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Chapter 1 | 2

Chapter 3

Harry was exhausted. Simon had arrived, put out that they had refused to meet him at the office, but stopped short when Harry walked into the room. After the initial round of explanations and Simon determining for himself that Harry’s wings were, after all, actually real, they had spent hours discussing Liam’s plan—to hide Harry in plain sight.

Ever practical, Simon immediately took their initial ideas and ran with them, devising an elaborate game change to their current world tour.

“I think we can make this work,” he said. “We’ve gotten some initial feedback on the new single and a lot of parents, especially in America—you know how they are about sex—think it’s too mature for their teenage daughters. Already, we were thinking it might have been too soon to shift the focus in that particular direction. It’s going to take a lot of work for everyone, especially you boys,” he cautioned, “but I think it might actually be better in the long run if we switch it up from sex to—I don’t know—following your dreams. You know, aiming high, flying high… something of that sort. There will be plenty of time on your third album to move the focus back to sex.”

Zayn snickered.

“Right. What you boys get up to in your spare time is your own business.”

“What spare time?” Niall mumbled under his breath.

“What about the lecture we got in Australia? After the gambling?” Liam asked.

“And what about those girls in the hotel in Chicago?” Zayn asked.

“And how about that—“ Louis started before he was cut off.

“All right. Point taken.” He held up his hand to stop them. “Everything you do ends up being our business. Sorry,” he said, not looking sorry at all. “But that’s not what we need to be focusing on at the present time.”

“Right. So, where were we?” Liam asked, trying to bring order.

“Casual sex,” Zayn reminded them with a sly look and snickered again. The other boys joined in with laughter.

Simon threw up his hands in mock defeat and collapsed back on the sofa, but there was a smile on his face.

After giving the boys a few moments to get the giggles out of their systems, Simon reined them in to iron out the details.

“So you’re all in agreement? We’ll rework the album and the tour. Harry? You’re certain you’re okay with this?”

“If you really think it will work.”

“I do. It’ll be a very tight schedule, but I think it can be done. We’ll handle things on a need-to-know basis. Besides you boys, who else knows about Harry’s… wings?” He stumbled over the word, their existence still strange to accept.

“No one. I’m going to tell my mum,” Harry said. “I feel like I should have called her straight off, but I didn’t know how to tell her without her worrying and wanting to drive to London. I think it’ll be easier now that we’ve all discussed it and have a plan.”

“Of course you’ve got to tell her,” Simon immediately agreed. “And Gemma too, I’m assuming?”

“Yeah.”

Simon nodded.

“We’ve talked about this a bit already,” Louis spoke up. “Who to tell. Definitely Paul. We weren’t actually sure if we should call him first, but decided he’d probably take it better coming from you, what with all the pranks we’ve pulled on him in the past. I’m quite certain he wouldn’t have believed us.”

“Probably not,” Simon agreed. “So Paul, without question. Your safety’s got to be our first priority. I’ll leave it up to him to determine who else, if anyone, on the security team should be informed. He knows much better than I who can be trusted.”

The boys nodded their agreement.

“Lou as well, obviously,” Louis continued. “As close as she is to us, she’d figure it out on her own. And Harry would end up telling her anyway. We thought she’d be able to fix up some sort of chest harness or something for Harry. To make it look like the wings are a costume.”

“That’s a good idea,” Simon said. “I think you should all be getting a set. Of wings,” he clarified. “Maybe not as large as Harry’s—let his be front and centre—but it’d make sense. Victoria’s Secret manages it; we can too.”

“What’s Victoria’s Secret?” Niall asked.

“An American lingerie company. They do a runway show and all the models wear angel wings,” said Liam.

The others shot him curious looks.

“What? Danielle likes them. They have a catalogue and everything. Anyway, I like the idea of us all getting a pair. Don’t you?”

They started chatting excitedly, talking about what their own wings would look like.

“Niall’s should be white, of course,” Louis cracked. “Virginal.”

Niall rolled his eyes in response. “Still not funny, Louis,” he said.

“I think white would look quite nice with Niall’s colouring,” Liam said, attempting to play peacemaker.

“Thanks, mate.”

“No problem, Nialler.”

“I want a black set,” Zayn said.

“Too much like Harry’s,” Louis said. “Unless,” he looked thoughtful, “you had some yellow and red on the underside, to match your tattoos.”

“That’d be sick,” Niall said.

“Yeah, that’d look cool,” Zayn agreed. “Plus his aren’t true black, are they? Make mine a shade darker.”

“What about you?” Louis asked, looking at Liam. “What sort of wings would you like?”

