Love Me Until My Heart Stops

23: Who You Fall For

“Esmé?” Gerard’s voice was soft as he stepped into her bedroom, his blue eyes taking in the sight of her sat on her bed, a book sat in the middle of her crossed legs. It had been a couple of hours, after his outburst at Cesc, the defender had taken himself out of her apartment in order to calm down, and he wanted to apologize to her. He shouldn’t have done it, lashing out had only gone to show that Cesc had the ability to get under his skin, and he wanted to make sure that Esmé was alright. It had been the first time that he’d ever gotten so upset in her presence before and he knew that it could have scared her. It was a side of him that he liked to keep under wraps.

“How did you get back in here?” Esmé noted, not looking away from the book in her lap.

“Your spare key” Gerard noted “You leave it on top of the door frame for emergencies and I didn’t want to knock. It’s late” he explained softly.

Esmé nodded her head. “It is” she confirmed, still not drawing her gaze away from her book.

Gerard sighed gently and took a couple of paces deeper into the room, sitting himself down on the edge of her bed. “I didn’t mean to do it, you know” he mumbled. Esmé greeted his words with a little nod, but still didn’t look at him. She knew that it was harsh, his reaction, given the situation, was to be expected, but she wanted him to apologize. He’d let Cesc get the better of him, he’d jumped in when there was no need, and she wanted him to understand that what he had done had been wrong. He’d lashed out unnecessarily and had scared her in the process.

“I shouldn’t have done it, I should have kept my wits about me, but hearing him say those things… Esmé he said horrid things about you” Gerard rambled, his blue eyes looking at her almost desperately “I just lost it, Esmé, and I shouldn’t have done it. It was stupid of me” he added.

Esmé nodded her head. “You gave him what he wanted from you, Gerard” she muttered, tugging at a loose thread on her socks “He said those things to make you act like that and you fell right into the trap” she mused.

“I know” Gerard agreed gently “And I know that I messed up doing it. I am sorry, Esmé” he whispered, ducking his head a little.

“You were the one who told me to not listen to him, Geri” Esmé noted, closing her book and shifting towards him, her hands capturing his which sat in his lap “You were the one who said that we were a happy us and that we shouldn’t let him stomp all over it, and you let him get into your head. He doesn’t matter” she insisted gently.

Gerard nodded. “You’re right” he mused, squeezing her hand gently.

“You scared me, Geri” she whispered softly “The way you went at him, that wasn’t you and it scared me. That wasn’t the man I…” Esmé cut herself off, a small blush appearing on her cheeks as the word pushed through her mind. It had been inevitable, after realizing that there was something between them, she had been bound to fall for him, but saying the word made her slightly nervous. It was a big step for them and she wasn’t quite sure that it should follow such a tense day.

Gerard tilted his head. “That wasn’t the man you what?” he posed, the slightest trace of a smile on his face.

“Please, don’t make me say it” Esmé mumbled, hiding her face.

“I want you to say it” Gerard smiled. He knew what was coming and wanted to hear it. He wanted to hear her say that she felt the same way about him that he felt about her.

“You know what I am going to say” Esmé reasoned, shaking her head “Can’t you just take that?” she added.

Gerard chuckled. “Hermosa, I want to hear you say the words” he mused, his thumb gently moving over her forehead, causing her to look up “I could say them first if it would make you feel better” he added, flashing her a little smile. He knew that it wasn’t forgotten, how he had reacted to Cesc was something that was going to need to be discussed, but he didn’t want to let the moment slip past them. It was defining for them and he didn’t want it to be lost.

Esmé looked at him. “Do you really need to hear them? You know what I think of you” she asked, chewing shyly on the side of her lip.

Gerard chuckled softly and leant towards her, pressing a kiss against her lips. “I love you, Esmé” he whispered tenderly.

Esmé blinked. “You do?” she murmured.

Gerard smiled. “Of course I do. Esmé, you’re the best fit for me, the best choice I have ever made, and I know that I scared you earlier, but I only acted like that because I felt I had to defend you from him. He said things, horrid things, and I thought it was my place to stop him from saying things that were just not true about you. You’re nothing like he tried to make out, you’re sweet and wonderful and I would be a fool to let go of you” he explained, his thumb brushing her hand which rested in her lap.

Esmé listened to each of his words, taking them in for a moment before she looked up at him, meeting the stare of his blue eyes which, as they nearly always seemed to, stared back at her, a certain spark in them. “Gerard” she murmured, trying to calm herself down slightly “You’re the best thing I have right now. You’re the first person I want to turn to, the only whose hug can instantly repair anything that has happened, and you need to get that into your head as much as I need to get it into mine. You freaked on him because he had the audacity to call me names, but part of you, like part of me, is scared that he knows he holds a card in our future. I can’t pretend that it’s all gone, Geri, like it or not, he’s a part of what made me the version of me you fell in love with, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you. Geri” Esmé paused for a second, took in a breath and shook her head “God, you’ve made me a mess” she sighed.

Gerard chuckled gently. “Just say it for me” he whispered.

Esmé nodded her head. “Geri, I am in love with you” she mused, smiling softly.

Gerard let out a breath and smiled, letting the words hang around them for a moment before he ducked in towards her, kissing her gently. Esmé let out a happy little sigh into the kiss and rested back, allowing him to hover over her. “You have to promise me something” she whispered, her dark eyes watching as he worked at the button on her jeans.

“Anything” he replied simply.

“Remember what I just told you when you see him again” Esmé mused “Like it or not, he’s a part of my past, a significant part, and no amount of lashing out is going to change that. If you love me like you just said that you did, you need to understand that he contributed to making me the girl you fell for” she explained, letting out a small sigh as he managed to get the material down her legs. Gerard hesitated for a moment, not liking the idea of playing nice with the man who had messed her around, but he swiftly regained himself, nodding.

“I’ll remember” he promised.
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