• 9.2 ~ Decrepit Hotel
however unreasonable, which springs from a great love, than to be unmoved."
The next afternoon, Harry’s at the front desk alone when the three other boys all enter the building at once, hooping and hollering and talking loudly to each other, breaking all the silence Harry’s gotten used to already.
“Hiya!” Niall chirps at Harry, reaching over to ruffle Harry’s hair. “How are ya?”
“Hey,” Harry responds happily, clearing his desk enough to make room for at least one boy to have a place to sit. Niall takes the seat without hesitation. Zayn stays behind the upper desk, one elbow resting on the counter. Louis sidles up beside Harry with an extra chair.
“So, Curly, what d’ya do around here for fun?” Louis asks, propping his feet up on the desk. The pace of Harry’s heart quickens at the new pet name from Louis. His hair isn’t as curly as it once was, not that Louis would know, but Wavy isn’t a very cute nickname, is it? Harry laughs nervously.
“Um,” he scrambles for anything to say, scratching his head. Coincidentally, a familiar motor purrs from outside. A thought occurs to him. “You see that guy out there in the parking lot?” The boys all watch the biker park his motorcycle. “His name is Clyde. He’s always traveling from Texas to California and back, and he always stops here for a night. I like to make up stories about why he’s always traveling.”
“You mean you don’t just think it’s business or whatever?” Niall says.
“Does he look like a businessman to you?” Zayn quips, knocking Niall’s head playfully.
“What’s your best story?” Louis inquires. Harry ponders a second, hesitant as Clyde is getting closer to the door.
“I think he has two families.”
“Oh-ho-ho, shit!” Niall nearly shouts. “Proof?”
“Hey, get down,” Harry orders quietly when Clyde begins opening the door. Zayn moves off to the side and Niall hops off the desk, standing in between Harry and Louis. Harry and Clyde do their business as always. Harry tries for the umpteenth time to catch another glimpse of the inside of Clyde’s wallet, desperate to see the photos that back up his theory. Harry hands him his key slowly, much slower than usual, distracted by his efforts. Harry smiles, acting casually and Clyde fixes him with a look. Harry’s unable to tell if he’s weirded out by Harry or he’s curious as to why there are three other boys staring at him. When Clyde finally exists, the other three boys burst out laughing and Harry looks at them curiously.
“God, Curly,” Louis starts, “couldn’t look any more suspicious, could you?” Harry smiles sheepishly.
“But did you see inside his wallet? He has pictures of two different families. I still think I’m right.”
“Detective Styles, eh?” Niall laughs. “Hey, Zaynie, maybe we should go help Harry with his investigation, huh? Find out more about our mate Clyde.” Zayn doesn’t answer but when Niall starts bounding out of the room, he follows behind, leaving Harry and Louis alone.
“Try not to both- oh,” Harry tries yelling after them in vain, efforts scorched when they are too far away. He turns to Louis. “They’re not really gonna go after him, are they?” Louis shrugs, laughing.
“Honestly I have no idea what they get up to in private together.” His eyes crinkle in the cutest way that makes Harry feel warm and gooey and dizzy inside, like having a schoolchild crush. Kind of like how you feel when you lay backside on a spinning playground merry-go-round, the world surrounding you rushing past like watching time itself physically move, and the only thing that stays still, stays permanent is the sky and clouds above you. That’s what looking at Louis’s face feels like. A comfortable silence brews between them when a welcome breeze blows in from the open door, apparently strong enough to unwind the headscarf wrapped loosely around Harry’s head, making it blow away and topple swiftly towards the floor behind him.
“Here.” Louis launches at the scarf before Harry even has a chance to sit up, catching it in the air. His arms come around Harry’s head. “Sit back,” he instructs. Harry leans back into his chair, into Louis’ touch. Harry instinctively reaches his hand up to help Louis tie it around his head, through his hair, their fingers brushing gently. Louis pulls it tight, tying it in a double knot. He even manages to get long, curlier pieces of Harry’s hair and angle them over the knot to hide it, just like Harry would do himself.
“Thanks,” Harry mutters softly, elongating the s timidly.
