telling her he was seeing someone. He hadn’t had a boyfriend since he was eighteen. He just knew she was going to make a big deal of it.  

He couldn't decide what was worse though--having his mum think he'd been hiding a boyfriend from her, or having her know that he was a sugar baby. Either way, he was lying to her.

"Gemma."

"I know," she sighed, putting the bowl to the side and pulling one leg up and wrapping her arms around it. She rested her chin on her knee. "I know. I'm sorry, Haz. If it's any consolation, I think she's happy for you? Disappointed that you didn't tell her, but still happy."

"Okay," Harry said. "Except that he's not my boyfriend. And now she's gonna want to know all about him and our relationship, and I’m gonna have to lie to her."

"Well what did you want me to say, Harry?" Gemma countered, sounding annoyed. She held her hand up to her ear like a phone. "Actually mum, Harry's a secret sex worker and he left the country with some old creepy dude he barely knows."

Harry made a face at her. "I hate it when you talk about it like that."

"You mean exactly the way it is?" She raised her eyebrows at him, challenging. Harry frowned.

It wasn’t that Gemma necessarily disapproved of Harry’s lifestyle, but she certainly didn’t understand it, no matter how many times Harry tried to explain it to her. They’d reached a sort of don’t-ask-don’t-tell understanding somewhere along the line, and now Harry only kept her informed on a need to know basis. He knew she worried for his safety though, which is why he always told her when and where he was meeting POTs.

“Anyway,” Gemma said, picking the bowl back up. “You should probably call her.”

Harry sighed. She was probably right. The sooner he called her the sooner he'd be able to do some damage control, and he supposed having a secret boyfriend was the lesser of two evils.

He stayed over long enough to watch a rerun of Friends on telly, and then left to catch the tube back to the flat, calling his mum once he was home. Robin answered on the fourth ring, and they chatted for a bit about Christmas plans before the phone was transferred to Anne.

“Hey mum,” Harry said, tossing his keys onto the kitchen counter and retreating to his room. “Sorry I missed your calls.”

“I heard you were out of the country?” she questioned sternly. Right to the point then, Harry thought. “I’d like a bit of notice next time my son leaves the continent.”

“Sorry,” Harry apologized sheepishly, sitting down on his bed. He felt about fourteen again, the way she was scolding him.

“Why didn’t you tell me about him?” Anne asked, and Harry hated that she sounded hurt.

He scrambled for a plausible reason he would have hid this from her. “Um, well like, he’s quite a bit older than me.” There. That was a good reason. "I was worried you'd... judge me. Or him."

Harry picked at a loose thread on his comforter while he waited for her to say something.

"How old is he?" she asked after a moment.

"Thirty-three."

He winced preemptively, anticipating a bad reaction, but she surprised him.

"Oh Harry," she laughed. "You're not a teenager anymore. That's not too terrible. How did you meet him?"

"Uh..."

He scrambled again, knowing his mom wouldn't take the simple 'the internet' answer he usually had prepared. She’d immediately think that Louis was the next Craigslist Killer. "Zayn's dating one of his coworkers. He set us up."

That technically wasn't even a lie. Niall had been the one to create Louis' SA account and message Harry after all. Harry smiled, pleased with himself for coming up with that one.

"What’s his name? What does he do?" Anne asked, and Harry settled in, knowing this was about to turn into an inquisition and he’d be on the phone forever.

Almost an hour later, Anne knew all there was to know about Louis, excluding the fact that he gave Harry a monthly allowance. Harry even found himself telling her that the feelings he was developing for Louis scared him a little bit, which would probably come back to bite him in the ass later, because now his mum thought he was in love and ready for a committed relationship. But he’d deal with that later.

Harry sighed and buried his face in his pillow after they hung up, wondering if telling his mum about Louis went against Louis’ discretion policy. Not that they’d been able to be all that discreet anyway. If Louis had been anyone else, Harry probably would have ended the arrangement by now, because too many lines had started blurring. But he’d grown attached to the easiness he felt around Louis, and he didn’t want to give that up just yet.

The money doesn’t hurt either, he thought, trying to convince himself that was the reason he didn’t want to end things.

He sat up and looked at the suitcase he’d dropped off before class this morning, and then set to doing laundry and unpacking, pointedly not thinking about Louis for the rest of the afternoon.

 

Harry was speed walking across campus two days later, a few minutes late for his discussion class, when his phone vibrated in his hand. A text from Louis.

I’ve got box seats for the man u game on sunday. You up for it ??

Harry locked his phone as he entered the building. He’d text Louis back later when he had time to think about his schedule for the weekend. End of term was coming up and he had about a million things to do in a limited amount of time. Everything was catching up to him.

The class of freshman looked disappointed when he walked into the room, and Harry would bet a significant amount of money that they’d all been talking hopefully about how they could leave if he was more than fifteen minutes late. He couldn’t blame them. Today was oral report day.

“Sorry I’m late,” Harry said, sliding his bag off of his shoulder and resting it next to the podium. “How’s everyone doing?”

The class mumbled their responses as he reached down to retrieve his notebook and pen, the class role, and a bottle of water. He handed the role to the first row and they started to pass it throughout the room, each student initialing next to their names.

“Okay,” he said. “Let’s get right to it. We’ll probably only get through about half of you all today, but who wants to present their essay first? Any volunteers?”

A few hands raised timidly, but Harry played favorites and picked one of his smartest students first. He was eager to listen to what she had to say before the essays all got jumbled together in his mind.

“Daisy,” he said, gesturing to her, and she made her way to the front of the class.

Harry sat down in one of the desks and turned his attention to her, making notes as she started her presentation.

They’d made it through eleven of nineteen reports almost an hour and a half later, and Harry dismissed the class a few minutes early, too tired to grade anymore. The students who reported handed in their essays on the way out and Harry stacked them up with a yawn, nodding to two of the girls in the class who always lingered behind to try and flirt with him. Give it up already.

He took his phone out of his bag and saw that Louis had texted him again. Harry decided he’d call him to discuss plans and held the phone up apologetically to the girls. “Sorry,” he said. “Boyfriend.”

He tried not to laugh at their affronted faces as they hurriedly walked out of the room and he hit the call button next to Louis’ contact. Louis picked up as Harry was locking the door to the classroom.

“Hey!” he said brightly. “You get my texts?”

“Yeah,” Harry replied, starting his trek to the library, where he intended to spend the rest of the night. “Details?”

“Well, the game is Sunday evening,” Louis said. “I was planning on driving to Manchester, actually. Day trip. We can leave mid morning, go to the game, and then I’ll book us a hotel to stay at after. Then we can drive back Monday morning.” He paused. “Wait, shit. You have class, don’t you?”

Harry was about to agree and sadly decline Louis’ offer when he remembered that he actually didn’t have class the upcoming Monday. Or well, not a class he couldn’t skip. They were just having a library day and spending the class period working on their end of term projects. Attendance wasn’t required. And he couldn’t exactly turn down box seats to a Manchester United game.

He thought it over for a second, about the work he needed to get done before next week. He decided he could do some reading on the way there and back if he needed to.

“Yeah, okay,” he said. “Sounds like a plan.”

“Ace.” Louis sounded excited. Harry imagined him smiling, his face scrunching up adorably.

They chatted a bit on Harry’s walk across campus and Harry learned that Louis was still at the office. It was past 8:00 and Harry wondered just how much Louis worked when he wasn’t around. Harry hoped he spent more time off than the instances when he was with Harry, but he had a strong feeling he didn’t. Harry already knew from talking to Liam and Niall that his friends worried about Louis, and he found himself starting to worry about him as well. But it wasn’t really his place to tell Louis to take a break. He figured he was already doing his part, and the most he could do now was hope for the best.

“So how do you want to meet up on Saturday?” Louis asked. Harry was at the library now, shivering on one of the benches outside as they finished their conversation.

“Do you want to meet somewhere? Or if you’re comfortable and it’s easier, I can pick you up.”

Harry hesitated. No other arrangements had ever known where he lived, but Harry trusted Louis, and it wasn’t like he couldn’t figure out where Harry lived from Niall anyway.

“Sure,” he said, and he felt something in their relationship shift as he agreed. “You can pick me up.”

He gave Louis his address and Louis told him he’d text him on Friday, and Harry readied himself for a long night of studying after they said their goodbyes.  

 

When Saturday morning came around, Harry found himself in the kitchen with Zayn and Niall, waiting for Louis to show up. Niall was spending the nights at their flat more often than not these days, but Harry didn’t mind. He was easy going, happy company.

“You know, he usually takes me to the football games,” Niall said a bit begrudgingly and Harry laughed.

“Can’t say I’m sorry,” he teased, sipping on his tea. He was far too excited for the game to apologize for taking Niall’s tickets.

“Things are going good with you two then?” Niall asked after a moment, which surprised Harry. Up until that point, it felt like they had an unspoken Don’t Talk About Louis policy.

Harry shrugged. “Well, I suppose he hasn’t grown tired of me yet.”

Niall bit his lip and looked like he wanted to say something else, but thought better of it. Harry wanted to reassure him in some way, but he didn’t know what to say that wouldn’t be crossing some kind of line, so he smiled at Niall briefly before looking down to check his phone. Nothing from Louis yet, but Harry knew he’d be there any moment now.

He excused himself to make one last trip the restroom and when he returned he had a text from Louis letting him know he was waiting outside.

“Alright lads,” Harry grabbed his overnight bag. “I’ll see you later.”

Zayn nodded goodbye and Niall told him to have a good trip. Harry walked down the stairs on the outside of their flat and halted when he saw Louis waiting for him in a sleek black F430 Spider Ferrari, which instantly made him hotter in Harry’s books. He immediately wanted to blow Louis in the backseat.

So Harry might have a thing for cars. He wondered if Louis would let him drive. Maybe he could convince him with that blow job in the backseat.

Louis smiled and waved at him and popped the trunk. Harry dropped his bag inside and then slid into the passenger seat.

“I think your car just gave me an orgasm,” he said in lieu of hello, turning around in his seat to admire the car from every angle.

Louis laughed. He looked cute, wearing a red Man U jersey. “Well, tell her to knock it off. That’s supposed to be my job, innit?”

“She’s gorgeous,” Harry said, running his hands over the smooth leather of his seat.

“She’ll do,” Louis said, gunning the engine with a cheeky wink before taking off.

“I stopped by the petrol station on the way over,” Louis told him, reaching over to retrieve a plastic sack out of the glove box. “There’s water and snacks if you get hungry.”

Harry took out one of the water bottles and sorted through the rest of the bag, seeing that Louis had purchased an assortment of chips and trail mixes and granola bars, before putting the bag back in the glove compartment.

“So how’ve you been?” Louis asked Harry after a few moments. “Your week went alright?”

“Yeah,” Harry told him, looking out the window as the drove out of the city. “End of term is coming up, so things are about to get a bit mad, but fine so far.”

Louis hummed and Harry turned his attention back to him, admiring the way his fringe hung in his face. He was accustomed to Louis’ hair being pushed back in a quiff, but the few time he’d seen it styled this way, he found he preferred it. The style made Louis look younger, less intense and like he’d cut you with his cheekbones if given the chance.

“What do you like to do when you’re not in class, though?” Louis asked, hands tightening slightly on the steering wheel. “I feel like all I know about you is that you’re in school.”

There he went again, showing Harry that he cared about him as more than just a warm body to spend the night with.

“Well to be fair,” Harry began, running a hand through his hair. “School does take up a lot of my time. I feel like I’m always in class, or doing work for class, or teaching class.” He reached up to pull his hair into a bun, annoyed with it. “But I suppose I’m the same as any twenty four year old, really.”

He thought on it for a moment, pretty sure Louis already knew most of what there was to know about him. He didn’t think any of what he was about to say was new information. “I like to go out for drinks with my friends. I hang out with Zayn and my sister a lot. They’re my best friends. I like to play golf, but I never seem to find the time. Or anyone who wants to go with me. I like music and I like to read. I think photography is pretty cool too. I’m really pretty simple.”

“You’ve mentioned your sister before,” Louis pointed out. “You’re close to your family?”

“Yeah,” Harry smiled. “My mum and dad are divorced, but I’m still close to both of them. And my stepdad’s been around since I was twelve, so he’s like a second dad to me.”

Louis nodded with a sympathetic smile. “My parents are divorced too. Well, my biological father fucked off when I was a baby, didn’t take an interest in me until I started making money, but my real dad and my mum divorced about fifteen years ago.” He shook his head. “Fuck, doesn’t seem like that long ago. She’s remarried about ten years ago, though. Great guy. Gave me my first brother!”

Harry absorbed that information, the fact that Louis called the man who raised him his “real dad”. He didn’t know what to say about his loser biological father, but he felt like he should say something. That wasn’t information people tended to just hand out, so he settled on an apology.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “About your biological dad.”

“Not your fault he’s a prick,” Louis replied easily. “It is what it is.”

Harry thought about the words Louis had inked across his chest and smiled. Perhaps they had more meaning to Louis than Harry knew.

They talked about Louis’ family a bit more before playing a round of road trip games that they were both equally terrible at until Louis finally got tired of twenty questions (“You pick the most abstract, pointless shit, Harold! How am I supposed to guess that?!”) He turned the radio on down low while Harry did some reading for class, and Harry wondered if silence was supposed to be this comfortable.  

They stopped at the hotel to drop off their luggage before heading to the stadium. Louis gave the care over to valet parking when they arrived at the game and they made their way through the crowds and up to their seats. As soon as the game started, Harry knew Louis wouldn’t be good for anything until it was over, his attention totally focused on the field below them.  

But as the game went on, Harry found that he paid more attention to Louis than he did to the pitch. The way he cheered, giggling happily and throwing his firsts in the air, the way he cursed the referees out when they made calls he didn’t like. He was so passionate and genuine, and Harry could honestly sit and admire him for hours and be content, which was something he couldn’t let himself think about. By the end of the night, he was filled with a hunger he didn’t recognize, but he wanted Louis so badly he almost wasn’t sure he’d make it to the hotel alive.

He pushed Louis against the door of the suite as soon as it closed behind them, and Louis made a startled noise in the back of his throat, but it only took him a moment to catch on and kiss Harry back.  

“Been thinking about this all night,” Harry admitted against his mouth, licking along the seam of Louis’ lips. “Want you so bad.”

“Fuck,” Louis’ breath rushed out and he fisted his hands in Harry’s’ shirt. “Let’s get on with it then.”

They kissed their way to the bedroom, like they were in some soppy romance film, tearing at each other’s clothes and leaving a trail to the bedroom.

“Don’t really feel like playing tonight,” Harry said once they reached the bed, not sure if Louis was expecting more of the last weekend or not. “If that’s okay. Some other time, but not right now.”

“It’s fine,” Louis dismissed him, sucking a kiss onto his jaw. “You could fuck me instead, yeah? Want you to fuck me.”

“Shit,” Harry murmured, glad they were on the page. He pushed Louis onto the bed and took a second to just down at him, all smooth golden skin sprawled out against the white sheets.

“I’m gonna- just a sec.”

He rushed to his bag to grab lube and strip of condoms while Louis watched him from the bed, jacking himself to full hardness. Harry walked back over and stood at the end of the bed.

“Can I eat you out?” he asked. He’d had dreams about Louis’ ass.

Louis raised his eyebrows. “Is that a serious question?”

Before Harry had time to wonder if that was a yes or a no, Louis turned over and presented his ass to Harry. Harry cursed and knelt down on the floor, grabbing onto Louis’ legs and pulling him closer to him. Louis reached for a pillow and held it to his chest, breathing heavily as Harry spread his cheeks and bent over for a tentative lick. He hadn’t done this in a while, but he let himself be lead by Louis’ reactions.

He licked around the rim, fitting his mouth around Louis’ hole and sucking, and then delving inside. Louis let out a stream of curses above him, clenching his ass around Harry’s face. Harry moaned against him and Louis whimpered. After a while, Harry lost himself in Louis’ bum, vaguely aware that Louis was whimpering into his pillow as he rocked his hips back against Harry’s mouth.

When Harry pulled back to catch his breath and reach for the lube, Louis whined, ass clenching around nothing. It was so needy and dirty, Harry nearly came on the spot.

He lubed up two fingers and pushed in. Louis let out a loud groan.

“Yes,” he hissed. “Harry.”

Harry worked him open quickly, desperately hard and ready to just slide inside, which he did when Louis started begging.

“Just do it. Get in me. Please, Harry. I’m ready.”

Their moans matched when Harry bottomed out, leaning down low over Louis’ body, hands on his hips. He pressed a kiss to the middle of his back, in between his shoulderblades and started to move. His hands came to rest on either side of Louis as he built up a rhythm and Louis reached down to lace their fingers together as he rolled his hips up in time with Harry’s thrusts. His breath was coming out in little pants and Harry wasn’t going to make it. Louis was too much, the roll of muscles in his back and the way he squeezed around Harry, needy and desperate. If anything he was even more demanding on bottom.

“So good, Hazza,” Louis moaned and Harry lost his rhythm, his stomach doing somersaults over both the compliment and the nickname. There was something about the soft, breathy way his name rolled off Louis’ tongue that caused a fluttery feeling inside him.

“Fuck,” Louis murmured. “I gotta-”

He moved away from Harry and turned around. He then grabbed Harry’s hips and rolled them over so that Harry was lying down on his back and looking up at him. And then Louis straddled him and sank down onto his cock. He placed his hands on Harry’s chest for leverage and lifted up before sinking back down, working up a new rhythm of his own. Louis’ fringe was sweaty and stuck to his forehead and his eyes rolled back in his head as he found his own pleasure. He was impossibly hot and Harry was helpless to do more than lay there and try not to come too soon.

“You feel so good,” he told Louis, placing his hands on his thighs, feeling the muscles in them work.

“Hmm,” Louis hummed. “So do you. So fucking hot”

He reached down to wrap a hand around his dick and Harry watched as he fisted himself quickly, bringing himself to climax. He held his breath when he came, hips halting their movements and Harry took the opportunity to thrust up into him.

Louis cursed and squeezed around Harry until he came too, fingers digging into Louis’ thighs before his hands fell bonelessly to his sides. Louis collapsed on top of him and kissed his neck. They both lay there for a few minutes, too tired to move, but eventually their sweat and Louis’ come started to get tacky between them, and they got up to take a quick shower together before falling back into bed to sleep.

---

When Louis woke up the next morning, he was sore in places he hadn’t been in a long time. It felt nice. He turned his head and checked on Harry, who was still asleep, before stretching and throwing the covers back. He went into the bathroom and looked at his disheveled appearance in the mirror. His hair was sticking out in every direction, and he had a love bite on his collarbone and finger sized bruises on his hips and thighs. Jesus. Harry had absolutely wrecked him.

Louis took a piss and washed his hands and brushed his teeth before returning to the bedroom, where he yawned and rifled through his bag for a pair of joggers and pulled them on. He didn’t know how quickly Harry wanted to make it back to London, but he figured he should probably wake him.

“Harry.” He walked over to him and spoke softly. “Do you want me to wake you up?”

He squeezed his shoulder gently and Harry stirred. He blinked and squinted up at Louis. “Time is it?”

Louis checked the clock on the bedside table. “Half seven. When do you need to be back?”

Harry yawned and rolled over onto his back. “Should probably get up.” He rubbed at his eyes and sighed. Louis agreed with the sentiment. He wanted nothing more than to crawl back in bed himself.

Louis returned to his bag and slid a hoodie on over his head before walking through the suite and picking up the clothes they’d dropped carelessly to the floor the night before. The trip had gone better than Louis planned. He didn’t know if it was his pushing that got Harry to finally open up to him, or if there was more trust between them now, but Louis liked it.

They packed everything up quickly and were back on the road within an hour. Harry turned the radio on to the Breakfast Show while Louis listened to voicemails on his phone. Louis smiled at the way Harry giggled to himself every now and then over whatever shenanigans Nick Grimshaw was up to on the radio.

"You a fan?" Louis asked when he was finished, locking his phone and placing it in an empty cup holder. He couldn’t help but be curious and glanced at Harry, waiting for his answer.

"Hmm?" Harry raised his eyebrows at Louis in confusion.

"Of the Breakfast Show," Louis clarified, nodding to the radio.

"Oh!" Harry said in understanding. "Yeah, love it. You? I mean, you probably like it, since we’re listening to it, but-"

Louis cut him off. "Yeah, I'm a fan. I interned at Radio 1 right after uni. With Grimmy when he did the weekend show."

"No shit!" Harry exclaimed, and Louis nodded happily. He'd loved his time at Radio 1. That job opened a lot of doors for him.

"I used to listen to Chris Moyles with my mum all the time when I was younger," Harry continued. "And he was great, but I was excited when Grimmy took over. I've been a fan ever since he was on Switch. What's he like in real life?"

Louis wondered what would happen if he told Harry that he and Nick had a past, that until Harry came along, Louis hadn't slept with anyone aside from Nick in about half a decade, and that they'd broken each other's hearts more than once, yet somehow still remained the type of friends who went out for drinks occasionally. And used to fuck occasionally before Nick got himself a boyfriend.

More than all that, Louis wondered what Harry would say if he knew that his past relationship with Nick was an open secret in the industry, and that there'd been a lot of nasty rumors about Louis sleeping his way to the top when his career finally started to take off. Which wasn't the case at all, but after a while, Louis decided to stop caring and let his success speak for him. Everyone was eating their words now.

"He's great," Louis said instead, swallowing thickly around the mess of memories in his throat. "I mean, he's an asshole, but I love him."

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "I kind of get that impression. Man, that's cool. You two are close then?"

Louis hesitated, considered telling Harry everything, but then decided Nick Grimshaw was a story for another time.

“Not so much anymore. Although I do still see him occasionally.”

“That’s cool,” Harry said again. “Tell him hi from me next time you see him.”

Louis could only imagine Nick’s reaction upon finding out that Louis had landed himself in this situation with Harry. Amusement, probably. Maybe a bit of what the fuck are you doing? He’d probably be more supportive than anything though.

