If You Love Me

Seventy Six: A Bet I Clearly Lost

Staring at the pair of shoes which sat on the floor ahead of him, Gerard shook his head, a soft sigh falling out of his mouth. It had passed quickly, since he had spoken to Nora on the phone, the morning had moved past in the blink of an eye, and before he knew it he had found himself dressed in a suit, something which had caused a knot to form in the pit of his stomach. He had no doubt that it was what he wanted, for a while, the idea of a future for him and Nora had been at the forefront of his thoughts, but still he couldn’t shake the nerves, even if he had been itching to catch sight of Nora in her dress for weeks. He doubted that the nerves were going anywhere any time soon.

Offering the shoes another glance, he briefly contemplated moving to place them on his feet before he shook his head, an ironic smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “Come on” he mumbled to himself.

“You OK?”

Gerard, who’d been mumbling to himself, startled at the sound of his mother’s voice before he lifted his head, shaking it slightly. “I’m fine” he muttered.

“I know you better than to believe that, Gerard” Montserrat quipped “So, why don’t you just admit that you’re finally feeling the nerves and save us some time, eh?” she teased, sitting down beside him.

Gerard glanced at her as she sat down before he shook his head. “I have no need to be nervous, right?” he posed, looking for a little reassurance. He knew that he had nothing to worry about, for a while, both he and Nora had been more than confident about the idea of getting married, but he wanted to hear his mother say it, even if he did already know it. He needed to hear the words aloud.

“You have no need to be nervous” Montserrat replied “This moment, it’s been a long time coming, and you and Nora have a lot of people around who are going to do their best to ensure that you two get a day to remember. You don’t need to be nervous, sweetheart” she insisted, her voice soft and reassuring.

Gerard offered her a soft glance, mulling her words over for a moment before he nodded his head. “Have you seen her yet?” he posed, his voice soft and curious.

Montserrat smiled at the tone of his voice before she nodded. “I got a text from Maria a little while ago. I’d show it to you, but you’re not supposed to see her yet” she teased softly.

Gerard shook his head. “It’s a stupid rule” he mumbled.

“Perhaps” Montserrat agreed “But trust me, it’ll be worth the wait. The picture that Maria sent to me was stunning, and I am pretty convinced that she’ll look even better in person. You’re a very lucky man” she enthused, patting his knee in comfort.

Gerard chuckled softly, mumbling a comment beneath his breath, before the sound of the bedroom door opening reached his ears, causing him to look up, his eyes settling on Cesc who stood in the door way, a grin on his face. “It’s time to get moving, hombre” he quipped.

Gerard nodded his head before he leant forwards, something which his mother was quick to stop, her hand gently settling against his forearm. “You’re certain about this, right?” she posed “I only ask because the last thing I want is for you or Nora to get hurt. If you’re not certain...”

“I am sure, mama” Gerard interrupted “It’s Nora. Of course I am sure” he insisted with a smile.

Montserrat blinked a couple of times, slightly surprised by the interruption before she shook her head, gently moving to pull him up to his feet before she reached her hand out, straightening his tie briefly. Gerard chuckled, amused by her fussing, before he leant down, wrapping her in a tight for a second before he stepped back, moving to slip his feet into his shoes. “Will I do?” he asked.

Montserrat offered him another glance, scrutinizing his appearance, before she nodded. “You’ll pass Nora’s inspection” she quipped “Just” she added with a grin.

Gerard playfully rolled his eyes before he stepped towards the door, following Cesc out of the room.

Gingerly running her fingers through her blonde hair, Nora carefully pushed herself up to her feet, her blue eyes settling on the building which stood ahead of her. It had been a long morning, with her bridesmaids and mother around and fussing, Nora had started to feel a little overwhelmed, but she was pleased that it was almost over with, even if she was apprehensive about the idea of a room full of people looking at her, she was excited by the idea that only a small amount of time separated her from the moment that she and Gerard would walk away as man and wife.

“You shouldn’t touch your hair”

Nora, who’d been lightly playing with the ends of her hair, startled slightly at the sound of her mother’s voice before she shook her head, a soft blush on her cheeks. “I know” she quipped “It’s just a nervous habit. I do it without thinking” she added, a nervous laugh falling out of her mouth.

Maria, who’d moved to adjust her dress, smiled at the sound which had fallen out of her mouth before she shook her head, offering her arm a light squeeze. “You’ve made it this far” she quipped “And you’ve been calm and composed all morning. It’s just another little hurdle to get over and then it will be done and you’ll be married” she insisted.

