Chapter 28 ~ I Love You

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On January 1, Louis’s cell phone rang.  Eyes blurry, he stretched, nose nuzzling a cheek belonging to someone else, and untangled himself from Harry’s arms as he fumbled for his phone vibrating on the notched nightstand.  Simon Cowell.  He wasn’t all that surprised. It didn’t stop his heart from sinking into his stomach.

“’Lo?” he croaked, still groggy as he sat up, gently tucking Harry’s hand over his chest and rubbing his eyes. 

“Louis,” Simon said warmly.  “How have your holidays been?”

“Great,” Louis sighed.  “Really good.  Yours?”

“Decent, thank you,” Simon said.  “Have you been in contact with the boys?”

“Of course,” Louis said, shifting on Harry’s mattress.  Simon chuckled.

“Fantastic.  Well, Louis, I’m going to be honest; I called to check up on you and see how you were doing with what we discussed in my office on the thirteenth.” Louis’s mouth was suddenly dry.

“I…I’m working on it.”

“Louis,” Simon said, his voice suddenly much more urgent.  “It’s the first of January.  You have two days.  Have you even spoken with Harry about this?”

“I haven’t—We’re—”

“Babe?” A sleepy voice mumbled, and Louis turned to see that Harry was stirring, blinking up at him with a smile.  “Who’s that?”

“Just a minute, doll,” Louis murmured, pressing the receiver to his chest and bending to kiss him good morning.  “It’s just Simey; you can go back to bed.” Harry’s nose wrinkled like a kitten’s and he squeezed Louis’s fingers once before rolling over and falling back asleep. 

“Lou,” Simon sighed with frustration over the phone, as if he’d known what had just went on in Harry’s room.  “The longer you leave this, the more difficult it’s going to be.  Not only for you, but for Harry and the other three as well.”

“I know, I know,” Louis whispered, teeth blenching as he began to panic.  As Harry stirred again, cracking a confused eye open and blinking curiously up at Louis, Louis waved a hand in his direction and hurried to scramble off the bed and to the door.  He shut himself in the bathroom and leaned against the wall, fingers fumbling anxiously with the soft towels hanging on a rack.

“I don’t see why you’re procrastinating here,” Simon said.  “What are you planning, for the two of you to show up in London on Monday and have them ask Harry if you’ve dumped him yet? Would you prefer for him to hear the news like that?”

“Of course I wouldn’t,” Louis hissed, biting his lip.  “I can’t… He’s so fucking happy, Si, I can’t…”

Simon was quiet.  Louis heard him sigh over the line, and what sounded like a chair squeaking.

“Would you like me to talk to him?” He finally asked.  “I could have the two of you arrive tomorrow and…inform him of the circumstances.”

“Could you do that?” Louis asked pathetically, infinitesimal relief falling over his shoulders.  “I mean… I know I’m being a prat.”

“I would be willing to do that, but you would have to be at my office by eleven o’clock tomorrow morning.  I’ve got dozens of other appointments that come first in priority, and I don’t want to do this unless I have to.  You’re sure you want me to talk to him?”

“Yes,” Louis begged him. “Please, Simon, I’m not sure how I could tell him myself.”

“All right,” Simon sighed, sounding quite tired.  “I’ll see you at eleven tomorrow.  Have a good New Year’s, Louis.”

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