He dismissed those thoughts, told Harry that he’d relay the message, and they settled back into the same comfortable silence as the day before, Louis driving and listening to the radio while Harry read for class beside him.

 

Chapter Text

Louis flew to the States with Niall, Liam and Ed the day after Louis and Harry returned from Manchester, throwing himself into work while Harry threw himself into his studies. Louis knew they were both working because Harry had taken it upon himself to send him pictures every time he was in the library… which seemed like it was most of the time.

It was their last day in Los Angeles, and Louis was laughing at a particularly pitiful selfie of Harry and Zayn holding up their books and pretending to cry, when Liam coughed loudly to get his attention.

“Focus, loverboy,” he teased and Louis rolled his eyes. He showed Niall the picture before turning his phone on silent and placing it to the side.

“Okay,” Louis said. “What’ve we got?”

They were picking the additional songs for the extended version of Ed’s album, and Louis already knew exactly which songs he was going to allow on said album, but he was humoring the rest of them anyway.

“I’d say we all think ‘I See Fire’ is a definite yes,” Liam said in his serious no-nonsense tone. Everyone nodded. ‘I See Fire’ had almost made the original cut, of course it would be on the deluxe version.

“I still want to do ‘Everything Has Changed’,” Ed said, and everyone nervously turned to Louis, already anticipating his outburst.

“Absolutely not,” Louis announced. He absolutely refused to have Taylor on his payroll. Not after she’d turned his initial offer for a record deal down.

Ed pursed his lips in response, while Liam banged his forehead against the table and Niall laughed.

“It’s a good song, bro,” Niall said. And Louis knew it was a good song. He wasn’t stupid.

He rolled his eyes and sighed dramatically. “I know. But he’s got other songs that aren't co-written with Taylor that we could use instead!"

Niall fixed him with a look. “You just hate her for no reason.”

Louis scoffed. “Okay, first of all, I do not hate her. But if I did, I would have a perfectly good reason. She’s evil.”

“Jesus,” Liam muttered, looking like he’d rather bash his head in with a hammer than have this discussion. “This again.”

Ed ran a hand over his face. “She’s not evil, Lou.”

She was. Louis could tell. Like, evil in a really smart and devious way, and Louis was totally jealous of her, but still evil nonetheless. She gave off a vibe.

He had a feeling he was going to end up losing this one though. Ed had been gunning for the song he co-wrote and sang with Taylor since the beginning, and while Louis didn’t like it, ultimately he wanted this to be an album Ed loved and was proud of. If Ed really wanted ‘Everything Has Changed’, he could fucking have ‘Everything Has Changed’. Louis got his way on the rest of the album, so in the end he supposed it could have been worse.

Back in England, while he was listening to Ed’s album in full, Louis realized he hadn’t heard from Harry at all that day. He texted him as he ordered food for dinner.

Hey you alright? Haven’t heard from you today :)

Harry’s response didn’t come until over three hours later, as Louis was getting ready for bed. He sent two texts in quick succession:

Sorry. End of term is hitting me hard. Did you want to plan something for this weekend?

Also, when are you planning our trip for the month? Can I request that it’s after term ends?

Louis frowned. He’d just been texting Harry to see how he was doing, not to plan anything. He didn’t like this, but he didn’t want to screw anything up either. He’d rather keep Harry as just his arrangement than lose him completely, so he texted him back to plan their next date.

It’s okay !!! When are you free? I don’t have any business trips planned for a few weeks actually so no worries. Xx

He locked his phone and placed it on the bed next to him, and then reached over to grab his iPad from his bedside table, opening iBooks to “Domination & Submission: The BDSM Relationship Handbook”. He’d done a lot of research over the past few weeks.

There were so many things he wanted to talk about and try with Harry, sometimes he got overwhelmed and aroused just thinking about them, but he wanted to be responsible, so he’d spent a lot of times reading books and on the online forums reading up on everything that caught his interest. He also found that there were a ton of things he didn't ever want to try. Turns out edging and edge play are not the same thing. Who knew?

He was surprised when Harry called him a couple of minutes later, rather than just texting him back. He immediately felt nervous, his stomach twisting into knots. What did Harry need to talk to him about that he couldn’t just text?

“Hello?” Louis answered hesitantly, locking his iPad and settling deeper under the covers.

“Hi,” Harry greeted him, voice extra slow and gravelly. He sounded exhausted. “Thought it’d be easier to just call.”

“What’s up?” Louis asked, reaching up to fix his fringe even though Harry couldn’t see him.

“I think the only night I’m free this week is Friday,” Harry started. “I’ve got a study group thing tomorrow night, and class on Thursday. And tentative plans with some friends on Saturday. I’m really sorry if you’re busy Friday. If you aren’t available then, I don’t know? We can do two dates next week if you wa-”

“Harry,” Louis cut him off before he started totally rambling. He didn’t want to feel like an obligation. “Friday is fine, but we also don’t have to meet if you’re too busy. We can take the week off, no big deal. I was at uni once too, you know. I understand.”

“No!” Harry corrected him loudly. “I want to see you if we can make it work!”

“Yeah?” Louis asked despite himself. He’d felt so uncertain lately that hearing Harry sound like he actually wanted to see him made him smile.

“Yeah,” Harry said, voice slow again. “I, um- I think it would be good for me to see you anyway.” Louis held his breath. “Like… I’ve… I’ve been quite stressed. And you, like, helped with that last time.”

Louis felt something stir deep in his stomach.

“Okay,” Louis said, shifting in bed. “What would you like to do?”

Harry paused. “Don’t you get to decide that?” He sounded uncertain and nervous.

“I want us to decide together,” Louis told him, thinking about the article he’d read the other day on negotiation and consent. “I don’t want to do anything you don’t want to do.”

They sat in silence for a few moments, listening to each other’s breathing through the phone. Louis waited in anticipation for Harry to say whatever it was he was mulling over, could picture him biting his lip as he prepared his words.

“I think I might want you to be a bit rough with me,” he said after a while. “Like that first night, when you fucked my face. And um… you could tell me what to do?”

Louis very nearly groaned, his cock stirring in his boxers.

“Okay,” he whispered. “I can do that.”

Harry was about to say something else when Louis heard voices on his end.

“Hey, Louis, sorry I gotta go,” Harry said quickly. Louis heard shuffling over the phone, like Harry was in a hurry. “I’ll talk to you later!”

Louis’ goodbye was cut off as Harry ended the call. Louis sighed and turned out the lights, coming up with a plan for Friday as he fell asleep.

He texted Harry as he brushed his teeth the next morning.

How do you feel about toys?

Harry’s response was simple and effective, and came a couple of hours later while Louis was in a meeting.

green ;)

Louis heard Eleanor cough next to him, and looked over, cursing silently when he remembered she had his iPad and seeing that she had his iMessage pulled up. If he could fire her, he totally would. The fact that they’d been friends since secondary kind of screwed that up though, not to mention she probably knew more valuable information about the company than he did.

He threw her a look and she bit her lip to keep from laughing, but switched back over to where she’d been taking notes for him before. When the meeting was over, Eleanor followed Louis outside to smoke a cigarette, both of them shivering in the end of November cold.

He lit his cigarette and turned to her. “Honestly, do you know what boundaries are? I know where you were raised, and I know it wasn’t in a barn.”

Eleanor chuckled and grabbed Louis’ lighter. “It literally popped up on the screen, dumbass. I clicked the message by accident, don’t get your panties in a bunch.”

Louis rolled his eyes. As if Eleanor wouldn’t go through his messages anyway. It normally wouldn’t be a big deal, they didn’t tend to keep secrets from each other, but everything that could be revealed about his relationship with Harry had Louis a bit on edge.

“Although,” Eleanor continued, and her voice sounded entirely too smug. “It does kind of explain why when I turned your iPad on this morning, you were reading a handbook on BDSM.”

Louis almost choked on his own spit and cursed. He’d completely forgotten to close out of all of his apps before lending his iPad to Eleanor that morning. He turned to her with wide eyes, prepared to explain himself, but she looked positively giddy.

“Are you and Harry in the scene?” she asked, tapping her cigarette. “How did I not know this about you? I’m a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t realize, to be honest.”

What?!” Louis sputtered. What, the fuck?!

“It’s how Max and I met, you know,” she continued, completely oblivious to the fact that Louis was just standing there, gaping at her like a fish.

“WHAT?!” he said again, nearly shouting this time.

Eleanor looked at him with a blank face. “You’re... in the scene, right? I mean, I guess you could have been reading that book out of curiosity, but then the text with Harry… Sorry, I just assumed. And it would make sense? Harry’s so much younger than you… and you met on the internet...”

Two days ago, talking to someone about the stuff going on with Harry would have mortified Louis. But he trusted Eleanor more than most people, and she seemed to know what she was talking about. And had she said that she met Max in the scene. Louis sucked on his cigarette as he gathered his thoughts and blew the smoke out slowly.

“It’s, um,” he started, reaching up to fix his fringe. “We’re trying it out.”

Eleanor nodded. “Newbies. Gotcha.”

Louis swallowed uncomfortably and Eleanor took pity on him.

“If you have any questions, I’ve been in the scene since uni. But if you’re not comfortable talking to me about it, I could tell you when the next London munches are. If you’re interested at all. Everyone is really discreet.”

Munches. Small get togethers for people interested in BDSM and new to the scene. Louis had done enough research to know about munches. He didn’t know one of his best friends had been in the scene for ten plus years though. His mind whirled, wondering how Eleanor got involved, if she was a Dom or a Sub.

Who was he kidding? He’d put money on her being a Dom. A lot of money. He knew she and Max got up to kinky shit in their spare time.

“I don’t know, El,” he said after a moment. “Everything is so new and intense as it is. I think we’ll take it easy for now.”

Eleanor nodded in understanding. “Alright, babes.”

“I really like him,” Louis whispered, hating how vulnerable he sounded. He just wanted to give Harry so much, test his limits and take care of him. He wasn’t sure he’d ever get over how much he wanted to do for Harry.

“I know,” Eleanor replied, reaching over to give Louis’ arm a squeeze.

They finished their cigarettes and went back inside to work, the weight of what they now knew about each other settling surprisingly easily between them.

---

Louis and Harry texted each other several times over the next couple of days to hash out the details of their date, and eventually decided on just spending a casual evening at Louis’ house. Neither of them really had the energy to dress up and go somewhere nice.

Louis pulled out a bottle of wine and greeted Harry in jeans and a jumper. Harry was wearing the same thing, although his jumper was loud and patterned. Of course.  

“Hey,” he greeted Louis with a smile and a kiss to the cheek. He had his book bag slung around his shoulder, which Louis took to mean he’d come over straight from the library. He looked a bit more frazzled than usual, his hair pulled back into a messy bun and his face unshaven. Not that he had a lot of facial hair, but Louis could see the beginnings of a patchy beard. It was cute.

“When do exams start?” Louis asked him as he took Harry’s bag from him and hung it on the coatrack in the front entrance, before leading him to the kitchen.

“Monday for grad students,” Harry told him as he followed. “The next week for undergrad. I’ve got to proctor a few of those.”

Louis hadn’t realized end of term was so close. He made a mental note to have Eleanor send gift baskets to Daisy and Phoebs.

“Remind me why I thought more school was a good idea?” Harry asked, sliding onto one of the island stools while Louis poured him a glass of wine.

“Well, I don’t think school is ever a bad idea,” Louis told him. Although he could admit it certainly might seem like it at the time, when you’re ready to pull your hair out over the amount of coursework you have, or after you’ve done poorly on an assignment and you’re upset over it. Or, as it had frequently been in Louis’ case, when you just can’t find the motivation to revise. 

“I suppose you’re right,” Harry allowed, and then he made a face, scrunching up his nose. “Actually I changed my mind, can we not talk about school, please?”

He looked at Louis meaningfully and Louis moved into his space, pushing his legs apart to step in between them.

“Want me to take your mind off of it?”

He watched in fascination as Harry’s pupils dilated and his breathing got a bit heavier. “Yeah.”

There were so many things Louis wanted, but he'd settle for kissing him for now.  He wrapped his arms around Harry's neck and kissed him long and slow, taking his time nibbling and licking into his mouth. They would have time to get rough like Harry wanted in a bit. Now that he had it on a semi-regular basis, Louis craved this intimacy when he was alone.

Harry pulled back to take a breath and Louis kissed down his neck, pushing the neck of his oversized jumper out of the way to suck on his collarbone

“What do you want from me, Harry?” Louis asked, kissing the bruise that was forming on Harry's skin.

“Don’t care,” Harry whined deep in his throat. “Just want you.”

Louis smiled against Harry’s skin and wrapped his fingers around the belt loops of his jeans, pulling on them until Harry stood up. They rushed to the bedroom and Louis paused in the doorway to watch as Harry hurriedly undressed himself, throwing his clothes to the floor. Louis swallowed, watching the muscles in Harry’s back as he slid his jumper over his head. He had to get his hands on him.

He got rid of his own clothes, sliding them off and letting them fall to the floor, and walked over to his dresser to retrieve the new vibrator he bought out of his underwear drawer. He turned around and held it up for Harry to see, raising his eyebrows in question.

“Yeah,” Harry nodded, voice lowering about an octave as he sat down on the bed. He sounded wrecked already.

Louis’ heart thudded in his chest. He grabbed lube and a condom from the bedside table and knelt down on the bed next to Harry, gesturing for him to lay down. Harry immediately moved to wrap his hands around Louis’ headboard. This was routine now, but Louis still had to keep himself from whining at the sight, from knowing how much trust Harry was giving him with the gesture.

He straddled Harry’s waist and leaned down to kiss him, pressing their bodies together and rocking his hips down against Harry’s hardening cock. He reached up to take the tie out of Harry’s hair and rake his fingers through the messy curls. Harry sighed into Louis’ mouth and rocked his hips up to meet him. Louis bit Harry’s lip before kissing down his body.

He slid down to sit in between Harry’s legs and grabbed the lube, and Harry spread his legs instantly and shifted his hips in anticipation. Louis slicked his fingers up with lube and teased his rim, pressing a finger in at the same time that he took Harry's dick into his mouth. Harry was so big that Louis couldn't swallow him all of the way down, so he made up for it by sliding a second finger into Harry and searching for his prostate.

Harry's legs kicked when Louis found it and he cursed breathily. "Shit."

Louis worked him up to three fingers quickly, loving how worked up Harry was already. They'd barely even started. Harry was going to be a mess by the time Louis was done with him. He couldn’t wait.

He pulled off and looked up at Harry, who was panting with his eyes closed.

"Baby," Louis said, and Harry opened his eyes and lifted his head, looking down at him with pupils blown wide. Louis almost groaned, being the center of that intense gaze.

"Want you to come in my mouth," he instructed. "Okay?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah."

Louis crooked his fingers, smiling at Harry's answering moan. "And then I want you to come again later, but not until I tell you."

Harry’s eyes wondered over Louis face before he let his head drop back down to the bed. "Fuck, okay."

Louis bent his head and took Harry down as far as he could go without gagging. He worked his fingers as he sucked on Harry’s cock, pulling up to tease the head with his tongue and then licking back down. He could tell Harry was getting close when he started moving his hips in abortive thrusts, trying to thrust up into Louis’ mouth and rock down on his fingers at the same time. Also by the way he murmured a stream of “close, close, close, please, close,” under his breath. God, he fell apart so beautifully.

Louis pressed against Harry’s prostate mercilessly and sucked hard, and Harry came with a long, low groan, his hips bucking off the bed. Louis swallowed what he could, catching what he couldn’t in his hand and wiping his hand on the sheets

He rested his cheek against Harry’s thigh for a moment, giving Harry time to come down, before he pulled his fingers out of Harry slowly and grabbed the vibrator.

“Cute,” Harry giggled, gesturing to the vibrator and then wrapping his hand around the headboard again.

“Vibrators aren’t cute, Harold,” Louis rolled his eyes and started slicking the vibrator up with lube.

“It’s pink,” Harry argued, and he was still slightly out of breath. “It’s cute.”

“You’re cute,” Louis countered, and then he slowly slid the vibrator into Harry’s ass without any warning

“Fucking,” Harry collapsed against the pillows again, bucking his hips. “You’re going to kill me.”

Louis smirked and kissed his hip, holding him down as he traced the laurel tattoo there with his tongue. “Well that wasn’t the plan at all.”

“Fuck me, fuck me,” Harry whined, riding the vibrator desperately. “Just fuck me.”

“Love how desperate you get, baby,” Louis murmured, sucking a mark into Harry’s thigh as he slid the toy back out and then back in.

Harry reached down to through his fingers through Louis' hair, pulling at the strands. Louis nearly groaned, but looked up at Harry with a stern stare instead. Harry remembered himself and quickly removed his hand, tossing it back over his head again.

"Sorry, Daddy."

Louis' heart jumped in his chest and he smiled in approval. He would never get tired of hearing that and he hoped Harry needed to say it as much as Louis needed to hear it. "Good boy."

He turned the vibrator on and Harry keened, his eyes rolling back in his head, his knuckles turning white from how tightly he was grasping the headboard. He was beautiful.

Louis built up a steady rhythm with the vibrator and reached with his other hand to pump Harry’s cock. Harry let out a desperate sob, his ass clenching around the toy as he thrusted up into Louis’ hand. Louis could tell he was trying hard not to come, his body starting to glisten with sweat and his hair sticking to his red face.

“Gorgeous,” Louis murmured, switching up the speed on the vibrator and watching in awe as Harry bit his lip and let out a muffled scream. Louis nearly came himself.

“Louis, please,” Harry whimpered a moment later. “Want your cock.”

Louis was quite willing to give it to him, but he wanted to keep Harry guessing. Predictability was boring. He weighed his options as he squeezed the base of Harry’s dick. Inspiration struck, and he smirked, leaving the vibe inside of Harry and moving to sit across his chest.

“Yeah?” He asked, looking down into Harry's eyes. “Want my cock?”

Harry nodded in excitement, shifting underneath him. “Please, Daddy. Want it so bad.”

“Okay baby,” Louis reached over Harry’s head to wraps his hands around Harry’s wrists and press down. “Open up.”

Harry’s eyes widened in surprise and Louis bit his lip. “Color?” he checked in, wanting to make sure this was still okay.

“Green!” Harry practically yelled. “Green, green, green.”

Fuck, he was so eager for it. Louis took a deep breath and watched Harry do the same, before Louis' guided his cock into his mouth with a groan. Harry hummed around him and closed his eyes briefly, lifting his head up so Louis could feel himself in the back of his throat.

"Look at me," Louis whispered. Harry’s eyes fluttered open to meet Louis’. God, he was so gorgeous. Louis gazed down into his beautiful eyes, now glassy and a little watery, and lifted up and thrust back in. Louis groaned. He was so close already, so he used Harry’s mouth, rocking his hips until he came, Harry swallowing him down instantly.

They stayed in the same spot for a moment, Louis recovering and Harry holding his softening cock in his mouth, looking content as all fuck.

Louis slid out of his mouth after a moment and reveled in how blissed out Harry looked. His hands still where they were supposed to be and his body shifting underneath Louis, dick probably painfully hard by now, but he had a small smile on his face and kept blinking up at Louis lazily. Louis wanted to be on the receiving end of that look forever.

He leaned down to kiss him and Harry sighed contentedly in his mouth. Louis reached down to jack Harry off again as they kissed, to find that his cock was leaking precome. He pulled away and Harry made a distressed sound, but Louis shushed him and moved back down his body, teasing his nipples for a brief moment on the way.

“You ready to come, kitten?” Louis asked him, playing with the vibrator again, watching the way Harry clenched around it.

“Daddy,” Harry whimpered in response, which Louis took to mean yes.

“Okay, baby,” he said, running his hands over Harry’s thighs in an effort to soothe him. “Come whenever you’re ready.”

He switched settings on the vibrator again and worked it against Harry’s prostate. Harry came a handful of seconds later with a cry and Louis watched in awe as his entire body arched off of the bed. He turned off the toy and slid it out of Harry slowly and Harry collapsed bonelessly back against the sheets, breath coming out in pants.

Louis tossed the toy to the side and kissed Harry’s stomach sweetly, nuzzling against him when he felt Harry’s arms wrap around him.  

"Be right back," Louis whispered after a moment, intending to get up and grab a washcloth from the bathroom to wash them off, but Harry held on to him.

"Daddy, no," he whined, wrapping his arms around Louis' waist.

Louis laughed and turned around in Harry's arms to make a joke about how he never knew Harry was the clingy type, but he stopped when he got a good look at him. Harry's eyes were totally vacant and he had this dopey smile on his face Louis had never seen before. He looked almost high.

Louis had read about this. If his suspicions were right, Harry was floating around in subspace. From his understanding, subs didn't usually go to subspace unless there was some kind of intense pain play involved. There were exceptions of course, but that was the norm. Louis didn't think it would happen like this, but Harry seemed to be one of the exceptions. Which meant Louis most likely needed to administer some kind of aftercare so he didn't drop. The websites and books suggested that subs hydrated and ate fresh fruit. Some subs wanted affection, while others didn't want to be bothered.

It seemed like Harry was going to want affection, but Louis was not at all prepared -emotionally or otherwise- to give him the aftercare he needed. He could fuck everything up so easily if he wasn't careful.

Get a grip, Tommo. He's the vulnerable one right now. Not you.

"Harry," he said gently. No response. Louis’ heart sped up a bit in his chest, on the verge of panic.

"Baby, are you listening?"

Harry hummed, and Louis sighed in relief. He figured that was as good as much out of Harry as he was going to get right now.

"Love, I've got to get up for a second, but I promise I'll be right back. Okay?"

Harry made a face and whined again, but nodded slowly. Louis got up reluctantly and ran to get a bottle of water from the kitchen. He looked around and grabbed a banana from the bunch on the counter as well before heading back to his bedroom.

He passed the bed and kissed Harry's forehead and ran a hand through his hair before he went to the bathroom to get a washcloth. When he got back to the bed, he sat up against the headboard and helped Harry move to lay in between his legs with his head on Louis chest. He allowed himself to be moved easily, practically purring when Louis ran the washcloth over his chest to clean him off.

