In the End

57: I Like You As Much As I Can

“Do you need me to get anything whilst I am out?” Ariella asked as she stepped into the living room, her eyes briefly glancing over towards Gerard who sat on the couch a little away from her, watching Toby stir in his Moses basket. It had been a busy few days, with a lot of their friends and families keen to meet Toby, the previous few days had been filled with activity and people around the house, and whilst they were still expecting the visit of her father and his family later that morning, she was keen to make the most of the little break, wanting to get out of the house for the first time in the week that had passed since Toby had arrived. It had been a little overwhelming, with a lot of people around, she had spent a lot of time being made a fuss of, and she was keen to take a break, even if it was only a short visit to a local supermarket. She was keen to get a little time for herself.

Gerard, who’d been quietly smiling down at the baby, turned around at the sound of her voice, shaking his head. “I don’t think so” he quipped “We have enough nappies, don’t we?” he fussed.

Ariella, who’d been making sure that she had her phone and purse, quirked a small smile at his fussing before she nodded her head. “I think so” she mused “I mean, you bought some home with you yesterday. I can’t imagine we’ve used them all already” she added.

Gerard spared her a slightly uncertain glance, something which made Ariella giggle before she stepped towards the couch, her hand cupping his cheek softly. “You know that you’re pretty adorable, right?” she posed, her thumb lightly brushing along his cheekbone.

Gerard leant into her palm slightly before he quirked a crooked smile. “I knew there had to be a reason that you liked me” he quipped.

Ariella spluttered out a soft laugh before she shook her head, allowing a brief moment of silence to pass between them before Gerard turned his head, pressing a soft kiss against the palm of her hand. “You sure that you don’t want me to go in your place?” he asked “I mean, I just need to put on a pair of shoes and I can go” he added.

Ariella smiled at his offer, but shook her head. “I need to get out of here” she mused “I’ve not left the house since we got home a week ago and I am going a little stir crazy. You don’t mind, do you?” she asked.

Gerard kissed her palm again. “Of course not” he noted, smiling up at her gently.

Ariella admired his smile for a brief second before she leant down slightly, pressing a couple of quick kisses against his lips. “I shouldn’t be gone too long” she mused “But there is a chance that my papa and his family will show up before I get back. If they do...”

“Don’t slam the door in their faces” Gerard finished off for her with a boyish grin.

Ariella rolled her eyes before she stole another quick kiss. “Be nice” she mumbled as she stepped away from him slightly, moving to press a soft kiss against the top of Toby’s head. Toby, who’d been dozing quietly, stirred a little at the touch, letting out a soft whimper before he quietly drifted back to sleep, something which made Ariella smile softly before she stepped away, padding out of the room.

Gerard watched her out of the room before he turned back towards Toby, watching the little boy sleep for a few minutes, a familiar smile still stuck on his face. Resting his head against the back of the couch, he admired the sleeping baby quietly before the soft sound of a knock at the front door reached his ears, causing him to shake his head gently. “Your mama’s probably forgotten something” he quipped towards Toby before he pushed himself to his feet, moving into the hall before he pulled the door open, his eyes widening a fraction at the sight of Jacob who stood on the step, a pleasant smile on his face.

“I’m not disturbing you, am I?” the older man quipped.

Gerard shook his head. “Of course not” he noted “Come in” he added, stepping out of the doorway.

Jacob smiled at him gratefully before he stepped forwards into the house.

“No Sabrina or the boys?” Gerard asked, pushing the front door closed.

Jacob shook his head. “Alex had a football match this morning that he ‘absolutely’ couldn’t miss” he mused “So they’re on a flight out this afternoon. I, however, couldn’t wait any longer to get here. I’ve put off meeting my grandson for a week and I can’t wait anymore” he enthused lightheartedly.

Gerard breathed out a polite laugh before he gestured towards the living room. “Why don’t you come through, then?” he quipped.

Jacob nodded before he followed Gerard into the living room, his face brightening as his gaze settled on Toby. “Gerard” he breathed.

Gerard smiled proudly. He doubted he would ever get tired of Toby making people speechless. “This is Toby” he mused “Your grandson” he added.

Jacob merely smiled, stuck for anything better to do or say.

“You’re not the first person to be speechless” Gerard mused, trying to disturb the silence which had settled over the two of them “I think even Estella was stuck for something to say the first time that she saw him and you know her. She’s always got something to say” he teased sheepishly. He felt awkward, even despite the fact that he’d met Jacob before, he felt awkward about being left along with him, and he wanted to keep the conversation flowing, not wanting any kind of awkward silence to linger for longer than necessary.

Jacob chuckled. “Estella was speechless?” he quipped.

“For about five minutes” Gerard replied with a shrug “And then she started fussing, playing on Ariella’s last nerve” he added jokingly.

Jacob let out another soft laugh before he shook his head, his eyes not moving away from Toby. “How’s Ella doing?” he asked, breaking the momentary silence which had passed between the two of them.

Gerard’s expression lit up at the mention of the brunette, something which didn’t go unnoticed by Jacob who acknowledged it with a doting smile. “She’s a natural” the defender enthused “I mean, since Toby’s come along, she’s been wonderful with him. I think she’s a little overwhelmed by the attention, since he came home, we’ve had a lot of visitors and you know how much Ella likes being the centre of attention, but with Toby, she’s wonderful, Jacob. I’m so proud of her” he insisted, his voice warm and full of pride.

Jacob smiled for a few seconds, not missing the pride in the defender’s voice, before he shook his head, his hand gently clapping the taller man’s shoulder. “You know, I’ve always been rooting for you” he noted kindly.

Gerard arched an eyebrow. “Really?” he asked.

Jacob nodded. “You’re a decent guy” he noted “You’ve always been good for Ella, even when you were just friends, and I am glad that you two put things back together. She could have done a lot worse than you, Piqué” he added, bumping the defender’s shoulder jovially.

Gerard smiled warmly. “Is that your way of saying you like me, Jacob?” he quipped, playing along.

Jacob laughed. “I like you as much as I can ever like my daughter’s boyfriend” he noted.

Gerard let out a soft laugh before he shook his head, his expression growing slightly more serious. “Jacob...”

“Is it on the cards?” Jacob cut in, meeting the defender’s glance.

Gerard blinked, a little surprised by the interruption, before he nodded, knowing precisely what the older man was asking. “It’s not imminent” he noted “We’ve been together for a little over a year, and we’ve only just welcomed Toby into the world. I don’t think either one of us would welcome the pressure of an engagement or the stress of planning a wedding in the near future, but in few more months, maybe another year or so, I think it’s definitely something we both want. I know Ella, she’s pretty old fashioned, and I think she’d prefer me having asked. So, do I have your blessing?” he asked, a hopeful smile on his face.

Jacob purposefully hesitated, a slight smirk on his lips, before he nodded. “Of course you do, Gerard” he noted.

Gerard grinned at him, his expression slightly relieved.

Jacob smiled at the relief on the defender’s face before he lifted his hand, patting his shoulder once more. “Keep making her happy, young man” he noted “You’ve clearly got a knack for it and I’d like to see you keep it up. She’s always been happier with you around” he added before his phone chimed, causing him to excuse himself.

Gerard watched him out of the room for a few seconds before he shook his head, a proud smile on his face. He knew that he made Ariella happy, for the year that they’d been together, it’d become clear to him that they both made one another happy, but he liked hearing it from those around them. it made him more than confident that he was doing something right.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)