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Chapter 5

The rumours started in Chicago. In hindsight, they were probably inevitable, especially with fans who analysed every bit of news and every piece of concert footage with a thoroughness and attention to detail that rivalled the Secret Service, but no one was prepared for how fast they grew.

Harry stood on the platform looking out at the crowd. The tour had been an incredible success so far; their new album was #1 in thirty-four countries. Already, they’d added even more dates in larger cities. The pace was exhausting and their families and friends worried constantly about their health and how hard they were being pushed, but as Harry listened to the roar of the audience, the high-pitched screams, he didn’t want to be anywhere else. Performing was what he was born to do.

As he surveyed the crowd, he took note of how many were wearing wings—almost half of the people in attendance, if he had to wager a guess. At first it had been just a few fans, showing up in homemade creations, or wearing ones from Halloween fairy costumes, or Disney Tinkerbell wings. But when their marketing team saw more and more girls similarly outfitted at each subsequent event, they had kicked into gear, producing a line of “Official 1D Wings” made of nylon stretched around lightweight wire frames. All five of the boys’ wings were available, plus they had even held a contest for fans to design their own. Contest participants were asked to include a short essay on what their entries represented, and the winners, in a variety of vibrant colours and designs, were put into production and offered for sale. They made an incredible sight, especially when the lights from the show illuminated the audience, as if the arena was full of colourful butterflies.

The energy in the air was palpable and Harry felt confident; this was going to be a performance to remember. The tech finished buckling him into the harness and gave Harry a nod, patting him on the shoulder. Lifting a hand, Harry gave him the thumbs up sign that he was ready. When the lights dimmed and the smoke began to rise, Harry stepped to the edge, reaching up to hold the bar above his head, waiting for his cue. The green light flashed and Harry stepped off the platform, anticipating the swoop in his stomach and the heady rush of air.

Almost immediately, he was aware something was wrong. The give on the cable was off; his descent was too fast, uncontrolled. Before Harry could even register what was happening, a loud crack echoed in the arena, as if from a gunshot, and the cable snapped, whipping through the air like a striking snake. Harry let out a cry as the errant cable sliced across his calf and he tumbled through the air. Everything happened so fast, he didn’t have time to think. Instinctively, he spread his wings, slowing his descent and he landed on the stage, rolling to the ground, grabbing his leg in pain.

The arena was in chaos—girls screaming, the lights coming on as the crew and the other lads rushed to Harry. Louis was the first to reach him.

“Harry, shit. Harry, are you all right?”

Harry looked up to see Louis, eyes wide and scared, inches from his face. “Fuck, yeah. I think so. My leg… hurts.”

“Let me see—”

Paul interrupted him, physically moving Louis out of the way, though with gentle hands. “Lou, give us some room, yeah?”

Louis reluctantly stepped back, not taking his eyes off Harry, hands gripped together tightly.

Paul motioned for Liam. “Get out there and let everyone know Harry’s going to be fine. Buy us a little time, will you? Tell ‘em the secondary safety cable did its job and kept him from harm, but we need to check him over before we can start the show.”

“Got it, boss,” Liam said with a determined nod of his head. “Niall, grab your guitar, come with me,” he directed. “Zayn, you stay with Lou. Don’t let him do anything stupid.”

Harry, through his haze of pain, was impressed with everyone’s quick thinking and gave a little laugh at Liam’s last words.

“Good luck with that, mate,” he got out through tight lips to Zayn, who laughed in response.

At their joking banter, Louis’ stance relaxed the slightest bit, as if he was starting to let himself believe Harry was actually okay. “Very funny, Haz,” he said in a shaky voice.

Harry smiled at him, trying to be reassuring. He could hear Liam addressing the crowd as Paul knelt by his side, checking his leg.

“All right, everyone, calm down. Harry’s fine. We’ve got such a great crew taking care of us they make sure every safety measure is in place. What happened was the main cable holding Harry snapped—that was the loud sound you heard—but there’s a smaller, almost invisible secondary wire that acts as a back-up for the main one, and it worked just like it was supposed to.”

The buzz of the crowd picked up a bit at Liam’s words and Harry could hear that a lot of the girls were crying.

“That was a little scary, wasn’t it?” Liam asked. “I don’t know about you, but I was scared. Wasn’t sure what was happening at first, but everything’s fine.”

Niall jumped in. “He’s absolutely right. No need for tears, I promise. Our lad Harry will be right as rain.”

“That’s right,” Liam continued. “They’re just going to give him a once over, check out the equipment and find out what went wrong, so they can make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. Then we can get back to the show. Would you like that?”

A half-hearted smattering of applause was the answer.

“Oh, is that the best you can do? Dry your eyes and let’s try that again. Would you like to get back to the show?”