“Such a good boy for me, Hazza,” Louis murmured as he finished cleaning him off. “Love the way you fall apart.” He tossed the washcloth to the side and wrapped his arms around Harry. “So perfect.” He ran gentle fingers through his hair.

He fed Harry bites of the banana and made him drink about half of the water bottle while he muttered nonsense to him and stroked his hair. It didn't take too long for Harry to come back to himself, stirring in Louis’ arms.

“Harry... are you with me?” Louis asked hesitantly.

In response, Harry turned in Louis’ arms and placed a small kiss to his shoulder. He smiled up at him before he laid his head back down on Louis’ chest promptly fell asleep. Louis wasn’t far behind him.

---

Harry woke up the next morning feeling really disoriented. Louis was still sleeping next to him, which was a first. Harry usually woke up in bed alone when he spent the night with Louis. After seeing how peaceful and cute Louis looked while he was sleeping, Harry wasn't sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing that he hadn't witnessed this before now.

The night before came back to him in flashes. He'd completely lost himself, practically turned into a pile of jello that couldn’t form complete sentences. A floaty, nonsensical mess. But fuck, if the release hadn’t been exactly what he needed. He’d felt so relaxed and content in Louis’ arms, in a way he’d never felt with anybody before. He just wasn’t sure if it was smart of him to give up complete trust to someone like that, especially to an arrangement. He was becoming way too dependent on Louis

Suddenly, being in bed with Louis felt a bit suffocating. He needed to get out of here, go to the library and throw himself into his studies again, instead of doing… whatever it was he and Louis were doing.    

He slid out of bed quietly and tip toed around the room, gathering up his clothes. He didn’t even recognize himself. He’d never been one to sneak away after a night of sex.

Louis stirred when Harry was sliding his jumper back on over his head.

"Harry?" he mumbled, reaching out for him in the bed and coming up empty. Harry sighed. He was pulling such a dick move, leaving after a night like last night.

Louis opened his eyes and blinked in confusion and Harry walked over to him.

"I'm sorry, I've got to go to the library," he whispered. "Text me later."

Louis accepted that easily and puckered his lips for a kiss so Harry leant down for a peck, heart stuttering in his chest when Louis smiled sleepily at him and murmured a goodbye.

As one should with all possible sugar arrangement disasters, Harry texted Rita. They made plans to go to lunch the next day so she could help sort out Harry’s life.

 

So the next day, as per usual, he found himself waiting for her at their favorite restaurant. Rita was beyond late. It was clear by the sympathetic looks the waitress kept throwing his way, that she was starting to think Harry was getting stood up, no matter how many times he reassured her that Rita was coming. When she finally arrived, she made an entrance.

“Harry!” she squealed, running over to him and ambushing him with a hug. She was wearing skin tight black leather pants with a full length coat and a fur scarf, her make-up done immaculately and her platinum hair curled perfectly. Rita never let Harry down.

“I was so glad you texted me!” Rita said, sitting down across from him. “We’ve haven’t met up in ages. What’s new?”

“Let’s talk about you first,” Harry suggested. “I’m afraid I’ll hog the conversation.”

Something in his tone must have caught her attention and her eyes filled with concern, but she complied.

“Nothing new with me, love,” she said, shrugging out of her coat and unwrapping the scarf from her neck. She was wearing a plain black shirt underneath with a handful of gold necklaces dangling from her neck.  “Same old, same old. You know me.”

She told him a bit about the POTs she was seeing, and her new roommate. The waiter came to take their orders and then Rita changed the subject. “So what’s up?”

Harry ran his hands over his face. “I’m falling for my new arrangement. Like, really falling for him, and I’m freaking the fuck out.”

“Okay,” Rita held up her hand. “Slow down for a sec.” Harry paused and sat back. “First things first… I didn’t even know you were in a new arrangement? I knew you were meeting with POTs, but you found a good one?”

Harry groaned and nodded. “Really good one. Four dates for twelve thousand a month starter plus trips and gifts.”

Rita whistled low under her breath. “Damn. And you like him?”

Harry ran a hand through his hair. She had absolutely no idea. “A lot. And it’s freaking me out.”

Rita laughed and took a sip of her water. “I hate to say it, love, but if any of us was gonna fall for a crusty old man, it was gonna be you.”

“He’s not a crusty old man, though,” Harry told her. “He’s only thirty-three. And he’s like… gorgeous.”

Rita wrinkled her nose. "What the hell is wrong with him then?”

Harry chuckled. “That’s what I said. But there’s nothing wrong with him as far as I can tell.”

“Have you slept with him yet?” she asked. Harry could see her wheels turning as she tried to figure out what could possibly be wrong with Louis, why someone young, attractive and successful would need to pay for dates. “Maybe he has like… performance issues?”

If only. Their sex was quite possibly ruining Harry’s life. He would never be able to go back to plain vanilla now that he had experimented with Louis. And luckily, Louis wanted it just as much as Harry did. Unluckily, Harry was absolutely fucked to find anyone else ever again. You couldn’t just go up to anyone and ask them to tie you up and spank you--not that he’d asked Louis to spank him yet. But he wanted to, and he was pretty sure Louis would be more than happy to oblige.

“Trust me,” he said to Rita. “He doesn’t have performance issues. Far from it.”

She smirked. “That good, huh?” Harry made a face in the affirmative. "Get in."

She paused their conversation when the waiter brought out their food. “Well maybe he’s got loads of baggage or something, then.”

“We’ve all got baggage,” Harry shrugged. “And I wouldn’t mind knowing his to be honest.”

Rita sighed, and Harry knew he was being difficult. She was trying to help him, and he wasn’t going along. “Well Harry, I don’t know what to tell you. What’s your problem with him exactly?”

“This isn’t supposed to happen!” he exclaimed. “You’re not supposed to fall for your arrangements! It just screws everything up.”

“Um,” Rita narrowed her eyebrows, “...why?”

“He’s paying me!” Harry was exasperated. He couldn’t believe he was having to explain this to Rita. Rita was supposed to make everything better, not just confuse him more.

She rolled her eyes. “So? Why can't you have an arrangement with feelings for once? I've always wanted one. What you might possibly have is what literally every sugar baby wants, and most of us aren't that lucky."

Harry supposed that was true. When he’d first started, he remembered wanting to have feelings for his arrangements, but he quickly realized that the chances were slim, and having feelings would just put his professionalism in jeopardy anyway. It was already happening. He’d given Louis two freebies already, and he texted him more than he normally would an arrangement.

“I don’t even know if he likes me in that way, though,” Harry said. Bloody hell, he sounded like he was back in fucking secondary.

“Honey,” Rita scolded him. “Come on. Everyone likes you in that way.”

Harry rolled his eyes and shook his head at her.

“Look,” Rita crossed her arms in front of her. “Your situation is rare, but it's not unheard of. I mean… Cara left the bowl to be partners with her sugar mama, and you know Cara never went exclusive for anyone."

Harry briefly remembered Rita’s friend Cara going through his situation the year before, caught up with her feelings for her arrangement, but not wanting to cut ties. She’d been a mess. He hadn’t seen her in forever though, didn’t know she ended up leaving the bowl for the woman.

“Only you can decide what to do, babes,” Rita shrugged. “But I’d try to keep him.”

Harry wished that idea didn’t scare him as much as it did. Maybe he just needed to back off for a few days, take a breather from Louis while he studied for exams. He’d distance himself from the situation and then go back in with a clear head. Yeah, that’s what he’d do.

 

Things got even more complicated the next Thursday. Harry’s exams were finally over and having come up with some shitty excuse for why he couldn’t see Louis, the rest of Harry’s weekend was devoted to grading the final papers his discussion groups had written for the end of term. He was glad to almost be done with it. How so many of them got to uni with such atrocious grammar was beyond him.

Anyway, he was glad to have an excuse not to end up spending the weekend with Louis again. Lines were getting way too blurred and Harry really needed the time to clear his head.

He woke up from a power nap on Thursday afternoon to a text from an old, familiar number that threw everything even more off.

Hey, it's David. Hope you’re well. Not sure if you're seeing anyone right now or what your current arrangement status is and I know this is short notice, but I'm in London and would love to see you tomorrow and catch up if you're available.

Harry swallowed. He knew it wasn’t out of the ordinary for past sugar daddies to contact previous arrangements, whether it be to catch up or go on the occasional date, and it seemed like David was suggesting both, but Harry was still caught off guard. He hadn’t talked to David in nearly half a year, not since Harry had wished him a happy birthday in August.

He thought about the pros and cons of seeing David again. With the holidays coming up, he figured it wouldn’t hurt any to have some extra cash. He’d really be able to go all out with presents for his mum and Robin and Gemma this year. And Harry wouldn’t mind catching up. The only con was Louis. Harry felt kind of… wrong… for even considering going on a date with someone else. Which was stupid, right? He and Louis had never agreed to exclusivity, and Harry never would have thought twice about this with any of his other arrangements. His and Louis’ arrangement was still fairly new, so it would only be expected for Harry to still try out other things. Right? David was an easy and safe extra grand. It would be stupid of Harry to turn him down.

He sat up in bed and talked himself into why going on a date with David was a good idea for a good ten minutes, before carefully wording a text back.

I'm in an arrangement right now. It's not exclusive, but I'm not really looking to start another. If you aren't wanting to start back with something long term, then I can definitely be free for you tomorrow :)

He got out of bed and gathered his stuff together to go grade at the library while he waited for a text back, which came a few minutes later.

No, nothing long term. Just a one off. Dinner at my hotel at 7? I'd like it if you stayed the night if that's agreeable.

Harry wasn’t surprised. This would be a standard David date. He always treated Harry to an extravagant dinner, and then wanted him to stay the night. He never pressured, but always gave Harry the option. Harry hadn’t expected anything else.

Sounds great!

He almost locked his phone again, before he saw that David had started typing, so he waited patiently for the text back.

Great. I'll text you the details tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

Harry slid his phone in his back pocket and sighed. What the fuck was he doing?

 

 

Chapter Text

Louis saw and heard from Harry a significantly lesser amount over the days following what he was now dubbing ‘The Subspace Incident’. Louis tried to convince himself it wasn’t a big deal; Harry was still living up to his side of the arrangement. Louis wasn’t his boyfriend. Harry didn’t need to text him outside of date planning, didn’t need to spend extra time with Louis if he didn’t want to. It was the end of term, and he was probably just busy with revising and coursework. Still, Louis couldn’t help worrying that he’d done something wrong, gone too far with the sex stuff or done something else that had Harry upset with him. He couldn’t help feeling like they’d shared a special bond that Harry was now ignoring, and he was at a loss for what to do.

“What’s up with you?” Liam asked on Thursday night. It was a little after nine, and they were sorting through paperwork in Louis’ home office while Niall sat in the corner and picked at his guitar. After fretting about Harry all day, Louis was in a mood.

He slammed his filing cabinet closed in annoyance. “What do you mean?”

Liam coughed and raised his eyebrows pointedly and Niall chuckled. Louis ducked his head sheepishly.

“He means that you’re back to normal,” Niall explained, without looking up from his guitar, fingerpicking away. “For the past two months, ever since you started your thing with Harry, you’ve been pleasant to be around. And now you’re tense as shit again, mate.”

Louis sighed and collapsed down into his desk chair. Was he really that transparent? Or did his friends just know him too well?

“Is something up with Harry?” Liam asked, leaning his hip against the edge of Louis’ desk. “I thought things were going great with your whole… thing.”

Louis rolled his eyes. Of course Liam would act like he wasn’t one of the original enablers of Harry and Louis’ thing. Always playing the innocent bystander.

“They were going a bit too good,” Louis admitted to his friends. Niall stopped his strumming and turned his full attention to Louis. “I think that may be the problem. I don’t really know.”

He paused. That had to be it. All of the time they’d spent together outside of their arrangement guidelines... Maybe the daddy thing was a bit too much. Maybe Harry had the right idea and Louis should also be trying to distance himself.

“I think maybe the lines were getting blurred a bit?” Louis continued, running a hand over his face. “So now he’s distancing himself from me?”

“How do you mean?” Liam asked.

“Like,” Louis paused and spinned around slowly in his chair. “He was more forward and open with me at the beginning? And he’d text me a lot and we hung out even when we weren’t on arranged dates. I don’t know, I’m probably making something out of nothing, but we weren’t exactly acting professional.”

“Maybe he was laying it on thick at the beginning to seal the deal,” Niall suggested. “Like, now he’s got you so he doesn’t have to try as hard anymore.”

Louis considered that. It was a possibility, but he didn’t think so. Harry’s actions had never felt in-genuine.

“I think I might have freaked him out with the sex stuff.” Louis admitted.

Niall started laughing.

Liam coughed. “Sex stuff?”

Louis huffed. There was no way he was getting into this with Niall and Liam. Eleanor was probably the better person to ask. “Never mind. I don’t actually want to have this discussion.”

Niall shrugged and turned back to his guitar, fingers playing the strings. “Suit yourself, mate. You brought it up.”

Louis listened with interest as Niall played and hummed a pretty tune. He looked up at Liam, to see that Niall had his interest as well.

“That’s good,” Louis said softly after a moment. “What is that?”

Niall stopped plucking and looked up with a groan. “Just this piece I’ve been working on forever, but I can’t ever get it right. Don’t have the right lyrics to put with it, you know? It’s driving me mad.”

Louis pulled a notebook out of this desk, stood up and walked over to sit down next to Niall, happy for the distraction. “What have you got so far?”

“Hey, yeah!” Niall sat up straighter in excitement and gestured Liam over too. “The three of us haven’t written together in fucking ages.”

Louis smiled sadly. He hadn’t written anything in ages period, which was a huge shame. He used to love writing. He and Liam bonded over a love for writing music at uni, and they met Niall at a songwriting workshop they’d started when the two of them were seniors and Niall was a freshman. Sometimes it was so easy for Louis to forget how he got to where he was in the first place. All he’d wanted to do was express his love for music with others, and give the people who wanted to do the same a chance. That was why he worked so hard, put in so much time. Everyone deserved that chance.

Liam pulled over a chair and sat across from Niall and Louis as Niall started to play again.

“I’m like a crow on a wire,” Niall sang softly. “You’re the distraction that makes me fly. I’m like a boat on the water, you’re the raise of the waves that calm my mind.”

“What about shining distraction?” Liam suggested, then sang the words, adding his own inflections. He’d always had an incredible voice. “You’re the shining distraction that makes me fly.”

They worked on the song well into the night, coming away with a heart breaking ballad about wronged love. Louis didn’t miss the sad looks Liam and Niall threw his way as he worked out the chorus, singing about being used but still falling in love with the person anyway.

“Lou,” Liam said softly when they were finished. “Are you sure everything is okay with Harry?”

Louis sighed and shrugged. The more he thought about it, the more he realized he honestly didn’t know the answer to that question.

Niall cleared his throat. “Zayn and I make it a point not to talk about you and Harry a lot, but from what he’s said, I do kind of get the impression that Harry’s a bit wishy washy and scared of his feelings. I can ask Zayn more about it though, if you want.”

“I’ll be fine,” Louis shook his head. He didn’t want to pry into Harry’s life. If Harry had a serious problem, hopefully he’d come to Louis. Louis couldn’t ask for any more than that. “It’s just a different situation than I’m used to. I like him a lot, and things are weird because of what our relationship is. But I’m a big boy, I can take care of myself.”

Niall putting his arm around Louis and squeezing his side. “Sorry. We kind of got you into this.”

“It’s fine, Nialler,” Louis assured him, leaning into his side.

“Well, at least you’re going home tomorrow,” Liam said. “Maybe some time away will do you good!”

Louis smiled. Liam had a point there. The twins were done with classes, so Louis was driving them back home for the weekend, just in time to also attend his best mate Stan's engagement party. Which he may or may not have completely forgotten about until Eleanor reminded him earlier in the week. Louis had a lot on his plate, okay? But he was excited to see old friends and his family. He had an event to go to on Christmas Eve, so he wasn’t sure he’d get to see them for his birthday or the holidays.

"Hope you're right," Louis said with a yawn, which was Liam and Niall’s queue to leave. They picked up the office and headed out, telling Louis to have a fun and safe trip.

 

Louis and Eleanor picked Daisy and Phoebe up from the campus at 9:00 the next morning, the four of them struggling to fit all of their luggage into the back of Louis' Range Rover. Eleanor had decided to tag along on their road trip earlier in the week, since she was a friend of Stan’s as well, and Max couldn’t make it.

Eleanor sat in the back, because she had work to do, which resulted in Daisy and Phoebe bickering over shotgun for a good five minutes. In the end they made a compromise that Daisy could sit in the front and they'd switch halfway through, but Louis and Daisy both knew that Phoebe would fall asleep about half an hour into the trip and would stay asleep until they got home.

Sure enough, Phoebe had her headphones in her ears and her head was resting against the window about twenty minutes later.

"So how were exams?" Louis asked Daisy, turning the radio down low so Phoebe could sleep. "You smashed 'em, yeah?"

Daisy nodded. "Hope so! After all of that revision, I better have aced everything. Grades don’t go out until next week."

Thankfully, Daisy didn’t take after him and had always been a great student. Louis was sure she’d done just fine. Phoebe, on the other hand, gave him more reason to worry, but he’d get to her later.

"Which class was your favorite?" he asked Daisy, smiling to himself. He used to ask the same types of questions when he was still at home and the girls were in primary. He couldn’t believe how old they were all getting.

"Probably political science," she said after a moments consideration. Louis squeezed the steering wheel a bit tighter, thinking of Harry, whom he still hadn’t heard from.

"The lecture was just okay," Daisy continued. "But we had this small group discussion class once a week, and the TA for that was really cool. He had this really deep and slow voice, which was annoying when I was sleepy, but he made class fun and interesting most days. And he graded pretty easily."

Louis swallowed. A political science TA with a deep, slow voice. Chances were probably pretty slim that there was more than one of those at the same university.   

"What was his name?" Louis asked.

"Harry," Daisy said, confirming Louis' suspicions.

Eleanor, who Louis had honestly forgotten was in the backseat, leaned forward excitedly. "Wait. Louis, isn't your Harry a political science TA?"

"Um," Louis said. "Yeah."

"What does she mean, 'your Harry'?" Daisy asked, and Louis knew that death was soon going to be upon him. His family was going to start plotting his demise as soon as he got home.

"You know," Eleanor grinned, and Louis never should have agreed to letting her tag along on this trip. The fucking meddler. "His boyfriend."

Daisy gasped and bounced up and down in her seat, slapping Louis' arm. "Nobody told us you had a boyfriend!"

"That's because nobody knew," Louis said with a sigh, before looking up into the rearview mirror to glare at Eleanor.

Nobody knew, because there wasn’t anything for them to know about, but Louis supposed Eleanor couldn’t have known that. Of course she’d think his family knew about Harry. He told his family everything, and if Harry was anyone else, his family would know about him by now. Still. He was going to be angry at her anyway.

"Oops?" Eleanor said, biting her lip and looking at him questioningly.

"Wait," Daisy said, slapping Louis' arm again. "You're dating my poli sci TA?!"

Louis winced, making a mental note to text Harry about this later. "Sounds like it."

Daisy turned around in her seat and shouted Phoebe's name, reaching over to yank out her headphones. Louis ran a hand over his face. He suddenly wished he wasn't going home at all. The twins were going to tell everybody about Harry, and this weekend was supposed to be a small escape where he didn't have to think about Harry. There was absolutely no way that was happening now.

"Jesus, what is it?" Phoebe asked, sleepily blinking at everyone in annoyance. “I just barely fell asleep!”

"LOUIS IS DATING MY POLI SCI TA!" Daisy shouted. Louis cursed and glared at Eleanor in the rearview mirror again. As least she had enough sense to look appropriately apologetic.

“Sorry, Lou,” she said. “I didn’t realize it was a secret.”

"What?" Phoebe blinked some more. “What’s a secret?”

"Harry," Daisy elaborated. "My poli sci TA. Louis is dating him."

Phoebe looked at Louis now. "What?! Isn't he like, way younger than you? How old is he?"

Louis lifted his head to the heavens and prayed for a speedy death.

"He's twenty-three," he admitted. Honestly, it wasn't that much of a difference. He didn't need people going on about it.

Louis looked at Phoebe in the rearview mirror and she wrinkled her nose.

"How did you even meet someone that much younger than you?"

"Um," Louis cleared his throat, trying to remember what Harry had told Eleanor a few weeks ago. "The internet."

"Like a dating website?" Phoebe laughed. "You don't use the internet."

Louis scoffed. "What do you mean I don't use the internet? I was a social media manager for two years!"

"Yeah, but that's work," Daisy said. "You're not one to use the internet for fun."

Eleanor came to his rescue, and rightfully so, since she was the one who got him into this mess. "Louis can let loose every now and then. He's like a changed person now that he's getting shagged regularly."

"Okay, ew." Daisy sat back in her seat. "I don't want to think about my brother and my teacher shagging.” She paused, considering. “He's hot though, so good job I guess."

“Yeah, yeah,” Louis dismissed them all and turned the radio back on, thoroughly ready to move on from this conversation. The four of them sat in silence for a few minutes until Phoebe giggled conspiratorially in the backseat.

"Mum is going to kill you."

 

Louis’ mum didn't necessarily kill him, but she did sit him down for a long discussion after everyone else went to sleep that night.

"Thought you said you were going to tell me if it became something serious," she said, accusation in her tone as she placed a cup of tea in front of him and joined him at the kitchen table. At least she didn’t sound hurt, which Louis was afraid of. She just sounded annoyed.

"Eleanor kind of jumped the gun," Louis told her. He couldn't believe he was about to sit here and lie to his mum. He’d never been anything but honest with her before. "We aren't like, official or anything."

Jay raised her eyebrows. "It's the same guy you were with a couple of months ago, right?" Louis nodded. "And you're still not official?"

He shrugged. "It's complicated. I don't think he's as into it as I am." At least that bit was the truth.

Jay hummed sympathetically. "You always manage to find yourself in these situations, don't you? What have I told you before about proper communication? Or do you like having your heart broken?"

