Burn Us Down

27: Make Me Believe It


Olivia, who’d been absentmindedly pushing a spoon around her mug of tea, closed her eyes at the sound of Gerard’s voice, letting a soft sigh fall out of her mouth. She’d been waiting for him to try and talk to her. After she had convinced him to drop the subject whilst they’d been out to dinner, she had known that it was only a matter of time before he tried to bring it back up again, but still Olivia didn’t quite feel ready, not quite sure how to admit that she had, for the first time in years, felt worried about watching him around another woman. He hadn’t done anything wrong that night. He had been polite, friendly even, and Olivia knew that it wasn’t flirting, but no matter how many times she had repeated that fact to herself, she hadn’t been able to shake the gnawing worry from the pit of her stomach.

Keeping her eyes closed, she heard his footsteps pad across the room before she felt him lean over, kissing the top of her head gently. Exhaling a quiet breath, she felt his lips touch her temple and the side of her neck before he finally spoke. “What’s going on?” he murmured quietly.

For a moment, Olivia thought about shrugging and pasting on a smile so that she could pretend that everything was fine, but when she turned her head to glance at Gerard, she knew he’d see right through it. The look on his face was intense and told her that he knew her too well to believe that there was nothing going on. Turning away from him, she gently shook her head, resuming pushing the spoon around her cup. “Natalia, the waitress” she murmured “She was beautiful, wasn’t she?” she prodded.

Gerard tensed, taking a step back from her. He hadn’t heard her ask that sort of question for years. “What?” he spluttered.

“She was beautiful” Olivia insisted “You must have noticed” she added, turning to glance at him over her shoulder.


“The girl in the pictures was beautiful too” Olivia cut him off, trying, and failing, to be nonchalant.

Her voice was shaking and Gerard could see the pain in her eyes, something which caused him stomach to drop. “Olivia” he repeated softly.

“She was gorgeous, Gerard” Olivia pressed ahead as she slowly turned around to look at him properly “Do you know how that makes me feel?” she added, her voice softening as her eyes grew tearful.

Gerard itched to step towards her, but Olivia, almost sensing it, shuffled back on her seat, wiping her eyes on the back of her hand. “You never gave me reason to worry” she said “I mean, there’s no mistaking that you are…you’re a good looking man, and you’ve always gotten attention, but you always looked at me like I was the only person in the room and eventually, I leaned to block the other stuff out. But now…how am I supposed to know that you’re still only interested in me? How am I not supposed to look at those women and think you could possibly be more attracted to them than you are to me?” she added, her voice growing shakier.

Gerard just stared at her. He didn’t know what to say.

“I haven’t felt like this in years” Olivia’s laugh was humourless as she wiped at her eyes again.

Gerard crouched down in front of her chair, his fingertips gently guiding her face so that she looked at him. “You are the best thing that ever happened to me” he insisted softly.


“Listen to me” Gerard cut in, tilting her head back as she tried to drop her gaze away from his “Olivia, you are all I want. I know that that probably rings hollow now, in light of what has happened, but it is still as true as it ever was. When I gave you this, I told you that it was because you drive me crazy, and that’s not changed and it won’t change. I’m attracted to you, always. I think you’re bright, and cheerful, and confident, and I can’t stand the idea of what I did changing that. I didn’t notice if Natalia was beautiful, and the girl I kissed? I didn’t do it because I was attracted to her, or because I thought she was more attractive than you, I did it out of frustration and being upset. I wasn’t really looking at her, Livy, not like I look at you” he insisted, his thumb brushing over her engagement ring.

Olivia blinked, another film of tears filling her eyes. “I trusted you” she whispered “I thought I was…I didn’t think that you’d…” she spluttered, unable to swallow the little hiccupped sobs.

Gerard smoothed her hair away from her face, his other thumb brushing the tears off of her cheeks. “I can’t say sorry enough, nena” he whispered.

“Do you still want to be with me?” Olivia croaked, sniffling.

“What?” Gerard couldn’t keep the word from falling out his mouth in surprise.

“Tell me that you still want me” Olivia insisted “Tell me a million times if you have to. Make me believe it, Gerard” she added.

Gerard stared up at her, gaping for a few seconds, before he nodded his head resolutely. Adjusting himself, he knelt on the floor between her legs before he ducked forwards, pressing a soft kiss against the back of her hand. “This is the hand you cut open on a champagne glass” he said softly “The first excuse I got to talk to the woman I’d watched around the room the whole night. It’s the hand I pretended to be confident about holding for the first time, the hand that I felt shaking when I asked you to marry me” he added.

Olivia sniffed, watching him tearfully.

Gerard pressed forwards, kissing the dress which covered her stomach. “This is the stomach I want to swell with our baby bump” he whispered “I’ve kissed it a million times and said that, and I still get amazed when you smile that dreamy smile down at me, like you can picture it too. When you smile at me like that, it makes me think that you can see the little auburn haired boy with my big blue eyes too” he said, smiling soft against the material.

Olivia’s fingers weaved through his hair, holding him to her as he tilted his head back to meet her eyes. “I love you” he whispered “And I hate that I could ever have made you doubt that. I let this get away from us, I let a fight grow out of control and I let my reaction hurt you, and I will never forget that, but it wasn’t about me not loving you enough, or not wanting you enough, because there’s no way that that’s true. I love you so much, nena” he added, his fingers wiping underneath her eyes again.

Olivia closed her eyes at the touch. “Again” she whispered.

Gerard repeated the three words she was looking for over and over again until she leant her forehead against his, crying softly. Gerard kissed away her tears, his touches feather light, but he knew that it wouldn’t be the last time. Their relationship was slowly knitting itself back together. On the surface, they looked as happy and as comfortable around one another as they always had, but Gerard knew that there were more fractures lingering under the surface, ones that threatened to widen without warning. He hadn’t thought about Olivia worrying about him and other women, she never had done before, but the kiss he’d had with another woman had changed everything, and whilst things could become good again, they could never be exactly the same.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)