Nora simply nodded her head, something which made Maria’s smile widen before she offered her arm another soft squeeze. “I can’t even begin to describe how amazing you look, princesa” she fussed “I mean, I always knew that you would, you’re such a beautiful girl, but I can’t seem to find the right words. You look so beautiful, so grown up, and I am so proud of you” she added, her voice growing slightly heavy.

Nora, who’d busied herself with adjusting the material of her dress, sniffled a little. “Are you trying to make me cry?” she posed, not looking up at her mother.

Maria, who’d moved to wipe her own eyes, let out a soft laugh before she shook her head. “Of course not” she noted.

Nora offered her a playful glare before she spotted Emilia out of the corner of her eye, something which caused her expression to soften. “It’s time?” she posed.

Emilia nodded her head. “It is” she confirmed “Are you ready to become Mrs Piqué, Nora?” she posed, a wide smile on her face.

Nora’s cheeks flushed a soft shade of pink, something which made Emilia giggle before she stepped towards her, wrapping her in a tight hug. “Congrats, baby sister” she enthused before she ducked back, depositing the bouquet into Nora’s hands. Offering her sister another smile, she gently kissed her cheek before she stepped away, making her way inside.

Nora watched her sister pad away for a second before she shook her head. “I don’t know if I can do this, mama” she murmured.

Maria, who’d moved to pull the veil over her face, shook her head. “You don’t mean that” she noted “You’re just nervous. Trust me, once you get inside and set eyes on Gerard, you’ll forget the nerves” she insisted, lightly adjusting the veil over her face.

Nora frowned. “You’re sure about that?” she posed.

“Pretty sure” Maria quipped “I mean, when I woke up on the day I married your father, I found my passport and insisted that my mother carry it around just in case, but as soon as I saw him, I forgot all about it. You love him, Nora, you’ve loved him for a long time now, and you’ll be fine. This is the right thing for you” she insisted, her tone caught between firm and reassuring. She could see that Nora was doubting herself, since she had stepped out of the car, she had looked more nervous than Maria had ever seen her, but the older woman wanted to assure that she had nothing to worry about, not wanting her to work herself up.

Nora spared her a soft glance, allowing her words to hang around them for a couple of moments, before she nodded her head softly, something which made Maria smile gently before she stepped towards her, linking their arms together. “Come on” she mused “Just follow me” she added, gently leading her through the first few steps.

Nora followed her mother’s lead carefully, ensuring that she didn’t trip over the material of her dress, before the sound of gasps and whispers reached her ears, causing her to tighten her grip slightly. Maria smiled slightly, a little amused by how nervous Nora looked, but didn’t say anything, instead opting to guide her quietly to the end of the aisle before she pulled her to a stop. “Gerard?” she noted.

Gerard, who’d been eagerly watching Nora up the aisle, startled slightly at the sound of his name before he lifted his head, offering Maria a warm smile. Maria returned his smile gently before she pushed herself up onto her toes, pressing a soft kiss against his cheek. “Welcome to the family” she mused.

Gerard nodded. “Gracias, Maria” he noted politely.

Maria offered him another soft smile before she turned back to Nora, squeezing her hand gently. “You’re going to be Ok now, right?” she posed.

Nora nodded. “I think so” she noted.

“Good” Maria replied “I’m so happy for you, princesa. It’s been a long time coming and I wish you all the happiness. You deserve it” she added excitedly before she leant in, kissing Nora’s cheek gently before she stepped away, quickly finding her seat.

Nora watched her back towards her seat before she turned her attention towards Gerard, not missing the smile which filled his face. “You’re smiling” she quipped, her voice caught between shy and teasing.

Gerard let out a laugh. “I hadn’t noticed” he teased.

Nora giggled shyly before she ducked her head, something which made Gerard’s smile widen a fraction before he took a pace towards her, knotting their fingers together. “You know” he mumbled low enough for just her to hear “I owe a few people some money. They told me that I would be speechless when you walked in and I said I wouldn’t, a bet I clearly lost. Words don’t do you justice, Nora” he babbled, pressing a soft kiss against her head.

Nora smiled gently at the feel of his lips against her head before the official cleared his throat. “Are we ready to start?” he posed.

Nora shared a look with Gerard before she nodded her head. “We are” she confirmed.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)