The silhouette of a boy and a girl, bodies thin and coats thick, sneakers submerged in gutter water and sludge, knees peeking through ripped denim, faces chapped by strong gusts of wind, expressions blank, sat on the curb at the corner of Main Street and 84th.

Another boy approached them, short and soft, beginning, "Harry, mate, I--"

"Shut the fuck up," the boy on the curb -- Harry -- snarled. "I don't want to hear a god damn word out of you, unless you have my money."

"I do, but--"

"That's a shame, Tomlinson," Harry purred, "I was really looking forward to killing you."

Tomlinson gulped, Adam's apple bobbing in his exposed throat. He fidgeted with his hands, blue fingertips poking out of the unintentional holes made in his woollen gloves. His oceanic eyes pleaded for forgiveness as he cast his gaze on the petite girl beneath Harry's wing, begging for compassion.

The girl shifted, turning her head until her lips made contact with the base of Harry's throat. He moaned, mid-thought, putting on a sinister smile. The girl milked his attention, tangling her fingers in the scarf that hung loosely around his neck and pulling him down to her level. She kissed him once, softly, then again, harder, then pulled away.

"Play nice," she whispered into his open mouth, watching wistfully as his eyes studied every movement of her lips.

In an instant, he furrowed his eyebrows, his cat-like, emerald eyes turning predatory, his face blanching. She had angered him, she knew, and she grew worried; with everything that Harry had done for her, she never, ever wanted to anger him.

Instead of yelling, he drew her in for another kiss, gentle fingers hooked beneath her chin. He tasted of the blue raspberry Slurpee they'd been sharing, and she found herself captivated by the flavor. When he'd worked his tongue into her mouth, then pulled back, biting down on her lower lip -- hard -- she knew he'd made his point perfectly clear.

'I'm sorry,' she mouthed towards Tomlinson when Harry was too preoccupied doing mental math to notice, a small amount of blood dribbling down the split in her lower lip.

Harry swiped it away as soon as he saw it, marvelling at the crimson color that coated his thumb before licking it clean, sucking more dramatically than necessary; heat coiled in the pit of her stomach, her mind reeling through vivid nights spent as the recipient of Harry's lust.

"Tomlinson," Harry addressed, gravelly and stern.

The short brunette stood at attention, slipping slightly on the crushed ice beneath his feet. When he regained his footing, he dared to take a few steps towards Harry, his hands buried deep within the pockets of his thin cardigan.

"Yes?" Tomlinson asked, drained of all emotion.

"I presume you've sold two-thousand dollars in loot," Harry stated, fingering the wad of cash he had stowed in the hidden pocket within the lining of his ebony trench coat.

"I didn't," Tomlinson sighed; worn out, sick and tired, completely unwilling to fight on. "There just wasn't enough," he admitted, hardly above a whisper.

Harry shot to his feet, the momentum knocking the girl to his side back onto her palms. A piece of a smashed beer bottle punctured her skin, where more blood poured out, much darker and stickier; it looked like Cherry Cola, she noticed. Whining, she picked the glass out with her other hand, before promptly placing her lips against the gash and sucking it clean; her mouth flooded with the taste of pennies.

"You knew the deal," Harry snarled, shoving Tomlinson's chest; the shorter boy didn't fight, merely allowed himself to collapse to the asphalt, wet patches of melted ice seeping through his cheap, winter apparel.

"I-I know," Tomlinson replied, pushing himself backward with his sneakers as Harry lurched forward.

They continued this dangerous ebb and flow until Tomlinson was backed up against a brick wall, wads of chewing gum sticking to the stained fabric of his cardigan as Harry yanked him up by the collar, ramming him forward. Tomlinson let out a whoosh of breath, the air stolen from his lungs as Harry pinned him into place by the stomach.

"I don't think you do," Harry growled, face inches from Tomlinson's; his skin was grimy, sweat beading on his upper lip and forehead.

"I tried, Harry; I tried," Tomlinson grovelled. Harry pinched his eyes shut and breathed through his nose, disbelieving of Tomlinson's ignorance. "We used to be friends," Tomlinson reminded; despite the pain he was in, despite Harry's malevolence, despite the girl left bleeding across the parking lot.

"I don't have friends," Harry spat, working his jaw; his eyelids were still shut, the crinkles increasing as he shut them even tighter.

"You used to," Tomlinson tried again, feeling as Harry's hands clenched and unclenched.

