Paris is absolutely stunning. A thin layer of snow blankets the whole city, and a bitter chill in the air keeps many people indoors for the time being. Louis and I stroll around the city making small talk about how pretty everything is, occasionally slipping into a silence that can only be described as comfortable. There aren't many people I know that I can be silent with and not feel awkward, and, even after all this time, Louis is one of those people.
"Are you hungry?" Louis asks once we've been walking around for an hour or so.
"Starving," I admit. "Let's go to a café or something."
We keep walking and soon enough, we find a small café that doesn't look too crowded.
"Let's go in here," Louis suggests.
We sit at a small table near the fireplace that's in the middle of the café. Louis holds his hands outstretched in vain attempt to warm them up. His cheeks have an adorable pink tinge to them from the brisk winter air, and his usually impeccable brown hair is windblown. I have to force myself to look away.
When the waiter comes, he says,
"Bonjour! My name's Jean-Paul and I'll be serving you tonight. Here are some menus, call me over when you're ready to order."
I examine the menu and wonder how I'm ever going to choose one thing to eat.
"Half of me really wants to try the snails," I say. "Half of me is saying not to."
Louis smiles at me from above his menu. "Go for it," he says. "Maybe you'll really like them."
"I guess you're right," I agree, closing my menu and setting it on the table. "What are you getting?"
Louis shrugs. "I can't decide. Maybe I'll ask Jean-Paul what he recommends."
I wave Jean-Paul over and say, "I've decided, but Louis here isn't sure what to get."
"Any recommendations?" Louis adds.
"I personally think the bacon-spinach tart is to die for," Jean-Paul tells Louis.
"Okay, I'll go with that then," Louis says.
"And I'll have the escargot," I say, handing my menu to Jean-Paul.
"I'll be back with your meals in a few minutes," Jean-Paul says and leaves.
Louis and I sit quietly for a moment, me looking outside at the falling snow and Louis admiring the dessert menu. I glance around the café and smile a little at the French conversations I hear. French is a very beautiful language, and I wish I would have taken that in high school instead of taking Spanish.
"What are you smiling at?" Louis asks, brushing a lock of hair off his forehead.
"I love Paris already," I say, shrugging.
"Me too," Louis agrees, and then Jean-Paul is back with out food.
I pose my fork over the snails and look up at Louis hesitantly. "What if they're gross?" I say.
"Just try them, you wimp," Louis says, taking a bite of his bacon-spinach tart. His eyes widen. "This is possibly the best thing I've ever tasted in my whole life."
His proclamation of love for the tart gives me the courage to take a bite of the snails. They're buttery and melt in your mouth good, and I forget I'm eating snails for a second.
"Good?" Louis says, smiling at me.
"Really good," I reply. The rest of the meal is overall pretty quiet, with a few mumbled words about the food or the snow, and when we're both done Louis says,
"I wanted dessert but I am so full." I nod and wave Jean-Paul over again so we can pay.
"Everything was good, I presume?" Jean-Paul asks as he gives us the check.
"It was amazing," Louis replies.
We pay and head out into the snow once more. Louis walks right up against me, so close I could hold his hand if it wasn't shoved into the depths of his coat pocket.
"Cold," Louis says through chattering teeth. I shiver a little myself, even in my big parka.
"Let's just go right back to the hotel then," I tell him. He nods and we speed up a little. When we get back to the hotel and enter our room, Louis strips off his coat and throws it on the floor.
I pick it up, knowing he won't until he has to wear it again. I hang it over the back of one the chairs in the kitchen area and do the same with my own. When I walk over to the bed, I'm startled to see Louis in nothing but a big tee and boxers crawling into the bed.
"Come on Harry," he says, noticing me. "Let's watch movies or something."
"Give me a minute or two," I respond, pulling a Green Bay Packers tee and a pair of plaid flannel pajama bottoms out of my suitcase and taking them to the bathroom. I change and sit in bed next to Louis. "What movie are we watching?" I ask him, pulling the covers up around my chin.
"Not sure yet," Louis replies. He flips through the channels until he finds a horror movie. "Yes!" he says enthusiastically. He purposely sets the remote on the nightstand by his side of the bed so I can't change the channel without him knowing.
"Louis," I whine. "I hate horror movies."