Louis thought always was a bit of an exaggeration. He’d only dated a handful of people in his lifetime, but he knew she was referring to his on again off again thing with Nick. There had been a bunch of crossed wires in that relationship. First ,Louis fell a bit too hard for Nick, and then the second time around Nick fell a bit too hard for Louis. They were a mess.

In fact, now that Louis thought about it, Nick might be just the right person to talk to about this. He knew Louis’ feelings better than just about anyone. And he wouldn’t judge Louis for the bit where he was paying Harry.

Jay went to bed shortly after their talk, announcing that she would be making pancakes in the morning and kissing Louis’ on the forehead.

Louis sat at the table and finished his tea, then put the kettle on for another cup. He grabbed his mug once the tea was ready, and passed through the house, gathering a blanket from the couch and his jacket before heading outside to the garden to make a phone call. He sat down in one of the lawn chairs and bundled up as he dialed Nick’s number.

As the phone continued to ring, Louis realized there was a good chance he wouldn’t answer. It was a Friday night after all, and Nick liked being social. But just when Louis was about to give up and end the call, he heard a groan on the other end.

“Oi,” Nick said gruffly, and Louis smiled. “Some of us try to go to bed at a decent hour around here.”

“Piss off,” Louis rolled his eyes. He’d missed Nick, forgot how easy he was to talk to and banter with. “It’s not that late. You were awake.”

Nick chuckled. “Might’ve been. Phone was hidden in the couch and I was going mad. How’ve you been, mate?”

“Good, good,” Louis replied, sipping at his tea. “You?”

“Can’t complain,” Nick said, and then went on to talk about what he was up to. Louis half listened, responding only when necessary, as he thought about Harry. He wondered what Harry was up to, if he was wondering the same about Louis. They were due for another date; he must be wondering about Louis, right?

“Alright,” Nick said after a few minutes. “What gives? What’s on your mind? The only time the illustrious Louis Tomlinson rings me anymore is when he wants a deep chat or a fuck, and you know I’m seeing someone right now so it can’t be the latter...”  

“Just had a conversation with my mum. She thinks I like getting my heart broken,” Louis said, just diving right in.

Nick hummed. “Tell me about him?”

“Well, at least it’s not that Nick Grimshaw bastard again,” Louis teased, needing to keep the conversation from going too deep. Sometimes he still couldn’t believe he and Nick were at the point where they could joke about their relationship.

“Good riddance,” Nick chuckled. “I hate that guy.”

Louis giggled and took a deep breath, before letting it all out. He told Nick everything--about Niall and Liam making the Seeking Arrangement account, the terms of his and Harry’s arrangement, the feelings he hadn’t asked for. He even told him about the sex, which led to a bit of friendly teasing.

“Always knew you were a kinky motherfucker,” Nick said. “Liked spanking me bum a bit too much, in my opinion.”

“Oh, shut up,” Louis said, exasperated. “I’m trying to have a serious conversation over here.”

“Right, sorry,” Nick said, and Louis could picture him straightening out his features and struggling not to laugh. “So do you want to know what I think?”

Louis placed his now empty mug of tea onto the ground next to him and nodded to himself. “Wouldn’t have called you otherwise.”

“I think you need to get off the phone with me and call him.”

-----

Harry’s date with David came much too quickly, and he found himself hurriedly getting ready on the night of, after procrastinating for the better part of the afternoon and evening. Every outfit he tried on reminded him of Louis. The shirt he’d said he liked that one time, or the pants he’d torn off of him on their second night together. Louis was in fucking everything.

By the time Harry settled on an old pair of black trousers and a boring white button down (David was boring; it suited the situation) he was nearly late.

“Where are you headed, looking proper posh like?” Zayn asked as Harry walked out into the living room, from where he was rolling a spliff on the couch.

“Um,” Harry hesitated. He wasn’t necessarily hiding the fact that he was going out with David from Zayn, but if he could convince him he was just going out with Louis, everything would be much easier. “It’s date night.”

“Who’re you going out with?” Zayn asked, without looking up from his work.

Harry laughed uncomfortably. “What do you mean?”

It was just like Zayn to sense that something was up. Harry wondered what exactly he thought he knew.

Zayn looked up at him then, his gaze hard. “Well, I know that Louis is out of town. So who are you going out with?”

Louis was out of town? He’d told Harry he didn’t have any trips planned for a few weeks.

“How do you know Louis is out of town?” Harry asked, surprisingly annoyed that he didn’t already know that information himself. Harry didn’t like feeling jealous. It didn’t suit him.

“Niall told me,” Zayn said, his tone suggesting Harry was stupid for not having guessed that. “His best friend got engaged and there’s a party. He probably would have told you, but apparently you haven’t really been talking to him.”

Oh. Harry cleared his throat uncomfortably and Zayn continued to stare at him, waiting for an explanation. Finally, Harry broke down beneath his gaze.

“David’s in town.”

"David?" Zayn said incredulously, in a tone that would be appropriate if Harry had just told him he was going on a date with Satan.

Harry swallowed. “Yeah, he’s in town on business. Wanted to see me.”

Zayn made a face and Harry blushed, embarrassed. He didn’t need Zayn making him feel worse about the whole thing. He was beginning to find fewer and fewer reasons why this date was a good idea.

“But... you’re seeing Louis,” Zayn said, like Harry didn’t already know this.

“I mean…” Harry cleared his throat and turned away. “Louis and I aren’t exclusive.”

Zayn was silent, and Harry knew he was waiting for him to look back over and make eye contact, so he could fix him with a harsh stare most likely. He gave in and looked back over at him.

Zayn fixed him with the hard stare Harry had been anticipating. “That’s bullshit, Harry.”

“We aren’t!” Harry insisted. Honestly, when had Zayn ever cared about Harry’s arrangements? He’d enjoyed living in blissful ignorance before. Why was Louis any different?

Zayn rolled his eyes. “You are so stupid.”

“Thanks,” Harry replied, annoyed now. “I’ll just be going, then. I’m late.”

“You can’t run from your feelings forever, Harry!” Zayn called after him as he walked through the door and out into the cold.

Whatever. Zayn didn’t know everything.

Harry tried to rationalize his actions, fretting and fidgeting the entire way to the hotel restaurant, up until he spotted David sitting at the bar in his boring suit, with his boring sandy hair, and his boring face. Harry’s stomach twisted into knots, nausea washing over him. He couldn’t do this. He couldn’t go back to this now that he’d had Louis. He’d never be able to sugar for anyone else, never be able to find sex that good with someone else, probably never be able to feel that way about anyone else. He was so screwed, and agreeing to this date had been such a stupid idea.

He had half a mind to turn around and walk back home, but he wasn’t going to stand David up. That would just make him feel even worse, and Harry was a professional, damnit. So he put on his best smile and walked over to him, sliding onto the seat next to him and giving him a kiss on the cheek.

“It’s good to see you,” he lied, readying himself for a night of boring small talk and too much red wine.

He went to David’s hotel room with him at the end of the evening, mindlessly letting himself be kissed and petted, fully intending to just suck it up and go through with his original plan to stay the night, but when David started pulling at his clothes, Harry stopped him. He just couldn’t do it.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said, grabbing David’s hands as they started working on the buttons of his shirt. “I don’t think I can spend the night. I- I’m not feeling very well.”

“Was it something you ate?” David asked, leaning away like he expected Harry to throw up on him or something.

Harry stood up and buttoned the few buttons that David had gotten to back up.

“Maybe,” He lied. “The guacamole was a bit dodgy.”

The guacamole had been delicious, but that was neither here nor there. The sick feeling in his stomach had nothing to do with the guacamole.

Harry bit his lip and ran a hand through his hair. “I’m so sorry. This isn’t very professional of me.”

That was the difference between Louis and every other arrangement Harry had ever been in--Louis constantly had Harry throwing his professionalism out the window.

“That’s alright, Harry,” David said. “I understand.”

Harry apologized again, before David sent him off with an envelope of cash and well wishes for him to feel better soon.

He wondered if he’d made the right decision as he readied himself for bed that night, and his phone lit up with a text from Louis, as if he'd known Harry was thinking about him.

Haven’t heard from you in a while. We should meet up soon :)

Harry sat down on the end of the bed and wrote and rewrote his response, considering telling Louis about his evening with David right then and there, before deciding that was news best shared in person.

Sorry I’ve been MIA. Let’s definitely meet up when you’re free.

They made plans to spend a casual evening at Louis’ house the next weekend, allowing just enough time for Harry to stew in his guilt until he was a nervous wreck.

-----

Louis ran through everything he wanted to talk to Harry about as he readied for his arrival the next weekend. He needed to be honest, tell Harry that somewhere down the line he’d started to fall for him. They needed to discuss what this meant for their arrangement, if Harry would want to stop or not, because if it was up to Louis this arrangement would never end, they’d just flesh out their relationship a bit more. He hoped that Harry would be on the same page.

He could tell as soon as Harry showed up on his doorstep that evening, that something wasn't right, but he told himself he was just projecting. He was nervous to talk to Harry, scared to ruin the good vibe that they had, and he knew he was just going to drive himself crazy if he didn’t get everything out in the open.

Louis had ordered food in, so they sat down on the couch and ate with the TV on. Louis felt a bit bad that he wasn’t taking Harry out somewhere nice, but he preferred to have this conversation at home.  

“So what did you do last weekend?” Louis asked, making small talk before diving into the serious stuff.

Harry stuttered and nearly choked on his food in response. Something was seriously not right. Louis could practically feel the humiliation and despair pouring out of him, could see it in the way his neck was flushed and he couldn’t maintain eye contact.

"What's wrong?" he finally asked, putting his plate down on the coffee table and turning to Harry, crossing his arms over his chest.

Harry put his plate down too, shrugging and staring down at his hands, flush creeping further up his neck.

"Harry..." Louis was starting to seriously worry. Maybe things between them were worse than he originally thought. "Talk to me, please. What’s happened? What's wrong?"

Harry ran a hand through his hair and whispered, so low that Louis had to strain to hear. "I... I did something really shitty."

"Okay," Louis allowed, wrapping an arm around Harry's shoulders, wanting to comfort him. Jesus, he was fucking rigid, all hunched into himself, like he was trying to make himself small. "What is it you've done?"

Harry mumbled an incoherent answer, body curling in on itself even more.

"What?" Louis coaxed, reaching up to run his fingers through the curls at the nape of Harry's neck.

"I went out with someone else," Harry whispered, body tensing.

Louis' fingers paused momentarily as that information hit him, and his plan for confronting Harry about their feelings flew out the window. He wondered what all that entailed, if he’d just gone on a date, if he’d slept with the guy, if he was going to dump Louis because he was in love with someone else.

He wasn’t going to lie, knowing Harry was dating other people definitely felt a bit shit, but Louis knew they'd never actually agreed to exclusivity.  Louis didn’t like it at all, feeling little pings of jealousy throughout his body, but it wasn’t his place to tell Harry who he could and couldn’t sleep with. It wasn’t his place to be angry about it, and Harry was quite clearly already beating himself up over it enough.

It made Louis wonder if Harry had gotten in trouble with previous sugar daddies for sleeping with other people. His reaction was a bit worrying, his breathing getting heavier the longer Louis sat there in silence.

"We never agreed to being exclusive, Harry," Louis told him gently, his fingers starting to work through his hair again. "Don't worry too much about it."

"You're upset though,” Harry murmured after a moment, fingers playing with the rings on his left hand. “I can tell.”

“Well, I’m not like happy about it,” Louis allowed. He had a feeling he needed to tread lightly here. “But it’s not my place to really be like... angry or something. ”

Harry shrugged half-heartedly. “I guess.”

Louis continued to soothe him for another moment, before Harry spoke again.

He crossed his arms over his chest. “What if I like… want it to be your place?”

Louis pulled back and looked at his profile, because Harry was still avoiding eye contact.

“What do you mean?” Louis asked.

“Maybe I, like… want it to be your place to get angry,” Harry elaborated, which didn’t help matters, Louis was still grasping at straws to figure out what he meant.

“You want me to be angry?” Louis attempted to get some clarification. He had a feeling he knew what Harry wanted, what this was all working up to.

“Maybe? I don’t know…” Harry sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “Never mind. Just forget I said anything, please?”

Louis didn’t feel comfortable just letting it go. He had done enough research after their recent sexual explorations and discussions, to know that sometimes subs had a punishment kink. Even if Louis didn’t feel Harry deserved it, Harry clearly felt he deserved it. And he was beating himself up over it, which Louis didn’t want.

“Hmm,” Louis hummed, choosing his next words carefully and watching for Harry’s reaction. “You’re right. Good boys don’t go out with other people, do they?”

He’d kind of wished they’d negotiated this beforehand, but Harry didn’t seem to be in the right headspace to do that now, so Louis made the quick decision to run with it and remind Harry to use his safeword if he needed to.

Harry’s breath hitched and his cheeks reddened. "No," he whispered.

"No, they don't," Louis agreed, feeling entirely out of his element. He could do this for Harry though. If there was anything he knew with certainty at this point, it was that he would do anything for Harry. "So are you going to make it up to me?"

Harry nodded frantically, biting his lip. "Yeah, Lou. Please."

"Hmm," Louis hummed in consideration and stood up. "Finish your dinner and then go lay on my bed and wait for me. I'll be there in a few minutes. I want you naked and playing with yourself when I get in there, okay?"

Harry nodded some more and Louis' stomach did a somersault. He kissed the top of Harry's head before retreating to the kitchen to clear his head, not looking behind him to see if Harry was following instructions. Somehow, Louis just knew he was.

He thought for a minute or so about what he was going to do, and then reached for his phone to text Eleanor, not wanting to go into it blind. He’d done his research, but he trusted Eleanor more than random people on online message boards.

Punishment. Spanking. Anything I should know? Ask questions later please.

She must have been right next to her phone, because she texted back almost instantly. Thank God. Louis didn’t have the time to wait around for a response.

Stay away from the top of the bum. Not enough padding. Check in w/ him a lot too. Trust yourself and Harry and have fun ;)

Louis locked his phone and placed it back on the counter, before nodding to himself and moving around the kitchen, grabbing a bottle of water and a carton of berries. He would be better prepared this time.

He waited a couple more minutes before deciding to head to his room, where Harry would hopefully be waiting for him. He passed through the living room, to see Harry’s unfinished food still sitting on the table. Louis wondered if he just wasn’t hungry enough to finish it all, or if he was too anxious or impatient about what was about to happen.

When he reached the bedroom, he paused and took a couple of deep breaths to steady himself before stepping in. As requested, Harry was laying naked in the middle of the bed, jacking himself slowly. Louis watched him for a moment before walking towards him. He placed the water and the fruit on his bedside table, then slipped off his jeans but kept his shirt and underwear on as he climbed onto the bed.

Harry’s breath stuttered when Louis put a hand on his knee, but he continued to touch himself with his eyes closed tight. He was being good.

“Stop, “Louis said simply, and Harry’s hand paused. He opened his eyes and looked over at Louis, expression open and questioning.

“What do you think you deserve?” Louis asked, settling onto the bed with his legs crossed. This was all about making Harry feel better. He wanted his input before he did anything.

“Um,” Harry said, dragging the word out, and Louis remembered what he’d said last time, about wanting Louis to decide.

“I think bad boys deserve spankings, yeah?” he said, trying not to think about the words coming out of his mouth. He probably sounded like a bad porno.

However, apparently Harry didn’t seem to think so, if the way he started furiously nodding and murmuring please was any indication.

“Okay,” Louis said calmly, impressed with himself for keeping his cool with a naked Harry in his bed, all too willing to do his bidding. “There are going to be two rules, okay?”

“Okay,” Harry nodded.

“Okay,” Louis repeated. “First rule is, if anything I do gets to be too much, I want you to tell me. Say yellow and we’ll talk about it, or red and we’ll stop. And green if you’re enjoying it, obviously.”

He paused to look at Harry, who nodded his understanding.

“Second rule is, no coming without permission. Bad boys don’t get to come until they’re told,” Louis said sternly, eyeing Harry seriously.

“Yes, Daddy,” Harry said, and Louis’ heart leapt in his chest. There was no way he was going to survive this.

Louis ran his hands up and down his thighs and swallowed. He leaned over and kissed Harry briefly and then straightened up.

“Over my knee,” he ordered simply, and Harry scrambled to obey, eyes already looking a bit vacant. Louis wondered how far down he could get him, knowing that was just what Harry needed right now.

Harry laid himself out over Louis lap, and grabbed a pillow to rest his head on, his hands grasping at the sheets. Louis looked down at him, at his smooth broad back and his pert little arse, and questioned just about every life decision that lead up to this point. He ran his fingers up the back of Harry’s thighs, teasing, wanting to build up the anticipation. The muscles in Harry’s back rippled as he squirmed, whimpering a little into the pillow.

“How many do you think you deserve?” Louis murmured, squeezing Harry’s arse cheeks in his hands now.

“Dunno,” Harry mumbled into the pillow. “Just want it.”

“It’s a punishment, baby,” Louis said, improvising. “You’re not supposed to want it.”

“Wanna be good for you,” Harry clarified. “Want however many you think.” Louis cursed under his breath, hoping Harry knew how much he was affecting him despite his cool exterior.  

“Let’s start with twenty,” Louis decided. A good, round number. Not too much for their first time. “Think you can count for me?”

Harry nodded, and Louis brought his hand down with a loud smack. Harry jerked in his lap, but relaxed again almost instantly.

“One,” he whispered.

The next five smacks came in quick succession, Louis watching in awe as Harry’s skin reddened and warmed beneath his palm. He was so lovely. Louis could feel him, rock hard against his leg, and pulled his cheeks apart, tracing his finger around Harry’s rim briefly, before pulling back and spanking him again.

“Seven,” Harry moaned, squirming around as Louis teased him, long fingers fisting in the sheets, twisting the material. Louis was glad he’d given him the task of keeping count, because he was losing track himself.

He spanked him again, one smack to each cheek, and then reached down to tease at Harry’s hole again.

“Don’t stop,” Harry pleaded. “Please, Daddy. More.”

“Why did you stop counting?” Louis asked, ignoring him. “I’d start over if you weren’t begging for more.”

“Daddy,” Harry whined again, counting the spanks he’d missed quickly, his fists clenching and unclenching in the sheets.

“Don’t be so needy,” Louis scolded, surprised by his own harsh tone. “You’ll get more. We’re only halfway done. Let me take my time.”

Harry whimpered, and in response Louis spanked him hard with both of his hands at the same time, one on each cheek.

“Hush,” Louis said sternly, as Harry moaned a loud ten.

It took Louis twice as long to get through the second round of spanks, too entranced by the way Harry struggled to stay still and quiet, having too much fun watching the imprints his hands left on Harry’s ass, like brands. Mine, he couldn’t help thinking barbarically. But that was the problem. He wanted Harry to be his, and Louis intended to make sure they were both on the same page when this was over.

Louis let out a deep breath when Harry finally whined, twenty. He lifted Harry up and cradled him in his arms, with Harry’s back to Louis’ chest, his arse cheeks hot against Louis’ thighs. Louis reached around and grabbed his rock hard erection.

Harry hissed as Louis started working his dry hand over him.

“Color?” Louis asked, punctuating his question with a squeeze.

Harry’s head fell back on his shoulder in response. “Green.”

Louis nodded to himself and paused his motions to spit in his palm, before reaching back down and jerking Harry off faster.

“Daddy,” Harry sighed, voice sounding small and strained. “I’m gonna come.”

Louis took his hand away and Harry whined, shaking his head. Louis leaned down to kiss his neck instead, sucking a mark into his salty, sweaty skin. Harry let out a frustrated moan, but tilted his head to the side to give Louis better access anyway.

“Patience,” Louis whispered harshly when Harry started rocking his hips, seeking friction where there was none.

Harry mumbled an apology and Louis wrapped his hand back around him in response. Harry’s hips rocked up again, thrusting into Louis’ hand, but he didn’t chastise him this time, letting him chase release.

“Gonna come,” he warned Louis again, and Louis kissed his shoulder.

“Do it.”

Harry whispered Louis’ name as he came in thick spurts over Louis’ hand, before collapsing against him, murmuring nonsensically. Louis shushed him as he cleaned him off with his own shirt and cuddled him in his arms, coaxing him to hydrate and eat a few pieces of fruit.

“Such a good Daddy,” Harry kept saying, and most of what he was saying didn’t make sense, so Louis paid him no mind, more focused on making sure he was okay.

“Good boy,” he kissed the top of Harry’s head sweetly. “Took everything I gave you so well, didn’t you?”

Harry purred and kissed Louis’ neck. He was so cute when he got like this.

“Love you,” Harry said out of nowhere, and Louis nearly choked on his own spit, his heart skipping a beat. Logically he knew that Harry was out of his mind, couldn’t possibly know what he was saying, but another part of him hoped that Harry meant it at least a little bit.

He pushed the admission out of his mind, now not the time to freak out and dwell on what Harry meant, and cuddled Harry until he started to come back to himself.  

After a few minutes, Harry started to shift in Louis’ arms, sneaking a hand down to feel his own bum. Louis hoped he wasn’t too sore. . He turned his head and blinked up at Louis, lips curving up into a smile. “Hi.”

“Hi.”

Harry lifted his chin, puckering his lips. Louis leaned down and kissed him lazily.

“Now what was this all about, hmm?” Louis asked, laying them down and carding his hands through Harry’s sweaty curls.

Harry groaned and pulled the covers over them. “Can we go to sleep and talk about it in the morning? ‘M tired.”

“Only if you promise not to leave me this time,” Louis said, only half joking.

Harry’s breath hitched but he nodded, burrowing deeper into Louis’ body. “Promise.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Harry woke up slowly on Saturday morning, falling in and out of sleep for a long while until he finally fully woke up to the sound of Louis typing away on his laptop beside him. Harry twisted around in the sheets and opened his eyes to look up at Louis, who was sitting up with his laptop resting on his thighs, his hair sticking up in several different directions. Harry wanted to run his hands through it and mess it up even more.

“Morning,” he said instead, voice still thick with sleep.

