16.5 ~ Black & Blue
Over the next few weeks, Louis had to try really hard not to spend all of his free time with Harry. He didn't want to fall into old habits of letting someone else become his life, so he would often go home after work to his lonely flat and watch bad TV alone instead of watching it with Harry and talking over the boring parts. Three weeks after they had become whatever it was that they were, they had never used the words `boyfriend´ or `relationship´, but they both knew that's what they were. Harry came over to Louis' flat after Louis got out of work and after Harry had played a small gig. It was late, almost midnight, but they hadn't seen each other in a few days so they both needed it. After talking and watching a movie, they ended up lazily snogging in the dark, Louis smiling into the kiss as he tasted mint on Harry's tongue from the tea they'd had earlier. Harry pushed his fingers between Louis' and pulled away from Louis' lips.
What if I stayed the night? He asked, his voice a little uncertain. Louis felt a swell of anxiety inside him. They hadn't done the sleepover thing and Louis had every reason to be nervous. He wasn't sure he was ready for sex yet and Harry had never pushed, never even mentioned it, but Louis was sure he'd been thinking about it. Even aside from sex, Louis was nervous about spending the night with him. What if he snored? What if he drooled? What about morning breath?
You remember you can always tell me no, right? Harry said quietly, kissing Louis' jaw. The truth was, Louis actually wanted Harry to spend the night, even though it scared him. So, he nodded in the darkness, facing his fears.
Yeah, stay the night.
I'm sure. They kissed again before Louis pulled away, standing to search for pyjamas in his dresser. He pulled out a pair, along with a t-shirt he usually slept in.
Do you want something to sleep in? I doubt my clothes will fit you properly, but I'm sure I can find something. Harry peeled off his socks and stood, dropping them on the floor by Louis' bed.
I'm fine in my boxers, he stated, pausing. Unless you'd rather I wore pyjamas. Louis shook his head, indicating that he was fine either way. As he shut the dresser drawer, Harry pulled his shirt over his head revealing his long, toned stomach. Louis tried not to stare, but it was the first time he'd properly seen Harry without a shirt on other than the quick glimpse he'd gotten when Harry had told him about his extra nipples and almost proudly showed them off. As he looked at him now, he was in awe. Next Harry pushed down his jeans and Louis was properly staring now. As Harry dropped his clothes next to his socks, Louis shook his head and looked away.
I'm going to go brush my teeth and stuff, he said, taking his pyjamas into the bathroom. With the door closed behind him, he leaned against the counter, taking a deep breath. He changed his clothes while facing away from the mirror, not wanting to see his own body so soon after having seen Harry's. After brushing his teeth and washing his face, he emerged to find Harry sitting at the foot of Louis' bed.
Hey, he whispered, smiling warmly as Louis approached. He stood and wrapped Louis into a hug.
You're still sure you want me to stay? He asked quietly into Louis' ear. Louis just nodded into Harry's shoulder, not wanting him to hear the nervousness in his voice. They stood there for a moment, with Harry's fingers running up and down Louis' clothed back slowly. Louis touched Harry's skin as little as possible, feeling overwhelmed by it.
Do you have an extra toothbrush? Louis directed him to the drawer where he could find one and Harry disappeared into the bathroom for a couple of minutes. Louis fussed with his comforter, thankful that he'd just washed his sheets the day before. When Harry emerged, Louis had already crawled into bed, lifting the blanket on the other side for him. Harry climbed into the bed and covered himself, sighing as he got situated. He turned on his side, facing Louis, who was on his back, his arms draped over his own waist under the covers. Louis turned his head to look at Harry, lifting the corner of his mouth just a bit. Instead of speaking, Harry kissed him softly, slowly. It was a patient kiss and soon Louis was relaxing into it. When Harry parted his own lips, sucking on Louis' bottom lip lightly, he relaxed more, letting Harry's tongue sneak into his mouth. Their tongues met, wet and sweet, and Louis loved the feeling. It wasn't rushed or pushy. It was slow and deliberate and wonderful. After snogging each other breathless, they pulled away and Harry shifted, turning into him more. Louis felt Harry's hand drop to his waist, his fingers playing with the hem of his shirt. He pressed his own hands against his stomach, holding the material down, feeling his face flush. Harry leaned in and kissed him again, lightly this time, letting his lips linger against Louis'.
You're beautiful, he whispered into Louis' lips, pressing another kiss into them. You're beautiful. He repeated it again and again, pressing their lips together between his words. He dragged his lips down Louis' neck, whispering the words into Louis' skin along the way. He kissed down to Louis' collarbone, where the neckline of Louis' shirt cut him off before lifting his head up and kissing his lips once more. He looked into Louis' eyes as he placed his hand over Louis' and Louis knew he could push him away. He knew he could say no, but he let Harry move his hands aside. They both knew this was one of those times where Louis needed a little nudge forward. Harry kissed him again as he slid his hand under Louis' shirt, pushing it up to expose Louis' skin. He only pulled away from his lips for a moment as he peeled the shirt over Louis' head before he was back, his lips pressed into Louis'. Then he moved down again, placing kisses down Louis' neck to his chest. Pushing himself up onto his knees, he crawled down Louis' body, lips touching every inch of exposed skin across his chest.