“No problem,” Louis replies, ruffling Harry’s hair a bit. “It's cute on you, I like ‘em.” Harry blushes slightly under the compliment. Deep down, he thinks he should feel somewhat ridiculous for the way Louis makes him act, makes him nervous and confident at the same time, always self-aware and yet sure and uncaring, like he knows Louis wouldn’t mind him any way he looks or whatever he says. That he’d be around no matter what. Louis retakes his seat and for a moment it’s quiet, until Louis touches Harry’s shin with his foot.
“What’s your story?”
“What?” Harry reacts, puzzled.
“What’s your story?” he repeats. “I told you ours, so tell me yours. Why are you here? What’s your plans?”
“Oh,” Harry realizes. He mulls it over a minute. “I don’t really have a story.”
“Sure you do,” Louis insists. “Everyone has a story. How did you get from Cheshire to Bumfuck, Arizona?”
“Planes, trains and automobiles,” Harry mocks.
“Oi, you wisecrack,” Louis says, pretending to be appalled, but unable to help the smile forming on his face, “fine, I don’t care about your story.” Harry sits up in his seat, twisting to face Louis directly.
“You really wanna know?”
“It’s kinda funny, really,” Harry reveals, registering it for the first time himself, even. “I was on my way to California too, wanting to sing-”
“You can sing?” Louis asks, surprised, eyebrows raising high. Harry doesn’t know how to answer that question, seeing as how he hasn’t sang in front of anyone for years.
“What happened?” Louis seems to be sitting closer now, their knees an inch apart and if Harry moves just a bit to the left, they would be touching. He watches the fingers of Louis’ hands twist and untwist together in his lap. He wants Louis to touch him. Harry shrugs.
“I stopped at that diner, fell in love with the vibe of the place, you know? I stayed here for a night and ended up taking a job because I knew I needed the money. It wasn’t supposed to be a forever thing, I just wanted to be ready for any rejections I faced when I got to California. Three years later, I’m still here.”
“That’s rubbish, Harry,” is all Louis says, causing Harry to laugh.
“It’s fine. I’m - happy.”
“You don’t sound too sure about that,” Louis replies, looking away in the distance. Something about the way he says it makes Harry question himself.
It’s nearly dark out when hears a motor outside later that night, someone pulling into the motel parking lot. When he sees it’s Zayn’s van, he’s surprised since he hadn’t noticed it was gone in the first place. He walks out to meet Zayn, but is instead greeted by Louis hopping out of the front seat.
“Does Zayn know about this?” Harry teases, approaching Louis. Louis shakes his head and puts his pointer finger to his lips in an attempt to silence Harry.
“I won’t tell if you won’t. C’mon, help me with this,” Louis urges, tossing his shoulder to the side of the van before swinging open the sliding door.
“What, you can’t carry two six-packs on your own?” Harry asks when he sees what’s sitting in the floor of the van. Louis fixes him with a teasing glare and hands him one of the six-packs, anyway.
“You know, I drove halfway across the globe before I saw a single convenience store, Harold. How do you live like this?” Harry laughs, shaking his head slightly, shrugging.
“It’s a struggle.”
“I’ll say,” Louis says, eyes sparkling as he watches Harry. Louis opens the motel room door and sets one six-pack on the inside. When Harry tries doing the same with his, Louis stops him.
“Nah, that one’s for you.” Harry stays silent for a moment, considering a thanks, but instead, in a quiet voice says,
“Can I show you something?” Harry leads Louis around the back of the building, toting the six-pack in hand, and stops in front of the small, enclosed garden. The air is richer and fresher now this late at night, much less stuffy than during the day. Moonlight is the only manner of light, the grey and bluish tones bring a bursting sense of cool, unfamiliar and strange, but welcome.
“What’s this?” Louis asks. Harry rolls his eyes, opening the gate to let them both in.
“It’s my garden. Well, technically, it’s not mine, but-”
“I know, but like, why are you showing it to me?” Louis asks, running a finger over the frame of the fence that’s covered in vines. Truthfully, Harry doesn’t know why he’s showing it to Louis, and he tells him as much. He’s never shown it to anyone besides Miss Barbara, only because it’s hers, and it’s not as if he has very many people to show it to, regardless. Even the owners of the motel don’t know about it, so Harry thinks it’s sort of special. Harry gets down onto his knees in front of the two clay pots Miss Barbara had left him earlier in the week.
“You wanna help me transplant these?” Louis gives him a surprised look.