This time the applause was louder and there was a cheer of “Yes!” from the audience.

“Much better. Niall?”

“Yeah, mate?”

“How about we have a little sing-along while we’re waiting for everything to get settled? You think you can play us a little something?”

“Absolutely! How about Little Things? Has anyone heard of that one?”

Harry heard laughter as Niall started to play.

Once the audience joined in the song, Harry felt Paul’s hands under his knees. Someone else was sliding their hands under his armpits. Paul spoke up: “We need to cut these trousers off you to check out that leg. Don’t think we need an audience for that.”

“Don’t know,” Zayn said, as Harry was hoisted in the air. “Harry probably wouldn’t mind.”

“Louis might,” Harry said with a grin, trying to get Louis to smile. He still looked as if he was going to go off the rails any second.

When they were safely backstage, Lou Teasdale hustled over to them, scissors in hand.

“Do you want me to do it?” she asked.

“Better let me,” Paul said, holding out his hand. They were interrupted by one of the stand-by medical team who had just arrived.

“We can do that, Sir,” he said, holding out his hands for the shears.

Paul handed them over and they all hovered around anxiously while the medic snipped up the side of Harry’s trousers. Harry sucked in his breath as the metal pressed against his skin. When the fabric was pulled away, a long red welt was revealed. The medic pressed his fingers along his leg and Harry cried out.

His eyes darted to Louis who looked as if he was going to pass out. Zayn was holding his arm and motioning to Lou. “Do you think you could get Louis a cup of tea?” he asked her. She nodded her head and hurried off. “Why don’t you take a seat, yeah?” Zayn was asking Louis, who shook his head no, jaw set. Zayn caught the eye of one of the crew who took in the situation and rushed off to find a chair for Louis.

Worrying about Louis momentarily kept Harry’s mind off his leg, but at another prod, he cried out again. That hurt.

After a good fifteen minutes of poking and prodding, taking Harry’s pulse, checking his vitals, the medic spoke up again. “It didn’t break the skin, luckily, and the bone appears to be intact. Looks like you’re just going to have a very very nasty bruise,” he said. “I want you to get it checked out at hospital later, but if you want to test it out, see if you can bear weight, I’ll give the clear to perform and I can give a localised shot for the pain. Might take a few to kick in, though.”

Paul immediately looked relieved, but he said, “Up to you, Harry. No one’s going to make you go out there if you’re not up for it.”

“I think you should be more worried about Lou there,” Harry said, gritting his teeth as he attempted to get to his feet.

Louis scowled, hands wrapped around his tea as he watched Harry intently.

Harry winked at him.

Once he was on his feet, Paul and the medic holding him steady, Harry tested out his leg, slowly putting weight on it. It hurt, a dull throbbing ache, but it was bearable. He gingerly took a step, then another.

“Yeah,” he said. “I can do this. Won’t be jumping around, and might want to bring that chair along.” He nodded over to where Louis was sitting. “But I’ll be okay.”

“You sure?” Paul asked.

“Yeah, I’m sure. The show must go on!” He lifted his hand in a weak fist pump.

Louis rolled his eyes. Harry smiled, knowing Louis would be okay too.

Once Harry was given the go-ahead by the medic and changed into some loose sweats instead of his usual tight jeans, the three of them made their way to the stage opening.

“You go on ahead,” Louis said to Zayn. “Let them know we’re on our way out.”

Zayn nodded and went to join Niall and Liam, who were just wrapping up another song. A hush fell over the crowd as Zayn whispered in Liam’s ear and Liam nodded his head, a huge smile breaking over his face.

Liam addressed the crowd. “Zayn, you want to tell everyone what you just told me?” he asked, handing Zayn the microphone.

Harry watched with Louis from backstage while Zayn took the mic, looking uncomfortable. They knew he preferred to let the others do the speaking, but he stepped up, probably knowing the audience would appreciate his first-hand report. “Sure, mate,” Zayn said. “I’ve just been in the back with Harry and Lou and the crew. Harry’s leg got clipped by the cable as it was flying around, but he’s been given the all clear by the medics and is on his way out. Will be here in just a few.”

A loud cheer went up.

Louis turned toward Harry at the sound, a proud smile on his face. “They love you,” he whispered.

“I love you,” Harry whispered back. Louis rolled his eyes again and Harry pinched his side, causing him to flinch and smile.

Zayn continued. “His leg’s a little sore, so he might be limping a bit and won’t be jumping around and such, but I don’t think any of us mind about that, do we?”

The crowd cheered again.

Liam took the microphone back. “That’s fantastic news, isn’t it? Thanks, Zayn.”

As Liam chattered on, filling the time until Harry and Louis made their way out, Louis turned to Harry.

“Scared me to death, Haz,” he said.