Liam shrugged. “I don’t rightly know. Whatever Lou thinks will look best, I suppose. She’s got better taste than I do.”

Louis tilted his head and gave a small shrug, as if agreeing with his answer.

“What about yours?” Liam asked Louis.

“His should be multicoloured,” Harry said, weighing in for the first time. “Like a hummingbird. Or speckled, in shades of greys or browns, with a few brightly coloured ones thrown in—maybe some blues or greens or purples. You know… a tropical flair.”

“Aw, that’s sounds smashing, love,” Louis said with a radiant smile in Harry’s direction.

“Only the best for you,” Harry smiled in return.

Simon was rolling his eyes.

“Right. I’ll get Lou right on that. What else?”

“See if she can do something about clothes. Harry and I tried to modify some of his shirts, but our results were mostly shite and we just ended up ruining them. Maybe Lou could come up with something that’d actually work.”

Simon nodded, taking out his phone and tapping in some notes. “I’m going to set up a meeting with her. Harry, I’ll let you know when it is.”

“Surprised you’re even suggesting covering all that up, mate,” Niall joked, waving at Harry’s bare torso.

“Probably wants to keep it all to himself, yeah?” Zayn suggested. Niall laughed in agreement.

“Shut it, you two,” Louis said, with a scowl, but it turned into a quick wink when he looked over at Harry who was staring at him with a fond smile.

After more discussion on what their change in plans would entail—more studio hours, new promo shots, a lot of work—Liam, Zayn and Niall left while Simon stayed behind to talk to Harry and Louis alone.

“Harry,” he said, face serious. “I need you to be honest with me. Is this what you want? If you have any doubt… any doubt at all, you need to let me know. None of this is more important than your health and safety. I don’t want you to think about letting anyone down, or jobs, or the fans, or any of that. I want you to think about you. What you want. And if this isn’t it, that’s okay. I promise you, I’m behind you 100% percent, whatever you decide. I’ll handle the studio… management... everyone. We’ll make it work. So tell me honestly. Are you certain you’re up for this?”

Harry didn’t answer right away. He looked at Louis, who had been nodding along to Simon’s words. Louis reached over to take Harry’s hand. “He’s right,” Louis said. “If you want to change your mind, no one will think any less of you. And,” he continued, giving Harry’s hand a squeeze, “you’ll always have me, no matter what. You know that, right?”

The look Harry gave Louis, full of love and gratitude and certainty, green eyes so intense, made Louis catch his breath. How had he got so lucky? No, he was never letting Harry go; nothing could make him. He squeezed Harry’s hand again. His heart thumped in his chest at Harry’s answering squeeze and the small private smile he sent Louis before turning to answer Simon.

“I do have doubts. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. This is all new and I don’t really know what’s going to happen.” He shot Louis another quick glance before continuing, addressing them both, voice steady and sure. “But this is what I want.”

Simon’s bearing relaxed almost imperceptibly and a satisfied smile appeared on his face. “Then we’ll make it happen. Good lad.”

Harry smiled and Louis scooted closer, sliding an arm around his waist.

Simon stared at them both for another moment, head tilted to the side, as if giving something deep consideration.

“I know we said on a need-to-know basis, but I think it might be best to have a doctor look you over, make—”

“No,” Louis cut in sharply.

Simon raised his eyebrows.

Flustered, Louis tried to explain his outburst. “It’s just… well… he’s healed now. And I think it’s risky, don’t you? They might want to do tests, or…” He stammered a bit, holding himself back from repeating some of the more alarming scenarios the boys had brought up earlier. “I think we should hold off. Harry’s not in any pain now, are you, love?”

“No.”

“And, as I mentioned, he’s healed up nicely.”

“What do you think, Harry?” Simon asked. “Do you agree?”

“Yeah. I’d rather not.”

Simon looked thoughtful, as if the responsible thing to do was to try to convince them to alter their decision, but after a moment he nodded. “All right. We’ll do it your way for now. But you’ll let me know right away if they start giving you trouble?”

“I promise.”

There had been more conversation—discussions about Eleanor and whether she should be told (not at this time), questions about how the two of them were handling keeping their relationship secret (“It’s hard,” Harry had said. “But we both think it’s worth it.” Louis had agreed.), various other topics—but Simon had finally left the two of them alone, promising to email their new schedules when they had worked everything out.

Then Harry had disappeared into the bedroom to call his mum, reappearing a half hour later with red-rimmed eyes.

“You all right, love?” Louis had asked, coming out from the kitchen the moment he heard the door open, having uncharacteristically spent the time tidying up from their visitors, trying to rid himself of his nervous energy.

