If You Love Me

Sixty One: Take Your Time

Running a hand back through his hair, Gerard closed his eyes for a moment, listening to the soft sounds which filled the kitchen. It was earlier than usual for him, with Barcelona having played a late match the night before, Nora had been quick to ensure that she took over Alba’s night feeds so that he could sleep, but he ensured that he’d woken up slightly earlier than usual, wanting to make a fuss of the fact that it was Nora’s 29th birthday. It was rare, with his schedule being particularly busy, it had been a while since he had had a day off, and he was keen to make the most of it, even if Nora had insisted that she didn’t want too much of a fuss. He didn’t want to let the day slip passed without marking it.

Attempting to straighten out a few of his wayward hairs, he allowed a yawn to slip out of his mouth before he felt something nudge against his shoulder, causing him to startle before he blinked his eyes open, settling them on Nora who stood ahead of him, a bright smile on her lips. “I’m sorry” she noted “I thought you’d heard me come in. What are you doing down here?” she asked. It had been a surprise, when she had rolled over in bed, she had been expecting to cuddle into Gerard’s side, and she had been a little disappointed to find him missing. A part of her had been hoping to enjoy a few moments cuddled up with her boyfriend.

“I am making breakfast” Gerard replied with a small smile “I was going to bring it up to you in a little while to make sure that you were awake” he added, moving to settle two plates down onto the counter.

Nora, who’d moved to sit beside the counter, lifted an eyebrow. “Why do I need to be awake?” she posed.

Gerard shrugged. “Because you have plans” he quipped, an impish look passing over his face.

Nora frowned. “I do?” she asked, her voice more than slightly confused.

“Your madre is going to come by in a little while” Gerard noted “She, Emmy and Antonella are going to take you out for a few hours. They said something about shopping and lunch and I thought you’d enjoy it. I’ve got the day off which means I can look after Alba and you can head out for a little while, but if you’d rather not...”

“I’d like that” Nora interrupted, cutting off his babbling.

Gerard blinked, slightly surprised by her interruption, before he nodded. “I’m glad” he noted “I don’t think your madre would let me hear the end of it if you didn’t see her today” he added with a grin.

Nora rolled her eyes and mumbled a comment beneath her breath, something which made Gerard let out a small laugh before he stepped towards her, pressing a soft kiss against the top of her head. “Feliz cumpleaños” he mumbled.

Nora blushed softly at the feel of his lips against the top of her head before she leant her head back, allowing him to drop a kiss on her nose before he met her lips, something which made Nora smile gently.

Things had been good between them, since Alba had arrived, things between her and Gerard had felt solid and comfortable, and Nora was more than pleased with how things were, so much so, a small part of her had started to think ahead. She knew that they had agreed to wait, after Gerard had spoken to her mother, the topic of an engagement had been placed firmly on the back burner, but a small part of Nora was tempted to hint at it, even if she was slightly wary about pushing things.

Holding him close, she kissed him happily for a few seconds before the sound of Alba stirring emanated away from the baby monitor which was stowed in the pocket of Gerard’s sweatshirt, causing him to duck back. “I should go and check on her” he mumbled between kisses.

Nora nodded. “You should” she agreed “And that means that you’ll have to stop kissing me” she smirked, smoothing out a few of the wayward hairs which sat on the top of his head.

Gerard chuckled gently before he leant into her, sneaking another couple of brief kisses before he pulled himself away, making his way out of the room. Nora watched after him for a few seconds before she flicked her attention towards the plate of food which sat ahead of her, a bright smile playing on her lips.

“So, have you got any ideas what Gerard has planned for this evening?” Emilia posed as she sipped on her glass of wine, her eyes settling on her younger sister who sat opposite her, checking her phone for any messages. It had been a good day, after breakfast with Gerard and Alba, Nora had spent a few hours shopping with her mother, Emilia and Antonella before they’d stopped for lunch, and Nora was pleased that she had gone, even if she had been caught checking her phone more than once. She had enjoyed herself.

Nora, who’d been sending a text, looked up at Emilia before she shrugged. “He said that it wasn’t anything particularly over the top” she mused “So I’m expecting dinner, a nice glass of champagne and a movie night, but I don’t mind. If anything, I like the sound of that a lot more than I like the idea of him taking me to some expensive restaurant” she added, a shy smile on her lips.

Emilia noted the smile before she quirked one of her own. “It does sound nice” she enthused “And you never know, maybe he’ll have another surprise up his sleeve” she added, offering her sister a suggestive look.

Nora caught it before she shook her head, her cheeks tinting a soft shade of pink. It wasn’t the first time, for a few weeks, both her mother and sister had been hinting towards the idea of an engagement, but Nora didn’t want to get their hopes up so soon, even if it was something which had briefly crossed her own mind, she was confident that it would be a while before it was something she found herself and Gerard talking about.

“I don’t think so” she quipped.

Emilia shrugged. “You never know” she quipped with a grin.

Nora rolled her eyes slightly before she shook her head. “We’ve talked about it” she noted “And we’re both pretty content with waiting for a while. The last fifteen months have moved pretty quickly for us, and with Alba only just having arrived, we don’t want to jump right into the next thing. We’re good, Emmy, right now, things are really good, and I’d like to keep it that way. I kind of love him” she added, sparing a small bashful look towards her sister.

Emilia admired the look on her sister’s face, allowing her words to hang around them, before she stretched her hand out, gently squeezing Nora’s which messed shyly with the phone which sat in it. “I know you do” she mused “And if anything, I am sort of glad that you’re not rushing into things, but I am sure that you’ll find the right moment. You two are great together, Nora, and I have little doubt that eventually, you’ll find yourself bumbling a yes to a certain question when he asks it” she enthused brightly.

Nora blushed softly before she offered her sister another shy smile, something which caused Emilia to squeeze her hand once more. She was happy for her, for over a year, Nora had looked more than happy, and she was hopeful that it would continue. She liked seeing her sister smile and it was something she seemed to do a lot around the defender.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)