“Scared me too. But I’m all right. I promise.” He stared into Louis’ eyes, trying to convey his seriousness. “Okay?”

Louis searched his face, eyes flickering over his features, coming to rest on his lips. Harry’s quirked into a smile when he saw Louis unconsciously lick his own lips. Finally, he seemed to find what he was looking for, and Louis’s gaze travelled back to Harry’s eyes.

“Yeah, okay. You ready to do this?” he asked, squeezing Harry’s hand.

Harry squeezed back. “Yeah. You feeling okay? You’re still a little pale.”

“I’m fine. Just got shook up a bit when I saw you lying there.”

“I swear I’m okay. Love you, Lou.”

“Love you too.”

“Then let’s do this.”

Louis lifted their joined hands and draped Harry’s arm over his shoulder, supporting him while they walked slowly out to greet the crowd, the cheers overwhelmingly loud as people caught sight of them emerging onto the stage. Then the music swelled and they broke into song, giving the audience a show worth watching.

-o-


“You taken a look at any of these yet?” Louis asked later that night when they were back at the hotel. He was reclining on the bed, laptop propped on his knees. Harry was just stepping out of the bathroom after a shower, having only recently got back from hospital where he was whisked after the show. Louis hadn’t been allowed to go with him. At least he seemed to be over his sulk about that.

“Any of what?” Harry asked, walking over to look as he rubbed a towel through his hair. “Is that Tumblr?”

“Yeah.”

“Pics from the show?”

“Video.”

Harry sat down on the bed and slid over next to Louis, turning slightly to the side to give his wings room, but still managing to press shoulder to shoulder, thigh to thigh.

Louis pressed play and the music started up.

“Can you make that bigger?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, sure,” Louis said, clicking on the video so that it opened up the youtube page in a new tab. He pressed play again and maximized the screen.

“Whoa,” Harry said when his face came into focus, high on the platform above the stage.

Louis nodded in agreement. The quality of the video was much better than they were used to seeing the fans post. Someone must have brought a very expensive video camera to the show.

Harry flinched when the cable snapped. “Was it really that loud?”

“Yes.” Louis’ face was tight as he stared at the screen.

Then he watched as his wings spread and he glided to the stage, the grace of his descent a sharp juxtaposition to the way he collapsed on the landing.

Harry reached over and tugged at his wrist, pulling it away from the laptop. He wound their fingers together and squeezed. “How many times have you watched this?” he asked.

“A few.”

“Mmm.”

They were all huddled around Harry now, shielding him from the audience and the filming continued until Liam finished speaking and Niall began to play.

“Looked like I was actually flying for a few there,” Harry said into the silence.

Louis turned to look at him, a curious expression on his face, as if he wasn’t sure if Harry was joking or not.

“That’s because you were flying, Haz.”

“Shit. Play it again.”

Louis restarted the video and paused the screen when Harry was mid-air, wings spread. After staring at it for a moment, they played it through to the landing. Then Louis restarted it for a third time.

“Are all the videos like that?” Harry asked.

“No, the rest are the usual shite quality, with the usual screaming and bouncing around. This is the only one I’ve found that’s clear.”

“Everyone else seen it?”

“Texted the link to Paul right away.”

“He said anything yet?”

“No, but I think we can expect an emergency meeting any minute now.”

Harry felt an uncomfortable churning in his stomach. He looked over at Louis whose expression didn’t help assuage the nervousness he was experiencing.

“Can you minimise it again?” Harry asked. “I want to read the comments.”

Louis did. The first comment visible caused Harry to suck in his breath.

Plot twist: Harry’s wings are real.

-o-


Harry stood on the rooftop of their hotel in Las Vegas, staring down at the pavements below, the lights from the Strip visible in the distance. They were staying in the downtown area instead of one of the more popular, well-known hotels, hoping to avoid the huge crowd of fans that seemed to find them no matter where they were. The rumour going around Twitter was they were booked at the Bellagio; for once they seemed to have eluded the usual rush of fans. It wouldn’t last, they knew, but it was nice for a change to get to their rooms without having to stop for autographs and pose for pictures.

Their team had made arrangements in advance to reserve not only the entirety of one of the floors, but also private access to the modest rooftop pool after hours, and the five of them had come up earlier for a swim after the show. After a few drinks, their swim shorts had come off one by one until they were all skinny dipping, dunking each other in the water, letting off some steam after a stressful few weeks. He and Louis had tumbled into bed afterwards, laughter on their lips.

Harry had left Louis curled up on the bed, fast asleep, worn out after being fucked into the mattress. Gently pushing the fringe off Louis’ forehead, he’d leaned over and dropped a soft kiss on his cheek, careful not to wake him. Harry knew how worried Louis had been about the escalating situation; he needed the rest. Not that he didn’t too. Harry was completely exhausted, but he’d been having trouble sleeping, the strain from hiding the truth taking its toll.

