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


22. Paint War

Harry's POV

"While we were shopping today we should have gotten a second bed so you can stop stealing the covers from me," Louis grumbles, yanking the blankets over to his side again.

"Sorry," I say, but I'm laughing and it doesn't sound genuine. I pick up my phone and click it on so it displays the time.

"What the hell Harry?" Louis asks, throwing his hands over his eyes so the bright light from the phone screen doesn't blind him.

"Oops," I reply, shutting off my phone and setting it down again. I'm surprised when Louis nestles in next to me, right in the crook of my arm. "Louis," I start to say, but he interrupts me.

"Shhh. I'm sleeping." As if to prove his point, he starts to fake snore. I smile and wrap my free arm around him protectively. Louis relaxes into my touch and soon I fall asleep.

I wake up the next morning in the same exact position, and with Louis actually snoring. I don't want to move, but I know the people bringing the furniture will be here pretty soon, and I don't really want to answer the door in my boxers. I attempt to carefully extract myself from the bed without waking Lou, but it doesn't work.

His eyes flutter open slowly and he looks groggy and confused. "Why are you getting up so early?" he inquires, rubbing his eyes.

"The furniture is getting delivered today," I remind him.

Louis groans. "Pretend I never woke up."

I smack him with my pillow and he retaliates by chucking one at my head. I snatch it out of the air and place it a safe distance away from Louis.

"Come on Louis, we're going to get this house looking decent if it's the last thing I do."

"It very well might be," Louis retorts, but he gets out of bed anyway.

"While you shower, I'm going to run to the store and get some paint," I inform him.

He nods and trudges into the bathroom that's connected to the bedroom. I go downstairs, grab Louis' car keys, and get in the car. As I back out of the driveway, I picture Louis next to me last night and smile.

Maybe it wasn't the right thing to do, but I'm glad I forgave him. After all, it was only a one night thing. At least, I hope so. Doubt begins to cloud my memory and I can't remember exactly what happened the night I found Louis with that guy. Had they been doing this many nights, and they just happened to get caught the night Louis was drunk?

My stomach turns and I feel anxious, like I'm about to throw up. When I get to the store I find the paint we need and pay hurriedly, wanting to get back home so I can ask Louis if he knew that guy long before I found them.

Half of me trusts Louis, knows that he wouldn't have cheated on me multiple nights. Besides, I would have heard him get up and leave, and if I didn't hear him I at least would've woken up without the feeling of him next to me.

But the other half of me taunts and teases me. What if they did meet up several times? What if they're texting right now and Louis is grinning like an idiot at his phone, which is usually something reserved for when he watches cheesy romantic movies?

I practically speed back to Louis' house, probably breaking every speed limit there is and surpassing stop signs and red lights like they aren't even there.

When I race inside, Louis is at the kitchen table eating a burned bagel.

"Harry what's wrong? What happened?" he asks the minute he sees my frazzled expression.

"Um, I just..." I trail off. What if I seem annoying and clingy?

"Hazza, what is it? You can tell me," Louis prods gently, taking my hand and gazing up into my eyes earnestly.

"Did you know that guy before I caught you two together? Like, were you together for multiple days?" I blurt.

Louis' eyes widen. "Oh God, Harry, no! That was the first and only time I ever saw that guy! What put that notion into your head?"

"I was worried that maybe you cheated on me several times," I say meekly.

Louis wraps his arms around me tightly, and I inadvertently take a step back from the force of it. His voice is a little muffled since his face is shoved against my chest, but I can still hear what he says clearly.

"Harry I love you and only you. The only reason why I briefly hooked up with that guy was because I was drunk. Even that's not a acceptable reason, I know that. There is no acceptable reason. But you have to believe me. You're the one for me."

He pulls away from the hug and I smile at him. Then I spot the burned bagel on the table that he was eating when I walked in.

"Seriously Louis? You can't even use a toaster without screwing something up?"

He makes a face at me. "It's broken, okay? I know how to use a toaster."

"Keep telling yourself that," I reply, much to Louis' annoyance.

He folds his arms across his chest. "I know how to use a toaster, Harry!" To illustrate his words, he walks over to the toaster and plugs it in. "See? I'm not an imbecile."

"Could've fooled me."

Louis' mouth drops open. At first I think he's going to be mad, but he doesn't look mad, just amused and a little taken aback.

"That is such an utterly Louis thing to say," Louis tells me matter-of-factly. "I'm quite proud of you."

"Are you now?" I ask, smirking.

"I am," Louis says. "And I'll prove it."

He closes the small gap between us and presses his lips to mine. I slide my hands up his back and he shivers at the light touch.

The doorbell rings and we jump apart quickly. I smack my knee against the counter and wince. Louis smirks at me.

"Way to go, Harold."

"Yeah thanks," I say, limping to the door with Louis ahead of me.

"Hi!" the perky deliveryman announces. "Which one of you is Mr. Tomlinson?"

Louis takes a single, solitary step forward and in that moment I know I'm in love with him. I told him I loved him in Paris, but right now, seeing Louis smile kindly at the deliveryman and thank him, seeing him grin at me, hearing him say, "Ready to decorate?", smelling his cologne, I'm sure of it. As sure as the sky is blue, as sure as grass is green, I'm sure that I love him.

Louis and I haul all of the furniture into the house before standing back and wiping sweat off of our foreheads.

"We should paint before we move the furniture where we want it to go," I suggest.

Louis nods in agreement and hands me a can of paint and a brush. I get to work right away and soon we have one wall of the living room painted a pretty cream color.

"Hey Hazza," Louis calls and I turn around. Louis slides his paintbrush across my forehead and I gape at him.

"You didn't!" I say warningly.

"Looks like I did," Louis replies smugly.

I dip my brush in the can of paint and chase after him. Louis slips and slides around the house in his socks and I try to catch up to him but my socks are slippery too. Eventually we circle back to the living room and Louis grabs his brush before standing in a defensive stance.

We stare at each other for a moment, and then we both lunge. Louis gets paint on my shirt while I manage to smear some in his hair. He falls to the floor and so do I.

"I win," Louis says breathlessly.

"No you don't!" I protest. Louis makes a move to brush more paint onto me but I throw my arms up and he only gets a little on my elbow.

"There, I just won," he says proudly.

We manage to get the rest of the room painted with only a few paint war breaks and when we're done we survey our handiwork.

"I'm tired; let's move the furniture tomorrow," Louis declares.

"Good idea," I reply. "I'm taking you somewhere tonight."

Louis tilts his head. "Where?"

"You'll see."

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