Burn Us Down

77: Don’t Bother

“Gerard, is the bag packed?”

Gerard smiled down at the twins who were laying on the bed ahead of him, rolling his eyes playfully at Olivia’s fussing. She was nervous. Only a few days previous, they’d received their printed wedding invitations and with them due over at her father’s house for dinner, they’d planned to give them out that night, something which was bound to cause a problem when they gave one to Melissa and explained that the same invitation wasn’t extended to Nicolas.

It was something they both agreed on. Whether they liked Nicolas or not, his presence at their wedding was something which was likely to cause problems, and they wanted to try and avoid what issues they could, knowing that there would already be enough tension with Melissa and Enzo in the same place at the same time. They wanted them both there. Melissa was Olivia’s sister and Enzo was someone that both Gerard and Olivia adored, but they knew that them both being present would cause problems, something they didn’t want to add to with the presence of the man Melissa had left Enzo for.

Smoothing out Aria’s dress, Gerard was quiet, listening as Olivia’s steps drew her out of the bathroom and into the bedroom where she stopped, looking at him with a small crease between her eyebrows. “Did you not hear me?” she asked.

“I did” Gerard confirmed “But I’ve already told you three times that I packed the bag. I figured a fourth time would be overkill” he added, lifting his head to offer her an impish smile before he turned back towards the babies.

Olivia blinked a couple of times before she exhaled softly, sitting down on the edge of the bed. “Sorry” she mumbled as she leant over, gently brushing her fingers through Rosalie’s hair “I forgot I’d already asked” she added.

Gerard smiled at her, one of his hands gently rubbing her back. “You tend to get a little forgetful when you’re stressed” he mused.

Olivia let out a little laugh before she shook her head. “I want to believe that she’ll understand” she said, keeping her focus on the twins “I want to believe that she could just…just accept that it isn’t something personal and that we’re just trying to make sure that our day is as conflict-free as possible, but I think we both know how it’s going to go down. I’m just not looking forwards to another fight” she added, turning to glance up at Gerard.

Gerard wanted to contradict her. He wanted to suggest that Melissa could take the news well and understand exactly where they were coming from, but he knew the look on his face would betray him, something which was confirmed when Olivia shook her head, a sad smile quirking up the corner of her lips. “You can’t even humour me a little?” she asked.

Gerard turned his attention back towards Aria as she began to fuss, something which made Olivia shake her head softly. “Are you ready to go?” she asked.

“All three of us are” Gerard replied “Are you?” he added.

Olivia’s answering smile was rueful. “As ready as I will ever be” she answered.

“Can I get anyone anything else?” Valeria asked as she leant over, picking up the empty plate which sat in front of Gerard.

Gerard smiled at her pleasantly before he shook his head. “I’m stuffed, Valeria” he replied “It was as delicious as ever” he added.

“Thank you, Gerard” Valeria cooed “You’re sweet for saying so” she added, sparing a playful glance towards Alex who rolled his eyes, smiling good-naturedly at her before he turned his attention back towards Rosalie who was perched on his lap.

It’d been that kind of night. After months of things being tense and awkward, it’d felt the most relaxed it had done in a long time, and it meant that Olivia, who was sat across the table from Gerard, had sunk lower and lower into her seat, dreading the moment they presented their wedding invitations. It was something that they had to do. With Enzo’s name being one of the few that both Gerard and Olivia had insisted on including on their guest list, they had to do something to try and ensure that things between him and Melissa didn’t distract from their wedding day, and whilst it was almost certain to start a fight, Gerard knew that the sooner they did it, the longer Melissa would have to cool off and perhaps understand where it was that they were trying to come from.

Sparing Olivia a meaningful look, Gerard tilted his head towards her father, something which made Olivia shake her head softly.

Alex lifted an eyebrow. “Something going on?” he asked.

Gerard caught Olivia’s eye again, earning another shake of her head, before he let out a small sigh. “We have something we want to give you” he announced as he stood up, padding towards the twins’ baby bag. Unzipping it, he reached inside and collected the two envelopes before he stepped back towards the table, placing one into Alex’s hand and the other into Melissa’s.

The room was quiet as they undid them. Alex’s face bloomed with a soft smile, but before he had the chance to get a word out, Melissa cut him off. “Nico’s name isn’t on this” she said.

Gerard shook his head, seeing Olivia shrink back in her seat out of the corner of his eye. “It isn’t” he confirmed “Me and Livy, we’ve invited Enzo and we thought that having Nico there would be…we thought it could cause problems that we’d like to avoid” he explained calmly.

Melissa blinked a couple of times before she shook her head.

“Melissa” Alex warned.

“My ex-husband is coming to your wedding?” Melissa asked.

“He’s my friend” Gerard replied “He’s Olivia’s friend. He’s the father of her nephew. So yes, we invited him. We want him there, Melissa” he added.

Melissa scoffed. “And Nico?” she prodded “He could be part of your family one day too” she added.

“Maybe” Gerard conceded “But it doesn’t make a difference. The three of you in one place would be volatile, and me and Livy don’t want something happening between you that could impact our day. I’m sorry that it has to be this way, Melissa, but in a choice between Nicolas and Enzo, we chose Enzo and we ask that you respect that” he added, his voice even and calm.

Melissa’s eyes flicked away from Gerard towards her sister and back again before she shook her head. “If he can’t be there, then I don’t want to be either” she said.

“Melissa” Alexa warned again “This is your sister’s wedding” he added, stressing the word ‘sister’.

“Don’t bother, papa” Olivia piped in, pushing herself up from her seat “If she doesn’t want to be there, she doesn’t have to be. It’s clear that she’s more interested in one upping Enzo than actually seeing me get married, so I won’t force her to come. I thought she might want to, I mean, it’s hopefully going to be a onetime thing and I thought my sister would care more about that than flaunting her new boyfriend, but it’s clear that I was wrong” she added, her voice even despite the tears which had pooled in her eyes.

Melissa dropped her stare towards her feet.

Olivia watched her before she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand, letting out a soft sniffle. “I hope he turns out to be what you want him to be” she said “I hope he’s worth ruining everything else for” she added before she rushed out of the door.

Melissa made a move to follow her, but Gerard edged into her path. “You’ve already done enough damage” he said coolly “She’s your little sister, and she’s getting married, and that’s not important enough for you to want to put things to one side for one day? I’m tired of trying to smooth things over between the two of you when you’re so determined to keep letting her down. She just wanted her sister there on her wedding day, Melissa. One freaking day of your time, where you and Enzo play nice and celebrate me and Olivia, but you can’t even manage that. You don’t deserve her, Melissa” he scoffed before he turned and followed Olivia out of the room, leaving the room uncomfortably quiet in his wake.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)