Harry nodded and sagged against Louis who held him tightly.

“She wants to come to London.”

“Not surprised.”

“I told her not to.”

“You sure? Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea? Probably just wants to see for herself that you’re all right.”

“We’re going to be far too busy.”

“Still be able to spend time after work, though.”

Harry didn’t answer, just buried his face in Louis’ neck, shaking his head no. After a moment, Louis could feel Harry’s mouth mumbling against his skin.

“What’s that? Couldn’t quite hear you.”

Lifting his face away from Louis’ skin, he repeated in a low voice, “Don’t want her to see me like this.”

Louis pulled back and took Harry’s face in between his hands. Harry wouldn’t meet his eyes.

“Look at me.”

He waited until Harry complied, his big green eyes beginning to well up again.

“You’re beautiful, Haz. And your wings are beautiful, just like everything about you.” He leaned in to kiss Harry softly on the lips. “Your mum will think so too. All right?”

Harry nodded.

Louis kissed him again. “Good. How about a cuppa?”

“Yeah, tea sounds good.”

Louis studied Harry whose complexion was starting to go a little grey; he could see the exhaustion sweeping over him. “Lie down, love,” Louis urged, walking him over to the sofa and gently pushing him to sit. He helped shift his legs up on the cushions, so Harry was stretched out facing the back of the sofa, wings hanging over the edge, dusting the floor. He was asleep before the water had even heated.

Harry blinked as he stretched, rubbing his hands over his eyes, wiping the sleep away. He smiled sweetly at Louis who was sitting in a nearby chair watching the telly.

“Time is it?” he asked.

“Half past seven.”

“Sorry I fell asleep on you.”

Louis smiled, putting the show he was watching on hold and moving to the sofa. He leaned down to kiss Harry’s forehead before shifting his legs, sitting down, then settling them back over his thighs.

“S’okay. You needed it.”

“I guess I did.”

“You feel all right?”

Harry didn’t answer immediately, giving the question some thought before saying, “Yeah. Feel fine.”

“That’s good.” Louis patted Harry’s knee and stroked his hand absently over his thigh.

“Lou?”

“Yeah?”

“Why’d you say that about the doctor? When Simon asked about finding one to see me? I thought you wanted a doctor to check everything out.”

“Do you want a doctor to take a look at them?” he asked instead of answering Harry’s question.

”Well, no. But you do, don’t you?”

“I did, but… not anymore.”

“Why not?”

“They’re pretty much healed up right, haven’t they?”

With a rustle of feathers, Harry’s wings moved. Shifting up to a sitting position, Harry opened them, leaning back against the armrest. The wings gave a small flap, then a second, before folding back down, draped over the side of the sofa.

“Seem to be fine,” Harry replied. “At least they don’t hurt anymore, though the muscles in my back and shoulders are sore. Still getting used to them, I guess.”

Louis nodded as if that was the end of the conversation.

Harry, however, didn’t think it was.

“Lou?” He poked Louis’ thigh with his foot.

“It’s just that…”

“Yeah?” Harry prodded when he didn’t continue.

“It’s going to sound stupid.” He could feel an embarrassed flush heating his cheeks.

“That’s okay. I’m used to that.”

With a roll of his eyes, Louis gave the top of Harry’s foot a light slap. “Ha. Ha.”

“C’mon Lou.”

Louis took a deep breath and said, not looking at Harry, “I know how this sounds, I really do, but… I think of them as mine.” The last words came out in a rush.

“What?” Harry asked, as if not sure he had heard correctly.

Louis stared at Harry defiantly. “I think of them as mine, all right? Your wings. I’m the one who’s been taking care of them. I don’t want some doctor’s hands all over you, poking, prodding, wanting to do tests. You’re not some specimen or experiment. You’re mine.”

“I am yours.” Harry said it as if it were a given.

“I know that wasn’t very P.C. of me or whatever.”

“I get what you mean.” Harry’s face wore a smile.

Louis thought back to all the times Harry had reacted to others touching him, the jealousy he was never able to hide. “Yeah,” Louis said with a small laugh. “I guess you probably do. That reminds me…” He pushed Harry’s legs off his lap and stood up, holding out his hands for Harry who raised his eyebrows questioningly. “C’mon. Stand up. I want to try something.”

Harry let himself be pulled to his feet.

“Can you…” Louis motioned toward Harry’s wings with his hands, moving them apart, indicating he wanted Harry to open them. Once the wings were extended, Louis stepped closer. He reached out and ran his finger along the top of a wing, starting just before the rise at the joint, trailing it down toward the tip. The feathers vibrated as the wing shuddered in response, just as it had earlier. Harry’s cheeks flushed pink.

