Love Me Until My Heart Stops

19: Read All About It

Rubbing his eyes gently, Gerard peered around the room, a smile forming on his face as he spotted Esmé, her small shallow snores lingering in the still air. He was still in awe of her, of them, but he was gradually getting used to the notion of her being in his bed, it was slowly becoming one of his favourite things. It was still odd, the way that their relationship had changed, but Gerard was pretty certain that he wouldn’t have traded it for the world. They were comfortable, happy, and whilst he didn’t like the secrecy, he knew that it was something he was going to have to get used to. It was a dangerous thing, starting a relationship with the girl that had been with his best friend, but when he looked at her, the consequences didn’t faze him. Having Esmé around made the chance of everyone finding out one which was worth taking.

Smiling, he pressed a light kiss to the bare skin of her shoulder before he quietly stepped out of the room, moving to prepare them breakfast. It was fortunate, Eloisa’s birthday drinks the night before had coincided with an afternoon training session, and Gerard was glad that he had the morning to recover, but more importantly, to help Esmé recover. It was no secret that she had gone a little overboard and would need the time to recuperate. Shaking his head a little, he padded into the kitchen and found a tray in one of the cupboards, setting it on the counter before the sound of his phone reached his ears. Abandoning breakfast for the moment, he padded towards the phone and picked it up, not so much as glancing at the caller’s ID. “Hola” he murmured.

“There is something you need to see” Lionel’s voice was curt, causing the defender to frown.

“What are you talking about, Leo? It’s barely 8 in the morning” he returned, yawning a little.

Lionel let out an audible sigh. “What did you do last night?” he posed.

Gerard furrowed his brow. “Is that particularly relevant? You know that I spent the night with Esmé” he replied. He had no secrets from the argentine, after he had stumbled across him and Esmé that first morning, Gerard had been quick to confide in him and it made his call even more odd. Lionel had no reason to question him.

“Where did you spend the night?” Lionel quipped.

“What is going on, Leo?” Gerard replied, sitting himself down at the kitchen table.

“You’ve been caught” Lionel announced.

Gerard stiffened, but didn’t say a word, something which encouraged Lionel to keep talking.

“There’s a picture in one of Antonella’s magazines this morning. You’re in the street with Esmé and you’re kissing her, hombre” he explained carefully.

Gerard shook his head. “You’re sure it is us?” he murmured.

“I think I would be able to identify you and Esmé in a picture, Gerard” Lionel reasoned “Besides, they seem to have so called ‘witnesses’ who claim the pair of you couldn’t keep your hands off of one another all night” he added.

Gerard closed his eyes. “Do you know if anyone else has seen it?” he murmured.

“You mean….”

“Of course I mean him” Gerard interjected, his voice sharp with frustration “Do you know if he has seen it?” he repeated, his blue eyes peeking towards the doorway for any sign of Esmé. He knew that it would worry her, with a picture out there, it was surely only a matter of time before it landed in Cesc’s lap, but he didn’t want her to overhear. His best friend was something he could handle by himself and he didn’t want to give it the chance to concern his girlfriend who, for the first time in what felt like years, seemed like herself once more.

“I don’t know, Gerard” Lionel replied “But if he hasn’t, he will. I am not going to be the only person who sees it and someone is bound to show it to him. Is that something you and Esmé can handle?” he posed gently.

“I don’t know” Gerard admitted gently “I don’t know what we can handle” he added.

“You need to start thinking about what to do next” Lionel suggested gently “And you should probably brief Esmé…”

“No” Gerard muttered, interrupting his friend “She’s just stopped thinking about him, Leo, for the first time in 6 weeks. How can I put this on her?” he murmured. It was selfish, keeping her in the dark, but he didn’t want to risk her regressing. She was finally herself, her cheery and smart self, and Gerard didn’t want to run the risk of losing it again. Things were wonderful and he didn’t want the specter of Cesc which hung over them ruining it again.

“You can’t keep her out of this, Gerard” Lionel noted.

“I don’t have a choice” Gerard murmured “I can’t have her go back on me, Leo, I can’t. I like where we are” he mused.

“And you don’t think she will be more hurt that you didn’t want to face it together? You’re both in as deep as the other one and she shouldn’t be kept in the dark. She needs to be as aware of people looking at her as you are” the argentine reasoned “I can’t make you tell her, but it would hardly be fair sending her out there without knowing” he added before he said his goodbye, hanging up the phone. Gerard placed his phone down onto the table and swallowed thickly. It was only a matter of time before it hit Cesc, a matter of time before he found out about what his ex and his friend were up to, and Gerard didn’t quite know what that meant for him and Esmé. He had no idea how Cesc would react.

“This is where you got to” Esmé’s voice was soft as her small footsteps hit the tiled floor “I was starting to wonder” she added, her arms wrapping around his shoulders as she pressed a kiss against his cheek. Gerard smiled at the small action and shifted slightly, allowing her to sit down in his lap. “Are you OK?” she posed gently, her eyes peeking down at him.

Gerard nodded. “Perfect” he whispered before he placed a kiss on her lips. He just hoped that he could keep them safe.

Stepping into the locker room of Chelsea’s Cobham training, Cesc sighed, tossing his bag down beside his locker. It had been an odd morning, more people than usual had been sending him strange looks, and he couldn’t help but be a little curious as to why. It wasn’t a new thing, since the revelation about his cheating on Esmé, a lot of people had sent him strange, and often dirty, looks, but that morning it seemed a little excessive. They weren’t the normal looks, no one seemed angry anymore, and Cesc couldn’t quite believe that everyone had just forgotten what he had done in a night. Unzipping his bag, he pulled out his training shirt before he caught a hold of the whispers that emanated away from the other side of the room.

“Alright” he snapped, turning to face Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic who sat away from him, muttering between themselves. “Is someone going to tell me what stupid thing I have done this time?” he snapped. Cesar and Branislav looked at one another before they scuttled off, making Cesc roll his eyes.

“You haven’t seen it?” Eden Hazard posed.

“Seen what?” Cesc muttered “Has another puta come out of the woodwork claiming that I cheated with her too?” he added.

Eden shook his head and motioned to Diego Costa who had stowed the magazine in his bag. “Show him” the Belgian insisted.

Diego offered the smaller man a slightly dubious look before he nodded, pulling the Spanish magazine out of his bag. “My girlfriend loves it” he noted, watching as Cesc cocked an eyebrow. The midfielder nodded his head and took it out of his hand, flicking aimlessly through the pages.

Eden sighed and took it back, flicking to the page which Diego, or his girlfriend, had folded down. “Cesc, I am sorry” he noted before he passed it back.

Cesc frowned before he turned his eyes down to the page, his breathing slowing as he stared at the picture which filled half of the page. “Esmé” he managed to choke out.

“And Piqué” Eden noted.

Cesc spluttered, visibly startled by the picture before he closed his eyes.

He should have known that Gerard was just waiting on him to mess up.
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Thanks to petitmonstre and Jayme112234 for the comments :)