Louis paused his work and looked down at him, a small smile playing on his lips. “Hey.”

Harry smiled back and yawned, pushing his legs out straight and arching his back slightly in a stretch. Louis reached down to tuck a stray curl behind his ear, and Harry decided he liked lazily waking up in bed next to him.

“Let me finish answering these emails really quickly,” Louis said, turning his attention back to his laptop. “It’ll just be a few more minutes.”

Harry nodded and snuggled down deeper into the sheets. He was kind of surprised with how at peace he felt. He’d come over to Louis’ last night a nervous wreck, feeling guilty for the date with David and anxious over telling Louis about it, but Louis continued to be understanding and so bloody perfect. Harry had never felt so fond of someone before.

He moved his hand to trace circles onto Louis’ thigh, just beneath the fabric of his boxers, drawing shapes and spelling out his name. Eventually, his bladder started to talk to him, so he begrudgingly got up and went to the bathroom, before joining Louis back in bed and sliding beneath the covers again. Louis closed his laptop and set it aside, laying back down too, so that he and Harry were facing each other.

“Morning,” Harry said again.

“Good morning,” Louis giggled. “How’re you feeling?”

Harry smiled sheepishly, could feel his cheeks heating up. “Much better than I was last night. Thank you for that.”

“Of course,” Louis replied with a cheeky wink. “Anytime.”

They lay there in silence for a moment, before Louis shifted and cleared his throat awkwardly. Harry took a shaky breath, knowing what was coming.

“We need to talk,” Louis said, and Harry tried not to panic as he thought about all of the cliche things those words implied, but he knew Louis was right. This talk was a long time coming, and he couldn’t avoid it anymore.

“Okay,” Harry agreed. “Do we have to get up?”

Louis smiled softly. “Nah.”

Harry smiled back and nodded for Louis to start. Louis was going to have to take the reigns on this one or else Harry would chicken out.

“You like what we do, yeah?” Louis asked after a moment. “When we play?”

Harry nodded, ducking his head to hide his face in the pillow. They both already knew the answer to that one. “Love it.”

Louis wasn’t letting him get away with it that easily. He ran a hand down Harry’s cheek gently and then tilted his chin up to look at him.

“What do you like about it?”

Harry thought for a moment, trying to pinpoint what it even was that he liked so much about it. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d shown his true self to someone he was sleeping with, couldn’t remember the last time he wasn’t putting on a show. Somewhere down the line, he’d started doubting that anyone would be attracted to him just for him, rather than the act he put on. Louis though… Louis seemed to like him just fine when all of the masks fell down, and that was what terrified Harry so much.

“Sometimes I don’t know how to be myself anymore,” Harry told him honestly, trying to form these thoughts into coherent sentences. “Especially… like, in bed. And it’s just… it’s so easy with you.”

Louis tilted his head. “What do you mean?”

“Like, I’m always supposed to be whoever my arrangement wants me to be.” Harry attempted to explain. He didn’t think he was doing a very good job. “But you just let me...be.”

He sounded like a right idiot, but Louis was looking at him with open, non-judging eyes, welcoming Harry to continue. He took a shaky breath and dove in.

“I don’t have to think with you,” Harry elaborated. “I don’t have to make sure I’m being who or what you want, because you just... take control and then it’s easy to be good for you. I don’t know. It’s like, I don’t have to worry about being good for you, because you make sure I am? It comes almost naturally, and I think sometimes I, like, actually need it.”

He felt his cheeks flush, embarrassed at not being able to accurately express himself. “I’m not making any sense, am I?”

However, Louis just smiled and leaned forward to kiss him softly.

“Yeah, baby,” he said warmly. “I think I get what you’re saying. Ultimately, you just like being a good boy for me, yeah? That’s something you need?”

Harry nodded, his cheeks heating up again, but for an entirely different reason this time. They really needed to explore this praise kink he was developing.  

“Is it just a bedroom thing?” Louis asked, biting his lip like he was nervous. “Or do you want to give up control outside of the bedroom too?”

“I-” Harry hesitated. He hadn’t even considered that their dynamic could extend beyond the bedroom. There were things he liked about that idea, but also things he didn’t, so he figured they should definitely research that if it was something they wanted to pursue. The sex he knew he could handle; he wasn’t so sure about the other. “I’m not sure. I think mostly just in the bedroom. I don’t want you to like, tell me what I can and can’t eat or anything like that.”

“Yeah,” Louis nodded. “I don’t think I’d be comfortable with that either.”

“But sometimes,” Harry continued. “When I’m all caught up in my head, I think a little domination outside of the bedroom would still be nice.”

“Okay,” Louis said softly, kissing him again. “We can look into it.”

“Okay,” Harry whispered, butterflies fluttering up a storm in his stomach. Domination outside of the bedroom was a big step.

“So,” Louis said, changing the subject. “After last night, I guess the next question is, do you want to be exclusive? That’s kind of the vibe I got.”

Harry swallowed and nodded, remembering what he’d said about how he wanted it to be Louis’ place to get angry with him. “I would like that, yeah. I mean, there hasn’t been anyone but you since we’ve started anyway.”

“But the guy you went out with?” Louis questioned, eyes roaming over Harry's face.

Harry shrugged. “Couldn’t go through with it.” He wasn’t you, he thought.

“There hasn’t been anyone but you for me in like…” Louis trailed off, tilting his head in thought. “Probably over a year? No, definitely over a year.”

Harry’s eyes widened at that. He knew Louis had told him that he didn’t have time to date before- that was the whole reason he was in an arrangement in the first place, but he was still surprised to hear there hadn’t been at least a random hook up somewhere down the line. He realized he wanted to be more than just exclusive with Louis.

“I, um…” Harry took a shaky breath. “I think I’d like it if we were more than just an arrangement.”

He fought not to run from the room as he let that information sink in, but he still couldn’t look Louis in the eye. He’d never opened himself up to someone quite like this before.

Louis kissed him again in response, but this time it wasn’t just a small, chaste peck. He kissed him deeply, moving into his space and turning their bodies so that Harry was lying back on his back, with Louis straddling his hips. Louis tasted fresh and minty, like he’d recently brushed his teeth, and Harry tried not to think about how he must taste like stale, morning breath. He moaned into Louis mouth and Louis rocked his hips down once, before pulling away for air.

“Take it you like that idea?” Harry giggled, a bit breathless.

“So much,” Louis replied, his smile bright and blinding. “I’ve been thinking about it for ages.”

Harry smiled too, so widely he thought his face might split open. “You’ll have to take the reigns on this too,” he told Louis. “I’ve never been in a relationship before.”

“Really?” Louis asked disbelievingly.

“Not, like, a real relationship,” Harry said. “I didn’t come out until I was eighteen, and I dated a guy for a little while, but that lasted all of two months and he was basically just around as an excuse for me to lose my virginity. I wasn’t interested in seriously dating anyone during undergrad, and I’ve been doing the sugar thing for two years now. So no real boyfriends.”

He hoped that admission wouldn’t change Louis’ idea of him.

“I’m kind of the opposite,” Louis said conversationally. “Only two boyfriends ever, but I went from one serious relationship right into another one. The last one lasted on and off for about five years.”

“So you’re not new to this,” Harry said, kissing his neck. “That’s a good thing. You’ll have to show me how it’s done.”

Louis laughed. “You’re different from anyone I’ve ever been with. We can figure it out together.”

Harry liked the sound of that.

 

He ended up staying the entire weekend at Louis’. He wasn’t sure how it happened, all he knew was how easy it was to completely lose himself with Louis. They spent the weekend either eating, or in bed. They discussed the BDSM thing, their hard and soft limits, what they were aching to try and what they wanted to stay far away from.

On Sunday, Louis pulled out his laptop and the pair of them sat together on Amazon and various other websites for the better part of the evening, reading reviews on different toys and deciding which ones to buy. Harry was particularly excited about some of the bondage gear. He got anxious shivers when he thought about Louis tying him up and having his way with him, being completely at Louis’ mercy.

They ended up staying up well into the night researching, which meant Louis slept through his alarm the next morning.

Harry woke up to a loud, “Fuck!” as Louis woke up and saw the time.

“So fucking late,” he kept muttering to himself as Harry watched him run around the room, scrambling to get ready.

“Can’t say I’m sorry,” Harry teased him with a cheeky wink. “It’ll be worth it in 3-5 business days, yeah?”

Louis huffed out a laugh and threw him an eyeroll in response, sitting down on the edge of the bed.

“Make yourself at home, yeah?” he said as he bent over to tie his shoes. “I’ll text you later.”

Harry nodded and collapsed back against the sheets, fully intending to get in another couple hours of sleep and a long bubble bath before he headed back out into the real world.

He woke up a little less than two hours later to a text from Louis.

Are you still at mine ?

He sat up and texted him back, hoping it was still okay that he hadn’t yet left Louis’ bed. He’d said to make himself at home. If Harry was at home, he’d definitely still be in bed.

Yeah :)

He tossed his phone to the side and stretched, going over his plan for the day in his head. He needed to go Christmas shopping, as well as grocery shopping, and he was also due for a call to his mum. He also needed to drag himself to the gym to get back into the routine he’d lost while getting ready for the end of term.

His phone beeped again as he was getting out of bed and headed to shower.

I left a file at home that I need. If it’s not too out of your way would you mind bringing it to the office ?? I can just have Eleanor run over if you can’t.

Harry raised his eyebrows. Louis had just invited him into his workspace. He’d accidentally met some of Louis’ employees before, but this still seemed like a big step. He was definitely interested in seeing where Louis worked though, so he texted him back that he’d bring it over as soon as he had a shower. Louis texted him back that there was no huge rush, as well as the location of the file and the address to his workplace.

The office was exactly what Harry pictured, sleek and modern, with ‘78 Productions Limited’ written in chrome above the entrance. The receptionist raised a single eyebrow at him when he said he was there to see Louis, but picked up her phone to buzz someone nonetheless.

“Eleanor?” she said into the phone, eyes moving up and down Harry’s frame. He struggled not to squirm under her gaze. “I have a Harry Styles here to see Mr. Tomlinson.”

Her eyes widened slightly at whatever it was Eleanor said on the other end and she nodded before hanging up. Then she smirked at Harry.

“Go on back, Mr. Styles,” She said, nodding towards the door on her right. “His office is at the end of the hall on your left.”

Harry thanked her and then headed down the hall, peeking into the offices he passed on his way to Louis’. Each room had a glass door and a name plate off to the side. If not for the receptionist’s direction, Harry would have known he was getting close when he passed by the door that read “L. Payne, Vice President”.

Sure enough, the next door read “E. Calder, Senior Executive Assistant”. Harry glanced in and saw her sitting at her desk, sipping from a portable coffee cup as she squinted at her computer. She glanced up and waved at him, gesturing for him to come in and say hi.

“Hey!” she said when he pushed the door open. “You alright?”

“I’m good, yeah,” He said, holding up the file. “Brought this for Louis. Is he busy? Should I leave it with you?”

Eleanor, glanced around Harry and he turned around to follow her gaze, seeing that Louis’ office was directly across from hers, and he could be seen talking with Liam. They looked like they were arguing. Liam was moving his hands around aggressively and Louis kept shaking his head, his arms crossed over his chest.

“Definitely feel free to interrupt whatever that is,” Eleanor told him, rolling her eyes. “It’s been going on for a little while now.”

Harry looked back at her skeptically. “You sure I shouldn’t just give them space?”

Eleanor shook her head. “The pair of them are like brothers. They’ll argue until they’re blue in the face. Someone should stop them before they get started. Plus, maybe you’ll cheer Louis up if Liam is putting him in a bad mood. Nobody wants to deal with angry Louis.”

“Okay…” Harry said, shaking his head in disbelief, about ninety percent sure he should not actually interrupt, but he made his way to Louis’ office anyway.

He stood outside the door for a moment, eavesdropping on the heated conversation inside.

“Thought you were gonna let me take this!” Liam was saying. “You’re so bloody stubborn. I can handle this one thing on my own, Tommo.”

Louis opened his mouth to argue but Liam cut him off.

“Lottie will kill me!” he exclaimed. “You know she will. She made me promise. And Sophia was looking forward to the trip anyway.”

Deciding that was enough eavesdropping, Harry knocked to announce his presence and opened the door. Both heads snapped to him, and Harry cleared his throat uncomfortably.

“Um,” he said, eyes darting between the pair. “I have that file for you, Lou.”

“Great,” Liam let out a huge breath. “Maybe now that you’re here, you can talk some sense into him.”

“Um,” Harry said again, not sure what was going on or what he was supposed to do. However, it sounded like Louis was trying to take complete control over something, and Liam wanted in on it. Harry found himself siding with Liam if that was the case. Louis worked too hard.

“Sorry, Hazza,” Louis said, reaching up to fidget with his hair. “Thanks for bringing that by.”

“No problem,” Harry said, walking over to hand it to him. “Everything okay?”

Louis took the file and kissed Harry on the cheek. “Yeah, everything’s fine.”

Harry glanced at Liam for confirmation.

“He’s going to miss Christmas and his birthday with his family, who made me promise I wouldn’t let him do it again, because he’s being too stubborn, and won’t let me handle something by myself for once,” Liam announced, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at Louis challengingly.

Harry stood there for a second, trying to decide which piece of that to approach first. Finally, he decided on:

“When’s your birthday?”

Louis cleared his throat. “Christmas Eve.”

Harry just stared at him for a moment. He couldn’t believe Louis’ birthday was that soon and he hadn’t told him. Shit. He didn’t even know where to begin on getting Louis a birthday present. Harry had already been stressing over a Christmas present, and now he had to get a birthday present too? Louis already had everything, and what he didn’t have, he could easily just buy for himself.

“And what’s going on during Christmas and your birthday?” Harry asked.

“There’s a Christmas Eve event in the States,” Liam answered for Louis. “Ed is performing. Perfect time to do some shmoozing. We decided I would go back in September, and now he’s going back on that.”

“I don’t want you to miss the holidays with your family,” Louis said with a sigh, like this wasn’t the first time saying so. “I know how much seeing them means to you.”

Liam rolled his eyes. “Like your family isn’t important to you? You’ve got to take a fucking break, Louis. And you’ve got to trust me.”

Louis pursed his lips, and Harry could tell this was about to turn back into the heated argument he walked in on, so he quickly intervened. He sided with Liam 100%. Louis needed to relax, see his family, let somebody else take the reigns for once. He was running himself so thin.

“You know,” Harry said, stepping closer to Louis. “I’d kind of like to spend your birthday with you.” And before Louis could suggest Harry come with him, “And I can see my family the next day.”

Louis sighed and Liam smirked. “I’ll let you two talk,” He said, nodding appreciatively at Harry before leaving the office.

Louis gave Harry the stink eye before rounding his desk and sitting back down behind it. “I know what you’re doing.”

“Liam’s right,” Harry said with a shrug, rounding the desk as well and sitting back on the edge of it. “You work too hard, and he’s your partner. You’ve got to trust him to handle things by himself sometimes.”

“I trust him,” Louis defended himself. “I just don’t want to be the boss that makes their employees work on Christmas.”

Harry rolled his eyes. “It sounds like he wants to go, you dickhead.”

Louis didn’t say anything, just twirled a pen around in his fingers and stared blankly at nothing. Harry knew he was gathering his thoughts, so he sat there silently and waited, glancing around the office and taking everything in. There was a frame that held two photos sitting on his desk- one of Louis and who Harry assumed was his mum. She was wearing a wedding dress and beaming as a younger Louis kissed her on the cheek. The second picture was of Louis, two men, and a baby. Staring at them, Harry realized that he’d never seen a picture of Louis’ family in his house, and he frowned to himself.

“If you want to spend my birthday with me,” Louis said after a moment, drawing Harry’s attention away from the pictures. “You’re gonna have to spend it with my family as well.”

“I’m down for that,” Harry told him honestly. He wanted to know everything there was to know about Louis, starting with his family. He wanted Louis to meet his family too. His mum would be ecstatic.

“Speaking of my family,” Louis said. “My sister was in your class this semester.”

Harry paused. “What?”

“Daisy Tomlinson?” Louis clarified. “Petite, blonde? That’s my sister.”

Harry blinked. Daisy Tomlinson. He felt stupid for never putting that together. She even looked a bit like Louis, now that he thought about it.  

“How long have you known about that?”

“Only about a week,” Louis told him. “Kind of put it together when she was talking about her cool TA with the deep voice. Said your class was her favorite, by the way.”

“She was one of my favorite students,” Harry said. “Smart as a whip. Really motivated. Must run in the family.”

Louis laughed. “Wasn’t so motivated when I was her age, mate.”

He rolled his chair over and spread Harry’s legs so he was sitting in between his thighs.  

“You ever have sex in here?” Harry asked, spreading his legs even wider, just to tease. Louis held on to one of his ankles and shook his head.

“The see through glass doors aren’t really conducive for that, I’m afraid.”

Harry supposed he was right, all of his new developing fantasies of Louis fucking him over the desk in a suit stomped on. Maybe he could get Louis to do it in his home office, although the thrill wouldn’t be quite the same.

“You have plans for the day?” Louis asked, playing with the hem of Harry’s jeans.

“Gonna hit the gym,” Harry replied. “And do a bit of holiday shopping. Anything you want?”

“You don’t need to get me anything,” Louis dismissed him with a wave of his hand.

“Shut up. I’m getting you something.”

Louis shook his head and argued. “I don’t need anything. Can’t think of anything I’ve been wanting besides you, but I’ve got that now, don’t I?”

Harry grinned. “That was terrible.”

“I know,” Louis made a face at himself. “Pretend it never happened.”

“I’m embarrassed for you for saying that,” Harry continued to tease, surprisingly not surprised that Louis was such a sap.

“Anyway!” Louis said loudly. “Did you want to get together later?”

Harry wondered if they were spending too much time together too fast, but he also didn’t have any experience with this, so he didn’t know if you were supposed to spend a lot of time together at the beginning of a relationship. He was afraid of rushing things, of ruining things, but he also wanted to spend pretty much all of his free time with Louis.

“Yeah,” He answered. “Wanna come to mine for a change? We can have really loud sex and annoy Zayn.”

Louis laughed and agreed

“Yeah, we can stay at yours. I’ve got a lot of work to do, so I’ll be late. Will need to go home to grab some things too, before I head over.”

He stood up and kissed Harry on the forehead, before shooing him away with his hands.

“Go, go,” He said. “The faster you leave the faster I'll get work done, and the faster I can see you later.”

Harry paused at Eleanor’s office on his way out to say goodbye, and she winked at him before waving and saying she’d see him later. He also stopped by Liam’s office, who waved him inside when Harry ducked in to say goodbye.

“How’d it go?” he asked, looking up at Harry hopefully from behind his desk.

“You’re going to that event,” Harry replied, feeling a bit smug.

 

Louis was running a lot later than Harry thought he would. It was well past dinner time, so Harry decided to go ahead and eat by himself, too hungry to keep waiting for Louis. He’d never kept Harry waiting before, always punctual and considerate, but Harry supposed things were a little different now. He didn’t want to bother him by texting to see where Louis was, didn’t want to seem like he was the nagging boyfriend already, but he was kind of annoyed that he hadn’t heard word from Louis at all.

“Don’t worry about it, mate,” Niall said as he started eating the food Harry had made for Louis. “He gets so caught up and he can’t help himself. This is typical Tommo.”

“I’m not worried,” Harry said. “It’s just different. He’s always been so punctual before, but our relationship is more casual now.”

He wondered what that meant for their contract… if they even had a contract anymore. They definitely weren’t keeping up with the discretion bit any longer, what with Harry visiting Louis’ place of work. Louis probably didn’t feel the need to keep things discreet now that he and Harry were more than an arrangement. Their relationship wasn’t as sketchy.

“If anyone can figure out how to get him home at a decent hour,” Niall continued, a conspiratorial glint in his eye. “It’ll be you.”

Harry wasn’t exactly sure what Niall meant by that, but he decided that he was pretty good at riling Louis up, and now was as good a time as any. He sent the first text.

You headed over yet?

It took Louis so long to text back that Harry was finished with his food and in the process of cleaning the kitchen when his phone beeped.

Sorry !! Finishing up something before I head home. Be along in a little bit.

Harry loaded the dishwasher and returned to his room before texting back.

Hurry? I’m getting antsy for my Daddy :(

Louis was much quicker to respond to that one, and with three words, he beat Harry at his own game before he’d even started.

Don’t be greedy.

Harry felt like the air was punched out of him, suddenly much more aroused than he had been... now actually feeling antsy. He reached a hand under his pants and started to stroke himself while he thought of how to respond. Louis’ next text came before Harry could formulate a reply.

Heading home. You do not have permission to touch yourself.

Harry cursed and took his hand out of his pants. His skin felt hot and itchy, but he sat up and tried to busy himself to take his mind off of his cock. He could hear Zayn and Niall laughing at the telly in the living room, and decided he’d join them while he waited. They both acknowledged him with a nod when he sat down in the arm chair, holding a pillow on his lap to hide his erection.

“Liam auditioned for this show once,” Niall said, gesturing to the telly, where they were playing reruns of the X-Factor. “Before he decided he liked being behind the scenes better.”

That reminded Harry. “Niall, did you still want to write together some time?”

“Hell yeah!” Niall responded. “Just say when!”

Harry nodded and turned his attention to the TV. The episode ended and another started before Louis texted Harry again.

Almost there. You being a good boy for Daddy ?

Well he had been, until Louis went and said that. Now he felt all hot and bothered again, his cock filling back up. He simply texted Louis the affirmative and tossed his phone to the side.  

“Louis on his way?” Niall asked, looking amused at Harry’s reaction to his phone.

“Yeah,” Harry said. “I’m just gonna-” He gestured to his room and stood back up, just as knocking sounded on the front door. Harry hadn’t realized Louis was that close. He rushed over to answer the door and was greeted by Louis wearing a hoodie and joggers, carrying a backpack.

His eyes ran up and down Harry and he clicked his tongue disapprovingly when he saw the bulge of Harry’s crotch.

“So needy,” he whispered with a shake of his head, before pushing past Harry into the flat.