After the incident in Chicago, the fans had taken the suggestion that Harry’s wings were real and ran with it. Blogs had sprung up overnight with detailed analyses of their every interaction since the tour had started—every public appearance, every interview, every fan pic. If they thought they had been under scrutiny before, it was nothing compared to the intensity now. The Tumblr blog, ReasonsWhyHarrysWingsAreReal, which listed all Harry sightings in detail, chronicling the “evidence” that Harry hadn’t been seen without his wings since tour began, reportedly had over 30,000 followers.

The meeting they’d expected after first watching the video had occurred early the next morning. Their management—at least those in-the-know—had been adamant about the only possible response: deny, deny, deny. They’d even taken over Louis’ twitter and engaged in several public exchanges with fans, mocking their conspiracy theories and labelling them clearly delusional. The story of the back-up wire was repeated to every news outlet they could reach. The hardcore “believers” didn’t buy it, but to the general public it was a convincing sell; after all, the alternative was unbelievable.

It was all too reminiscent of their tactics involving his and Louis’ relationship. Obviously, the fans weren’t delusional, but what could they do? Harry could never admit the truth about what a freak he’d become.

The wind ruffled Harry’s hair; he could hear the honk of a taxi horn far below. He shivered even though the night was warm. Everything was so complicated. He was tired. Scared. Worried. Not only for the future of the band—how long could they continue their deception?—but for himself. What would he do once they were forced to stop performing? Would he have to hide away from the world forever?

He was worried about Louis. Harry couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen him laugh as he’d done earlier in the pool, head thrown back, his whole body radiating happiness. It’d been far too long. Louis’ phone was constantly at his ear while he consulted with their team, forehead creased, mouth turned down. Every day posed new challenges, every new location, tricky obstacles to navigate. Louis had always taken the lead for the band, coordinating schedules, taking on the brunt of the detail. He was working even harder now that they had another secret to protect. Harry felt responsible. He knew better than to say that out loud, knew Louis would get upset if he found out Harry was blaming himself, but he couldn’t help it; he missed seeing Louis smile.

He’d promised to at least try to stop thinking that way, however. It’d be a long time before he’d forget the expression he’d seen on Louis’ face—the one when they’d been lying together on the bed after a show, flipping through the channels.

“There. Stop there. That’s good.”

“Yeah?”

“X-Men. The Last Stand, I think.”

“Yeah, all right. Haven’t seen it in a while.”

They lay quietly, Louis with his back against the headboard, Harry on his side, wings behind him, head resting on Louis’ chest, arm around his waist, body curled around him. Louis was idly running his fingers through Harry’s hair, making Harry hum with pleasure, both of them only half paying attention. That is, until the scene where a young teenaged Angel tries to hack off his own wings with a knife.

Harry immediately went still, unable to look away, understanding the self-hatred the boy was feeling, absently wondering how much it’d hurt.

Then he’d felt Louis’ hands trembling against his scalp, a swoop of confusion and shame—for what he was, for the sharp pang of longing to rid himself of these monstrous appendages.

Recovering from his momentary shock, Louis sprang into action, spilling Harry from his resting place, biting out, “Where’s the fucking remote?” searching frantically on the mattress. He located it half under the pillows and swung around to aim it at the telly, turning it off with a click.

The silence was heavy as a stone between them, a suffocating weight. Harry couldn’t breathe. Louis was staring at him with a look on his face Harry wasn’t sure he’d ever seen. He’d never seen Louis so upset, not even when the wings first appeared, or when he’d fallen from the sky after the cable snapped in Chicago. This look was something entirely different.

“Promise me—” Louis’ voice cracked. He couldn’t continue speaking.

“Lou…” Harry began, then stopped. He didn’t know what to say.

Louis tossed the remote on the bed and surged toward Harry, taking his face between his hands and kissing him deeply. Harry responded immediately, hands coming up to pull Louis closer, mouth opening with a moan. After a few moments, Louis pulled back and rested his forehead against Harry’s. His hands stoked the sides of Harry’s neck and across his shoulders, down his arms and back again.

“I wouldn’t actually ever try and hack off my wings. You know that, right?” Harry asked.

Louis huffed out a little laugh and gave a small shake of his head, squeezing his eyes shut, as if he were in pain. “It’s not that, Haz.”

“Well, what then?”

Tilting his head away, Louis slid his hands down Harry’s arms again, and took his hands in his own.

“I could see what you were thinking.”

“Oh.” The sound left Harry’s mouth as the air was sucked out of his chest. That twist of shame rose again. The skin on his cheeks was burning.

