Love Me Until My Heart Stops

69: That Man

“How would you feel about putting our wedding picture here?” Gerard commented as he wandered around their living room, gesturing to a spot on the mantel piece which was currently occupied by a picture of the couple from a few years previous. It had been a couple of days since they’d gotten married and despite the fact that they weren’t on honeymoon, they’d managed to keep the sensation of being newlyweds going for a little while, something which pleased them both immensely. They weren’t naïve, they knew that the bubble would burst eventually and that they would be bought back down to earth, but they wanted to enjoy it whilst it lasted. In a few days, they would be back at work and all of their romantic actions would be cut off.

Esmé, who was resting on the couch, looked up, smiling a little. “We have more than one picture. Which one are you referring to?” she mused, rifling through the small mountain of wrapping paper which had started to form around her in search of the envelope of wedding photos they’d been given. They’d gotten a few presents, most of which contained things for their baby, but Esmé was pleased nevertheless. She hadn’t wanted much, they had more than enough stuff to be getting on with, but the baby gifts had been wonderful and she knew that she would have to send thank you notes.

“I was thinking the one of you and me just outside of the church” Gerard commented.

“We have about 5 of them. I am going to need you narrow it down” Esmé teased, thumbing through the glossy photographs that Eloisa had dropped off earlier that morning.

Gerard shook his head gently and moved towards her side, gently pushing the wrapping paper onto the floor. “Did they turn out alright?” he mused, moving to take the photographs out of her hand.

“Eloisa seemed thrilled with them” Esmé noted “I haven’t looked at all of them yet, but the ones I have seen look nice. This one has to be my favourite though” she enthused, flicking through to one of the two of them, arms wrapped around one another and seemingly oblivious to the world around them.

“Then this is the one we should put up there. We can put a couple more around the house and the rest we can put in an album” Gerard smiled, moving the photograph out of the pile and setting it down on the coffee table.

Esmé smiled “It still feels weird” she murmured, moving to collect another one of the presents which were strewn around the living room.

“What does?” Gerard quipped, not looking away from the photos which he was looking through.

“This, us, marriage” Esmé mused “It seems so much more permanent” she added.

Gerard laughed. “It’s pretty permanent, querida. Do you not remember the vows we took? Til death do us part” he grinned.

Esmé shook her head and carefully unwrapped the present in her lap, smiling a little at the leather cover of what appeared to be a photo album.

“Who gave us that?” Gerard posed, turning the stare of his eyes to the book in her lap.

“It was a joint gift. My mother and your parents” Esmé replied, carefully flipping the book open “I think they’ve conspired to show the other one our baby pictures” she teased.

“I’ve never seen yours” Gerard insisted.

“I don’t recall seeing yours” Esmé noted.

“My mother shows them to everyone she meets. Do you not remember the first time I took you home? She thought you were my girlfriend and took you aside for two and a half hours, showing you each and every embarrassing picture she owned” the defender noted.

Esmé thought for a second before a smile appeared on her face. “I do remember that. You were so cute” she grinned.

Gerard rolled his eyes before he took the book out of her lap, flicking through the first few pages before he found Esmé’s baby photos. “Aww” he noted, smiling down at the pictures “You were such a sweet baby. You were born with a lot of hair” he teased.

“It was a progression. Ella was almost completely bald, Eloisa had patches, and I had a full head of hair” Esmé commented.

Gerard nodded his head and turned the page over, his blue eyes widening a fraction at the sight of the image which had been stowed in the top right hand corner of the page. It was a sweet picture, Esmé was perhaps only weeks old, but Gerard doubted that she had ever seen it before. “Esmé” he murmured “Have you ever seen this one before?” he noted, pointing the picture out to her.

Esmé furrowed her brow. “I don’t think I have” she murmured “I think I would remember seeing a picture of me and that man” she added

“Esmé” Gerard warned.

“I know how you feel about him, and part of me agrees with you, but the other part of me is still unbelievably pissed at him, Gerard. I am not that hard to find, if he had wanted it enough, he could have found me, he showed me that the other day, and I know what my mother did is wrong, I don’t excuse it, but he didn’t do enough and as much as I want to build a relationship with him, it’s going to take time” Esmé commented gently, her dark eyes staring down at the picture.

Gerard wrapped an arm around her shoulder and gently rubbed her arm. “For what it is worth, you look really sweet in that picture” he mused, trying to lighten the mood a little “You have such big brown eyes and the sweetest little baby smile” he enthused.

Esmé shook her head gently. “I have nothing on you” she mused, flicking the page back a few to show off one of the pictures his parents had contributed.

Gerard smiled gently and pressed a kiss to the side of her head. “You know I am going to be here don’t you?” he mumbled “No matter how long it takes for you to get your head around seeing him. I know you and I know you don’t want to keep our baby away from their abuelo for no reason” he insisted, squeezing her a little.

Esmé sighed “I don’t want to be like my mama, Geri” she whispered “I want to have him around and I want to know him, but it’s just going to take me some time to get used to. Do you think we could not talk about him for a little while?” she posed softly.

Gerard nodded his head softly. “Of course” he smiled “Why don’t we talk about these pictures instead? I would love to hear about them” he enthused, pointing to pictures of her on her first day of school.

Esmé smiled and began to talk about them. She knew that it had to happen, Roberto wasn’t simply going to go away, but she wanted to put it off. As curious as she was, she was also still angry and she wanted to take a little while to calm down before she broached the subject again.
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Thanks to petitmonstre and Jayme112234 for the comments :)