“Your wings think they’re mine too,” Louis said in a voice that was a cross between smug and turned-on with a hint of wonder weaved in.

“I told you,” Harry said. “I am yours.” His pupils had grown dark and large, stare intense, just from that one small caress. Louis felt an answering curl of desire in his belly.

“I’ve been reading up on them,” Louis said, sliding his finger across the top of the wing again, breath catching at Harry’s immediate response. “Wings,” he clarified. “Feathers. Do you want to know what I’ve learned?” His eyes moved to Harry’s again.

Harry swallowed and nodded.

“The bones are similar to a human arm, with the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Here, here, and here.” He ran his hand across the wing, following the skeletal structure, smoothing across the feathers in a light caress. “These feathers are the primaries,” Louis continued, brushing his fingers from the tip of the wing down the fan of feathers at the bottom. “They’re attached to your wing hand. Like fingers. They’re for flight. You can see how they’re a little longer and more pointed than the rest.”

“So you’re basically holding my hand right now.”

“Something like that,” Louis said with a smile, stroking his fingers back and forth along the edge of Harry’s wing, caressing the underside of the fan of feathers with the back of his hand. He reached for Harry’s actual hand with his other hand and starting stroking it as well, tracing the tip of his finger across the back, sliding it between Harry’s fingers. They twitched in response, as if they wanted to grab hold.

Moving closer, Louis slid his hand to the second fan of feathers closer to Harry’s body. “These are the secondaries, extending from the forearm. Also for flight. They’re more rounded at the bottom than the primaries. The purpose of these remiges—that’s what the flight feathers are called, the primaries and secondaries—is thrust and lift.” He placed emphasis on both words and looked up at Harry through his lashes with a small wicked grin. Harry simply stared at him, lips slightly open.

Then Louis moved his hand higher on the wing, to the next row of feathers, smaller and more densely packed. “These are the coverts,” he said, speaking low in Harry’s ear. Harry’s eyes fluttered shut and his wing shuddered again as Louis continued to stroke the feathers with his fingers. “They help with aerodynamics.”

Louis brought Harry’s hand to his face, kissing the palm. His other hand stroked along the top of the wing again, sliding across the bends of his joints. It stopped at the wrist. “These are your alulae. The thumb feathers,” he said. As soon as the words left his lips, Louis sucked Harry’s thumb into his mouth, swirling his tongue around it and hollowing his cheeks. Harry’s eyes snapped open and Louis gaze was caught by the look of pure arousal on Harry’s face, pupils blown so wide there was only a tiny sliver of green at the edges. Louis gave the thumb one last wet suck, sliding it from his lips. Then he leaned in, breath hot in Harry’s ear. “It’s sometimes called the ‘bastard wing’ or ‘spurious wing’.” He couldn’t resist a small nip against the shell of Harry’s ear, smoothing over the bite immediately with his tongue. Harry’s mouth parted in a small gasp and he wet his lips.

Taking the action as an invitation, Louis moved his mouth to Harry’s, hands coming up to cup his face, kissing him slowly, licking across his bottom lip with a swipe of his tongue, then sliding their tongues together until their mouths were fused. The kiss turned deep, mouths opening wider. Louis could feel Harry’s hands move to his hips, holding on as he moaned into Louis’ mouth. After a few moments, Louis pulled away, biting gently against Harry’s jaw, taking a small step backward. Harry’s eyes were trained on Louis’ mouth.

“The alulae are used to slow things down,” Louis said.

“I don’t think they’re working.”

Louis gave a small pleased laugh, eyes crinkling at the corners. He took a moment to appreciate Harry’s flushed cheeks then moved his attention back to the feathers on the underside of Harry’s wing, giving another small caress before saying, “I don’t want the other wing to get jealous.”

“Good plan,” Harry said, voice sounding slightly breathless.

Reaching out toward the opposite side, Louis repeated the actions he had taken on the first, sliding his hand across the top, saying, “Shoulder, elbow, wrist,” at each of the joints. “Fingers,” as his hand slid down the primaries. “Forearm,” as he stroked the secondaries, and then he lifted Harry’s hand back to his mouth, sucking gently on his wrist before licking a stripe from his wrist to the tip of his thumb, saying, “Thumb.” He sucked it into his mouth while caressing the corresponding feathers. Harry’s eyes drifted shut again and he gave a small whimper that went straight to Louis’ cock.