“But you’re wrong,” Louis said. “You’re beautiful, Harry. Every bit of you. I’ve told you before, and I hoped you’d begun to believe it.”

“I still feel like a freak.” The words came out in a whisper.

“You’re amazing,” Louis said. He let go of one of Harry’s hands and reached to stroke the curve of his wing. Harry’s eyes drifted closed and his entire body shuddered in response. “And when you react to my touch like that, I’m… I’m left in awe. They’re beautiful, because they’re yours. They’re a part of you. And everything about you is beautiful, because it’s you.”

Harry opened his eyes. “You’re not going to start singing Little Things to me, are you?”

A small burst of laughter escaped Louis’ lips and Harry smiled.

“Can if you like.”

Harry shrugged. “You know how much I love your voice.”

Louis gave Harry a sweet smile and leaned in again, resting their foreheads back together. “You’re perfect to me,” he crooned softly. “I’m in love with you, and all your little things.”

They stood smiling stupidly at each other for a long moment. Then Louis tried again, “Promise me…”

“I promise I won’t hack my wings off with a knife.” Harry smirked.

“Shut it, fool. Promise me you’ll at least try to see yourself the way I see you. Amazing. Beautiful. Worth every bit of it.”

Harry’s expression sobered. “Don’t know if I can,” he answered honestly.

“Well then, if you can’t believe it about yourself yet, promise you’ll at least try to believe that I believe it. Can you do that?”

Harry stared into Louis’ eyes, so clear and bright. His stomach fluttered and he felt an almost overwhelming rush of love for his beautiful blue-eyed boy.

“Yeah, I can do that,” he whispered.

It was still hard sometimes, Harry thought, as he stood staring out into the night sky. When he was with Louis, Louis’ hands touching him, his face buried in his feathers, it was easy to believe, the feeling was so incredible. But when they were out in the world, hiding the truth, the strain took a heavy toll. It was hard not to feel ashamed, like he didn’t belong. Wings were traditionally a symbol of freedom, but he felt caged, trapped. What would it be like, he wondered, if he could be himself, completely, for just one day? If he could spread his wings, walk hand in hand with Louis, kiss him in front of everyone and let the world know how deeply they were in love. What would it feel like to break open the cage and fly?

A dangerous idea struck him, one he’d had before, but had pushed aside, never following through on the thought. His hands gripped the railing of the rooftop and he looked over the edge, trying to judge how high they were. Seventeen stories? Eighteen? Harry couldn’t remember. But he was much, much higher than the platform above the stage, and when the cable had snapped, for the briefest of moments he had been flying. What good were wings if your feet stayed forever on the ground?

Pulling one of the poolside chairs over next to the barrier, Harry stepped onto the seat, heart beating wildly. Then he hoisted himself onto the wall surrounding the pool and stood, wings slowly unfolding. Was he really going to do this? The risks were enormous. If his wings didn’t work the way he thought they would, he’d end up dead on the pavement below. And even if they did, he might be seen. But he was tired of living in fear, tired of feeling ashamed. Louis loved his wings; tonight he was going to try to love them too.

Acting on impulse, before he could freak himself out about what he planned to do, knowing he’d chicken out if he thought things through, Harry took a deep breath and stepped off the edge. Adrenaline surged through his body as he began to fall and his mind screamed, Oh shit. Instinctively, as had happened when the cable snapped, his wings spread, catching the air, and he began to soar. The wind against his feathers felt like a caress, not the way Louis’ touch felt, but pleasure shot through him just the same. This was what they were meant for; he’d been given wings to fly. A peal of joyous laughter burst from his chest and he wanted pump his fists, whoop with excitement. Knowing he couldn’t attract attention, he held back, but inside he was yelling with happiness.

Eager to test out his abilities, Harry started flapping his wings, gaining altitude from the thrust, flying higher and higher. Up he went, and up farther still, revelling in the strength of his muscles, the majestic sweep of his wings. Everything looked different from this perspective; the air smelled crisp and clean; the stars shone brightly above; and his problems receded, like the landmarks below, growing smaller and smaller. The joy of flight eclipsed all the worries of life on the ground. Feeling a shift in the air, Harry turned into the current and stilled the beating of his wings, keeping them extended. He glided along, concentrating on the sensation of the wind flowing both over and under him, ruffling his hair, whooshing in his ears. The earth below was far in the distance, and even though he’d always been somewhat afraid of heights, he felt no fear.

He practised turning, speeding up and slowing down, shifting his wings to test their manoeuvrability. Every moment was amazing and he didn’t want to stop, but he didn’t want to tire himself out on his first flight, not yet knowing the extent of his abilities. He felt invincible, however. Powerful and strong.

