If You Love Me

Forty Five: If You Want My Advice

Placing his plate in the sink, Gerard spared a yawn into his hand, his ears filled with the distant sound of shower which emanated from down the hall. It had become a routine, since Nora had told him about her pregnancy, he was confident that he could count on one hand the amount of nights that they’d spent apart, but still he hadn’t quite worked up the nerve to ask her to move in with him, even if he had come close a few times, he hadn’t quite forced the words out of his mouth. He knew that he had to be patient, Nora’s mother had made it clear that the more he pushed her, the more likely she was to pull away from him, but still the question played on his mind.

Pushing his hand back through his hair, he allowed another yawn to fall out of his mouth before he padded towards the counter, collecting his mug of tea.

“Did you plan on spending tonight here too?”

Gerard, who’d been quietly sipping on his drink, jumped at the sound of Nora’s voice before he wheeled around, watching as she made her way into the kitchen. “Huh?” he spluttered.

Nora rolled her eyes playfully before she stepped towards the fridge, pulling out a carton of juice. “I asked if you planned on staying here tonight” she reiterated “I mean, I’ve got plans, but I don’t mind you staying. I just wanted to know whether or not I should be expecting you when I get home” she added.

Gerard lifted an eyebrow. “You have plans?” he quipped.

Nora, who’d been sipping on her drink, quirked a slightly amused smile before she nodded. “I do” she confirmed “Antonella invited me to dinner and I said that I would go. It’s been a while since we caught up and I think she’s looking forwards to fussing over this” she added, her hand brushing against the front of her blouse. It had been a couple of weeks, after they had shared the news of her pregnancy with their families, they had opted to share it with their friends, and Nora had to admit that she was pleased with how things were going, even if the idea that she was pregnant did still feel slightly surreal, it was settling in slowly.

Gerard watched the movement of her hand for a moment, a soft smile playing at the corner of his mouth, before he stepped towards her, his hand settling on top of hers. “It is a pretty big deal” he mused, his thumb lightly brushing over her shirt.

Nora admired the smile on his face for a second before she leant forwards, pressing a soft kiss against his lips. “Have I mentioned that you’re adorable when you’re fussing over baba?” she whispered in between light kisses.

Gerard shrugged. “Maybe” he quipped “But it wouldn’t hurt you to say it a little more” he added impishly.

Nora spared him a playful roll of her eyes before she pushed herself up onto her toes, sneaking another quick kiss. “I have to go” she noted “Will I see you when I get back tonight?” she asked, smoothing down a few of the wayward hairs on the top of his head.

Gerard reached his hand up, capturing her wrist in his palm before he pulled her hand to his lips, allowing him to press a kiss to her hand. “I should think so” he noted “I kind of like cuddling up to you at night” he added warmly.

Nora’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink before she shook her head slightly, moving to pull away from him. “I’ll see you later” she mused before she stepped out of the room.

Gerard watched after her for a moment before he let out a small sigh. He knew that he had to be patient, even despite Nora’s pregnancy, the two of them had only been in a romantic relationship for a matter of months, but still he was slightly annoyed with himself for ducking away from asking the question which itched to fall out of his mouth. It made sense, moving in together before the baby was born was a sensible move to make, and he knew that Nora would see it, even if she did freak out when he asked initially. He was confident that she would come around to the idea eventually.

“You know, I can’t quite believe that this is yours and Gerard’s” Antonella fussed as she placed the sonogram picture back into Nora’s hand, a warm smile on her face. It had caught her off guard, when Nora had told her that she was pregnant, Antonella had been more than slightly surprised, but she had to admit that she was pleased for her friend, even if it had come along a lot quicker than she had been expecting, she doubted that she had seen Nora as happy before.

Nora, who was scanning the dessert menu, quirked an impish smile before she shook her head. “It is still a strange thought” she agreed “But it is starting to settle in a little” she added as she moved to stow the picture in her bag.

Antonella nodded. “How is Gerard taking it?” she posed.

Nora rolled her eyes playfully. “Excited might be an understatement” she teased.

“He’s that bad?” Antonella poked.

Nora shook her head. “He’s excited” she noted “But it’s pretty sweet. He’s always fussing, either over me or over baba, and whilst I do get slightly frustrated with him from time to time, I have to admit it’s pretty cute” she added, a warm smile on her lips.

Antonella noticed the smile on her friend’s face before she shifted her foot, lightly nudging Nora’s shin under the table. “Look at you” she fussed warmly “I don’t think I’ve seen you not smile when you’ve said his name since the two of you got together” she added.

Nora’s cheeks warmed a little before she ducked her head, something which made Antonella’s grin widen. “So much for not liking him like that, Nora” she teased.

Nora offered her a playful glare before she shook her head. “Things are good” she noted “I mean, it took us a few months to get things settled and then it took us a while to get used to the idea that I was pregnant, but things are good and I’m pretty happy with how things are” she insisted. Her relationship was still new, it was still a work in progress, but Nora was pleased with its progress, even if they had had a couple of brief hiccups. She liked where things were heading for them.

Antonella smiled, not missing the warmth in Nora’s voice when she spoke about the defender, before she flicked her attention towards the menu which sat in her hand. “Have you two thought about moving in together before the baby arrives?” she asked, peeking over the top of her menu at Nora. She knew that it wasn’t her business, whatever happened between Nora and Gerard was between the two of them, but she was slightly curious. They’d been close for a while, even if they hadn’t been dating, and she had little doubt that they’d both adapt to living together.

Nora, who’d moved to sip on her glass of water, paused for a second before she nodded her head. “I’ve given it a little thought” she admitted “I mean, with the baby on the way, it seems like it would make a lot of sense, but I’ve not bought it up with Gerard yet. It’s still pretty new, me and him, and I guess I’m a little worried about it being too much right now” she explained.

“That’s understandable” Antonella noted “But, if you want my advice, I’d go for it” she added.

“You would?” Nora asked, her voice slightly shy.

Antonella nodded. “This isn’t just some guy who knocked you up, Nora, this is the guy you’ve been smitten with since you met him, a guy that you’ve been friends with for years, and I think you’d figure it out pretty quickly, even if you’ve not been dating for too long. You and Gerard are pretty good together” she mused encouragingly.

Nora spared her a small look, allowing her words to whir through her mind, before she nodded her head. She knew that Antonella had a point, even if they hadn’t been dating for long, they had been friends for a while, and she knew that that was something which boded well for them, even if she was still slightly hesitant to broach the topic of their moving in together.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Kapitolina Romanova, Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)