4.3 ~ Taking tips and getting stoned
Three weeks later, Niall is at theirs and Jack is coming over, so Louis decides to do it up right and makes dinner for all of them. He manages not to overcook the pasta and, while the chicken isn't so lucky, he decides to call it blackened and say he did it on purpose. When Jack arrives, Louis opens the door, kissing him hello, then beckons him inside, walking back to where he's cutting up tomatoes for a salad. As he does, he feels the man's body press up against his back, kissing his neck and looking over his shoulder.
Am I interrupting something? Looks fancy, he murmurs, lips moving to Louis' ear and tongue flicking out over the shell of it.
No, idiot, Louis answers, shuddering when Jack takes his earlobe between his teeth, biting gently. We're having dinner. You and I and Zayn and Niall. He picks up the pile of cut tomatoes with his hands and drops them on top of the lettuce, deciding that lettuce and tomatoes is enough to call it a salad. Jack has stepped back, but Louis just picks up the salad bowl and gives him a smile as he takes it to the table.
As they eat, Zayn makes a face as he chews the admittedly dry chicken, but Niall is kind enough to tell him it's seasoned well and Louis decides in that moment that he prefers Niall. Jack is quiet, but he's sort of new to this, actually hanging out with Louis' friends, so he figures that's normal. He drops his hand onto the man's knee and squeezes it, then goes back to asking Niall about the football game he'd missed while he was at work.
After dinner, Louis drags Jack into his bedroom and pulls his cock out, giving him a grateful blowjob for enduring the evening, getting himself off in the process. When they've both finished, they fall together on the bed and Jack draws abstract shapes into Louis' skin with his fingertips, silent for a long time. Then, finally, he speaks, his voice quiet.
Hey, can I ask you something? Louis hums and turns toward him with a sated smile.
Shoot. He looks nervous, though, staring at where his fingers slide over the curve of Louis' hip, the touch so soft it almost tickles.
I don't know how to ask this without sounding like a massive prick, he says, wincing. I mean, I am a massive prick for asking, I know-
Jack? Louis interrupts softly, lifting a hand to his chin and nudging it up until he looks Louis in the eye. He's afraid of what's coming, wondering if it's something about his past or maybe even something about the sex, but he'd rather he just come out and ask it, whatever it is. Just ask. Jack nods, taking a deep breath.
I really like what we're doing here, I do, he says, gaze flicking across Louis' face before landing on his eyes again. But could we not do the whole, the home-cooked meal, double date thing again? Louis' face falls at his request and Jack is quick to go on.
It's just that, that's not what this is, you know? Like, I'm happy to grab dinner with you sometimes, but this was a little too couple-y for me. He exhales a sigh, curling his fingers around Louis' hip. I'd just rather keep this simple. No strings, no complications. Louis is about to open his mouth to explain that it wasn't a double date - he doesn't even think Zayn and Niall are official yet, but he stops himself, realizing that maybe it was. Maybe he was trying to create a relationship out of meaningless sex because he's so fucking lonely and so fucking tired of writing love songs for a boy who doesn't even exist to him anymore that he made this into more than it really was in his head. He sits up like a bolt, dropping his head into his hands, humiliated.
You should just go, he mumbles, his skin on fire. Just go, fuck, just leave please. His hands shake as Jack silently gets out of bed and starts pulling on his clothes. He tries to stay absolutely still, worried that he'll start crying if he moves a muscle, but Jack leans down and touches his arm gently once he's dressed.
Babe, I didn't - I'm sorry, I didn't know it was like that for you, he says regretfully, thumb stroking over Louis' skin.
Please just go, Louis begs behind his hands, quickly losing the battle to stay still, to not fall apart. As soon as he hears the door click, tears spring to his eyes and he scrubs at his face, in disbelief that they're not even for the man walking out of his flat. Because it's not like that for Louis, it never was with Jack. He tried to make something out of nothing, tried to convince himself that he could have something real, but he's still only ever figured out how to love one person and that's so fucked up Louis can barely breathe.
The next day, he tells Liam he's done writing. He can use anything he wants, but he doesn't want to do any more. He's said all he needs to say. Between songwriting and Jack and Niall and work, Louis hasn't been alone with Zayn in what feels like forever. With two of those things out of the picture now, they finally have an evening in, just the two of them, and Louis might have needed it. Of course, Zayn spends most of it talking about Niall, but that's fine. Louis can ignore the empty, aching feeling in his chest for a little while to be happy for Zayn.