“Tommo!” Niall greeted. “How are ya, mate?”

“Bit knackered, to be honest,” Louis replied, dumping his backpack onto the floor and sitting down on the chair Harry had just vacated. Harry just stood awkwardly by the door. He’d been sure he and Louis were going to head straight to the bedroom, but apparently that wasn’t the case.

“Harry?” Louis glanced behind himself. “You gonna stand there all night, babe?”

Harry walked over, feeling unsure of what he was supposed to do, already going under, and he breathed out a small sigh of relief when Louis looked pointedly down at his feet and tapped his toe. Harry sat down on the floor at Louis’ feet and leaned back against his legs.

“What are we watching?” Louis asked, a hand moving into Harry’s hair.

“X- Factor,” Zayn answered, watching Louis and Harry curiously.

Fuck Simon Cowell,” Louis said, and Niall muttered a “yeah, yeah” in response, which lead Harry to believe that Louis’ dislike for Simon Cowell was something that came up rather frequently.

Louis started to pull at Harry’s hair, when the program came back on, just on the edge of painful. Harry struggled to hold in his whimpers, falling pliant back against Louis’ legs. The longer they sat there, the farther under he went, until he wasn’t even aware of time passing, just aware of the hand in his hair and the warm body behind him.

Before he knew it, Niall and Zayn were excusing themselves to go to bed, and Louis was pulling Harry up to follow suit. He told Harry to lead them to his bedroom and bent over to grab his backpack.

As soon as the bedroom door snapped shut, Louis directed Harry to take his clothes off and get on the bed. Harry quickly obeyed, tossing his clothes into his hamper, before sitting down in the middle of the bed.

“Such a greedy boy,” Louis said harshly, taking off his own clothes and letting them fall into a pile on the floor. “Texting me at work and getting yourself all worked up in front of Niall and Zayn.”

“I’m sorry,” Harry mumbled, hanging his head in shame.

“Don’t apologize, baby,” Louis said, grabbing a condom and a tube of lube out of his backpack before joining Harry on the bed. “Daddy likes that you want it so badly.”

Harry blushed, but remained still, waiting for further instruction. He wanted to keep his Daddy happy.

“You’re desperate for it, aren’t you?” Louis asked, propping himself up at the headboard. “Why don’t you show Daddy how badly you want it, hmm?”

He tossed Harry the lube. “Bend over and finger yourself open for me.”

Harry grabbed the lube with shaky hands and poured a bit onto his fingers, rubbing them together to warm it up, before bending over and presenting his ass to Louis, and reaching behind himself. He rubbed his fingers around his hole, before slowly sliding one in. It hadn’t been too long since Louis last fucked him, so he was able to add a second finger pretty quickly.

He huffed out a breath as he searched for his spot, crooking his fingers in different directions, and he choked on a gasp when he finally found it.

“Good boy,” Louis murmured his encouragement from behind him, grabbing Harry’s arse cheeks and spreading them apart to get a better view. “Fuck yourself for me, just like that, baby.”

It felt so dirty; Harry loved it, the encouragement all he needed to start practically riding his fingers. His hips lost their rhythm the closer he got to release, and eventually Louis stopped him with a hard smack to his ass.

“My turn,” he said. “Ride me now.”

Harry pulled his fingers out slowly and turned around to find Louis with his hard cock in his hand, condom already on. He eyed Louis hungrily and moved up to brace himself on his shoulders. Louis held onto his hips and helped him ease down.

Their moans matched as Louis bottomed out, filling Harry up completely. Harry’s eyes fluttered shut. Louis always felt so good, filled up him so nicely. He found himself thinking, ridiculously, that he wouldn’t mind sitting on Louis’ cock for the rest of his life. However, Louis started to shift his hips, and Harry got the hint, lifting himself up and then sinking back down.

He rocked back and forth, reaching up to hold onto the headboard for leverage, leaning over Louis, who moved forwards and attached his mouth to Harry’s nipple. Harry threw his head back and whined. Louis hummed and bit down Harry’s nipple in response.

Fuck,” Harry cried, as Louis reached up to twist his other nipple with his fingers. The distraction had him losing his rhythm, and eventually Louis eased off to grab Harry’s hips and hold him steady as he rocked up into him. Harry collapsed against Louis’ chest, and bit into his shoulder as Louis’ movement sped up.

“Gonna come for me, baby?” Louis asked, reaching in between them to stroke Harry’s cock, hard and rough.

Harry whined deep in his throat, rocking into Louis’ hand and back against his cock, trying to decide which felt better.

“Come for me, kitten,” Louis coaxed. “Get Daddy all dirty.”

Harry’s movements got quicker and jerkier as he chased his release, finally coming over his and Louis’ chests with a shout. He panted against Louis’ chest as he came down, and Louis continued to fuck up into him, chasing his own orgasm. He came silently, body briefly going rigid underneath Harry, before falling pliant.

“Always so good,” Louis murmured, running his hands smoothly down Harry’s back.

They lay there for a few moments, Harry’s mind just a little fuzzy, before Louis grabbed a packet of wet wipes out of his backpack and cleaned them off. They lay in bed for another half hour, chatting about meaningless nonsense, before they fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Louis forgot how much he loved having a boyfriend. He and Harry had only been doing the boyfriend thing for a little over week, but Harry had definitely taken up residence in Louis’ space. He liked seeing the extra toothbrush Harry used when he stayed over sitting next to his in the bathroom, and he liked it when he found random hair ties on the bedside table, or in between couch cushions. He loved the simple domesticity of it all, but he also loved showering with someone after morning sex, and lazily making out for ages on the couch, while a film went on unwatched in the background.

Which is what was happening currently, until Harry pulled back and started poking Louis in the side instead. He looked down at Louis, his curls falling down and framing his face, his lips kissed raw and red. Louis didn’t know what could possibly be so important that they’d need to stop kissing.

“What do you want for your birthday?” Harry asked, for what had to have been the fiftieth time in the past five days.

“I’ve already told you I don’t need anything,” Louis said, amused, but also touched that Harry was seemingly so worried about this. He really just didn’t need anything, and he couldn’t think of anything he really wanted that Harry could get for him. “Just put a bow on yourself and blow me. That should suffice.”

Harry huffed and rolled his eyes. “You’re such a pain.”

“And you’re a distraction,” Louis retorted, thinking of all the work he needed to do before the holidays the next week. He and Harry were already meeting each other’s families - because apparently, just like Louis had lead his family to believe Harry was his boyfriend, Harry had done the same. And they also both apparently had really nosy mothers.

“Good distraction though, yeah?” Harry asked, rocking his hips down and waggling his eyebrows up and down ridiculously.

Louis was still getting used to this side of Harry. It wasn’t until he’d let all of his walls fall down that Louis realized just how guarded he had been before, always so calculated and careful. He’d hidden that by exuding an air of flirty confidence, but Louis knew better now. Yes, Harry was flirty and calculated and confident, but he was also goofy and vulnerable, and sometimes he was just an asshole. Louis liked learning all of the different sides to Harry, like the side who wore ripped jeans and tattered band t-shirts, rather than designer button downs and flashy shoes, which had been a bit of a surprise. There were just so many things that made Harry… Harry, and Louis loved learning all of his complexities.

“Best distraction,” he told Harry, kissing him again briefly, before pushing him off and sitting up.

“Haven’t you got plans?” Louis asked him, knowing Harry and Niall were getting together to write some music that afternoon. They’d already gotten together once, prior that week, and Louis was interested to see how everything turned out.

Harry checked his watch and nodded. “Yeah, I should get going. Where’s the studio again?”

“I can drop you off,” Louis suggested. “I’ve got to run a few errands, so I can take you since I’m going out anyway.”

He needed to do some serious last minute Christmas shopping. He had everything sorted for Harry, and for Lottie and Fiz, but he was yet to get anything for his younger siblings or his mum and Dan. He had a few things in mind, but there would also be a lot of winging it.

Louis dropped Harry off at the studio before heading to the shops. He spent the better part of the afternoon poking around, and he ended up with nearly everyone sorted. He just needed to buy a few more toys for Ernie and Dottie, but he planned to order their gifts online and have Amazon overnight the shipment to him.

He returned home around dinner time and heated up leftovers from the fajita meal he and Harry had made the night before, and then went to his home office to check up on everything. He was going over his notes for an important meeting he had that week, when he distantly heard the key turning in the lock of his back door, which meant he should either be expecting Liam, Niall or Eleanor.

Sure enough, Niall started shouting for him. Louis called back that he was in his office, and he looked up and raised his eyebrows when Niall skipped into his office, looking a bit flustered.

“You alright?” Louis asked, as Niall rounded his desk and shoved him aside.

“What the fuck?” Louis asked in confusion, his chair rolling all the way to the end of his desk.

“You’ve got to listen to this,” Niall said, taking a thumb drive out of his pocket and inserting it into Louis’ computer.

He clicked around as Louis sat impatiently, waiting for whatever he was supposed to listen to to begin. Finally, the music started, and a husky, yet somehow still smooth voice started singing. The lyrics were just as intriguing as the voice, sensual words about being held hostage by a shadow.

“What is this?” Louis asked after a few seconds, scooting his chair back over to the center of his desk.

This!” Niall said, waving his arms around dramatically. “Is your fucking boyfriend!”

Louis’ mouth dropped open and he immediately reached over to stop the song, wanting to start it over from the beginning.

“What’d you do that for?” Niall asked, gesturing to the computer. “Hadn’t even made it to the chorus! That’s the best part, you fucking kinky bastard.”

Louis narrowed his eyes. What the hell was Niall talking about?

“This is Harry?” He asked, just to make sure, because he hadn’t really been anticipating Niall to record an actual demo from their writing sessions.

Niall nodded, starting to speak again, but Louis shushed him. He started the song over and listened intently, cheeks heating up when the chorus ended, and Harry’s fucking ridiculously spectacular voice sang about being tied down.

“Harry wrote this?” Louis asked, just to be sure, and Niall nodded again.

“Calls it ‘Stockholm Syndrome’.”

Well, fuck. Louis wondered how many rimjobs it would take to convince Harry to let Louis sign him. If Harry was anyone other than Louis’ boyfriend, he would put the pressure on, but Harry already expressed that he wasn’t interested in signing with Louis, so Louis would try to respect that. He still planned to buy the song off of him, though.

He voiced this to Niall, who looked disappointed, no doubt wanting Louis to sign Harry just as much. He left a little while later, leaving the demo with Louis, who listened to it again. He smiled to himself as he thought about everything the song implied. He smiled even bigger when he pictured Niall’s reaction to hearing the words for the first time.

-----

Harry laughed when Louis texted him late the next morning, while he was out shopping with Gemma.

THIS SONG IS FUCKING NASTY HAROLD

also, you sure you don’t want a record deal ?? you don’t have to say yes or no right away !!! ;)

“What?” Gemma asked him suspiciously as she pointed to a pearl necklace questioningly.

Harry nodded and she asked the salesperson if they could get a closer look at it. They were Christmas shopping for their mum, going a bit high class with fancy jewelry this year.  

“Nothing,” Harry said in answer to her question, pocketing his phone again. “Just Louis being funny.”

Gemma scrunched her nose. Harry told her he and Louis were taking things more seriously, but Gemma didn’t think it was the best decision. She told Harry that she didn’t trust Louis, and she wasn’t looking forward to meeting him over the holidays. Harry knew better than to try to argue with her when she was being stubborn. He liked Louis, and he knew Gemma would like Louis once she gave him a chance, so he wasn’t all that bothered.

They bought the necklace and some matching earrings for their mum, as well as a watch for their dad, and then Gemma announced that she needed to go to Victoria’s Secret for some new joggers.

He awkwardly lingered while she sorted through the piles of clothes, looking around at the blown up posters of airbrushed models in pretty lingerie. He moved closer to the dressing room when Gemma went to try her items on, and turned his attention to a table full of lace underwear.

Harry ran his fingers over the lace, pausing on a pair of lavender panties with a darker purple bow at the back. He thought of Louis’ comment a few days before, about how all he wanted for Christmas was Harry to put on a bow and blow him. He didn’t think this was exactly what Louis had in mind, but he hesitated over the thought, wondering how Louis would react.

He was lost in a fantasy that involved Louis fucking him over the couch, when one of the sales girls came up to him.

“Shopping for your girlfriend?” she asked, gesturing to the underwear in his hands. “Do you need any help?”

Harry thought about making some excuse about how he was just browsing while waiting for his sister, but then he thought, fuck it, and threw all caution to the end.

“Um,” he cleared his throat. “For myself actually. Do you think these would fit me?”

The girl, to her credit, only looked slightly alarmed, before she took the underwear from him and examined the size. She then looked at his crotch, and back to the underwear.

“What size jeans do you wear?” she asked, sorting through the piles of underwear to help him find a size that would be suitable for him.

When Gemma found them a few minutes later, the girl -who Harry had now learned was named Kendall- was educating Harry on the different styles of lingerie, and pointing around the store to show him examples. Gemma raised her eyebrows at Harry in amusement as she approached them, more than likely assuming that Kendall was hitting on Harry and he was too polite to turn her down.

“You ready to go, H?” Gemma asked, holding up her findings to show she was.

“Yeah, just a sec,” he said, then turned his attention back to Kendall, giving the lavender undies back to her. “I think I’m just gonna go with these for now, but you’ve been really helpful.”

She smiled at him. “Happy to help! I’ll ring you up.”

She headed to the front, and Harry turned to Gemma, who was looking at him with her mouth hanging slightly open. He took a deep breath and started to explain himself, but she just held up her hand and shook her head.

“I don’t want to know.”

Thank God.

Gemma checked out first, and Harry pulled out his phone to double check his bank account balance while he waited behind her. He knew he’d spent a lot of money shopping earlier in the week, but when he opened the app, his account was more full than it had been the day before. He narrowed his eyebrows in confusion and went to his transactions, and realized that Louis was still transferring Harry’s weekly allowance into his account. They’d never talked about it, but Harry assumed it was obvious he didn’t want Louis to pay him any more.

However, if Louis was still transferring money into his account, clearly it wasn’t obvious and they needed to have another talk. Harry didn’t feel comfortable with Louis continuing to pay him if they were more than an arrangement. It didn’t feel right.

Harry groaned. Maybe Louis hadn’t meant he wanted to give up the arrangement aspect of their relationship- maybe he wanted them to keep that up, just more seriously. Harry was sure if he explained why he was uncomfortable, it wouldn’t be a problem. At least he hoped it wouldn’t be.

If there was one thing Harry had learned over the past two months, it was that open communication was always the way to go with Louis, so he texted him after Gemma dropped him back off at his flat. He wanted to talk with him sooner rather than later, before he had the chance to second guess everything and make up worst case scenarios in his head.

Hang out later?

He knew Louis had a busy afternoon planned at work, so he busied himself with laundry and preparing meals for the next couple of days, while he waited for the text that came a couple of hours later.

Going to dinner with Liam and this record exec. Come over after ?? Should be home by 8ish.

Harry texted him back the affirmative and made dinner for himself. Zayn had left the day before to go back home for winter break, so Harry was by himself until he and Louis left to spend Christmas Eve in Doncaster in two days. Harry was nervous to meet his family. From talking to Louis about them, he got the impression that they were a bit overwhelming, with five nosy sisters and a handful of a little brother.

However, he supposed he’d still have it easier than Louis would when he met Gemma. She was the only family member that knew the truth about how their relationship started, and she’d made it clear she didn’t trust Louis. She didn’t trust anyone who, quote, “was so pathetic they needed to pay for companionship,” and she was being so stubborn that at this point, Harry figured he’d just let Louis change her mind himself.

After dinner, Harry decided to try on his purchase from earlier. He pulled the panties out of the bag and admired how soft they were as he held them up to his body and looked in the mirror. This was either going to be a brilliant idea, or Louis was going to think he was absolutely mad. Harry slid out of his jeans and pants and pulled on the panties, turning around to look at every angle in the mirror. They didn’t necessarily fit, but Harry wasn’t planning on wearing them for everyday use, so he figured they were fine. His stomach felt fluttery when he thought about what Louis’ reaction might be, and he decided there was no harm in giving him his birthday present a couple of days early, while they still had privacy from Louis’ family. It had nothing to do with losing his nerve if he waited.

He pulled his jeans back on over the panties and was packing his overnight bag when Louis texted him, letting him know he was on his way home and to head over whenever. Harry finished packing and called a cab, not brave enough to walk to the tube station in the December cold.

Louis answered the door in slacks, with his shirt unbuttoned and hanging open to reveal the soft cotton of his undershirt. His hair was starting to fall out of his quiff and he looked sleepy, but he still greeted Harry with a smile and a kiss. That was something Harry was still getting used to- the way Louis looked at him, like he was always happy to see him. It gave him a little warm, fuzzy feeling.

He asked Louis how his day was, and followed him into the kitchen where he was making a cup of tea. Louis pulled a mug down for Harry as he talked, ranting about industry things that Harry didn’t quite understand.

“Anyway,” Louis said when he was finished, giving Harry a steaming mug before heading to the living room. “How was your day?"

Harry shrugged, sitting down on the edge of the couch. “Boring.”

Louis hummed. “I wish my day had been boring.”

“Hey, can we talk about something for a second?” Harry asked, grabbing one of Louis’ throw pillows and hugging it to his chest. He figured that the longer he waited to bring up the allowance situation, the longer he’d be stressing over it.

Louis paused and swallowed, but nodded. Harry wished their relationship wasn’t so fragile that a simple request to talk was giving Louis doubts, but he supposed it was his fault that Louis was so quick to put up his guard with him. He’d been confusing enough in the past.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“Um,” Harry picked at a loose thread on the pillow. “I noticed that my allowance went through this morning.”

Louis stared at him for a second, and then visibly relaxed, slouching into the couch. “Shit, I should have given you a holiday bonus or something like that, yeah? Sorry babe, completely slipped my mind.”

Harry chewed at his bottom lip. That was not at all where he was taking this conversation. How could Louis have gotten it so wrong? Clearly they weren’t even slightly on the same page.

“Actually,” he cleared his throat and ran a hand through his hair. “What with us being, like, more official now… I don’t think I’m comfortable with you paying me anymore. Sorry. I should have said something before.”

Louis frowned, his eyes squinting in confusion. “It’s really not a big deal, though,” he protested, reaching out to pat Harry on his thigh. “I mean, I like taking care of you.”

Harry shook his head quickly, before Louis could go on. This wasn’t something he was willing to compromise on at the moment- maybe once their relationship was more stable. “And I appreciate that, but it just doesn’t feel right to me now. I know there are plenty of relationships that work with one person supporting the other, but I just think that if this keeps up, I’ll end up feeling like I owe you something.”

“That’s not how I think of it,” Louis said, squeezing Harry’s thigh tightly. “Weren’t you the one who said you didn’t owe me anything when our arrangement started? I still don’t think you owe me anything, you know that, right? It’s important to me that you know that.”

“Yeah,” Harry assured him. “Logically I know that, but that’s still how I feel.” He was done with dismissing his feelings just to make other people comfortable.

Louis ran his eyes over his face, as if he was searching for some deeper meaning in Harry’s words, but then he nodded hesitantly.

“Just promise me you’ll let me know if you ever need anything, okay?”

Harry smiled. “I will, but I’m not exactly struggling financially right now. You’ve made sure of that. And I’ve still got a little while before I need to worry about paying for law school.”

“I can pay for law school,” Louis offered, his tone slightly teasing, but Harry knew he was being serious. He’d pay for law school in an instant if Harry asked him to, but something like that spoke of a deeper commitment that Harry wasn’t even ready to think about just yet.

“Well, we have time to think about that,” Harry said to appease him.

“Okay,” Louis smiled and crawled on the couch over to Harry, pushing him back and straddling his thighs. He leaned down to kiss him, slowly at first, and then more heated as they started to rut against each other, breathing heavily.

Louis reached for the button of Harry’s jeans and Harry, belatedly remembering that he was wearing lace underwear, froze and put his hands over Louis’ to stop him. Louis pulled back and raised his eyebrows in question. He moved his hands away from the waist of Harry’s jeans and ran his hands up to rest on his chest instead.

“Everything okay?”

Harry blushed and laughed at himself uncomfortably. “Yeah,” He cleared his throat and gently pushed Louis away. “Don’t laugh, okay?”

“Did you do some wild manscaping or something?’ Louis asked, sitting with his back against the arm of the couch, opposite Harry.  

Harry laughed and rolled his eyes. He thought it was pretty obvious that he took his manscaping very seriously. “No, but I was out Christmas shopping with Gemma today, and I thought about your birthday. So then I thought about how you said all I needed to do was put a bow on and blow you, and you’d be happy.”

Louis pursed his lips in an effort not to laugh. “Did you tie a bow around your penis?”

“No,” Harry said, trying his best to look affronted, before failing and ducking his head in embarrassment. “Well, not really… but, kind of?”

He sounded like a bloody idiot. Harry blushed even harder and started knotting his fingers together, playing with his rings to avoid looking at Louis, who was now sat up a bit straighter.

“Well,” he said, gesturing to Harry’s crotch. “Go on then.”

Harry gulped and stood up to undress, skin tingling under the weight of Louis’ gaze. He draped his jumper over the arm of the couch, taking a deep breath as he unbuttoned his pants. He briefly wondered if he should be putting on more of a show, but decided it was a little too late for that now that his fly was all the way down.

He hesitated before pushing his jeans down, but Louis was watching him with expectant interest, so he took another deep breath and took them off, feeling a little self conscious as they pooled around his ankles. He peered at Louis from beneath his eyelashes to gauge his reaction, and slowly grew more confident as he saw Louis swallow and his pupils dilate.

Harry stood there awkwardly, fighting to keep his hands at his sides rather than cross them over his crotch.

“C’mere, baby,” Louis said softly, shifting so that his legs were on the ground, his voice taking the tone Harry associated with what he liked to call ‘playtime’. If he’d known slipping on some lingerie would inspire playtime, he would have started a long time ago. They hadn’t played in about a week, and Harry still got nervous to ask for it. Usually, Louis just knew when Harry needed or wanted to play, but lately Harry wanted it more often. He was afraid of being too needy, so he tended to not say anything.

