That wasn’t the last time I saw the man, the man whose name I didn’t even know.
He had left a few hours later that night, with his girlfriend, of course. Niall and I assumed they were a couple, and we knew we had to be right from the way they looked at each other with loving eyes. Yet Niall kept assuring me that no man with a bum like that could be straight.
“I better get going,” I told Niall when it grew close to midnight.
He frowned. “Where are you headed off to? It’s storming outside, Harry. You’ll get buried alive!”
I mindlessly chuckled. “No, I’m not a leprechaun like you,” I teased. Niall and I had become something like mates within the hours we had known each other. It was quite comforting. “Don’t worry about me. Just focus on your family.” Then I muttered, “They’re all you’ve got now.”
He only nodded, letting me stand up and secure my scarf. I waved goodbye to his family, now knowing their names. His brother was Greg and his parents were Maura and Bobby. Then I repeated to action to Abigail, who looked hesitant to let me leave.
Fifteen minutes passed, and I had made it to my usual street corner, tucked into a small space between shops with a blanket thrown across my lap. I felt numb all over, and my nose wasn’t even running anymore because anything that came out (god, this was getting gross) froze. I tried to exhale and warm myself from the puffs of warm air, but nothing seemed to help.
Perched on my lap was a sign and a cup. The sign was something I added a few months ago after realizing that they helped. I knew nobody would be around this time of night, but there was bound to be some sketchy man or even woman (I was desperate) trudging through the snow with one intention that I could fulfill.
An hour passed. I wanted so badly to fall asleep, but the cold prevented me from doing so. A part of me believed that I was going to die that night. A part of me wanted to, actually.
Then I heard his voice. That soft, playful, and melodic voice. I thought I had been dreaming of it, as I neared the dark surfaces of death. That maybe it was my guardian angel.
“Need money for Uni, willing to do anything?” he read. Then he gasped. “You’re the lad from the shelter!” Then I thought he mumbled after, “I’d know those lips anywhere.”
I tried to lift my head up, to look at him and make sure that I wasn’t dreaming. But suddenly my body was being lifted up. Was I being carried off to heaven now? No, for all the things I had done, there was no way I was going to heaven.
In his arms (or wherever I was) I cuddled closer to the source of heat. The heat in this case was his body. He smelled so nice, and it only made me conscious of the way I must have smelled. I hadn’t had a decent shower in… what… a month? I was repulsive, and he probably knew it.
But hey, I wasn’t the one carrying a homeless boy.
“Where are we going?” I managed to croak out, clutching onto him and trying to restrain moans of pleasure from how warm he was.
He let go of my body with one hand yet still managed to support me. He reached out and opened a door, and soon my entire body was attacked with heat. We were in some sort of building.
“You’re spending the night with me,” he stated.
I frowned, still shivering unintentionally. “W-What?” I stammered.
Of course he wanted me for sex. It didn’t even matter that he was straight! Plenty of straight men took my offer. As long as they had a hole and mouth to put it in, that was enough.
He seemed to realize his mistake. “Oh god, not that,” he assured me. “At least not yet…”
My head was spinning too much to even care what that meant. The sudden heat was making me nauseous, but I didn’t want it or him to go away. I wondered briefly what Niall would think of all this.
“Here we are,” the man said, stepping out of the lift we had been in.
He fumbled for the key for a while, then managed to open the door. I looked up from his chest to have a look around, realizing that he was loaded. It was huge, nothing I had ever seen before. The walls were decorated with paintings, the floors with expensive furniture.
“Oh my gosh, Louis!”
The man sighed. “Eleanor, I recognized him from the shelter and couldn’t just let him freeze to death. He actually looked dead when I first saw him. Is it alright if he spent the night here, babe?”
She didn’t even hesitate. “Of course!” she cried. “Get him cleaned up, and I’ll get some of your pajamas for him and clear up the guest bedroom.”
“Would it be too much to prepare a meal for him? I can feel his ribs,” the man murmured, something that could easily put me to sleep.
His girlfriend, Eleanor, nodded quickly, scurrying off somewhere. Louis (the name suited him perfect and would roll off my tongue nicely. I couldn’t wait to say it) carried me into what seemed to be the bathroom.
“Bath or shower?” he asked me, setting me to my feet.
I wobbled slightly, grabbing onto his arm to keep from falling. He quickly wrapped his arms around my waist, pulling me close.
“Sorry,” I apologized, feeling warmth creep up to my cheeks.
He steadied me and then let go, much to my dismay. “Don’t worry about it,” he said, looking a little distracted.
“I’ll just settle for a shower,” I told him, wringing my hands awkwardly.
He nodded, focusing again. “Alright! Towels are over there, along with a hairdryer that you are being forced to use.”
“I’m not going to have any part of you freeze to death,” he said indignantly.
I smiled. His protective nature was adorable. “Louis,” I said for the first time. “That’s your name, isn’t it?”
He nodded. “Yeah. What’s yours? I never quite got it. I think you were too deep in conversation with that blond bloke back in the shelter. Is he your boyfriend?” he asked openly, something that surprised me.
“I’m Harry,” I said, still dumbfounded. “But, erm, no. Niall’s just my mate, nothing more.”
“Harry,” Louis repeated. “I like it. Well, you’re in no hurry so take advantage of the shower and hot water.”
Then he turned to leave before I grabbed his wrist. He turned around, his blue eyes connecting with my green ones.
“Thank you, Louis,” I found myself saying. “For saving my life.”
He swallowed. “I couldn’t just let an angel die.”