31: Trembles and Truth

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C H A P T E R    T H I R T Y O N E

Trembles and Truth

(18 days til' Christmas)

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                   BY THE TIME Harry heard the shower water cut off, he knew the decision he'd made was the right one. At this point it was a no-brainer, really. He just couldn't keep this a secret anymore. It was doing more harm than good, and either way, whether he told Louis or not, Louis was going to hate Harry. So he might as well just tell him.

                   Besides, he'd rather Louis hate him for the truth than because he thinks Harry and his family and Ed and the entire North Pole are crazy. He saw the carriage driver's ears after all. What must he be thinking?

                   Harry leaned forward to rest his elbows on his knees and press his face into his hands. He should have told Louis the truth a long time ago, should have never let them progress this far without him knowing that Harry wasn't even fully human. God. Why did he ever think this was a good idea?

                   At the sound of the bathroom door opening, Harry lifted his head. A small gust of steam followed Louis out of the bathroom before disappearing, leaving Harry's favorite human looking lonely as ever. It brought Harry to his feet immediately, stepping around the coffee table to meet Louis as quickly as he could.

                   His hair was damp but shaken up, like Louis had run his fingers through it a few times, and despite probably having been beneath hot water, he was pale as ever. Harry opened his mouth to just blurt the truth – no more beating around the bush.

                  "I hate Christmas," Louis breathed first.

                  Harry hadn't quite made it to Louis' side yet, so he stopped where he was a few feet away and closed his eyes. It's already too late. This conversation was about to go downhill very quickly. When he opened his eyes again, Louis was a step closer, he thought. "I know."

                  Louis tucked his hands into the pockets of his joggers and continued. "I hate it, because when I didn't..."

                  "Before your dad left?"

                  Louis pressed his lips together. "A year ago."

                  Feeling like he'd just received an electric shock, Harry stumbled backwards until he felt the sofa at his heels and sat down again.

                  The thing was, Harry knew there was always more that Louis wasn't telling him. This shouldn't be so surprising. Harry shouldn't feel like he hardly knew Louis at all, because he did, and he knew this was coming at some point.

                  Still, he found it impossible to imagine Louis not hating Christmas a year ago. It felt too close to now, and the man standing before him currently did not look as though he would have even entertained the idea of not loathing the holiday an hour ago, let alone a year ago. Especially after everything he's told Harry.

                  Louis took a few minutes to continue, and Harry decided not to interrupt or push him. He wasn't sure if Louis was giving Harry the time to process what he'd said or if he needed the time for himself, but it didn't matter. Harry wasn't going to speak. But after a moment of staring at his own hands, Harry lifted his gaze to check on Louis and found his nostrils flaring a little, sort of like he was angry.

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