Less than fifteen minutes later, Louis is exaggeratedly thrashing his body about, groaning and whining like a toddler. Harry’s already too soft for Louis to be annoyed by the man’s constant need for attention and lack of patience and focus it takes to replant new flora. Louis pulls out his final weed, all the way down from the root at the insistent of Harry, and then falls back against the pavement and stays there, staring up at the sky. Harry sighs lightly and scoots back closer to Louis to accompany him, sitting Indian style next to him. His eyes wander down the length of Louis’ body, from his waist to his feet. Louis’ pants are rolled up above his ankles and Harry notices a black ink written across the front of them.
“You have tattoos?” Harry asks, breathlessly. Louis sits up on his bum, pulling his legs up closer to give Harry a better angle to see. Each ankle has a different word; it spells out `The Rogue.´
“Yeah, just this,” he says, tracing his fingers across `The´ “for now,” he amends.
“‘The Rogue,’” Harry says. “Sounds like a band name.”
“Ha! Good guess,” Louis grins. “That is the name of our band.” Harry raises his eyebrows and taps the side of his forehead, as if to signify how incredibly brainy he must be, smiling. Then, he pulls his knees up to his chest and turns his feet towards Louis.
“I have my tattoos in the same place,” Harry says, quietly, almost like he doesn’t want to point that out, maybe keep that oddity to himself.
“‘Never Gonna Dance Again,’” Louis reads aloud. “You a big George Michael fan?” he teases.
“Yeah,” Harry replies, unsmiling, catching Louis with a serious look. “I own every record he’s ever made, Louis.” Louis puts his hands up in defense.
“Hey, me mum was real serious about him, too, growing up.” Harry breaks his look, shaking his head. He rubs his thumb over one of his ankles.
“Nah, I dunno. It was just meant to be ironic because I don’t know how to dance.”
“I think it’s clever,” he says. Then he bumps shoulders with him. “Word of advice, though, don’t be an actor in your next life, I can see right through you.” Harry scoffs and knees Louis in the thigh.
Another half hour later, after finally getting Louis to transplant flowers from a pot and into ground soil, water the rest of the flowers, and pull any weeds that have grown in the garden beds, the two sit on a traditionally decorative bench that rests in the corner of the garden, a nearly empty six-pack fallen off to the side of the bench. Somehow they’d ended up there with Louis suggesting they share the beer he bought for Harry, but they hadn’t meant to drink practically all of it. Harry supposes it doesn’t affect Louis quite as much, but he feels warm and slightly giddy and heavy, like some slow moving liquid, he can’t think of a specific kind right now. With everything as quiet as it is now, with only the sounds of distant crickets making noise, Harry feels especially conscious of his sobriety. The moon is directly behind Louis and the moonlight shines bright and white against Louis’ sharp profile, causing him to look angelic and dark at the same time and Harry still really, really wants to reach up and run his fingers over his scruff. Harry runs his finger over the rim of the glass bottle instead, his feet propped up on Louis’s lap. Louis rests his palm over Harry’s ankle, running a thumb over his ankle bone. Deep in his mind, he knows he’s going to have killer back pain tomorrow for lying this way, but right now, with Louis touching his skin, he can’t bring himself to care. His head lolls carelessly off the side of the uncomfortable metal armrest, as if he can’t keep his head upright.
“Are you a lightweight, Harry Styles?” Louis asks in a taunting voice, sounding fainter to Harry’s ears than he thinks it would if he were sober.
“No,” Harry lies, bringing a hand to his mouth, hiding an onset of hiccups. Louis leans forward, his hand running up from Harry’s ankle to his waist and the air between them grows thicker. Louis hums above him, a tune Harry doesn’t recognize. Harry hiccups again, chest shaking along with it, but Louis keeps his hand still on his waist, until he dips his finger below Harry’s shirt. His eyes dart back up to Harry’s own, and Harry watches him with awe, blinking slowly.
“God, you’re cute,” Louis murmurs, voice low.
“Am I?” Harry breathes. “And what does that make you?” Louis hums again, gaze lowering to watch his fingers dance across the exposed skin above the waistline of Harry’s jeans. Harry’s stomach curls and swoops in response to the sensation. He brings the rim of his beer bottle to his lips, tapping it gently there.