He walked the few steps over to Louis, who spread his legs so Harry could stand in between them. Louis reached up to run his fingers over the lace, his touch warming Harry’s skin.

“Give me a twirl, darling,” Louis whispered. “Slowly.”

Harry turned, skin flushing when Louis kept his hands on him, lightly running his fingertips over his body as he moved.

“So pretty,” Louis murmured once Harry was facing him again. “This is all for me?”

“Yeah,” Harry nodded, bringing his hands to clutch at the ones resting on his hips. “Do you like it?”

Louis hummed in affirmation and leaned forward to place a soft kiss on Harry’s belly, his weekend stubble tickling his skin.

“Why don’t you blow me as promised,” Louis suggested. “And then I’ll show you how much I like it that you’ve gotten all dressed up for me?”

Harry nodded quickly and dropped down to his knees, always eager to please. Louis slid his pants down and as Harry tied his hair back, he couldn’t help but think about the stark contrast between the first time he’d ever gotten on his knees for Louis and now. He’d just been so desperate to get Louis to relax with him, so confident that he’d be able to do that, and then Louis had turned it all around on him. He’d used his mouth so roughly, surprised and aroused Harry so much that he came in his pants. He supposed he should have known then how different things were going to be with Louis.

He scooted closer and wrapped his hand around his cock, giving it a few strokes before glancing up at Louis, who nodded and pushed Harry’s head down. He went eagerly, swallowing Louis down messily and hollowing his cheeks. He moved up and down the length a few times and then pulled back to mouth at Louis’ balls instead, sucking one into his mouth while he stroked Louis’ cock with his hand. He was torn between making this really good, or teasing Louis until he got so worked up that he just used Harry instead.

After a few moments deliberation, in which Louis started panting above him, Harry decided to make it good. The sooner Louis came, the sooner they’d get to the fun part. Not that blowing Louis wasn’t fun--Harry would happily blow him every hour of the day--but he was anxious for whatever Louis was cooking up.

He moved his mouth back to Louis’ cock, teasing the head the way he knew Louis liked, and then shivering when Louis tugged on his bun and guided Harry’s head up and down a few times, before moving his hand to feel Harry’s throat work around him. Harry sped up his movements, saliva messily dribbling down his chin, and brought his hands up to work Louis off as well.

“Pull off,” Louis said after a few minutes, his hips moving in abortive thrusts. “I’m gonna come.”

Harry pulled back in confusion, since Louis usually let him swallow, but he sat back and watched as Louis tugged at himself anyway. Realization dawned when Louis pointed himself at Harry and groaned as he shot his load onto Harry’s face, warm come hitting his cheeks and mouth. Harry licked his lips to taste him and Louis swore, dragging his face up to kiss him.

Harry moaned into his mouth and Louis pulled back to whisper harshly in his ear. “No one else gets to see you like this, do they? So pretty and dirty and needy, and it’s all for me.”

Harry whined and nodded as Louis stood up. He shed the rest of his clothes, taking off his undershirt and handed it to Harry.

“Clean your face and then meet me in the bedroom.”

He walked out of the room and Harry did as he was told before he followed, his cock hard and leaking, making a mess on the panties he was still wearing. He wondered if lace was as easy to clean as cotton, or if he’d need to hand wash in cold water or something.

He stood in the doorway to the bedroom, watching with interest as Louis shuffled through the Amazon purchases that arrived earlier that week. They hadn’t had the chance to try any of them out yet.

“On the bed, babe,” Louis said without looking up from the box of toys. “And give those panties to me.”

Harry, being the idiot he was, tried to walk over to the bed while simultaneously rushing to take off the panties, which resulted in him tripping over his own feet and falling face first down onto the mattress. He turned his head to look at Louis sheepishly.

Louis stared at him for a second and then burst out laughing. Harry giggled too, embarrassed but amused with himself nonetheless.

“Graceful, Hazza,” Louis teased him, before forcefully straightening out his features and falling back into character. “That’s what happens when you get too eager.”

He dropped two items on the bed--lube and one of the items they’d picked out online together, a black vibrating toy that was both a cock ring and a butt plug--and then moved over to finish taking the panties off of Harry himself. Harry’s skin tingled in anticipation as he thought about Louis using the toy on him

“Turn over,” Louis said before he could get too distracted, smacking Harry lightly on the ass. Harry turned over and Louis crawled up his body, coming to a stop on his chest. Harry waited patiently for whatever Louis had in mind next.

“Good boy,” he said, then tapped on the headboard. “Hands.”

Harry shivered at the thought of being completely helpless and brought his hands up to wrap around the headboard. He liked touching Louis more than almost anything, but sometimes he thought he liked being at his mercy even more.

Louis used the panties to tie his hands in place. Harry almost protested- they’d been expensive, but Louis seemed to have followed his train of thought.

“Don’t worry, I’ll buy you a new pair if we end up ruining these.”

“Color?” Louis asked once Harry’s hands were successfully tied to the headboard. He held the toy up for Harry to see.

Harry assured him that his color was green with both his hands being tied and the toy, but then Louis pulled out a blindfold as well. He wasn’t sure if he could handle both being tied up and blindfolded for the first time at once.

“Um,” Harry hesitated, not wanting to disappoint Louis, but knowing he needed to be honest. “Yellow.”

Louis immediately put the blindfold back down. “Why yellow?” he asked, running his hands soothingly up and down Harry’s sides. “It’s okay. I just want to know what you’re feeling.”

“I want to try,” Harry explained, because he did. He was just nervous. “But we’ve never done this before, and I’m worried that not being able to move my hands or see at the same time will be a little overwhelming.”

Louis smiled in understanding. “We don’t have to if you’re too uncomfortable.” He leaned down for a soft kiss. “But can I tell you why I want it?”

Harry nodded. He had always been interested in what Louis got out of all this. Harry got stress relief and the feeling of being cared for, with Louis’ undivided attention on him. He wasn’t sure how Louis felt.

“If you can’t move your hands or see me, that means you trust me completely, you’ve totally given yourself up for me.” He smiled down at him, his eyes warm and twinkling. “That kind of trust means a lot to me. I love it that you let me do the things I do to you.” He kissed his cheek. “Makes me feel important and needed. There has to be a mutual trust between us, you know? I also need to trust you and that you’ll tell me if you get too overwhelmed and need to stop.”

Putting it that way made Harry’s heart feel warm and heavy. How was it possible to like another human being so much?

“Okay,” he whispered. “I trust you. Let’s do it.”

Louis’ answering smile was blinding, and it was the last thing Harry saw before Louis retrieved the blindfold again and slid it down over Harry’s eyes.

Harry swallowed when Louis got off of his chest, adjusting to the feeling of not knowing where Louis was, or what he would do next. He moved around a bit, trying to get as comfortable as possible with his hands tied over his head, and his body tensed when he felt the bed shift under the weight of Louis’ body to his right.

He turned his head in that direction and was rewarded with a wet peck to the lips.

“You look so lovely,” Louis murmured, his lips moving to suck at the pulse point on Harry’s neck. “Laid out so pretty and waiting for me.”

He continued to mark Harry with kisses and soothe him with touches until all of the tension eased out of his body.

“That’s it, baby,” he said, whispering hot and wet into Harry’s ear. “Relax for me. I’ll take care of you, yeah?”

Harry let out a shuddery breath and fell pliant against the sheets, letting go of any remaining nerves. “Yeah, Daddy.”

“Good boy,” Louis praised, and then he drew away from Harry’s body and lifted up off the bed again. Harry could hear him moving around the room, mumbling to himself under his breath.

Harry heard the click of the lube cap being opened, and then the bed shifted at his feet and Louis was spreading his legs apart. Harry was fully prepared for the slick finger to start probing at his hole, but he still jerked when Louis started prepping him, sucking his cock into his mouth as he worked him open. Harry struggled to keep his hips still as he concentrated on the feeling of pressure against his prostate and the wet heat around his dick.

Louis pulled his fingers out slowly and lifted off of Harry’s cock at the same time, and Harry knew what was coming. Louis murmured more nonsense to him as he fastened the cock ring around him and slid the plug inside. He paused for a moment, letting Harry adjust to the feeling of the toy, tight around the base of his cock and tugging at his rim, and then he turned it on.

Harry kicked his legs out and let out a high pitched whine. He had not been prepared for how good the vibrations would feel both around his cock and against his prostate at the same time. For the first time, he found himself briefly wishing that his hands were free, and he tugged against the restraint, but then Louis scolded him and he stopped.

“Sorry, Daddy,” he mumbled, slightly ashamed at himself. “Just feels so good.”

Louis hummed, unimpressed. “Good boys don’t make excuses.”

Harry blushed and apologized again, relieved he couldn’t see the disapproval that was surely written all over Louis’ face, and hoping he hadn’t disappointed him too much.

He started moving his legs restlessly when Louis just teasingly ran his fingers up and down his thighs, moving closer to his cock each time, before pulling away again.

“Maybe I should have tied your legs down too,” Louis said, clicking his tongue. Harry whined but stopped moving, holding his legs as still as possible. Louis rewarded him by wrapping a hand around his aching cock and giving it a sharp tug.

Fuck,” Harry cried, when the movement caused the plug to tug at his rim and hit his prostate.

“Sounds like I also should have gagged you,” Louis said harshly, smacking him on the thigh.

Harry bit his lip to keep more words from coming out, torn on whether or not he should apologize again. He settled for staying silent. He didn’t think talking, even just to say sorry, was what Louis wanted from him right now.

He took a deep breath to steady himself and let it out slowly, waiting to find out what Louis would do next. He sputtered in surprise when Louis shoved his fingers into his mouth, still tacky and sticky with lube.

“Suck,” He ordered. “Keep your naughty mouth occupied while I figure out what to do with you.”

Harry swallowed obediently around his fingers, feeling overwhelmed with both his mouth and arse full. Louis tugged at his cock again with the hand not in Harry’s mouth, and Harry whimpered at how good it felt, sucking desperately at Louis’ fingers, licking off every trace of lube.

Louis tugged a few more times and stopped again, turning off the vibrations and pulling his fingers out of Harry’s mouth. He slid his hand into Harry’s hair, and took off the blindfold. Harry blinked, eyes adjusting to the light in the room as he met Louis' eyes. He hoped Louis wasn’t disappointed in whatever he saw there.

Harry nearly cursed again when Louis took his spit slick fingers and reached around to start fingering himself.

“Keep yourself hard for me,” Louis told him, voice a little breathless as he worked himself open. “And keep quiet. I’m gonna ride you.”

Harry didn’t think there was any way in hell he would be able to go soft right now, as he squeezed around the plug and watched Louis’ arm muscles ripple as he thrust his fingers in and out of himself.

He made quick work of prepping himself, grabbing a condom and the lube and sliding both down onto Harry’s cock. Harry’s stomach clenched in anticipation as he watched Louis poise his body over him, and he couldn’t help but let out a groan as he eased himself down.

Louis shot him a warning look and Harry turned his face into his arm and bit down to keep himself from making noise.

Louis’ thighs squeezed around him on either side as he lifted himself up and sank back down, building up a steady rhythm, while Harry just laid there and took it, feeling heavy and free at the same time. He bit down harder onto his arm as Louis sped up, each movement of his hips causing the plug in Harry’s ass to tug at his rim.

Louis’ breath started coming out in high, needy pants the closer he got to orgasm. Harry loved the way Louis sounded when he got himself worked up and he started muttering filth into his ear.

“Love being used like this, don’t you?” Louis asked, leaning down to bite at Harry’s jaw. “My dirty, dirty boy, hmm?”

Harry took his face out from the inside of his arm and looked into Louis’ eyes, the pupils blown wide, and nodded.

“Being such a good, quiet boy for Daddy,” Louis smiled, kissing him briefly before he straightened back up. Harry nodded at the praise. He was trying so hard, and he was glad Louis could tell.

“Are you ready to come?” Louis asked him. “I’ll let you come after me, okay?”

Harry nodded again, feeling like a bobble head, but he didn’t dare speak right now.

Louis swiveled his hips and wrapped a hand around his cock, chasing his own pleasure, and Harry held back a moan when Louis climaxed, squeezing tightly around him. He collapsed onto Harry’s body, resting his head on Harry’s shoulder while he caught his breath. Harry ducked his head and kissed Louis’ hair.

He grunted when Louis lifted himself off of him, and waited patiently as he removed the plug from his arse and slid the ring and condom off of him. Louis kissed the head of Harry’s cock, and Harry was sure he was going to blow him, but the he brought his hand up and fisted him tightly.

“You can move and make noise now,” Louis told him as he tugged at him.

Harry let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in, and whined.

Daddy,”

“I know, princess,” Louis said, his hand speeding up. “You were being so good for Daddy, weren’t you? Feels so good, doesn’t it?”

“Daddy,” Harry whimpered again in response, moving his legs to wrap around Louis’ neck. He wanted to feel him everywhere.

“Looked so pretty in your panties,” Louis kept on talking to Harry’s dick. “Trying so hard to please me.”

Harry nodded, thrusting his hips up into Louis’ hand. “Tried so hard, Daddy.”

Louis kissed his hip. “I know you did, baby. You know what would make me happy, right now? I want you to come for me, kitten. Come all over Daddy’s fist, okay?”

He squeezed and Harry thrusted into his fist a few more times, before he came with a shout all over Louis’ hand. Louis stroked him through it, only stopping when Harry started to whine at the oversensitivity. He stood up and walked over to the head of the bed to untie Harry’s wrists, kissing them as he set them free.

Harry blinked sleepily and curled into a ball, bringing his hands to his chest, vaguely aware of Louis settling back down on the bed and wrapping himself around Harry from behind.

“Such a good job for me, baby,” He whispered into Harry’s ear. “Best birthday present ever.”

Harry arched his back closer into Louis’ body and purred when he continued to praise him.

“I think you might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Louis said as he took the band out of Harry’s hair and ran his fingers through the curls, working out all of the tangles.

Harry let the praise wash over him as he floated back, turning around in Louis’ arms once he felt like he could form coherent sentences again.

“Best thing that’s ever happened to you, huh?” He asked, grinning at Louis’ blush. How he could go from harsh dominant one minute, to adorably embarrassed the next would always be a mystery to Harry.

Louis shrugged, as if the casual gesture would give the admission less importance. Harry knew better. “One of the best things, yeah.”

Harry’s heart leapt in his chest and he kissed him on the nose.

“The feeling’s mutual.”

 

 

 

Chapter Text

This was a terrible idea, Louis couldn’t help thinking as he and Harry neared Doncaster. He should have never agreed to let Harry meet his family. He’d finally gotten him, and now his family was more than likely going to scare him off. They were too overwhelming, and this weekend would end in Harry hating him. Or, the much more likely alternative, Harry’s family was going to end up hating Louis. His sister already thought he was creepy.

He really should have just gone to The States with Liam and avoided this whole thing.

“Are you okay?” Harry asked, looking up from the book he was reading in the passenger seat.

“What do you mean?” Louis said, sitting up straighter in his seat. It probably should have weirded him out that Harry could already read him so easily, but everything about their relationship the past few weeks had practically been as easy as breathing. It didn’t surprise him that Harry could tell something was up. “I’m fine.”

Harry snorted and shrugged, which made Louis even more self conscious. “I don’t know. You’re all fidgety.”

“No, I’m not,” Louis argued.

Harry slid his bookmark into his book and leaned over to rest a hand on the leg Louis was jiggling. “Yeah, okay.”

Louis let out a breathy laugh. “I’m just a bit nervous, I guess. Meeting the family is a big step, you know?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Harry said simply, not seeming worried at all as he turned back to his book. “I’m great with families. Mums and kids love me.”

Louis rolled his eyes. “Of course they do.” He imagined Harry could win pretty much anyone over, although he was interested to see the side of him that charmed parents and children, rather than the flirty side that charmed people closer to his own age. Actually, Louis corrected himself, he was probably flirty with everyone.

“Well, what if your family hates me?” Louis asked, voicing another one of his concerns.

“They won’t,” Harry assured him, squeezing Louis’ leg briefly before pulling away. “You make me happy and that’s good enough for mum. Robin is easy to win over, and Gemma will come around. I’m not worried. You shouldn’t be either.”

That was easier said than done. Nobody in Louis’ family knew that their relationship started out as a sugar arrangement. Gemma knew everything, and that had Louis nervous. What if she told Harry’s parents how they met? Fuck. What if Louis’ parents somehow figured out how they met?

It should have been impossible, but Louis’ anxiety amped it up a notch when he turned the car onto his street. He’d never been so nervous for his family to meet someone before, but then again, nobody had ever meant as much as Harry before.

Harry’s interested piqued when he saw that they were now in a residential area, and he put his book back into his bag, pulling down the mirror to check his hair.

“You look fine,” Louis assured him. “They’ll all think you’re too pretty for me.”

Harry huffed. “Shut up. If you and Daisy are anything to go by, your family is gorgeous.”

“They ruin it by being obnoxious,” Louis said as he pulled up to the curb in front of the house. Judging by the amount of cars parked, Lottie and Fizzy were both already home. Louis couldn’t help but feel like he was throwing Harry to the wolves. They’d be the most judgmental of the bunch.

He rounded the car to retrieve their luggage from the trunk while Harry looked up at the house. It was still the house Louis grew up in. There was a small, pitiful looking snowman built on the railing of the front porch and Jay had hung Christmas lights and paper snowflakes in the windows. He imagined the football goals were still set up in the backyard.

Louis had offered to buy his mum a new house a few years back, but she claimed the house held too many good memories to sell, so she kept the house and did some remodeling, adding on to the back and knocking out walls to give their family more space. Louis often found he was happy with that decision.

He smiled fondly as he handed Harry his suitcase and they made their way up the steps. The front door was unlocked, so they entered the house to the loud sounds of Louis’ family shouting over one another.

Louis picked his mum’s voice out from somewhere in the house. “Dottie, if I trip over that doll one more time.”

That was met with the sounds of Ernie teasing and antagonizing his twin for getting in trouble. Dottie bit back, which led to more scolding, this time from Dan. Lottie and Fizzy could also be heard chatting, although their voices were much more muted than the rest.

“Welcome,” Louis murmured sarcastically to Harry. “Hope you like chaos.”

He raised his voice. “Hello?!”

Everyone paused, and then Dottie squealed. “It’s Louis!”

Louis put his suitcase down, preparing himself to be ambushed as soon as everyone found their way to the entry hall. Dottie and Ernie found him first, both of them crashing into Louis with warm, tight hugs. He leaned down to kiss each of them on the top of the head, and looked up to see Jay and Dan waiting for their turns.

Jay hugged him first, and turned to Harry with a smile when they pulled apart. Louis cleared his throat and put his hand on the small of Harry’s back.

“Mum,” He said, taking a deep breath. “This is Harry.”

Harry smiled his million dollar, most charming smile and held his hand out for her to shake.

“So happy to finally meet you,” Harry said in his deep voice. “I can see where Louis gets his good looks.”

Louis let out the breath he’d been holding. He definitely flirted with everyone. Jay was going to love him.

“Oh, so you’re a charmer, are you?” Jay rolled her eyes fondly and pulled him into a hug. “I’m happy to finally meet you too. Anyone who can get my son to come home more often is a winner in my books.”

“Mum,” Louis huffed. He came home plenty. He’d been home not even a month ago.

“I like to make sure he doesn’t work too hard,” Harry said, ignoring Louis’ whining and smiling wider when Jay pulled back.

Louis hugged Dan and introduced him to Harry next, and then Harry bent over to introduce himself to the twins. Dottie alternated between staring adoringly at his gold boots and his hair. Harry stared back at her just as adoringly, and Louis didn’t even think about the possibility that Harry was a kid person. And he’d thought he couldn’t possibly like Harry even more. Love passed through his mind, not for the first time over the last couple of weeks.

Like the previous times he’d thought about it, Louis tried to push the feeling away. It was too soon to start thinking about feelings like love. He didn’t even let himself think about Harry’s subspace confession. He was sure Harry didn’t remember it, and Louis didn’t want to bring it up if Harry wasn’t ready to talk about it. He wasn’t even sure if Harry meant what he said, and if that was the case, the conversation was sure to be awkward.

Jay ushered everyone into the living room, and Lottie and Fizzy introduced themselves next, both looking Harry up and down when he wasn’t paying attention and giving Louis approving looks. Louis wondered where the twins were.

“Dais and Phoebs are catching up with friends,” Jay said when Louis inquired about them. “They’re supposed to be home in time for dinner.”

She took them up to Louis’ old room to let them settle in, announcing that dinner should be ready in about half an hour. Louis dropped his bag onto the floor at the foot of the bed, and turned to Harry, eyes full of questions.

“They’re lovely,” Harry told him, setting his suitcase down next to Louis’. “Not at all too chaotic. You all look so much like your mum.”

Louis nodded. Everyone always talked about how much they all looked like Jay, especially Lottie and Fizzy. He knew it was a compliment though. His mum was beautiful.

He bent over to open his suitcase and grabbed the pack of cigarettes sitting on top.

“Desperate for a smoke,” he told Harry, body still thrumming with anxiety. “Wanna come outside with me?”

Harry nodded and retrieved a scarf from his bag, bundling back up against the cold before they went outside again. Louis also pulled a blanket out of the linen closet in the hallway as they headed down the stairs. Dottie and Ernie joined them outside, both slipping on their rain boots and coats to work on their snowman.

Louis smoked through two cigarettes while he chatted with Harry and watched him help the twins with their creation. He was debating smoking a third when a car pulled up in front of the house and Daisy and Phoebe hopped out of it. They skipped up to the house and gave Louis hugs before turning their attention to Harry.

“Hi Harry,” Daisy said, smiling up at him shyly.

“Hey,” Harry smiled back, pulling her into a hug from the side. “Good to see you again. How’d your end of term go?”

“It was good, yeah,” Daisy said when they pulled apart. “Straight A’s.”

“Show off,” Phoebe grumbled and rolled her eyes.

