Love Me Until My Heart Stops

17: When You’re Ready

“So, I spoke to Leo” Gerard commented as he fell into his regular seat at Esmé’s side, offering the brunette a little smile. It had been a couple of hours since they’d woken up together, but Gerard still couldn’t get the smile off of his face. He knew that it was only tentative, Esmé wasn’t ready to move things along too quickly and he didn’t blame her, but he couldn’t stop himself from smiling. Tentative or not, he liked the idea of them being together.

“And what percentage of the team did he tell about finding us this morning?” Esmé posed, returning his small smile.

“Remarkably, no one” Gerard replied.

Esmé lifted her eyebrow slightly. “He didn’t tell anyone?” she posed.

Gerard shook his head. He was as surprised as she was, after being caught, he was sure that Lionel would be quick to tell anyone and everyone that he could, but he was happy that he hadn’t. For a little while, he wanted to keep Esmé to himself and didn’t want to handle the questions that would inevitably be thrown at them, such as were they serious about being together after Cesc? “He said it wasn’t his place to say anything to anyone about it” he explained, his fingers lightly brushing hers subtly as to not alert the duo of Alba and Alves who sat across from them, too close for him to be more overt.

Esmé nodded her head. “You think he’ll keep it to himself?” she posed, staring out of the window as she tried to suppress her smile. She felt butterflies, something which had caught her a little off guard, and she wanted to remain subtle. Lionel knowing about them was one thing, any more people knowing was going to pose an issue.

“I think so” Gerard noted “He’ll tease me relentlessly for it, but I don’t exactly picture Leo spreading gossip when it isn’t his place, especially about you. He may not show it all the time, but I think he has a soft spot for you” he grinned.

“You know that he is close with Cesc” she mumbled.

“I know” Gerard assured her softly “But we both know Leo, he’s not going to stir things up, especially when you and I can’t even put a name on what is going on here. It’s going to take a little getting used to, Esmé, but we’ll get there, and when you’re ready, we’ll let other people in” he noted.

Esmé nodded her head. She did trust Lionel, but she wanted to make sure that he wasn’t about to report back to Cesc. The last thing she wanted was her ex catching wind of the situation that was occurring between her and Gerard. He was bound to stomp all over it. “You could look a little happier” Gerard commented, resting his head back against the headrest “You did just agree that we have something, I would expect a less miserable expression” he teased, knowing that no one around them was particularly listening to them.

Esmé shook her head. “I will save my less miserable expression for the privacy of my home, thank you” she played along.

Gerard arched his eyebrow. “Is that an invitation, Miss Silva?” he posed.

Esmé shrugged innocently. “Take it as you will, Gerard” she smirked before she fished her headphones out of her backpack, placing them in her ears.

Gerard shook his head. He could already tell that whatever he had with Esmé was going to be, at the very least, fun.

“I thought he would never shut up” Gerard complained as he followed Esmé into her home. It had taken longer than he had hoped, once back at the training ground, the coach had insisted on giving the team a small pep talk in order to keep their focus, but Gerard’s mind had wandered off. Esmé had sat close to him, too close to him, and all he had wanted was to get her away from everyone. He wanted her on her own.

“He’s your coach, Gerard” Esmé returned, placing her bags beside the door “He’s going to attempt to keep you lot focused” she added.

“He could have done it on the bus” the defender returned “Or the plane. He didn’t need to keep us there” he pointed out.

Esmé shook her head. “It wouldn’t have killed you to pay attention” she noted.

Gerard’s face fell into a dumb grin. “Do you want to know what I was thinking about instead?” he posed.

“I think I can guess” she replied, walking through towards her kitchen.

Gerard chuckled and stepped up behind her, placing his head between her shoulder and neck. “Can you blame me?” he mused.

“I thought we agreed this was moving slowly” Esmé murmured. It wasn’t that she didn’t enjoy the attention, Gerard’s new affection towards her gave her butterflies, but she knew she had to pull him back. If she let him get too giddy, he would do something impetuous and that would cause them a problem.

“We are” Gerard replied “But you cannot blame me for wanting to be a little affectionate right now. It’s a big deal for me, Esmé, the idea that I can touch you like this now, but I won’t make a fuss when there are other people around, you know that. I am excited, Esmé, I’ve wanted this for a little while” he explained.

Esmé snuggled into his touch and closed her eyes, nodding her head gently. “I understand” she mused.

“You need to trust me, Esmé” Gerard mumbled, kissing her cheek gently “I am not going to mess this up” he promised gently.

“I believe you” she insisted “I am just very aware of the fact that it is you who’s hugging me right now. That it was you I slept with last night” she pointed out.

“It was good, though” Gerard reasoned, smirking against her skin “You certainly seemed to think so last night when you were screaming my name” he added.

Esmé’s skin warmed. “I did not scream your name” she muttered, shaking her head gently.

“I think you did, I have a distinct memory of at least 3 times” he teased.

Esmé pushed herself out of his arms. “I did not” she fought back.

“Uh, yes you did” Gerard smiled “You screamed a lot in fact” he smirked.

Esmé rolled her eyes. “You’re trying to score a repeat performance” she noted.

“It would prove me wrong” Gerard smiled, lacing their fingers together and pulling her towards him “And it would help you get used to us” he added.

“Gerard, I think…” the defender cut her off, stealing a quick kiss.

“Don’t think, Esmé, for once in your life, don’t think” he insisted before he squeezed her hand, leading her through the apartment to her room. Esmé followed him without a fight, knowing he was right. She did need to stop overthinking.
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Thanks to Hockeykid40, Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)