"I don't fucking have friends!" Harry exploded, eyelids shooting open, seeing dark red, hand swiping across Tomlinson's face with a loud smack.

Tomlinson reached up to coddle the quickly reddening skin of his left cheek, his jaw hanging open, his eyes narrowed in betrayal; blood trickled from the point of impact, Harry's golden ring leaving a laceration in its wake.

The girl in the distance could be heard murmuring things beneath her breath, trying to swipe the tears from her eyes of ultramarine, trying to be strong; for Tomlinson, for Harry, and for herself.

"Then kill me," Tomlinson contested. "Right here, against this wall, in front of Elliot-- kill me," he repeated, more fervently.

Then he began to laugh; maniacally, sadistically, martyrly. He laughed until his stomach ached, Harry's knuckles digging into it further. He laughed until he forgot the pain; until he forgot he was walking dead.

Harry furthered Tomlinson against the wall until his feet were dangling inches above the ground, locking him into place. For the first time in a long time -- perhaps, forever -- Tomlinson watched as Harry cracked.

"I-I will," Harry agreed, "don't think I won't."

"Honestly," Tomlinson breathed, "I don't even care anymore."

There was a long while of silence; Harry blinking hard and staring at the skin and bones he held up -- a human, a human, he reminded himself -- and Tomlinson finding a melancholic sense of peace. Then, all at once, Harry dropped Tomlinson, allowing him to fall to the floor in a rumpled heap and stepping away from him in disgust.

Harry crouched down, bringing himself to Tomlinson's level. He grabbed him by the back of the neck, yanking him to look directly into his eyes; Tomlinson smiled a bleary smile, fighting the good fight as best he could.

"Everything I do," Harry began, voice sharply cracking, "I do for that girl. She is mine, and I will do anything I have to do to protect her." His grip tightened, fingers digging into the skin above Tomlinson's sternum, causing him to sputter. "As far as you're concerned, I am your king, she is your queen, and this city is our kingdom," Harry explained, spit landing in Tomlinson's bloodshot eyes.

"What does that make me?" Tomlinson smarmed, nothing left to lose, lip curled into a mischievous smirk; Harry pushed him harder against the wall, eliciting a pained groan.

"A servant," Harry snapped, voice dripping with venom. "I don't give a fuck whether we were ever friends or not, Louis William Tomlinson," he continued, "if you fail to bring me two-thousand dollars by Friday, I will slit your throat where you lay." He tossed the small, pixie-ish boy to the ground. "Here's hoping someone finds your body."

Harry left it at that, dusting himself off, and returning to the girl who had seen it all unfold; she had tried not to, but ended up peeking through the spaces in between her fingers. He grinned at her as if nothing had happened -- as if he had just seen the sun rise -- and rise she did, to her feet to accept the warm embrace he was offering. She snuggled against his chest, slotting perfectly with his muscular, lanky frame. His lips instantly pressed to the strawberry-blonde of her hairline, then moved to dot against her eyelids, then seized her gasping lips.

He kissed her -- hard -- hiding from his demons within her candy taste, her floral smell, her soft feel, her breathtaking sight, and her harmonious sound.

"Harry," she addressed, swallowing her spit that tasted of a mix of blue raspberry Slurpee and pennies. "Are you okay?"

His grip tightened around her, almost constricting, until she heard him sniffle; she'd only seen him cry on one other occasion. Wordlessly, she kissed his tear-stained lips, his red nose, his sweat-sticky forehead, his wintry cheeks, everything she could, until he opened his eyes to take her in; his irises resembled sea glass.

Then, as quickly as it had shone through, his vulnerability was gone; she watched him transform from a beautiful god, into a beautiful monster. His expression hardened, his jaw set, his eyes narrowed, his lips pursed; and truthfully, she couldn't say she cared. That was Harry.

"Elliot," Harry started, voice thick like caramel, "you are the only thing I love."

♔ ♟ ♕ ♞ ♖ ♝ ♘ ♜ ♙ ♛ ♗ ♚

A/N: Before anyone gets mad at me, yes, it had to be Louis. It will be important later in the story. Trust me, I do not enjoy near-killing Louis Tomlinson in my fictional worlds.

Basically, I was absolutely overwhelmed with inspiration and had to write this down, and I'm telling you right now, I feel like I could go on for days without stopping. There's something about writing something so fucked up and action-packed and mysterious that really excites me.