Harry glided again in large circles, slowly losing altitude, eyes trained below searching out a familiar landmark. He wondered for a moment if he’d be able to recognize their hotel, but the worry was groundless; the rooftop pool was unmistakable when it came into sight. He pulled up as he sailed over the wall and his feet reached for the ground. He tumbled forward, coming down hard on one knee and tumbled head over heels as he came to an awkward stop. That’d leave a bruise or two, he thought to himself, but he was too giddy from the success of his flight to care and laughter bubbled forth from his mouth.

Dusting himself off, he climbed to his feet. The laughter abruptly transformed into a startled squawk when Louis stepped from the shadows.

“Christ. You scared the shit out of me.”

“Scared the shit out of you? Are you fucking kidding me? Scared the shit out of you?”

Louis eyes blazed with anger, and… something else. His hands were clenched in fists. Every line in his body was rigid.

Harry took a step toward him, hand extended, but Louis took a step back.

“Lou—”

“No.” Louis cut him off. “Shut up. Do you have any fucking idea how it felt to wake up alone and come looking for you, only to find you standing on the fucking ledge of the building? And then you—” His voice broke and he couldn’t continue.

Then Harry knew what the something else lurking in Louis’ eyes was: fear. Guilt twisted in his stomach. He moved toward Louis again and didn’t let him get away this time, wrapping his trembling form in his arms. “Shhh,” he whispered against his hair. “I’m sorry. I’d no idea you were out here. Didn’t mean to scare you, babe. I’m sorry.”

Louis let himself be held for a few moments, collecting himself in the comfort of Harry’s arms, but he obviously wasn’t through. “What the fuck were you even thinking, Haz?” he asked, pulling back to look into Harry’s eyes. “What if they hadn’t worked? What if—” Harry could hear the words choking off in his throat again.

“But they did work,” he said, hands rubbing Louis’ back in soothing motions, trying to calm him down. “They did. And it was amazing,” he added, his exuberant mood not wholly dampened by Louis’ reaction.

“But what if—”

This time Harry cut him off. “No. Stop. Nothing happened. I’m fine. Lou, it was amazing.” He tried to convey the wonder he’d felt, the joy.

He wanted to share the way it’d felt with Louis, wanted him to know how free he’d felt. The only thing that came even close was the way he felt when they were together. When Louis opened his mouth to speak again, Harry leaned down and stopped the words with a kiss, crushing their lips together.

Louis immediately moaned, body going pliant, leaning into Harry. His hands reached for Harry’s waist and clung, fingers digging in. Harry licked into his mouth, deepening the kiss, shivering as Louis’ tongue slid against his own. Little sounds were coming from Louis’ throat, desperate and greedy. They went right to Harry’s cock.

Louis was obviously having a similar reaction; he ground his hips up against Harry, his growing erection rubbing against Harry’s thigh. Louis’ arms moved up around Harry’s neck and he pulled him down, attempting to get closer, as if he was trying to crawl inside his skin. Harry immediately responded to his efforts, sliding his hands around to Louis’ arse, splaying his fingers over his gorgeous bum and pulling him close, hitching him up so that their groins were pressed together.

Another moan escaped from Louis’ mouth and he tugged at Harry’s curls, tilting his face up and shifting onto his tiptoes so he could reach Harry’s ear. “Was so fucking scared. Don’t ever want to lose you,” he said, voice breathless and ragged. “Love you so much. So fucking much.”

Harry answered with another kiss, turning his head to bite down on Louis’ jaw, mouthing down to his chin, then taking Louis’ lip gently between his teeth. He used his hands to pull Louis even closer, grinding against him by moving his hips in sensuous circular motions. Louis’ breath hitched and his hips jerked in response, his cock fully hard now.

Louis’ hands were near Harry’s waist now, pulling at the elastic of his shorts. “Get these off, yeah?” he said, slipping his fingers inside to grip along Harry’s length. Harry sucked in a breath, feeling the stroke of Louis’ hand deep inside his bones. It was as if his flight had made his nerve endings come alive, magnifying every sensation tenfold.

“Yeah,” he gasped, letting go of Louis’ arse long enough to tug at his shorts with one hand and the hem of Louis’ shirt with the other. “You too,” he commanded.

Louis complied, lifting his tee over his head and slipping his shorts down his legs, erection bouncing free. Harry didn’t take his eyes off him, raking his gaze over Louis golden skin, his firm thighs, all his gorgeous curves. Kicking his shorts away with his foot, Harry stalked toward Louis who had taken a few steps backward toward one of the chaise longues.

Harry had to open his mouth to get enough oxygen to his lungs, finding it difficult to breathe as he watched Louis kneel on the thick cushion and crawl up the chaise, his perfect arse giving Harry a view that set his heart rate skyrocketing. Then Louis turned onto his back, propping himself up his elbows, opening his legs to drape them over the sides. Practically lunging, Harry knelt between Louis’ open legs, laying his body on top of Louis’ lining up their cocks as he kissed him again.