Harry chuckled. “You must be Phoebe.”

She nodded and held out her hand. “I’m the cool twin.”

Harry bit his lip to keep from laughing and Daisy rolled her eyes. “Oh, piss off.”

“I dunno, I think making good grades is pretty cool,” Harry said with a shrug.

“You would,” Louis teased. Harry was always studying, and Louis never asked, but he was pretty certain that he was a straight A student. He appreciated Harry’s drive. It was something Louis had just been learning to have at his age.

Phoebe took a breath to say something else, but Jay interrupted, knocking on the window to wave everyone inside for dinner.

Dinner was a loud event, with everyone talking over each other to get caught up. Harry, to his credit, pushed himself into the conversation rather well, making room for himself among the mindless chatter. He flirted with both Jay and Dan, bonded with Lottie over fashion and with Fizzy over some American television show they both liked. He promised Dottie he’d let her braid his hair at some point over the next two days, and oohed and ahhed over Ernie’s stories from the playground. More than once, Louis caught his mum’s eyes from across the table and tried to figure out what she was thinking.

After dinner, Louis decided he wanted to show Harry a bit of Doncaster, so they went for a short drive. Louis showed Harry his school and the Toys 'R Us where he had his first job. They drove by Keepmoat Stadium, and Louis told Harry all about the Rovers. He'd never specified which team it was that he owned before.

"Spent so many years working here flipping burgers during the season," he explained as the slowly drove around the stadium. "Met my best childhood mate bonding over the Rovers. Only seemed right to buy the team when the opportunity came up. Haven't had the chance to go to as many games lately as I'd like."

"You'll have to take me to one sometime," Harry said, smiling at Louis' enthusiasm and love for his home town.

Louis promised he would as they left the stadium car park and started to head back to the house.

"Can we stop for a coffee?" Harry asked along the way, pointing to a local shop down the road. "I could do with some warming up."

Louis nodded and pulled into a parking space along the street. The shop was fairly busy for the night before Christmas Eve. Harry and Louis ordered and then tucked themselves into a corner. Louis took advantage of the fact that the place had wifi and took out his phone to check his emails while Harry scrolled through his tumblr app. Harry was reading out a funny post while Louis responded to an email from Liam and half listened, when a body appeared next to their table.

“Well, look what the cat dragged in.”

Louis knew that voice almost better than he knew his own. His head snapped up and his mouth split into a smile when he saw Nick grinning down at him.

“No fucking way!” He exclaimed, and stood up to give Nick a tight hug. “What the hell are you doing here?”

Nick held up a portable coffee cup. “Pit stop on the way home. I was about to fall asleep at the wheel, and remembered this place.”

“Well you should take a break then, yeah?” Louis said, hoping to catch up with Nick for a bit, before he remembered that inviting his ex-boyfriend to join him and his current boyfriend had the potential to be awkward.

He looked down at Harry, who was staring up at Nick with wide eyes. Right. Louis had briefly forgotten he was a fan. Nick followed Louis’ gaze and looked Harry up and down with a smirk.

“Who’s this then?” he asked Louis like the tosser he was, rather than just introducing himself.

“I’m Harry,” Harry did the work for him, holding his hand out to Nick.

“My boyfriend,” Louis supplied proudly, knowing Nick would be wondering if this was the same boy they’d talked about a few weeks ago. Nick raised an eyebrow and smiled before turning his full attention to Harry for a moment.

“Nice to meet you, Harry,” He said, shaking Harry’s hand. “I’m Nick. Or Grimmy, if you’d rather.”

“Nice to meet you too, mate,” Harry said, and Louis sat back down at the table next to him. “I’m a big fan. Listen to your show all the time.”

Nick thanked Harry graciously and turned back to Louis. “Wish I could stay, Lou, but the family is waiting on me to dress the tree.”

Louis pouted, but he understood. He and Harry should probably be heading back to the house soon anyway. “Alright, go on then if you must.”

“Let’s get together in a couple of weeks though, yeah?” Nick asked. “I know we’re both probably about to be slammed, with award season and all, but we’ll make something work.” He gestured to Harry. “You can bring Lana Del Rey here, and I’ll bring my boyfriend too. Have a proper get together for once.”

Louis snorted, but agreed to a small get together before Nick said his goodbyes and headed out. When he turned back to Harry after Nick was out the door, he was giving him a strange look. Louis shifted in his seat. He knew this conversation was going to come sooner or later.

Although he wasn’t expecting the first question out of Harry’s mouth to be, “Why did he call me Lana Del Rey?”

Louis giggled. “Um, yeah. Nick knows, like, about the arrangement. I think that was his attempt at a sugar baby joke.” Kind of lacking tact, but when had Nick ever been tactful?

Harry just looked at Louis for a moment, before tilting his head to the side. He didn’t necessarily look angry, but he did look really confused. “Why does Nick Grimshaw know about the arrangement?”

Louis cleared his throat and reached up to fix his fringe. “I called him to ask for advice… like, before we figured everything out, when you were avoiding me.”

“Oh,” Harry sat back in his chair and crossed his legs. “I guess I didn’t realize you two were that close.”

“Well it’s a bit more complicated that that.” Louis bit his lip, figuring now was as good a time as any to tell Harry about his past with Nick. “Remember the on again off again boyfriend I told you about?”

Harry nodded. “The one you dated for like five years?”

“Yeah,” Louis confirmed, tracing circles into the lid of his coffee cup. “That’s Nick.”

Harry sputtered and brought his hand down onto the table with a loud smack. “You dated Nick Grimshaw for five years?”

Louis cleared his throat. “It’s a bit more complicated than that, but uh… basically yes.”

“And you called him to ask for advice on our situation?”

“I mean, he knows me probably better than most people.” Louis defended himself. “Especially like, relationship-wise. Liam is hopeless when it comes to this kind of thing, and Niall is biased because of Zayn, and I knew Nick wouldn’t judge.”

Harry leaned forward, eyebrows furrowed. “Huh. So basically what you’re saying, is that I’ve had sex with Nick Grimshaw by transitive property.”

Louis wrinkled his nose. He should have expected something stupid like this. That didn’t even make sense. “No, that is not at all what I’m saying.”

“Well,” Harry shrugged, unbothered. “That’s what I’m hearing.”

“Do you want to have sex with Nick Grimshaw?” Louis asked skeptically. “I’m sure I can have something arranged.”

Harry pretended to think about it, stroking his chin. “Nah,” he winked. “You’ll do.”

They left shortly after that, returning home to a quiet house. The little ones were in bed, and everyone else was gathered around the telly, watching a Christmas program. Harry and Louis joined them briefly, before Louis noticed how Harry was struggling to keep his eyes open and they retired to bed.

 

The house was silent when Louis woke up the next morning, everyone more than likely still asleep. He laid in bed for a few minutes until he got restless and quietly slid out of the sheets, not wanting his antsiness to wake Harry. He pulled on a hoodie and took his toiletry bag to the bathroom to brush his teeth before heading down to the kitchen.

His mum was sitting at the kitchen table in her bathrobe, reading a book as she drank her morning cup of tea. She looked up and smiled when Louis walked in.

“Morning, Boo,” she said softly so as not to wake anyone.

Louis rolled his eyes and snorted at the old nickname. “Morning, mum.”

He made himself a cup of tea and sat down across from her.

“So, what do you think of him?” he asked, unable to help himself any longer. He had to know if Harry had his mother’s stamp of approval. He couldn’t imagine that he wouldn’t, but he was still dying to know what she thought

She hesitated, tilting her head to the side and taking a sip of her tea.

“He’s great, Louis,” she said after a moment. “Beautiful, smart, charming.”

“But?” Louis asked, sensing there was a but coming.

“Well,” Jay put her cup down and laced her fingers together. “I just worry, and I hate to even ask this, but are you sure he’s not after your money? I mean, it’s just that he’s so young.”

Louis blinked at her for a second, and started laughing. If only she knew.

“What is it?” She raised an eyebrow. “Why is that so funny? I really think this is something you should consider.”

“No, I know,” Louis assured her, pausing as he wondered how to phrase this without completely spilling the beans. “It’s just that Harry and I literally had a conversation about this not even a week ago. He thinks I spend too much money on him and it makes him uncomfortable.”

“Oh,” Jay said, thinking on that for a moment. “That’s… well, that definitely makes me like him more. How’d you get someone so young and spry to settle down with your old arse?”

Louis grinned. “You got Dan to settle down with your old arse, didn’t ya?”

“Good point,” Jay smirked into her tea and reached over to put her hand on Louis’. “Well, I’m happy for you.”

“Thanks mum,” Louis squeezed her hand. “I’m happy too.”

 

Their time in Doncaster went by too quickly in Louis’ opinion, and they were back in the car on Christmas afternoon, and headed towards Cheshire all too soon. They had the road pretty much to themselves, all the sane people still snuggled up by their Christmas fires, so they made the trip in good time. Harry obnoxiously made them listen to Lana Del Rey the entire way, shimmying in Louis’ direction as he sang along. Louis was going to kill Nick for putting the idea into Harry’s head.

“Light of your life, fire of your loins, be a good baby, do what you want,” Harry purposefully sang the lyrics wrong as they drove into Cheshire. Louis absolutely did not need to be thinking about Harry being a ‘good baby’ right before meeting his mum.

“Stop that and give me directions,” Louis demanded before Harry gave him a hard on.

Harry held his hands up defensively. “Fine, fine.”

He pointed Louis in all the right directions, and then told him to park behind a small black car in the driveway of his parents’ house. Louis took a deep breath and gave himself a mental pep talk. He was a people person. People tended to like him. Harry’s family was sure to be no different.

Louis could see how excited Harry was. He knew it had been a long time since he’d seen his mum and stepdad, probably not since the fall term started, so he tried not to ruin Harry’s mood with his nerves.

Harry’s mum met them at the door, clearly having been waiting for them. People always talked about how much Louis looked like his mum, but Harry and Anne were on an entirely different level. She had dark hair, like Harry, and a big dazzly smile. She kissed Harry’s cheek and gave Louis a warm, tight hug.

“So lovely to meet you, darling,” She whispered into his ear. “I’m Anne.”

“Thank you,” Louis said, feeling slightly more comfortable after the hug. Mums always had a way about them that set him at ease, and Anne really did seem pleased to meet him, which also helped. “You too.”

She waved them inside, and Louis took a deep breath as he stepped into the warm house. He could smell the Christmas roast cooking and the sweet scents of pumpkin pie. The house didn’t feel all that different from his family’s, warm and homey and comfortable. Pictures of Harry and his sister lined the walls, and there were markings that showed their growth as children drawn onto the doorframe of the kitchen.

Said sister, who Louis was still beyond nervous to meet, was sitting at the kitchen table peeling potatoes. Harry’s stepfather, Robin, joined her at the table, and they were chatting as Christmas music played softly in the background.

“Hey,” Harry announced his presence when they walked in, walking over to give Robin a hug and ruffling Gemma’s hair. Gemma scowled at him, and then she looked over at Louis and scowled at him too. Damn, Louis wanted to say, did the temperature just drop or was it just him?

“This is Louis,” Harry announced to the room, then looking directly at Gemma, “play nice.”

“I’m always nice,” Gemma scoffed.

“No, you’re not,” Harry and Anne retorted together, which resulted in them both shouting “jinx!” at each other and giggling.

Oh, God, Louis couldn’t help thinking. This is where he gets it.

 

Judging by Gemma’s expression, she was just as unamused.

“Dinner should be ready in an hour or so,” Anne told Harry and Louis. “Would either of you like anything to drink? Louis... water, juice, tea?”

“Um, some tea would be great,” Louis beamed at her. “Thanks. Do you need help with anything?”

“I think we’ve got most everything sorted,” She replied, turning to check on whatever was cooking at the stove. “Unless Gemma wants help with the potatoes.”

Gemma shrugged and wordlessly pushed the bowl of potatoes in Louis direction, handing him a peeler when he sat down. He got to work as Harry helped Anne out at the stove, Anne alternating between catching Harry up on the latest family drama and making small talk with Louis. She was really interested in his work, and after asking several questions, they figured out that Louis was a donor to the charity Anne worked for. She thanked him profusely and updated him on their most recent work.

The subject changed to Harry’s schooling when they all sat down to eat. Anne wanted updates on his thesis, which Louis found himself listening to with rapt attention as well. He and Harry rarely discussed the thesis he was so diligently working on, and hearing him talk about it so animatedly made Louis smile.

“A little bit interested in learning more about the industry since I’ve been hanging out with Lou,” Harry said after a moment. “Think that side of law could be pretty fascinating. I love contracts.”

Gemma snorted and Louis glanced over at her, knowing she was thinking about contracts of an entirely different sort. Harry, who also noticed Gemma’s reaction, reached under the table and squeezed Louis’ knee comfortingly before changing the subject to something safer.

They got through dinner almost painlessly. Louis was very aware of Gemma’s judging eyes on him for most of the evening, but Anne and Robin were easy enough to win over. Harry and Louis were put on cleaning duty, since they’d done the least preparation. Anne sat at the kitchen table as Harry washed and Louis dried, while Gemma and Robin prepared for presents in the living room.

Louis and Harry had exchanged their gifts with Louis’ family that morning. Despite all his moaning and teasing about not knowing what to get, Harry actually got Louis the perfect present- a certificate for a couples day at the spa. Lord knew Louis needed to have a relaxing day, and he was glad Harry thought to go with him. He’d have more fun with him there.

Harry’s family really wasn’t all that different from his own- just smaller. He watched on fondly as they opened their gifts from each other as Love, Actually played on telly in the background. The night ended with pie and hot chocolate and Gemma painting Harry’s nails. Louis excused himself to go outside for a smoke and to make a call Liam for an update on how the event went the night before.

They chatted for a short while, just long enough for Liam to assure Louis that everything went great, and then they hung up with Happy Christmas wishes.

Louis stubbed the butt of his cigarette out when he heard the door open behind him, and turned to see Gemma walking out with two steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Louis shifted uncomfortably, unsure of what to expect. She’d been civil to him all evening. Distant, yes, but still civil. He hoped that streak wasn’t going to end now. Gemma seemed to follow his train of thought.

“I come in peace,” she said, handing one of the mugs to Louis.

“You really don’t have to,” Louis said, accepting the mug anyway and wondering if Harry sent her out here. “I know you don’t like me very much.”

“I like you just fine,” Gemma admitted, sighing like she was put out by this fact. “I’m just not sure if I trust you yet. I don’t think that’s unfounded given the situation.”

Louis shook his head. “It’s not. I’d probably feel the same if it was one of my younger siblings.”

She joined him at the railing. “But Harry seems to really like you, and it’s pretty obvious that you like him too, so I guess I’ll have to get over it. You’re the first boy he’s ever brought home, so I suppose that counts for something.”

“Are we really obvious?” Louis wondered. He liked to think they played it cool most of the time, and nobody had ever told him otherwise.

“You’re about as subtle as a heart attack,” Gemma told him with a roll of her eyes. “I don’t think Harry knows that the sun doesn’t actually shine out of your ass. You should probably let him know.”

“I beg to differ,” Louis snarked back. He could always go for a bit of banter. “What Harry doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”

Gemma ran her eyes over his face for a moment, the same size and shape as Harry’s, but a warm brown instead of green. Louis found himself wondering how much more alike they’d look if Gemma didn’t bleach her hair.

“What about the fact that you’re in love with him?” She finally asked. “Don’t you think he should know that?”

Louis nearly spit out his hot chocolate. He’d barely even started thinking about being in love with Harry himself. How was it that someone he’d met only a handful of hours ago could already tell?

“What?!” He sputtered. “I don’t- I mean, I do, but I’ve just-” He trailed off and narrowed his eyes at her shit eating smile. “You’re good.”

“The sun doesn’t shine out of his ass either, you know.”

“I beg to differ,” Louis said again, although it lacked the bite from before.

They stood there in silence as they sipped their hot chocolate, and Louis could feel the truce in the air.

“I don’t want to scare him off,” Louis admitted after a while. “He was already so hesitant to make this official in the first place.”

Gemma shook her head. “You won’t. He wouldn’t have made it official if he didn’t feel the same.”

She reached over and gave him a soft pat on the back before heading back inside. Louis followed behind her, sitting down on the couch next to Harry to finish his cocoa. He watched him as he told Anne and Robin a story, and thought about how right Gemma was. Louis was insanely in love with him. He wouldn’t mind spending every Christmas from now on just like they’d spent this one, with family and each other. He wouldn’t mind spending future Christmases with a family of their own. He wouldn’t mind spending the holiday with just Harry if the family thing didn’t work out.

Similar thoughts popped into his mind sporadically throughout the remainder of their trip. He found himself thinking incredibly long term, wondering if Harry wanted to stay in London after he graduated, if he’d want to move in with him, if he wanted to get married and raise a family someday. These were things they’d never discussed, that Louis needed to know answers to if he expected their relationship to keep growing and evolving.

He planned out how to broach these conversations on the drive back to London, and basically came to the conclusion that everything would need to be brought up organically. He could also tell that Harry wasn’t in the mood for any serious discussion right now anyway, openly horny after nearly a week without sex when they’d been having it on an almost daily basis.

“First thing we’re doing when we get home is having sex,” he kept announcing. “I woke up with morning wood and had to bat it out in the shower every day this week.”

“You’ve only said about half a dozen times,” Louis teased, thoroughly amused. “Maybe we need to talk about how naughty, needy boys don’t get what they want.”

Harry groaned. “Not now. Don’t make it worse.”

Louis full on laughed at that, sparing Harry the blue balls and saving the dirty talk for later. He had another present to give him when they got home anyway. He’d bought it on a whim, but he was eager to give it to Harry, even more eager to try it out if Harry wanted to.

Despite all of his talk, Harry was pretty tired when they finally arrived at Louis’ house, and they did not have sex first thing. Harry collapsed dramatically onto Louis’ couch first thing, demanding that Louis order something in for dinner. Louis went into his office to order in a curry and check up on things.

He wasn’t as hungry as Harry was when the food arrived, so he started on a load of laundry while Harry ate, retrieving Harry’s last present from his bedroom after Harry finished up and turned on the telly.

“What’s that?” Harry asked nodding to the present when Louis joined him back on the couch.

“I got you a little something else for Christmas,” Louis said, holding the box out to Harry.

Harry just looked at it. “You already spent way too much on me, Lou.”

That wasn’t true. All he’d gotten him was the new YSL fragrance and an advanced copy of Ed’s album. He’d restrained himself, not wanting to make Harry uncomfortable by spoiling him.

Louis pouted. “We can return it if you don’t like it. In fact, you might not like it at all, but I just saw it and thought it was something we could try if you wanted.”

“Oh,” Harry said, smirking when he understood where Louis was going with this. “It’s that kind of present.”

“Yeah,” Louis confirmed, waggling his eyebrows. “That kind of present.”

He thrust the box into Harry’s hands and crossed his arms as he watched Harry open it, nimble fingers being careful not to rip the wrapping paper. He waited with baited breath as Harry tossed the paper to the side and slid the lid off the box. He really hoped Harry liked it.

“Oh,” Harry breathed when he saw what was inside, running his fingers over the soft leather of the collar. He took it out of the box and held it up.

“Not for like, puppy play or anything,” Louis explained. “But I thought we could try it when we play, especially since you wanted to experiment with domination outside of the bedroom.”

He swallowed and Harry looked at him with soft, gentle eyes, willing him to continue.

“So I thought this might be a good idea to like, decipher when we’re playing and when we aren’t, you know? Or you could like, put it on when you want me to dom you, but you don’t know how to ask for it. What do you think?”

Harry smiled and leaned over to kiss him softly. “I love it.” He kissed him again. “I can’t wait to try it. It’s perfect.”

“Yeah?” Louis breathed, beyond pleased. Harry would look so pretty with Louis’ collar around his neck.

“Yeah,” Harry pulled back and nodded, looking down to inspect the collar a bit more. It was a simple thing really, just one band with a clasp in the front and padding lining the inside. “You always know what to do for me. How is it you always know what to do for me?”

“Just instinct, I guess,” Louis said, because he honestly wasn’t sure. A lot of the time he felt like he was grasping at straws, and actually giving Harry what he needed were just strokes of luck.

“Honestly, Lou,” Harry put the collar back into the box, leaving the lid off so he could look at it. “You’re always so amazing to me.”

Louis ran his eyes over Harry’s face and took a deep breath. He hadn’t anticipated telling him so soon, but the moment felt right. He reached out to hold Harry’s hand.

“I think maybe it’s because I’m in love with you,” he said softly, looking up at Harry from underneath his eyelashes.

Harry inhaled sharply and snapped his head up from the collar to Louis’ face. He waited just long enough to respond that Louis was planning on backtracking, but then the biggest smile Louis had ever seen etched itself onto his face.

“I love you, too,” he said. “Hadn’t really thought about it until just now, but yeah… I think I do.”

Inexplicably, Louis felt like crying. He felt like a proper twat, but he was just so happy. He’d never felt anything quite like it, his chest feeling like it was going to expand out of his skin. The smile on Harry’s face told him that Harry felt the same.

“You, um,” he cleared his throat. “You told me once before… that you loved me.”

“I did?” Harry asked in confusion, looking at Louis like he was imagining things.

“Yeah,” Louis said, linking their fingers together. “After I spanked you that first night. You were so far under I knew you didn’t really know what you were saying, but you did say it.”

“Why didn’t you ever say?” Harry asked, rubbing the back of Louis’ hand with his thumb.

“I didn’t want to force you into a conversation you maybe weren’t ready to have,” Louis admitted. “Wanted you to feel free to say it when you were ready.”

Harry got up on his knees and crawled over to straddle Louis’ thighs. Louis hands instinctively went to wrap around his waist.

“That right there is one of the reasons I love you,” Harry said, running a hand through Louis’ hair. “You’re always so careful and considerate with me.”

Louis blushed and leaned up to kiss him, trying to convey all of the reasons he loved him back with his kiss, trying to find new reasons he hadn’t thought about yet.

He smiled against Harry’s mouth when he realized they had time to explore all of the reasons together.