"I know that," Louis says. "Please can we watch one, just this once?"
His blue eyes plead with me until finally I give in, saying, "Okay. But just this once."
I grimace when the axe-wielding murderer chases after the unsuspecting teen girl and I proceed to hide my face. Louis pokes me. I don't move. I don't want to see a girl getting sawed to pieces, even if it is just a movie.
"Harry," Louis says, his tone sympathetic. "I changed the channel."
I look up and see some ad for window cleaners. "You didn't have to," I tell him.
"I know," he replies. "It was a crappy movie anyways."
I smile at him and he grins back at me before saying, "I'm still cold."
"You're wearing a tee and boxers, so I'm not surprised one bit," I say.
Louis makes a face at me and inches closer to me. "You're warm," he informs me. He moves until he's sitting right up against me, flipping through the channels with a nonchalant look on his face.
I shift to accommodate the weight of his shoulder against mine and steal the remote from him.
"Hey!" Louis says, grabbing for it. I hold it up above my head and grin blissfully at him. "Jerk," Louis says, making another attempt to grab it from me. I slide off the bed and he chases me, occasionally yelling insults at me. I circle around the kitchen table and race around the couch. Finally, Louis catches up to me and he unceremoniously tackles me and we fall onto the floor, breathing heavily and looking right into each other's eyes.
Louis wastes no time snatching the remote from me, but he doesn't move from his position right next to me. I can feel his breath on my cheek we're so close and all I want to do is kiss him. The thought overwhelms me and all I can think about is the feeling of his lips on mine.
"I crushed you," Louis informs me on our way home from the bowling alley.
"I told you I suck at bowling," I say, pouting.
Louis laughs. "You weren't that bad," he says.
I shake my head. "You don't have to lie to make me feel better. I know I was pretty bad."
"Well in that case," Louis says, pulling into my driveway. "You really sucked, Harry."
I laugh and lightly punch him in the shoulder. "Meanie," I say teasingly.
"You love me," Louis replies cheekily.
I shrug. "Eh. I guess." I know my response will make Louis upset, and it does.
"Come on," he says, frowning at me.
"Okay," I say, leaning towards him. "I love you."
I touch my lips to his. Louis kisses me back and we only pull away when we hear my mom come out of the house.
"Are you ever coming inside?" she asks, raising her eyebrows.
"Yup, I'm coming Mom," I say and she goes back inside. "You're getting me in trouble," I tell Louis as I get out of his car.
He just grins. "I'll see you tomorrow, Hazza," he says.
Louis looks a little flustered to be this close to me, and he starts to get up. I feel disappointed, but if I would have kissed him, the rest of the trip would have been awkward. It's probably a good thing I didn't.
"I win!" Louis crows, holding the remote above his head.
"This is only one battle out of the whole war, Tommo," I say, and Louis grins.
"Bring it on then, Styles."
I smirk and lunge at him. "Harry!" Louis says in surprise. I start tickling him until the remote falls out of his hand, but I don't stop there. "Hazza, stop," Louis squeals as he tries to kick me off of him. Finally I sit back and Louis glares at me. "I hate you," he says indignantly, folding his arms across his chest and pouting. He called me Hazza. I fight back the urge to grin.
"It's not my fault you're super ticklish," I reply.
"It's not really my fault either," he says, standing and fixing his rumpled hair while frowning in the mirror. "Look what you did."
I stand also and walk over to the mirror until I'm right behind him. Then I wrap my arms around him. "If it makes you feel any better, you still look good," I say.
"Thanks," Louis grunts, relaxing into my hug. Suddenly, he spins around, catching me off guard, and grabs the remote from the edge of the bed.
"I deserve to get the remote since you broke the rules and tickled me," Louis says. "It was traumatic."
"Fair enough," I agree and we settle down once more to watch TV. This time Louis chooses a French comedy show which neither of us can understand but we watch it anyway, exchanging small grins whenever we catch the other person looking at us.
Eventually we both get tired and agree to call it a day.
"We'll explore more tomorrow," I say and Louis nods.
"Good night," he says before falling asleep. His breathing becomes slow, and even in his sleep he looks gorgeous. It takes me a while to fall asleep, but when I do it's riddled with dreams of Louis.