Love Me Until My Heart Stops

32: If You’ll Have Me

“Have you heard from her yet?” Lionel posed as he sat at the table opposite Gerard, his dark eyes studying the defender’s expression. He had been quiet, Gerard had barely spoken two words in the last 2 days, and it worried Lionel slightly. He knew why it was, Esmé’s trip to London had been the last thing he wanted to happen, but Lionel knew that Gerard understood it, even if he was terrified that it could leave him broken hearted, he knew that Gerard understood that Esmé needed to get it out of her system.

Gerard shook his head. “I got a text when she landed, telling me that she was safe, but other than that, there’s been nothing” he noted, his voice sounding slightly exasperated. He knew that he had to let her do it, Esmé needed to get Cesc out of her system and the only way to do it was to confront him head on, but that didn’t make it easier for Gerard to take. He trusted her, he always had, but that didn’t mean he was able to stop himself from thinking the worst. He knew that Esmé wouldn’t go out of her way to hurt him, the brunette didn’t have a malicious bone in her body, but he couldn’t stop himself from thinking about her falling back into Cesc’s arms. She loved him, Gerard didn’t doubt it, and he knew it would only take one right word from the midfielder to have her melting.

Lionel nodded thoughtfully. “Do you think she did it?” he posed.

“Did what?” Gerard muttered “Dumped him or fucked him?” he spat.

“Gerard” Lionel warned gently.

“What?” the defender muttered “We both know that she went running there for one reason and one reason alone and I am not going to pretend that it isn’t a possibility, Leo. He played her, played on a weakness that we both know she has, and I can’t stop myself from thinking the worst” he murmured.

“She loves you, Gerard” Lionel reasoned softly.

Gerard sighed. “Does she?” he murmured “She says it enough, and sometimes I am convinced to believe her, but he’s still the first one she properly fell for and I can’t change that” he reasoned, fiddling with the napkin he had placed on his lap.

Lionel shook his head gently. “Gerard” he mused “I have seen that girl around you in the last 13 weeks and I can tell that she has the feelings for you that you have for her. She lights up around you, she giggles and smiles like a teenager, and that is all on you. You’re right, Cesc is the first one, but you being the second one is more significant because if she really loved him, then there is no chance that she would have fallen for you. Have faith in her, Gerard, because I think she might surprise you” he enthused gently. He doubted that his words would make much difference, Gerard, when he had something in his head, tended to stick to it, regardless of how irrational or stupid it was, but Lionel wanted to say it. Esmé did love him, it was in every smile and every look she gave him, and Lionel wanted Gerard to see it. He had something good and until Esmé returned from London, there was no reason why he should have doubted it.

Gerard noted his friend’s words with a small nod. “I hope you’re right” he mused “I don’t know how I’d cope if you weren’t” he added before he flicked his eyes towards the menu, scanning it for something to eat.

Lionel watched him and sighed. He could only hope that Esmé realized that the best thing for her was sat at home, waiting for her to call.

“Do you want me to come back with you?” Lionel noted as he stopped the car at the corner of Gerard’s street, his brown eyes peeking at the defender as he climbed out. It had been a quiet lunch, Gerard hadn’t really said a lot and Lionel had been hesitant to push him, but he wanted to make sure that the defender was alright. He didn’t want him doing anything stupid with regards to Esmé.

Gerard shook his head. “I could use the walk” he mused “Besides, you already had lunch with me, that’s enough babysitting for the day” he quipped, offering the most assured smile he could.

Lionel laughed. “Someone has to keep an eye on you” he noted.

Gerard smiled. “I’ll be fine from here, Leo, Go home, see your wife, be with your kids” he encouraged.

Lionel offered him a slightly dubious look, but obliged, steering the car away from the curb and down the street. Gerard watched the car go before he made the small trip up the street towards his home, pausing a little at the gate. He just wanted it to be over, one way or the other, he wanted to know, and he didn’t know how many more days of waiting he had left in him. He knew the longer it lasted, the less promising it looked for him, and he couldn’t help but think that 2 days meant that it was over, that Esmé had picked Cesc and that he was going to be left nursing a broken heart.

Shaking his head, he quietly pulled the gate open and padded up the path, his blue eyes widening a fraction at the sight of the beaten up sneakers which stood on the stoop, just in his eye-line. “You’re here” he mumbled, not lifting his head.

Esmé shifted slightly. “You could sound less miserable to see me” she mused, fiddling shyly with her hands “I thought you’d be happy” she added.

Gerard snorted. “I am thrilled that you’ve taken two days to come back here and tell me the inevitable” he muttered sarcastically “You’re going back to him, aren’t you?” he grumbled.

Esmé shook her head and moved down the steps, moving more and more into his sight. “Gerard” she mused, her voice soft and not unwelcome to him “Mi amor, look at me” she whispered.

“Why?” he returned “So I can look at you when you break my heart?” he scoffed.

“Why are you so convinced that that is what I am going to say?” Esmé mused, stepping closer to him.

“Because you’ve been gone two days, because talking doesn’t take two days. You are going back to him and I don’t want to pretend that you’re here to tell me anything different” he muttered “You took two days to come back here, Esmé, 48 hours, and I cannot fathom that those two days were spent just talking about your feelings” he added.

“You’re right” Esmé noted.

Gerard’s face contorted, pain twinging in each muscle. “Why did you come here for that?” he spat.

Esmé shook her head. “You’re right, I did not spend the last 2 days talking about my feelings, Gerard. I spent 2 hours with Cesc, stressing to him that there was absolutely no way that I was going to mess up what I have here, with you. The remaining 46 hours were split between my hotel room where I cried over the relationship I’d lost, an airplane where I decided that Cesc wasn’t worth the tears, and my home where I made the decision that I was done waiting. I spent the last two days packing, Gerard” she announced, her fingers lightly landing on his shoulders, causing him to look at her.

“Packing? Esmé, are you leaving?” he posed, sniffling a little.

Esmé smiled. “You said it yourself, Gerard. This is serious and I’d like to have something to show for it” she mused, wiping his cheeks gently.

Gerard mulled her words over for a second before it clicked.

Esmé grinned at the expression on his face. “You still want to live with me, don’t you?” she posed.

“More than anything” he stumbled out.

Esmé smiled. “I told him, Gerard. I told him that there was no way I could mess up what I have here with you for him. I feel at home here, with you, and no matter how much I may have wanted to, I just didn’t feel it with him. He can’t make me smile like you do and I realized that I needed to come here and tell you that too. It’s over with, Geri, him and me, and that means, if you still want me…”

“More than anything” he repeated, his voice a little more sure.

Esmé smiled. “Then you have me” she whispered.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)