“You feel so good,” Harry mumbled against Louis’ lips, mind spinning as their cocks slid against each other. He used one arm to prop himself up on the cushion, wrapping the other around Louis’ back and pulling him closer so their chests were also touching. His wings slowly unfolded, spreading to create a blanket of privacy, as if they were the only two people in the entire world.

Louis reached to wrap an arm around Harry’s neck, pulling him down on top of him, thrusting his hips up, moaning and panting against Harry’s mouth. “Want you to fuck me,” he gasped. “Want you inside me.”

Harry shuddered at his words, rocking down against Louis with a growl. Overcome momentarily, he latched onto Louis’ neck with his lips, sucking a mark into his skin as they frotted against one another. He wasn’t sure he could pull himself away long enough to get back to the room.

“Don’t have anything here. We’d have to go back down,” he said against Louis’s skin.

Louis’ hands were on his backside, squeezing as he pushed Harry’s arse down against him. His legs wrapped around Harry’s calves. Harry groaned as Louis thrust upwards, the slide of their cocks unbearably delicious.

“Don’t need it,” Louis panted. “I’m still… from before.”

Another moan tore out of Harry’s mouth as he thought about Louis’ hole still slick from earlier. Was his come still inside? He bucked down uncontrollably, his skin on fire.

Harry lay Louis back down and reached between them, sliding his hand on the inside of his thigh, reaching back behind his balls. He pressed the tip of his finger into Louis, finding his hole just as Louis had said, still a little stretched and slick from his come.

“That’s so fucking hot,” he said, trying to clear his head and use a little restraint. The urge to ram his dick into Louis was taking hold. “You sure?” he asked. “Don’t want to hurt you.”

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Louis said, shifting his hips down on Harry’s finger, trying to push it further inside. “Need you, Haz.” He panted against Harry’s neck. “Need you.”

“Yeah, okay,” Harry responded. “Need you too.”

He reached for his dick and moved the tip to Louis’ entrance, lining himself up, starting to press in slowly. There was too much resistance; he wasn’t going in easily. Harry pulled back and gave a little laugh at the high pitched whine of disappointment coming from Louis.

“’S not gonna work. Not enough lube.”

“I’m fine; I told you. Do it.”

“Lou,” Harry admonished.

“Christ, you’re too conscientious for your own good sometimes.” Louis’ frustration was clear. “Come here,” Louis directed. “Stick your prick in my mouth. I’ll lube you up.”

Harry didn’t need to be told twice. He scrambled to his knees as Louis propped himself back on his elbows, guiding his cock into Louis’ mouth.

Louis licked across the head and Harry shivered. When Louis opened wide, tilting his head forward to take Harry in, Harry’s eyes drifted closed and he moaned. God, Louis’ mouth felt fantastic—so hot and so wet. There was no finesse to Louis’ actions, none of the usual skill, and he really knew how to suck cock. Instead, his actions were wet and messy, Louis doing his best to cover Harry’s prick with as much spit as he could.

“Try again,” Louis bossed, after pulling off Harry’s dick.

Before complying, Harry spit on his own fingers and reached back between Louis’ legs, rubbing his saliva around Louis’ hole. Then he lined back up and pushed. This time he slid in more easily, though there was still more friction than he was used to. He could feel the slide deep inside, though, and knew it was his own come easing the way. The thought was almost too much for him, and he stilled when he was all the way in, leaning over to bury his face in Louis’ neck, trying to regain his composure before he got carried away and started pounding into Louis hard and fast.

“Feels so fucking good, Lou. You’ve no idea.”

“Think I’ve got some idea,” Louis said, and he sounded just as overwhelmed as Harry. Then Louis’ hands were on Harry’s face, tilting it up so he could reach his lips. Their kissing was almost as messy as the cock sucking had been, both of them mostly breathing into the other’s mouth, teeth clanking together, tongues darting impatiently. Harry had started to move and the slide of his cock in and out captured the majority of their attention.

“Yeah, like that,” Louis whispered. “Just like that.”

Although he was buried to the hilt in Louis’ tight heat, Harry wanted him even closer. He gripped Louis’ thighs, wrapping them around his hips, then he leaned back onto his knees, pulling them both into a sitting position. He leaned backwards to free his legs, moving them to straddle the chaise, then sat up again, keeping Louis in place throughout his manoeuvres. Louis’ arms snaked around Harry’s neck while Harry’s moved his hands under Louis’ arse, holding him as his long legs used the ground as leverage to push up into Louis.