Beautiful here, he whispered, placing a kiss in the middle of his chest. And here, as he moved lower. And here. Another kiss. And beautiful here, he said as he reached Louis' stomach. Louis felt his hands trembling as Harry kissed across his middle, whispering `beautiful´ again and again. Harry's hand found Louis' trembling one and he laced their fingers together in a comforting grip. Before long, Harry kissed his way back up, finding his lips again, his chest resting against Louis'. Louis felt Harry's fingers roam along his sides, but the kiss distracted him and he once again felt himself relax, at least enough to seek out Harry's tongue with his own. They snogged for a while and Louis could feel Harry's heartbeat against his chest, his skin warm and welcoming. He forced himself to focus on Harry's lips, otherwise, he'd go crazy with all the thoughts and feelings pressing in on him. When Harry pulled away, his lips were swollen pink and his cheeks were flushed and Louis had to bite back a groan at the sight.
What are you feeling? He asked, his fingers tracing patterns into Louis' hip.
Horny and terrified, Louis responded honestly, drunk on the lack of oxygen. Harry smiled a little and bumped his nose into Louis'.
Which one of those is winning? Louis bit his lip, thinking. After a moment, he sighed, once again answering honestly.
I don't know. Harry nodded and kissed him once again before rolling off of Louis, back to his side of the bed, keeping his arm draped across Louis' waist.
Then let's get some sleep, yeah? Pick up where we left off another time? Harry's eyelids drooped a bit over his shining eyes and Louis smiled. He still didn't understand how he had gotten so lucky that a guy like this wanted him. A guy who was beautiful and funny and kinder than anyone else he'd met. A guy who was patient and, somehow, knew Louis better than anyone else did. He fought the urge to pick up his discarded shirt from the ground. Instead he curled up in Harry's arms as they fell asleep under the covers and he actually felt safe there.
The following week, Louis called Liam on Tuesday to catch up. He had avoided telling him about Harry until now and he finally found the nerve to do so. After they talked about the latest football match and after Liam had told him about his new side job painting houses, the conversation reached a lull and Louis took the opportunity.
Hey, so, there's something I wanted to let you know.
Okay, Liam replied hesitantly.
Yeah, it's just that- Well, I'm seeing someone. Have been for a few weeks now. Liam hesitated and Louis kept talking to avoid the silence and, hopefully, to put Liam's mind at ease. His name's Harry and he's a couple years younger than me. He plays at the coffee shop sometimes. That's how we met, actually. Anyway, he plays guitar and sings and writes songs and he works in a bookstore, too. Louis was aware he was babbling nervously, but he couldn't help it, feeling the judgment seeping through the phone from Liam's end. When he and Liam first saw each other after Louis' split from Max, Liam had warned him not to date for a good, long while. Although it had been months since that conversation, Louis suspected he had been thinking more in terms of years.
He's just- Louis sighed. He's just a really good guy and he wants to meet you and Niall and I want you guys to meet him. Finally, Louis quieted himself, waiting for Liam's reply, which came soon after.
Well, the fact that he wants to meet us is a good sign, I guess. Louis smiled a bit at that.
Liam, I know I've fucked up a lot, but I'm not being stupid here.
Good. You know I just want the best for you, right? Louis rolled his eyes to himself, smiling.
Yes, mum, I know, he teased. So maybe you guys could come around my place for dinner Friday?
Uh, Liam hesitated. You're cooking?
No, he huffed. That's Harry's job. He's properly good at it.
Oh, okay. Then I accept the invitation.
Good. Let Niall know, yeah? I've got to get ready for work. Liam agreed before they hung up and Louis tried not to be nervous about the set up. He texted Harry, telling him that the dinner was a go. Harry responded with an excited yaaayyyy! Moments later, Louis received another text from Harry.
Harry: Zayn says he's hurt that he wasn't invited but he wants you to know he forgives you and he'll see you Friday. :/ Sorry babe.
Louis laughed out loud, quickly texting back.
Louis: Why would he even want to come?
Harry: He says he knows your friends are fit.
Louis: How would he know? You've never even met them...
Louis rolled his eyes as he finished typing and walked into the bathroom to style his hair. His phone buzzed after a minute, a text from a new number popping up.
Zayn: I have a sixth sense about these things, Louis. Don't question me. Xx - Z
To be honest, he was kind of happy Zayn would be there. If there was any awkward silence, Zayn was sure to fill it.