If You Love Me

Seventy Three: I Don’t Find That Hard To Believe

“You know, you really should have done this sooner”

Gerard, who’d been folding another shirt into the open suitcase which sat on the bed, rolled his eyes slightly at Nora’s teasing comment before he lifted his head, offering her a small sarcastic smile. “I’ve got plenty of time” he pointed out “And, whist you might have forgotten, I have done this before. I am pretty sure that I could handle it without your little comments” he added teasingly.

It had been a while, after their conversation about pre-wedding nerves, a few weeks had passed, and with Barcelona’s season having concluded, Gerard was preparing to head away with Spain ahead of the world cup, something he was looking forwards to, knowing that it was the last hurdle that separated him and Nora from their wedding day.

Nora, who’d moved to settle down at the foot of the bed with Alba, scoffed playfully at his comment before she shook her head, offering him an impish smile. “I was merely making a suggestion” she quipped “If you’d finished packing yesterday, you’d have had more time to spend with me and Alba, but instead, you’ve spent the whole morning up here” she added, her fingers lightly smoothing out Alba’s dark hair.

Gerard watched the movement of her fingers for a moment before he stepped towards the end of the bed, settling down at her side. “That is a drawback” he conceded, his finger lightly brushing over Alba’s cheek.

Alba, who’d been contently playing with the toy which sat in her hands, looked up at the feel of his finger before she quirked a small smile, holding her arms up towards him, something which caused Gerard to chuckle softly before he stretched his arms out, allowing Nora to settle the little girl into them. “You have plans for today, don’t you?” he posed with a look towards Nora, breaking the quiet which had settled around them.

Nora, who’d been watching him with Alba, shrugged. “I did make plans with my mother and Emmy to go and look at wedding dresses later, but I think that that has grown to include your mother and Antonella too. I think they’re all starting to get a little worried that I’ve not got a dress yet” she explained, gently twisting her engagement ring around her finger.

Gerard watched her for a moment before he quirked a small smirk. “You’re not worried that you’ve not got one yet?” he posed, his voice slightly incredulous.

Nora noted the surprise in his voice, offering him a small playful glare, before she shook her head. “We’ve still got time” she noted “I mean, it’s not like the wedding is tomorrow and I still haven’t got one, so as far as I am concerned, there’s no need to get worked up. Besides, my madre and Emmy are worked up enough for the three of us” she quipped.

Gerard, who’d moved to fuss over Alba, nodded. “I don’t find that too hard to believe” he quipped.

Nora smiled a little at his comment before she shifted slightly closer to him, moving to press a kiss against his cheek. “I am going to miss you” she mumbled.

“You are?” Gerard teased, trying to keep the mood bright and cheerful.

Nora spared a small laugh at his joke before she nodded her head. “You’re a pain” she quipped “But you’re my pain and I kind of miss you when you’re not around” she added, poking his side playfully.

Gerard scoffed playfully, something which made Nora giggle before she leant up, pressing another kiss against his cheek. “You know I love you really” she mumbled, resting her head against his.

Gerard playfully feigned thought before he turned his head, pressing a quick kiss against her lips. “I do know that” he mused “And I am going to miss you too, both of you, but I’m sure that we’ll cope. We’ll talk a lot, we normally do when I am away, and it’ll be fine. Besides, you’ll be too swept up in wedding planning to notice that I am not here” he teased between kisses.

Nora allowed him to kiss her a couple more times before the sound of the doorbell echoed, causing her to lean away slightly, resting her forehead against his. “That’s going to be my mama” she mumbled “She said that she would come by early. Are you OK with us going before you leave?” she posed, lightly brushing her fingers through his hair.

Gerard relaxed against her touch before he nodded. “It’s fine” he noted, a soft grin on his face.

Nora offered him a soft look, wordlessly asking him if he was sure, before she ducked forwards, stealing a soft kiss. “You’ll call me when you land?” she asked as she leant back, carefully lifting Alba up into her arms.

Gerard nodded. “You’d never let me forget it if I didn’t” he quipped impishly.

Nora scoffed, something which made him laugh before he stepped towards her, pressing a kiss against her head. “Of course I will call, Nora” he noted “I’ll call every day too” he added, knowing what her next question would be.

Nora shook her head a little before the sound of the doorbell echoed again, causing her to let out a soft sigh before she stepped towards him, pressing her lips to his briefly. “I’ll see you in a few weeks” she mumbled gently.

Gerard offered her a small smile before he leant down, kissing her cheek and Alba’s head before he gently nudged her towards the door, something which made Nora shake her head before she stepped out of it, wordlessly ruing her mother’s timing.

Gently smoothing out the white material of the dress that she wore, Nora quirked a small smile, her blue eyes eagerly scanning her reflection in the mirror which stood ahead of her. It had been a long day, with Nora being a little quiet after she had said goodbye to Gerard, it had taken her a while to grow into the idea of dress shopping, but after a couple of hours, she had warmed to it slightly, something which had culminated in her selecting the dress that she wore. It wasn’t the first one that she had tried on, for weeks, her mother and Emilia had selected various dresses for her to try, but the one she wore felt the best to her, something which made her smile as she studied her reflection, slightly in awe of it.

Gingerly brushing her fingers over the material, she offered her reflection another soft glance before the sound of a tapping at the changing room door filled her ears, causing her to startle slightly before she moved to pull the door open, her eyes settling on Maria who stood outside. “I just thought I’d come and check on you” the older woman noted “You’ve been in there for a while. Is everything Ok?” she posed.

Nora nodded. “I think so” she mused “In fact, I think we might be able to stop the search” she added, her voice warm and excited.

Maria tilted her head. “You do?” she posed “Can I see it?” she added.

Nora offered her a slightly shy smile before she carefully pulled the door back further, allowing her mother to see the dress that she wore.

Maria, who’d watched her pull the door back, stared at her for a couple of seconds before she shook her head, a wide smile on her lips. “You...you look so beautiful, princesa” she fussed, her voice slightly heavy.

“You think so?” Nora fussed, a blush on her cheeks “I mean, if you’re not sure, we can go and look at others, but I like this one. I think it looks pretty great” she babbled shyly.

Maria let out a snuffly laugh, amused by Nora’s babbling, before she stepped towards her, her hand cupping her cheek softly. “You look so beautiful, Nora” she fussed “That dress...it’s the perfect choice, and I can tell you now that Gerard, he’s not going to know what hit him” she added, her tearful blue eyes mirroring Nora’s.

Nora admired the tearful expression on her mother’s face before she stepped towards her, wrapping her in a tight hug that Maria was more than happy to return. “You really think this is the right choice?” Nora mumbled, hugging her mother tightly.

Maria stepped back slightly, her eyes scanning over the dress, before she nodded, offering Nora a reassuring smile. “I love it” she enthused “It looks so good on you, but if you’re worried, we can go back through to the others and see what they think” she offered, knowing that Nora needed a little more reassurance.

Nora mulled her offer over for a moment before she nodded her head, something which made Maria link their arms together before she guided her back through the shop, a warm smile perched on her face. It was still a little way off, Nora and Gerard’s wedding day was still a few weeks ahead of them, but already Maria was excited, even if she did her best to keep it in check whilst she was around her daughter, she couldn’t wait to see her little girl walk up the aisle.
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Thanks to Jayme112234, FootieJo and Twisted;;Symphony for the comments :)