Home Is Where The Heart Is

It’s been years since Harry last saw Louis. They met in high school and they fell head over heels in love with each other. But right before they went off to college, they split up and ever since then, Harry has felt incomplete. He’s just lost his job and his landlord kicked him out of his apartment because he couldn’t pay his rent. He’s got no place to go. Harry decides to go on a journey to find Louis. After all, home is where the heart is, and Harry’s heart is forever with Louis. Copyright 2014

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12. Ice Skating

Harry's POV

I wake up the next morning to see snow falling heavily from the sky, causing Paris to look as if someone took a giant white-out pen and scribbled all over the city. I turn on the TV and see announcements flashing at the bottom of the screen. I don't recognize most of the words, but I see something about the school Louis and I worked at yesterday. Judging by the looks of it, the school is shut down for the day.

Louis mumbles something in his sleep and rolls over. His messy brown hair is falling into his eyes and he twitches sleepily. I smile at him even though he can't see me and gently push the hair out of his eyes.

"Harry..." Louis says, and at first I think he's woken up but when I look again he's still asleep. "Hazza...cold," Louis mutters, shifting a little.

I lay down, wrap my arms around him, and hold him close. "Harry," Louis murmurs before going quiet again. I close my eyes and try to fall asleep again but I can't. The fact that Louis is so close to me, close enough that I can smell his hair, makes me want to kiss him.

I replay the moment when we kissed the other day after our snowball fight. It was hands down the best kiss of my life. I wouldn't mind doing it again, but I don't think Louis will kiss me again.

Ten minutes later, Louis' eyes fly open and he turns to look at me. "Harry," he says, his eyes softening a little when he looks at me.

"Good morning," I reply. "The school is shut down for today because of all the snow. We won't be able to help out until tomorrow, if you still want to by then."

"I want to see Dominique again," Louis says, rubbing his eyes endearingly.

"Well, I see where your priorities lay," I say, pouting and looking away from Louis.

"No, you're still number one in my mind," Louis says, making my heart melt into a puddle. "Can we go ice skating today since we're not helping at the school?"

"Yeah, good idea," I respond. "I don't know where the closest indoor rink is, though."

"Wow! Too bad we don't have such a thing called the Internet," Louis exclaims sarcastically. "Whatever are we going to do now?"

"Shut up," I say. "I know what the Internet is."

Louis picks up his phone from where it's laying on the nightstand and starts to search for an indoor ice skating rink. "I found one that's only twenty minutes away," he reports after a minute or two of looking.

"Let's go there, then," I say, getting off the bed and heading into the bathroom. "I'm going to get a shower and get dressed and then I'll be ready to go."

As I work on getting the water to the perfect temperature, I hear Louis singing along to some old Christmas songs. I've heard Louis sing before, but it's been so long and I'm stand still as I listen to his beautiful tenor voice belt out the words to "Walking in a Winter Wonderland".

When the song comes to an end and Louis stops singing, I get in the shower. I always told Louis he should try out for X Factor or American Idol or some singing competition like that, but he never listened to me. He never believed in himself enough to try out. If only he viewed himself as I see him. Flawless.

When I get out the shower I'm startled to see Louis standing in the bathroom brushing his teeth. "Um," I say, quickly wrapping a towel around my waist.

Louis raises his eyebrows at me. "You okay there, Harold?"

I try to keep the blush from rising to my cheeks, but I see in the mirror it's not working. "Yeah, I'm fine," I say, trying to act nonchalant.

"Sure, whatever you say," Louis says, putting his toothbrush back in the cup. "I'll be ready in fifteen minutes. I just need to get a shower."

With that, he strips off his boxers and shirt and without a second glance in my direction, steps into the shower. He winks at me before sliding the curtain across. I focus on putting my clothes on and doing my hair, ridding the thought of Lou's abs from my mind.

When I'm done, I leave the bathroom and flop on the bed to wait for Louis. Soon enough he emerges from the bathroom his hair still wet and tousled and he looks utterly adorable.

"Let's go," he says. We hail a taxi once we're outside of the hotel, hiding our faces from the bitter winds in our coats. "I just want to warn you that I am downright horrible at ice skating," Louis says when we're in the taxi.

"There aren't many things you are good at," I joke, just to spite him.

Louis makes a face at me and says, "I think we'd both agree that I'm a pretty good kisser."

I shrug noncommittally. "Not really. There are better kissers out there."

"How dare you?" Louis says, folding his arms across his chest. "Take it back. Now."

"No," I reply. I turn to look out the window.

Louis unbuckles his seatbelt and leans over until his face is inches away from mine. "Take it back," he tells me. "I'm giving you one last chance."

I don't reply, partially because his close proximity is screwing with me and partially because he's always joking with me, and now it's my turn to joke with him. Louis sighs. "Don't say I didn't warn you."

Then he presses his lips against mine and kisses me. His lips are so soft and the feeling of his kiss almost leaves me paralyzed before I realize I need to kiss him back. I subconsciously lift my hands up and grip Louis' arms. His hands are all over me, running through my hair and on my arms, my neck, and my back. I think we both realize at the same time that we're in the back of a taxi. Louis pulls away, clearly flustered, and sits back in his own seat.

"I guess you are a pretty good kisser," I admit.

Louis smirks. "The best?"

"Nah," I say, shrugging. "Still not quite there." I can tell Louis is about to say something, but we pull up in front of the ice skating rink and he holds his tongue while I pay the driver.

As we lace up our skates, Louis begins to laugh. "What's so funny?" I ask him.

"Imagine what the taxi driver thought when we were making out in the backseat," Louis manages to say before bursting into giggles. I begin to laugh as well.

"Hopefully he didn't mind too much," I say through my laughter. That only makes Louis laugh harder and we spend a good five minutes just sitting on a bench laughing before we actually stand up and start to head to the ice.

I wobble a little when I first step out on the ice, but as I go I become more and more confident in my skills and I start to go faster. I turn, expecting to see Louis by my side, but he isn't there. When I make a full rotation around the rink, I see Louis still standing at the entrance to the ice.

"You're going too fast," he complains.

"Sorry," I say, holding out my hand. "I'll go slower and I'll make sure you don't fall."

Louis takes ahold of my hand and I slowly lead him farther out onto the ice. He teeters a bit, on the edge of falling, when I grab him and pull him up. The force of it brings his body right up against mine and we stay like that a second too long before he steps back a bit.

"I think I'm ready to try," Louis says hesitantly. He sounds nervous but I grip his hand tightly so he knows I won't let go anytime soon.

We start to skate slow circles around the perimeter of the rink, watching other couples go by. "Let's speed up a bit," Louis suggests after we go around the rink six times. We pick up the pace, our hands still intertwined. All of a sudden, Louis' skate jams on a rough spot on the ice and he starts to fall. Before I can do anything about it, he's dragging me down with him.

"Sorry," Louis says after I land on top of him.

"Um, it's okay," I say, detangling my legs from his and helping him up. We skate for another few hours, only stopping to get hot chocolate and chat.

By the end of the day, Louis is skating like a pro. He still insists on holding my hand though.

"For safety reasons," he tells me.

When a worker comes over and informs us that the ice rink is closing, we're both disappointed. "I was just getting the hang of it," Louis says as he takes off his skates.

His cheeks have a slight pink sheen on them from the exertion of skating almost all day and I lean over and kiss him quickly on the lips.

"What was that for?" Louis asks me, confused.

"I've wanted to do that all day," I respond.

Louis smiles at me, a big genuine smile that elicits one of my own to follow, and I can't help but think, I love you.

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