seven

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Harry returns for dinner on Sunday, making pasta and his special tomato sauce, along with a salad. They eat at the kitchen table while laughing about random topics of conversation that keep popping up, funny stories that make Louis spit out his beer, or Harry choke on a piece of farfalle pasta.

After dinner, they spend some time on the couch together, enjoying each other's company, much like they have the past two nights. Louis is shivering today, so Harry wraps him in a blanket and keeps him tucked underneath his arm.

Louis has never experienced such care from another person before, aside from his family, and it makes his heart do weird flips in his chest, thinking about an alpha actually caring about him, enough to come over three days in a row just because of his soft heat.

"I'm probably not gonna have time to stop by tomorrow, because of work."

"Oh, that's okay." However, he can't help but feel a little sad at thinking about spending his evening alone tomorrow, holed up in his apartment, missing Harry.

"I, um- I have something for you, that might make it easier? Kind of a gift, but not really, I dunno-"

"Ooh, what is it? Where is it?"

He pulls out a well-worn sweater, the yarn soft. "I wore it last night and all day today so it'll smell like me, hopefully. Like alpha, I mean. Because, you know..." He smiles sheepishly, almost apologetically. "Yeah. I thought it might help. You don't have to take it if you don't want."

Louis grabs it out of his hands before he can rescind the offer. Before he realizes he probably shouldn't, he pulls the bundled sweater to his face and inhales deeply, sighing in pleasure and relief.

Harry looks relieved as well. "You like it?"

"Yes. Thank you so much." Louis pulls it away from his face for long enough to wrap his arms around Harry's upper back and squeeze him in a bone-crushing hug. The alpha seems caught off-guard at first, but slowly he sets his hands on Louis' waist, rubbing gently, probably not even realizing he's doing it.

"Good, I'm glad."

"Thank you for thinking of me. This is really helpful. And nice."

"I packed up the leftovers for you as well, so you can take them to lunch at work tomorrow? There should be enough for dinner too. So you don't have to cook tomorrow if you don't want to."

Louis presses himself closer, burying his face in Harry's broad chest. "Thank you."

"Alright. I should get going."

"Alright."

"Louis."

"Hm?"

"You might have to let me go."

"Oh. Sorry." He lets his arms fall from his upper back, staring up at Harry. A single word flashes through his mind, one that makes his heart flutter helplessly in his chest. Alpha .

A grin spreads across Harry's face, deep enough that his dimples appear, and Louis just about melts at the sight. His mind is spinning.

Alpha, alpha, alpha.

"See you later, then?"

"See you," Louis echoes.

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