If You Love Me

Nineteen: I Wouldn’t Have Asked

Sparing a soft a yawn into his hand, Gerard quietly padded through Nora’s apartment, his ears doused by the distant sound of the kettle which rumbled quietly. It was early, the fact that the alarm that he had set on his phone had yet to sound confided that it was a little earlier than usual for him to be awake, but he knew that he didn’t have too much time before he needed to be awake, something which had encouraged him to venture out of the guest room that Nora had offered him for the night.

It wasn’t the first time, for a few weeks, he and Nora had developed a habit of spending the night in one another’s homes, but still neither of them had ventured to suggest that they share a bed, something which Gerard wasn’t in a hurry to suggest. It was slow, their relationship was progressing at a gentle and steady pace, and Gerard had no intention of pushing it, even if he was keen for them to make little steps in the right direction. He knew that Nora wanted to take thing slowly for a while.

Pushing a hand back through his hair, he spared another soft yawn into his hand before he ducked into the kitchen, his sleepy blue eyes settling on Nora who sat at the kitchen table, scanning the screen of her laptop. Pausing for a second, he allowed his eyes to wander up and down her frame before he took a couple of steps towards her, dropping a gentle kiss against her shoulder.

Nora, who’d been focused on the screen, visibly startled a little at the feel of the kiss before she tilted her head, offering him a small glare. “You’re really going to have to stop sneaking up on me” she grumbled, moving to collect two mugs from the cupboard.

Gerard, who’d moved to settle down beside the table, shrugged. “I could do” he quipped “But it’s pretty fun” he added, offering her a boyish grin.

Nora rolled her eyes playfully before she moved to place a mug of tea down ahead of him. “What are you doing up?” she posed gently “Not that I am not happy to see you, but you’re up pretty early for you” she added, gently settling back down into her seat.

“I am” Gerard agreed gently “But I woke up and I figured that there’s no point in trying to get back to sleep. I’ve got to be up soon so that I can get home and get ready for training. What about you? You’re not much of an early riser either, Nora” he quipped teasingly.

Nora, who’d moved to sip on her drink, offered him another playful glare before she gently shrugged her shoulders. “I had a little work that I wanted to get finished” she noted “I’ve got an event scheduled for tonight and I wanted to make sure that everything was in order” she added gently.

Gerard nodded his head. “What have you been planning?” he posed, sipping on his drink.

Nora tilted her head, slightly surprised by his interest, before quirked a small smile. “You really want to know?” she posed, her voice slightly teasing.

“I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t” Gerard quipped.

Nora offered him a slightly dubious look, wordlessly asking if he was sure, before she shook her head. “I’ve been working on a few things recently, but the event tonight is an anniversary party for a couple who are celebrating 25 years of marriage. It’s a surprise thing, their son and his wife have planned the entire thing, and I want to make sure that it goes to plan” she explained gently, a light smile pulling at the corner of her mouth.

Gerard, who’d been watching her talk, admired the soft smile on her lips for a brief second before he quirked one of his own, something which made Nora tilt her head slightly. “You’re smiling at me” she quipped.

Gerard chuckled. “You noticed that?” he teased.

Nora rolled eyes, something which made Gerard laugh a little more before he shook his head. “I just like your smile, Nora” he commented gently “And when you talk about your job, you tend to smile. I like it” he enthused softly.

Nora’s cheeks warmed a little at the compliment before she shook her head shyly. “You know, I have a spare invite to the party tonight” she noted softly “The guy who arranged the party invited me to go along and if you wanted to, you could come along with me” she babbled softly, her blue eyes peeking up towards him slightly.

Gerard tilted his head. “What?” he posed softly.

“I asked if you wanted to come with me” Nora rephrased gently “But, if you don’t want to, it’s OK. I mean, we’ve only been seeing one another for a couple of months and if you wanted to…”

“I’d love to go” Gerard interrupted softly.

Nora blinked a couple of times, slightly surprised by the interruption, before she tilted her head. “You would?” she posed softly.

Gerard smiled a little before he nodded his head. “I would” he mused softly “I was just…I was just surprised that you suggested it, Nora. You said it yourself, we’ve only been together for a couple of months, and I thought you’d want to avoid going out together for a little longer” he added softly.

It had surprised, Nora’s invitation to go out with her had caught him slightly off guard, but he was pleased by it. He liked the idea of them taking a small step forwards. It had been a little while, after she had shared the news of their relationship with her mother and sister, a few weeks had passed, and Gerard was glad to see her settling down into their relationship, even if it was very much in the honeymoon phase. He was pleased to see that Nora was steadily growing used to the way their relationship had changed.

Nora offered him a soft look, quietly mulling his words over, before she shook her head, offering him a light smile. “I like us, Gerard” she noted softly “I mean, I know it’s only been a couple of months, but I like how things are going and I guess…I guess that I am ready to start taking little steps” she added, playing with the ends of her hair nervously.

Gerard watched the small movement of her fingers for a couple of seconds before he gently reached out, capturing her hand in his. “Are you sure?” he posed softly, messing with her fingers “Because if you’re not…”

“I want you there” Nora interrupted softly “I wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t” she added, flashing him a small smile.

Gerard offered her a small look, wordlessly asking if she was certain, before he offered her hand a light squeeze, wordlessly confirming that he wanted to go with her. Nora smiled a little at the light squeeze before she pushed herself up to her feet, mumbling something about taking a shower before she leant into him, pressing a quick kiss against his cheek before she stepped out of the room. Gerard watched her pad out of the room before he smiled to himself, more than a little pleased by the idea that Nora wanted to start taking little steps forwards.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)