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"Oh my God, shut up!"

Harry laughed quite loudly as I pummeled him with weak punches to his arm, while to me it felt like I was squaring off against a boulder. When my fist landed for the sixth time to compete against his visibly strong muscles, my strength—as well as the actual pain it caused him—took us both by surprise.

"Ooh, ouch, Lou," Harry whimpered. However, there was a faintly curious smile playing on his face. "When'd you get so strong?"

I stared at my upper arm in fascination, as if it sprang forth scales or some other kind of nonsense. "I dunno. You fancy a lad stronger than you?"

"Little tosser," Harry threw back, flinging an arm around my neck. "I'll teach this little tosser a lesson, now."

I laughed so hard as his weight forced me to double down, and as he rubbed his knuckles so hard into my scalp that it burned, my rear accidentally ground up against his waistline. In that short second that it occurred—and Harry didn't seem to notice at all—I felt my face blooming red like a newborn flower in the springtime.

Of course, I had to have a little more fun while we were at it. So I used my cheeks—the ones on the opposite side of my body, for clarity's sake—and pushed into his hips. The effect he felt was instantaneous, as he shuddered against my body and his lower half bucked almost automatically into me.

"Oh my God, that felt so good," he sighed, burying his head into the back of my neck.

"I know," I said matter-of-factly, "but now really isn't the time, Harry. Come on."

We still had a significant distance to cover until we would reach the First Class staircase, and because of the detour we took instead of merging with the crowd we left behind, it would be harder now to trace back our steps and go back to where we came from. Currently, we were a few floors beneath First Class, so the only way to reach the higher levels were to keep up the pace and hope we didn't drown first.

A waiter in full uniform came around the corner behind us, some five meters or so and with booming footsteps. The second he laid his gaze on us as we turned around, flicking from me then to Harry, his eyes grew dark with disgust and malice. I was taken aback by his sudden change in demeanour, because I didn't know him nor his motives. The two of us continued walking with no regard for the young man.

"Hey you, filth of Earth!" he hollered bullishly. "Get off this floor, or I swear to God I'll give you both a much-deserved earth bath!"

Harry and I stopped dead-center in the middle of the hall, our hands slightly slipping out of the other's. He turned to me, whispering into my ear, "Who says that anymore?"

I chuckled, more from his hot breath billowing onto my ear though. "I don't know, but does he even know we're on a ship?"

He shrugged. "Probably not. You can't bury anyone on a ship."

I looked at the boy with my head still inclined toward Harry. "Y'know, we happen to be on a ship." I flicked my hand to each of us. "All of us kind of . . . are." The man's face twitched in anger, probably to intimidate.

Harry brought my face to look to his. "Hey, come on Louis, if we don't move we won't be on this ship any longer." He started tugging me away.

"Yeah, that's right!" the bully shouted. "Go on. Yeah, and take your queer behaviours with you too—might've scarred me for life just keeping my bloody eyeballs on you."

Oh no, he did not. Veering away from Harry with fumes launching out of my ears, I hardened my facial features to stone and stormed up to the stranger, ignoring the wickedly cocky smile plastered on his rather handsome features. I yanked him by the collar, drawing him down an inch or so to my level. Damn, was he a tall one.

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