I like that we're going slow, Zayn says, his fingers absently carding through Louis' hair where his head is resting on his lap. Even after we started, like, hooking up, I was still so worried that it wasn't what he really wanted. But he explained to me he wouldn't have come back when I started avoiding him if he wasn't sure. Louis smiles against Zayn's thigh, nodding and letting him talk.
And I don't know why I was so worried about the whole gay or straight thing. I should've known he'd be as laid back about that as he is with everything else. Louis grunts out a little noise as if to say I told you so. He does enjoy being right.
I know, I know, Zayn says, laughing a little, his fingers twisting into Louis' hair. He's quiet for a long while and Louis closes his eyes, enjoying the feeling of his hair being played with. Finally, Zayn speaks again, softer now. Have you ever been in love? Louis' stomach instantly twists with anxiety at the question. He's never really told Zayn about Harry. It's basically the only thing he's ever kept quiet about. He swallows thickly, not opening his eyes.
Afraid so, he answers, trying not to show what the subject does to him.
I haven't, I don't think. Or maybe I have. I don't know, he rambles quietly. But, like, when I'm with Niall it's just- it's like I never want to stop looking at him. And when I make him laugh? There's nothing like it, you know? He stops, sighing, and his fingers still in Louis' hair. Shit, sorry, I'm being soppy again. We can talk about something else. Louis turns onto his side so he's facing away from Zayn, keeping his head resting on the boy's thigh. He ignores the lump in his throat and the fluttering of his stomach and tries to keep Zayn and Niall in his mind instead of remembering that feeling, the one that makes you feel stronger than anyone else in the world when you've made the person you love- your favorite person- laugh.
No, it's okay, he replies thickly, hoping Zayn can't hear the emotion. Tell me your love story. He'd like to hear one that doesn't have an unhappy ending. So Zayn talks and talks, telling him about how sometimes they just lie in bed together and smile at each other, tracing the points of each other's bodies with their thumbs. About how, the most recent time they went to a club, a girl started chatting Niall up and he just smiled, pulling Zayn in by the waist as she talked, then told her it was nice to meet her but that he owed someone a dance. He pulled Zayn onto the dance floor without a care, curling around him as they moved together. Zayn tells Louis that they finally fucked and how perfect Niall felt, how their bodies just slid together. He tells him about the butterflies, how he forgot to breathe for a moment when Niall looked up at him with bright blue eyes, lifted his fingers to Zayn's temple and told him it felt good, it was good. Louis curls in on himself, squeezing his eyes tight, and stops listening then. Later, when his heartbeat has slowed to a reasonable rate and Zayn has tapered off, he takes a deep breath and sits up, leaning over the side of the sofa to grab his bowl and stash of pot.
So where's Jack been? Zayn asks with a forced casualness that Louis sees right through. I was surprised to see him around again. The last time Louis had parted ways with Jack, he swore it would be the end of it. It had ended amicably enough when Jack started seeing someone else, but Louis was tired of being a back-up plan. So, he'd said it was over and moved on. Louis doesn't know how to explain that he just needed something more than a quick fuck with a stranger. He doesn't know how to admit that he's lonely without sounding pathetic and without making Zayn feel guilty for having someone.
He's good in bed, he says instead, shrugging as he tips a bit of pot into the bowl, tamping it down. But I'm quite sure this was the last time for real. His mind flashes back to holding back tears as Jack got dressed and he knows without a doubt that he won't be back. He takes a hit from the pipe, then another, then offers it to Zayn, who slowly takes it, eyeing Louis curiously.
You okay? He asks, holding the bowl idly in his hands, trying to mask the concern in his expression, but failing. Louis flashes him a cheesy smile.
Amazing, mate. As Zayn gives him a small smile, then takes his own hit off the pipe, Louis thinks about being eighteen and whispering his dreams in the back of his car, about the fairy tale he'd written in his head. Turns out he became a pretty good actor after all.
Sorry dit stukje is wat korter, Jack is trouwens echt een klootzak.
Vinden jullie ook niet?
Nog één deel hierna en erna komt Harry er weer in (: