Burn Us Down

51: You Beat Me To It

“Livy?” Gerard called as he nudged the bedroom door open, expecting to find Olivia padding out of the bathroom. He’d called out to her a couple of times. His parents had arrived a little earlier than they’d been expecting and he knew that Olivia wouldn’t be quite ready to see them, but he hadn’t been able to stall the older couple for long, even if he had tried. He wasn’t the reason that they’d come over for dinner and the looks that they’d cast up the stairs, clearly looking for Olivia, had meant he’d had little choice but to come up the stairs and try and hurry her along. They were excited to see her. Although they’d seen her a handful of times since her bump had become obvious, he knew how much they enjoyed seeing her, and he knew how much their excitement meant to Olivia, even if she did still try and shy away a little. He knew that their support of their relationship was something which offered Olivia a little reassurance.

Glancing towards the bathroom door, he half expected Olivia to poke her head around it and grin at him, but when his stare dropped a little, he couldn’t stop himself from quirking a soft smile. Shuffling a little deeper into the room, he crouched down beside the bed where Olivia was still asleep before he pushed her hair back, gently tucking it behind her ear. “Nena” he cooed softly “Livy, you’ve got to wake up” he added.

Olivia frowned, her eyes blinking open groggily.

Gerard grinned at her. “Hello, sleepyhead” he mused “You feeling better?” he asked.

“What time is it?” Olivia grumbled.

“It’s a little after six” Gerard replied “How long ago did you fall asleep?” he added.

Olivia grumbled quietly, gently turning over onto her back, before she placed a hand on her bump. “About an hour ago” she replied “I came up here, looking for something nice to change into for when your parents get here, but I sat down and it escalated from there” she added, the tips of her fingers tracing the line of her bump.

Gerard watched her fingers with a gentle smile before he captured her hand, twining their fingers together. “I need to tell you something” he said gently “And I need you to promise not to get worked up, OK?” he added.

Olivia’s forehead creased. “What?” she prodded.

“My parents are already downstairs” Gerard replied.

Olivia tried to sit bolt upright, but her bump prevented her from moving so quickly, something which caused Gerard to place his hands underneath her back, helping her to sit up. “What did I say about getting worked up?” he teased gently.

Olivia glared at him as she pushed herself up to her feet. “I need to get changed” she muttered as she padded towards her wardrobe.

Gerard pushed himself up too before he stepped towards her, leaning over to touch a soft kiss against the top of her head. “Take all the time you need” he mumbled into her hair “They’ll understand” he added.

He knew that she still worried about his parents finding fault with her. They had always liked her, from the first time they’d met her, they’d been smitten with her, but Gerard knew that she still felt the urge to impress them, something he felt the need to reassure her that she didn’t need to worry about. They adored her. It was obvious in the way they looked at her, and in the way they’d reacted when they thought that Gerard had lost her, and he knew that Olivia was never going to do anything that would change it. She was too careful to do anything that would affect her relationship with them.

Olivia leant her head back to look up at him shyly. “You think so?” she asked.

Gerard pressed a kiss to the side of her nose, earning a soft smile that he knew he’d never tire of seeing. “Yeah” he replied “I’ll go and tell them that we’re going to have to wait a little while before we eat. You just come down when you’re ready” he added before he kissed her forehead gently and stepped back, making his way out of the room.

Olivia smiled after him before she turned back to the wardrobe, flicking through it before she settled on a dress.

“Look at that bump” Montserrat gushed as she placed her hands on either side of Olivia’s stomach, a doting smile on her face.

Olivia grinned bashfully, the tops of her cheeks flushing pink. She knew that Montserrat had been itching to get her hands on her bump. From the moment she’d stepped down the stairs, the older woman hadn’t been able to stop herself from looking at it, and whilst Olivia adored how excited the older woman, and her husband, seemed to be, she doubted that she could ever get used to being the centre of attention. It wasn’t just Gerard’s parents. Her own father, her step-mother and all of her and Gerard’s friends had started to make more of a fuss of her the more she’d begun to show, and whilst Olivia was glad that everyone was happy that she and Gerard were expecting the new arrivals, part of her couldn’t wait for them to arrive so that people fuss over them and not her.

“Mama” Gerard’s warning was playful as he grinned at Olivia from his spot on the opposite couch “You’ll scare her off if you come on too strong” he added.

Montserrat rolled her eyes, fixing Gerard with a playful glare. “Aren’t I allowed to coo over my grandbabies?” she asked.

“Of course” Gerard chirped “Just maybe dial it back a little whilst you’re still going to be talking to Olivia’s stomach” he added.

“It’s fine” Olivia mused softly “It’s just still a little weird. I don’t think I will ever get used to people wanting to talk to my stomach” she added, letting out a nervous laugh.

Montserrat’s smile softened. “Your family are excited?” she asked gently, ignoring the slightly warning look that Gerard had shot her.

Olivia’s face scrunched up a little into an awkward smile. “It’s a little complicated” she replied “My father and my sister aren’t exactly enamoured with Gerard after…after what’s happened, but they are pretty excited about the babies. I mean, my father practically melted when I told him that he was going to have two granddaughters” she added.

Montserrat let out a soft gasp, something which made Olivia’s forehead crease slightly as she turned to look at Gerard. “You didn’t tell them?” she asked.

Gerard grinned at her sheepishly. “I was going to tell them tonight” he replied “You just…You beat me to the punch” he added.

“I thought you weren’t going to find out. What changed?” Joan pressed.

Olivia blinked a couple of times before she turned back to Gerard’s parents, her hand gently settling on the top of her bump as she playfully rolled her eyes. “Your son can be pretty convincing when he wants to be” she mused “He eventually won me around to his way of thinking” she added.

“You wanted to know anyway” Gerard replied, scoffing playfully.

“I did not” Olivia played along “But I did want you to stop badgering me about it” she added.

Gerard rolled his eyes, scoffing a teasing comment under his breath, something which made Olivia laugh gently.

Montserrat watched the two of them, marvelling at how far things had come from when Gerard had been crying on her shoulder, before she gently wrapped Olivia in a soft hug. “I can’t wait to meet my granddaughters” she cooed softly.

Olivia hugged her back tentatively, but relaxed when she caught Gerard’s reassuring smile over his mother’s shoulder. Shaking her head, she smiled back at him softly before she leant back, allowing Gerard’s parents to fuss over her and her bump whilst he watched over her, his presence reassuring her that she had nothing to be worried about.