"I don't really think that's a good idea," I say nervously. But Louis is already pulling his phone out and Googling "French Laws".
"I found one that will be super easy to break, and no one will even catch us," Louis says, holding up his phone so I can read what's on the screen.
"Famous last words," I say but I lean over and read the law anyway. "It's illegal to kiss on railways in France?" I ask skeptically.
"See? No one probably even cares about this law, so we can do it and we'll be fine. Where's the nearest train station?" Louis says, shoving his feet into shoes.
"I guess," I say anxiously. I still don't want to break the law, but this one sounds fairly harmless. We're not hurting anyone or anything like that. I suppose if I have to break the law, this is one law I don't mind breaking.
I throw on a coat and shoes and Louis and I set out in search of train tracks. "This is kind of dangerous, you know," I point out as we walk.
"Whatever," Louis says. "I like to take risks. Besides, it'll take like two seconds."
"You're too confident for your own good," I reply, shaking my head. "I hope I don't regret this."
"You need to live a little," Louis responds sassily. "Ever since I've met you, you've been kind of reserved and quiet and too...perfect. I think we need to damage your perfect reputation a little."
"But no one will know other than us," I cut in. "So how will it damage my reputation?"
"I'll know, and that's enough," Louis says swiftly and smoothly. It sufficiently shuts me up.
"Weren't there train tracks near the ice skating rink we were at the other day?" Louis asks suddenly, pausing and walking in the other direction.
I hurry after him. "Yeah, I think so. They looked kind of deserted too, so it's the perfect place."
The rest of the walk is silent as I pray to God that we don't get caught and worry about what will happen if we do. We could always say we didn't know about the law, that we're just a few dumb tourists who started kissing on the train tracks. I'm not sure they'll believe us though. Louis isn't a convincing liar, and neither am I.
When we reach the tracks, Louis hesitates. "Are you ready?" he asks, and I hear a hint of worry in his voice as well, but he brushes it off when I point it out. "You're imagining things, Harry," he tells me.
"Yeah I'm ready as I'll ever be, I guess," I say and we step onto the tracks. "What if a train comes?" I inquire, looking around us for any police who might be lurking, waiting for unsuspecting tourists to make out on the tracks.
"We'll hear it and be able to get off the tracks in time for it to go by," Louis comments. "Now are we going to do this or aren't we?"
I lean forward a little and he stands on his tiptoes (his small height is literally adorable) and our lips meet in the middle.
"See? This isn't so bad," Louis whispers before shutting up and kissing me again. It feels like we're standing there for years, for decades, lost in the chemistry between the two of us but probably only a minute passes before we hear a voice shout,
"Hey! What do you think we're doing? Get off the tracks! You're not allowed to kiss there, are you crazy?"
There's fear and panic in Louis' blue eyes but he takes control anyway. "Run Harry! Do you hear me? Run like a maniac, and do not stop until I say so!"
We take off running. It's been a long time since high school when we were forced to run miles in gym class and I find that I'm not quite as fast as I used to be. Louis however is as nimble as ever, and he's leaping over logs and sprinting like he's in the damn Olympics. I try to match his pace but he proves to be way too fast and I soon fall behind. When he looks over his shoulder and sees me, he slows.
"Hazza, hurry!" I look over my shoulder and see two policemen running after us.
"Maybe we should just give up on the running," I suggest, sucking air.
"Are you stupid? We can't give up now. Just keep running," Louis hisses. "I'm not getting arrested on my birthday."
"This was your brilliant plan," I remind him, but I start to run again anyways.
The two policemen shout after us but half the things they say are probably muttered French curse words and I have no idea what they're saying.
After what seems like a mile or two of running, Louis stops and so do I.
"Are you okay?" Louis asks me.
"Um, yeah. Just great," I say, collapsing onto the ground and leaning against a tree.
"Maybe this was a bad idea," Louis admits, shrugging.
"You think?" I ask.
"Hey, Harry, I'm sorry," Louis says, his face turning serious as he sits beside me. "On the bright side though, you finally broke the law."
"You know what else I can cross off my bucket list?" I say sarcastically.
"What?" Louis responds.
"Almost get arrested. Check!" I say, pretending to cross something off of a list.
Louis laughs and I frown at him but his laugh is contagious and pretty soon I'm chuckling as well. I'm not sure how he manages to do it, but even though he just ran and almost got caught by the police, he's still beautiful in a way that no one else I've ever met is.
His soft brown hair is rumpled, his blue eyes are taunting me, and his lips are curled into a grin that's directed at me.
"You almost killed me today, you know that?" I ask him, relieved that I can finally breathe normally once more.
"Sorry," Louis tells me. "You know I love you though."
The ground is still a little damp from the recently melted snow and it's soaking through my jeans and my butt is freezing and I probably look horrible because I just ran for a while but none of it matters, none of it, because Louis just told me he loves me and oh God, if I were to die now at least I would die happy.
I'm about to reply when two pairs of feet come stomping up to us. I look up slowly, right into the faces of two midly angry police officers who are frowning down at us.
Louis and I quickly stand up and I start talking before Louis has a chance to.
"I'm really sorry sir, we um, didn't know it was against the law. See um, we're from America and we really didn't know..."
"Then why did you run?" one of the officers asks, crossing his arms across his chest. He's not happy with us, but he doesn't seem entirely furious either which I'm taking as a good thing.
Louis cuts in before I can say another word in our defense. "We knew it was against the law," Louis says truthfully. "That's the whole reason we did it. Harry here-" he gestures in my direction- "has never broken the law and I figured it was high time he lived a little. I thought it was kind of a harmless law to break and that's why we chose the law we did. You're not going to arrest us, are you?"
I guess telling the truth was a good tactic, partly because Louis is horrific at telling lies and partly because now the police officers look more amused than mad.
"Well," the second officer says, "as long as it doesn't happen again, we're going to let you go. But if you get the notion in your head that you're going to break another law and you get caught, you won't be this lucky."
Louis nods and I copy the motion, and soon enough they're gone.
"They probably think I'm an idiot," I say, scuffing my shoe against the ground.
"It's okay," Louis says.
"I bet they're going to go home and tell their families about the dumb tourists they encountered today," I whine.
"Harry you may be an idiot, but you're my idiot," Louis says fondly.
"Then again," I say, trying not to let Louis see how flustered his sentiment has made me, "you're the one who came up with this grand idea, so I don't really think I'm the biggest idiot here."
"For once Harry, you're right," Louis replies. He shakes his head. "My sisters will get such a kick out of this when we get home."
Home. The word resonates deep inside me, leaving me feeling empty and alone. "Home," I say meekly.
Louis glances over at me, recognition blooming in his eyes. "You can stay with me when we get back to America," he tells me with a tone of finality.
"Really? Are you sure?" I ask excitedly.
"But only if you agree to start cooking for us, because I can burn water," Louis says.
"Agreed," I respond, eliciting a laugh from Louis. I shiver a little and Louis takes my hand in his. It's a small gesture but I'm endeared by it, although it seems now that I'm endeared by everything Louis does.
"Let's go back to the hotel, maybe stop and get some lunch on the way," he suggests, looking up at me.
"And we'll try not to get arrested," I add.
Louis laughs. "No guarantees."