Love Me Until My Heart Stops

22: You Know Me

“He’s coming here” Gerard’s voice was stern as he peeked at Esmé, his mind trying its hardest to comprehend what she had said to him. It had been a little while, after a long talk with Delia, Gerard had been looking forwards to getting his girlfriend alone, but when he had spotted the look on her face as her mother walked out of the door, he had had little choice by to ask what was on her mind, something which had led to Esmé admitting that Cesc was on his way. She had tried to warn him off, in the hour talk that she, Gerard and Delia had had, she had told him countless times that a visit to her home was futile, but the midfielder wouldn’t take no for an answer. He wanted to talk to Esmé, even if he didn’t want to face Gerard, and there had been no deterring him. Whatever Esmé said he shot down.

“I tried to tell him not to” Esmé returned, fiddling shyly with her hands “You know how he can be” she added.

Gerard shook his head, dismissing her comment. “What right does he have to come here?” he muttered.

Esmé sighed. “You knew that he would” she reasoned gently.

Gerard grumbled to himself before he looked up at Esmé, noting the way her skin had paled. Shuffling forwards a little, he wrapped a hand around her wrist, gently moving her so that she stood between his legs. “Esmé” he whispered, his voice softening as he looked at her “Nena, I know that you’re concerned about this, but it really doesn’t matter what he says” he murmured, kissing her knuckles.

“He’s going to be so angry, Gerard” she murmured. It was a trait of hers, the need to shy away at the first sight of tension or confrontation, and Gerard wasn’t surprised by her words, even if it did appear as though she had some sympathy towards the man who’d dropped her at the first sign of trouble, he knew that it was just the way she was. “I could have been with anyone” she added.

Gerard reached his hand up, his thumb resting against her cheekbone, and smiled. “We don’t choose who we get feelings for, Esmé” he reminded her gently “If we did, I would have steered clear of you, but what has happened, happened. We’re an us now, a happy us, and we can’t let him come in here, stomp his feet, and get his way. He’s not the guy you thought he was” he added, nudging her nose softly with his own. Esmé closed her eyes at the contact and spared a small nod, knowing that he was right. Cesc wasn’t the same man, he wasn’t the guy she had fallen head over heels for, and she needed the reminder. As stupid as it was, seeing his name on the screen had given her butterflies whilst making her nauseous, and she needed to get a grip. Whether she was with Gerard or not, Cesc was still the man who had cheated on her and then attempted to put the blame on her for it.

Gerard noted the timid expression on her face and pressed a brief kiss to her lips, trying to reassure her as the sound of the doorbell reached them. “I…I should get that” Esmé’s voice shook a little as she leant away from him. Gerard nodded and offered her wrist a small squeeze before she padded away, opening the door to Cesc who stared at her, an expression someway between angry and awed on his face. “Cesc” she noted, nervously shifting her feet.

The midfielder trailed his dark eyes up and down his former girlfriend, admiring her as thought it was the first time he’d seen her.

“Gerard’s inside” Esmé murmured, capturing his attention.

“He’s here?” he muttered “I thought I made myself clear” he added.

Esmé rolled her eyes. Clearly the side of Cesc that liked to blame her hadn’t dimmed in the 6 weeks they’d been apart. “Of course he’s here, Cesc. What did you think was going to happen?” she posed.

Cesc shook his head. “I wanted to talk to you, Esmé” he noted, his expression softening.

“Not without me” Gerard noted, stepping up beside his girlfriend “You can talk to her with me here” he clarified.

Cesc tensed his jaw, watching as Gerard’s hand settled on Esmé’s hip. “I cannot believe the pair of you” he sneered, noting the way she didn’t push him off. He had little right to feel hard done by, he’d made the mistake that had ultimately led to his friend making a move of his girlfriend, but he couldn’t help himself. He’d never had any sort of suspicion, Gerard had never been overt in his affection for Esmé, and that made it worse. He’d gone under the radar, watched and waited for Cesc to screw up, and capitalized when the moment came.

Gerard rolled his eyes, but didn’t jump in, allowing Cesc to step inside.

“Did you wait for me to fuck up, Gerard?” the midfielder pushed, following the pair into the living room “Or was it all part of the plan? Hang around her for a year and make your move with me in London” he added.

Gerard’s expression was tight, Cesc’s words clearly getting to him, but the hand of Esmé’s which clung to him told him to calm down. Lashing out was only going to prove one thing and that was that Cesc had the ability to get under his skin. “Why have you come here, Cesc?” Esmé mumbled, sitting on her couch.

“As I said, I wanted to talk to you” the midfielder replied.

“Why?” Gerard posed.

“How has that got anything to do with you?” Cesc muttered.

Gerard’s jaw tensed once more, but Esmé squeezed his hand, wordlessly tell him not to let it get the better of him. “We have nothing to talk about, Cesc” Esmé she mused softly “I said all I had to say to you the last time you were here and nothing has changed. You still did what you did, I still have little interest in forgiving and forgetting, and you have absolutely no right to sit there and look at him like that” she muttered, not missing the bitter expression on his face.

“You’re fucking what used to be my best friend, surely I have a little bit of a right to be upset” he returned.

Esmé shook her head. “You lost any right you had the second you slept with that puta. I can understand that you would be upset, but you don’t have any grounds to question my life choices, Cesc, not anymore” she muttered.

Cesc shook his head. “You picked him” he snarled, keeping his eyes fixed on the brunette who was holding Gerard’s hand as much for comfort as she was to keep him calm “Of all the men on earth, you picked him. It makes me wonder if you were fucking him all along” he sneered.

“I am not like you” Esmé replied, glaring.

“How am I supposed to know that?” Cesc fought back.

Gerard scoffed. “Unlike you, she knows what it means to be in a relationship” he muttered.

Cesc rolled his eyes. “What do you know? Didn’t your last girlfriend walk away because you made her miserable” he shot.

Gerard snarled a little and pushed himself up, hauling the midfielder against the wall by the material of his shirt. “I don’t know what you wanted to achieve in coming here, perhaps you just wanted to stir shit up, but say another word about me, or Esmé, and I will personally see to it that you don’t leave in the same state as you arrived. You messed up, Cesc, you cheated on her not the other way around, and you have little right to show up here and question us. It is regrettable, of course it is, but I am not giving up a good thing for you, not when you don’t deserve another chance to make her happy. She has me, she doesn’t need you” he grunted before he loosened his grip, causing Cesc to slump a little. “You know where the door is” he added before he stormed out of the room.

Cesc swallowed, trying to calm himself down, before he looked at Esmé, noting the expression on her face. She didn’t look mad, nor did she look upset, if anything, she seemed a little scared. Rubbing his chest, he took a couple of paces towards her, meeting her dark eyes with his own. “You’ve never seen him that mad before” he whispered.

Esmé shook her head. “He doesn’t tend to get angry around me” she replied.

“He’s impulsive” Cesc noted “He can have a temper when he wants to” he added.

Esmé shook her head. “I know what you’re doing, it’s not going to work” she muttered.

Cesc shrugged nonchalantly. “I am not saying anything” he mused “But you know me, you know how I am. Gerard, despite being your friend for years, is still unknown to you in this context. I am just telling you to be careful, Corazon” he noted before he placed a kiss on her cheek, leaving her alone. Esmé glared after him for a few seconds before she went to find Gerard, not wanting to let him get into her head.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)