Small keening cries escaped Louis’ mouth with each thrust. His cock was hard between their stomachs, spreading wetness as pre-come leaked from the tip. Harry was so focused on their connection, his cock buried deep inside Louis’s heat, he wasn’t prepared for Louis reaching behind Harry to grab onto the arch of his wings as he ground down against his cock.

This time the cry was ripped from Harry’s mouth, his entire body responding to the touch. His wings had the most dramatic reaction, spreading open then flapping as if in memory of his recent flight.

A crazy idea took root, and Harry tried to ignore it, concentrating on their movements together, but his wings seemed to almost act on their own, as if they were trying to take flight. Finally, Harry couldn’t disregard the impulse any longer.

“Do you trust me?” he asked, pulling back to look into Louis’ eyes. They were dark with desire, piercing and intense.

“Always,” Louis answered simply.

Harry stared, searching his face then nodded, coming to a decision. Keeping his hands under Louis’ arse, he got to his feet, straining as he carried Louis to the wall. Louis’ arms were tight around his neck, his ankles crossed behind Harry’s waist. Harry had to let go with one hand to help pull them first onto the chair he used earlier, then onto the ledge.

When he was standing overlooking the city, he asked the question with his eyes again. Louis answered without Harry even needing to speak. He looked scared, a little overwhelmed, but determined. “I trust you,” he whispered.

Maybe he was insane; maybe he was about to kill them both, but deep in his gut Harry knew this would work. His wings were open, poised for flight, as if they were eager for his next move. Kissing Louis once hard on the lips, Harry took a deep breath and warned, “Hold on,” before stepping off the ledge.

For one terrifying moment, he thought he had made a horrific mistake as their combined weight dropped them faster and farther than he expected. But then his wings surged into action, pumping with full strength, pulling them out of their fall and up into the air.

His cock was still inside Louis; the wind was rushing past his wings, and when Harry looked into Louis’ face, he didn’t think anything could ever feel as perfect as this moment. Louis stared at him in wonder, eyes wide, pupils still large. With each huge flap of his wings they climbed higher and higher. And with each stroke, as his body surged upward, Louis’ weight bore down, pushing him more firmly onto Harry’s cock buried deeply inside his body. Harry had never felt more connected to his beautiful Louis, had never felt more alive.

Louis was rapidly losing control, his body shuddering against Harry, those incoherent sounds now leaving his mouth that always let Harry know he was about to come. Harry’s hands squeezed tighter on Louis’ arse and he beat his wings harder and faster, driving his dick as deeply as he could as they soared through the sky. Then Louis was crying out, hot come spurting between them, slicking their skin. His arms tightened around Harry’s neck, and he buried his face against his chest, little cries still leaving him as Harry continued to fly, his hard cock still pumping into Louis’ sensitive body.

When Louis was finally able to speak, he lifted his head back up, face flushed and expression completely stunned and filled with marvel, the first words out of his mouth were, “Love you so much, Haz.”

Overcome with emotion, at the unreality of where they were, what they were doing, flying through the air and connected like this, Harry felt his wings miss a beat. When Louis repeated his words, “Love you, love you, love you,” Harry felt them curl in his stomach, travel up and down his spine, until he was exploding into a million pieces, breaking apart into space. He cried out as he came inside Louis, cock spilling its seed. His wings seized and they tumbled through the sky, free-falling, down, down and even farther down.

Louis continued his litany, murmuring words of love against Harry’s skin, clinging tightly with his arms and legs, how he was amazing, incredible, the best thing that ever happened to him, how much he’d always loved him and how he always would love him, forever if he’d let him. The words acted as a tether, pulling Harry back into time; he slowly emerged from his orgasmic haze, becoming aware of how quickly the earth was approaching.

Spreading his wings, he slowed their fall and then they were gliding, cool breeze against their sweaty skin. He circled around until he spied the hotel rooftop and then slowed their descent even more. Overwhelmed by his release, he knew he’d never be able to finesse their landing, still connected as they were. Instead, he aimed for the pool and they dropped into the water, spraying up a huge splash as they broke through the surface. They both plunged to the bottom of the pool, breaking apart, then came up spluttering and flailing, pushing the hair back from their faces.

“Think I still need to do a little work on the landing,” Harry said, smiling hugely when Louis broke out into a peal of laughter, the sound echoing the joy he felt in his heart.

“You think?” Louis quipped before swimming over to kiss him again. Then he pulled away, stroking Harry’s face with his hands, still staring at him like he hung the moon. “That was amazing, Haz,” Louis told him again. “You’re amazing.”

And for once, staring down into Louis’ shining eyes, Harry believed him.

-o-


A/N: I apologize for the very very long delay. I got side-tracked by the Big Bang. There are two more planned chapters for this fic and I’ll try not to take so long to get them written. Thanks for reading!!
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