“I guess that depends on you,” Louis finally answers, eyebrow raised slightly, gaze lifting. Harry `hmms´ softly, bringing his free hand to Louis’ shoulder, grazing down his arm to meet his wrist.
“I think - you’re really bloody fit.” He isn’t sure if this is what he would be saying if he were sober. He tries to sound as sober as possible, but he’s lost his ability to tell. Louis gives a wide smirk.
“Thanks.” Harry huffs out a giggle, almost nervous. His hand still rests on Louis’ wrist, guiding Louis’ hand across Harry’s waist.
“What do you want?” Louis asks in a low voice, curious as he notices Harry’s notions. Harry lets out a breath, eyes drifting to where their hands meet, hovering over his groin and god, Harry knows he’s seconds from getting hard and all he wants, all he thinks he’s ever wanted, is for Louis to touch him, there or anywhere, honestly, just. He feels frantic for it already. He doesn’t know who makes the first move or how exactly it happened, but it seems like one second he’s lying there desperately wishing for Louis to touch him and suddenly his face is being cradled by Louis’ hands and his own are fishing beneath Louis’ shirt. Louis’ lips are barely a hair’s breadth from his own, ghosting over his cheeks and Harry fights the urge to arch up into it. He’s so, so, so close, Harry can feel the a hint of Louis’ scuff scratch against his lips.
“Kiss me,” Harry thinks, he admits out loud and that’s all it takes before Louis closes the gap and presses their lips together, barely allowing Harry to breathe, let alone for his brain catch up with the situation. His hands are running down Louis’ back, massaging there. Louis’ pull Harry’s waist up from behind, leaning their bodies closer together. All Harry can hear or feel is his heart beating wildly in his chest.
“Can we-,” Louis suggests, head crooking towards the building, and Harry’s nodding yes, yes, anything anywhere, yes before he even knows what he means. They stand up together, desperate not to part but knowing they have to until Harry pulls Louis back into his space, kissing him hungrily as they back up out of the garden.
“Watch the - flowers,” Harry advises lamely through a kiss, hardly listening to his own advice before nearly tripping over a potted plant, just missing it when Louis lifts Harry’s thigh up around his hip, dragging him around the building. They stop periodically, without really meaning to but not being able to help it. Harry shoves them up against the wall, so close to the entrance. He throws his head back, giving Louis access to his neck.
“C’mon.” Louis takes a hold of Harry’s hand and Harry finally catches his breath when they walk through the entrance and into Harry’s room. The reality of the situation finally hits him, like a needle scratching on a record or something. This is the first time Louis’s been in his room. The room is dark, save for a lamp in the corner beside the bed. Louis doesn’t look around much, but when he closes the space between him and Harry again, his mouth sliding up his neck and to Harry’s ears, he whispers,
“You have a lot of candles.” Harry laughs breathlessly, Louis’s tongue tracing circles on his skin, causing Harry’s brain to short circuit. Feeling awkward knowing they’re never going to get anywhere just by standing in the middle of the room, Harry pulls Louis backwards with him until the back of his knees hit the bed and he sits. Louis places his knees on either side of Harry’s legs and Louis looks down at Harry, toying with the stray hair around Harry’s ears. Harry helps Louis out of his shirt and he kisses from Louis’s chest to the base of his stomach, fingers resting lightly at his waistband. The air isn’t as thick or slow as before now between them, but still just as heated, still just as strong and urgent and Harry’s brain is swimming in pure, unadulterated arousal. Harry slides back on the bed against the headboard, one leg wrapping around Louis to urge him on as well. He curls his pointer finger towards himself, silently asking for Louis to climb across his body. They both giggle into each other’s mouths when they’re close enough, high from this already. They kiss timidly but sweetly until it manifests into something headier and more desperate. Harry runs his hands down the flank of Louis’ exposed chest until finally, finally Louis pulls Harry’s shirt off too.
“What do you want?” Louis murmurs, pressed to Harry’s lips, the question from in the garden echoing between them. Harry’s head rushes, making his head feel light and his body feel heavy simultaneously. Still not sobered up enough to hide his enthusiasm.
Het is zo vroeg !!
But ja, I love Larry ! They are so cute!
Maar ik ben ook nog altijd een Narry fan.
Hoe is het met jullie??
Ook bijna vakantie?