Burn Us Down

49: I Want It To Be Easy Again

Allowing his shoulder to fall against the bedroom door frame, Gerard quirked a sleepy smile, his eyes settled on Olivia who was fast asleep in the middle of their bed. He hadn’t been expecting it. When he’d ambled up the stairs, his first port of call had been the spare bedroom that Olivia had grown used to sleeping in, but when he hadn’t found her there, he’d wandered across the hall, half expecting not to find her there either. He knew that she was determined to keep things moving slowly. As good as things between them felt, and they did feel better than they had done in a long time, he knew that Olivia was still determined to be tentative, and he had chosen to go along with it, even if it was killing him that she still wasn’t quite ready to move back into their bedroom or kiss him like she had done so easily before. He knew that moving at Olivia’s pace was the only way that things could ever go back to what they’d been before.

Folding his arms over his chest, he allowed his stare to drift downwards a little, his little smile widening a fraction when they settled on Olivia’s bump. He hadn’t been gone for long, but he could have sworn that it looked easily bigger than it had when he’d left. Shaking his head gently, he pushed himself out of the doorway and padded across the bedroom, taking care not to make too much noise. Toeing off his shoes, he left them and his bag ahead of the wardrobe before he padded into the bathroom. Picking up his toothbrush, he started to get himself ready for bed, only to stop when he looked up into the mirror, his eyes catching sight of Olivia’s reflection over his shoulder.

Olivia caught the moment he saw her, her expression brightening into a sleepy smile. “Hey, stranger” she mused through a soft yawn.

Gerard dropped his toothbrush back into its holder before he turned around, his eyes tracing from her head to her feet before they settled on her bump, his face splitting into a wide smile. “Wow” he squeaked.

Olivia smoothed her hand over her bump, her cheeks flowing a light shade of pink. “It’s huge right?” she gushed.

Gerard didn’t say anything as he closed the distance between the two of them, his hands curving around her stomach gently.

Olivia smiled down at his hands for a moment before she looked up at his face, a soft giggle tumbling out of her mouth. Shaking her head, she gently lifted a hand to his face, wiping a smear of toothpaste off of his lip.

The tops of Gerard’s cheeks flushed a light shade of pink as he smiled up at her gently. “Thanks” he mumbled.

“You’re welcome” Olivia replied warmly.

Gerard couldn’t will himself to stop staring at her, something which made Olivia shake her head, a soft laugh falling out of her mouth. “What?” she squeaked “You’re staring at me like I’ve grown a second head or something” she added.

Gerard just shrugged, a boyish smile brightening his features. “I’m just…I’m just glad to see you, I guess” he stumbled out “You look great” he added.

He didn’t quite know what it was, but he couldn’t stop himself from marvelling at her. She looked like she always had when she’d been to sleep. Her hair was gathered into a messy ponytail, her pyjamas were a set that Gerard had seen more and more frequently since her bump had started to develop, but there was something about seeing her that night that had knocked him slightly. It was something he’d pictured. For a couple of years, he’d pictured seeing Olivia, pregnant with his child, and the reality of it had hit him then. Olivia was pregnant, he was the father, and as complicated at things were between them, he knew he’d not change that fact. He adored Olivia being pregnant.

Olivia’s laugh was bright and infectious, a sound that Gerard had missed. “It’s the middle of the night” she replied “And I am pretty huge now. I am pretty sure ‘great’ is a long way away from how I look right now” she added.

Gerard shook his head insistently. “You do look great” he replied “To me, at least. I get the pregnancy glow thing now” he added.

Olivia scoffed, rolling her eyes shyly. “You’re just saying that” she mused.

Gerard shook his head again, one of his hands lifting from her bump to cup her cheek so that he could coax her eyes to meet his. “I think you look beautiful” he insisted softly “I always have done, but…but this is something else. I pictured it, but the images I conjured up have nothing on this. You are…I…I love this, Livy, so, so much” he gushed, a grin quirking up the corner of his lips.

Olivia blinked a couple of times, her expression growing soft. “What about me?” she asked gently “Do you love me?” she asked.

Gerard’s eyes widened. “What?” he spluttered.

“Do you love me?” Olivia repeated “I mean, I…I think I know the answer, I just…”

“Of course, I love you” Gerard interrupted, his voice firm and even.

Olivia met his stare, her eyes soft. “Not just because of the babies?” she asked gently “I just…I need to hear you say it” she added. The last thing she wanted was for him to think that she doubted it. She just needed to hear him say the words out loud.

Gerard smoothed her hair back off of her face before he touched her forehead to hers. “I love you, Olivia” he said softly “I have done for almost five years now and I am pretty sure you’re going to be stuck with that love, whether you want it or not, for a lot longer than that. I know I am awful at showing it, the last few months have made that abundantly clear, but I will say it time and time again if you need me to. I love you, Livy. You’re the brightest part of my life, and whilst I love that you’re carrying my beautiful little ones, that’s not the reason I am in love with you. I can’t pinpoint exactly why I am in love with you, but I know that I am. You have my heart, Livy, always” he insisted gently.

Olivia was quiet for a moment, allowing his words to hang around the two of them, before she gently lifted her head, her eyes meeting his. “I love you too” she whispered “I just…I’m so scared of that now. I want us back, Geri, I don’t want there to be these…these walls between us, but I loved you before and you…”

“I fucked it all up” Gerard finished for her.

Olivia nodded. “I just want loving you to be easy again” she murmured “I want us to be easy again” she added.

Gerard’s thumb brushed over her cheek, capturing a tear that had slipped out of her eyes. “Let me love you” he whispered “Like I did before. We’ll keep seeing the counsellor, keep talking, and we’ll figure it out, just let me love you, Livy. Please” he added softly.

Olivia’s eyes searched his for a long moment, so long that Gerard was convinced that she would shake her head and insist that they needed to keep being careful, but to his surprise, she quirked a soft smile, her hazel eyes shining tearfully. “I think I’d like that” she whispered.

Gerard spluttered out a sound in surprise, something which made Olivia laugh softly before she lifted a hand to the back of his neck, guiding him down into a fleeting kiss before she turned around, shuffling back towards the bed. “Don’t take too long” she called over her shoulder “Your pregnant girlfriend needs cuddles” she added.

Gerard caught his own beaming grin in the mirror. “Girlfriend?” he called back. He hadn’t hear the word in so long and wanted to hear it again.

Olivia laughed. “Girlfriend” she called back.