Knowing Harry’s reaction had to be even more intense, Louis looked down, noting the tenting of Harry’s tracksuit bottoms. Sliding his hand back and forth, back and forth across the row of feathers, he leaned in, asking softly in Harry’s ear, “Does this feel good?”

Harry nodded yes, eyes still closed.

Louis let go of his fingers and slid his hand down Harry side, slipping them underneath the elastic waistband, teasing his fingers against Harry’s skin. “Let’s move these out of the way, yeah?” he asked, licking along the shell of Harry’s ear.

Harry nodded again and wasted no time pushing the tracksuit bottoms down to his thighs, letting his erection spring free. The tip was wet and glistening, beaded with pre-come.

“That’s gorgeous, love,” Louis said, squeezing Harry’s hip, nipping at his ear again. Harry’s hand reached for his dick but Louis stopped him with another squeeze, fingers digging into his side. “No, don’t touch yourself,” he said. Harry’s hand fell back to his thigh; he gave a frustrated huff.

Louis just breathed into his ear, continuing to stroke Harry’s feathers. “They’re softer under here,” Louis said, touching the smaller feathers closer to the bone. Harry’s dick jerked in response and his chest heaved as he sucked in a breath.

“You think you could come like this?” Louis asked, hot in his ear. “With me touching you this way?” His own breathing was deepening, jeans uncomfortably tight.

“Don’t know,” Harry whispered.

“There’s still one more type of feather I can tell you about.” Louis didn’t stop his rhythmic movements while he spoke.

“Okay.” Harry’s said. Louis could hear his voice growing rough.

Louis shifted around to Harry’s side, pressing up against his arm, teeth biting gently into his shoulder. He tilted his hips forward, rocking them, so Harry could feel his own erection against his thigh. One of his hands slid up Harry’s front, stopping to rub his nipples, first the smaller one then the one on his chest. His other hand gave Harry’s waist a small squeeze, the slid up his back, right to where the wings were connected at the shoulder.

“These are the scapulars,” Louis mumbled against his skin. He could feel Harry’s heart pounding beneath his other hand splayed across Harry’s chest, nipple lightly trapped between his first two fingers. “They’re the feathers that transition the wing to the shoulder. Yours are really smooth.” He stroked his fingers down the feathers, marvelling a little at how natural they had become to him, the way they seamlessly connected the wings to Harry’s body. Louis moved his fingers away and used his hand to push the wing back, enough so that he could duck his head underneath. Then he licked along the line of feathers, right where they met Harry’s skin.

The noise from Harry’s mouth, a choked and desperate sound, made Louis immediately repeat the action.

“Lou,” Harry whimpered.

Louis gripped the edge of Harry’s wing in his palm, giving a firm stroke along the edge as he licked a third time.

“I need to… can I…” Harry gasped out.

Louis took pity and slid his hand away from Harry’s nipple, down to his cock, giving it a tug as he ran his other hand over the wing edge again, nuzzling his face against the scapulars.

Harry’s entire body shook, cock pulsing in Louis’ hand as he came with a shout. Louis stroked him through his orgasm, rubbing his own cock against Harry’s hip, so turned on by Harry’s reaction he was afraid he’d come in his jeans.

He didn’t need to worry about that, though, because the moment Harry stopped coming, he dropped to his knees, fumbling with the button of Louis’ jeans. Then he was tugging them down, freeing Louis’ cock and sucking it into his mouth with a satisfied groan, as if he were hungry for it.

“Christ,” Louis said, hands reaching for Harry’s hair, burying themselves in the curls, holding on for dear life as Harry bobbed up and down, mouth sloppy and wet. He looked up at Louis, eyes still dark, wings outstretched behind him, rippling with the aftershocks of his release. “You look…” Louis began, words ending in a moan as Harry took him deep, sucking hard, swirling his tongue around Louis’ cock. His knees almost buckled as the orgasm overtook him. He shut his eyes, hands gripping Harry’s hair as he came down Harry’s throat.

When he recovered, he pushed Harry away, shuddering from sensitivity as his mouth pulled off his dick, then dropped down to the ground, taking Harry’s face between his hands and kissing him, languid and deep. Then he wound his arms around Harry, leaning on his shoulder, face pressing into his neck, humming with contentment. Harry buried his face in Louis’ hair, arms slipping around his back, rubbing gently. They sat quietly, wrapped up in each other.

After a few minutes, Louis mumbled, “I really really like your wings.”

Harry snorted. “Well you were right. Apparently, they like you too.” And then they were both shaking with laughter.

Chapter 4

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October 2015

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