Burn Us Down

81: After Today

Staring at the screen of her phone, Olivia blinked a couple of times, trying to soothe the slight sting behind her eyes. She’d been clock watching for a while. At some time around four in the morning, she’d given up all hopes of getting more sleep and had instead opted to just lay there, staring at the clock in the vain hope that it would move time along more quickly. It was a mixture of things that had kept her awake, a combination of nerves, excitement and a slight hint of disappointment, but she hadn’t been able to shake it, not since Gerard had pressed a kiss to her lips the previous night and pointed out that the next time he saw her would be at the end of the aisle. She couldn’t wait. After all the effort it’d taken them to get to that moment, she couldn’t wait to finally see him at the end of the aisle.

Shaking her head, she placed the phone face down onto the bedside table before she rolled onto her back, letting out a frustrated huff as she settled against the pillows. It wasn’t moving quickly enough for her. She wanted things to start moving, to be swept away in all of the elements of preparation that would precede her walk down the aisle, but she knew that it wouldn’t happen for hours yet. Running a hand back through her hair, she spared a quick look towards the foot of the bed, checking that both Rosalie and Aria were still sleeping soundly before she heard a buzz against the end table. Moving quickly, she swiped her phone up into her hand before she quirked a goofily smile, her eyes landing on Gerard’s name. Glancing at the twins again, she made sure that they hadn’t been disturbed before she shuffled out of bed, making her way into the bathroom.

Plopping down onto the closed toilet, she pressed the phone against her ear, smiling to herself gently. “Aren’t you supposed to be asleep?” she asked, keeping her voice low.

Gerard’s answering laugh was rough and sleepy. “You sound more awake than me” he replied “Let me guess, you’ve been up for more than an hour?” he added.

Olivia shook her head. “I’m not going to answer that” she replied.

“You don’t have to” Gerard said, his voice slightly muffled by a yawn “I know you well enough to know that when you’re nervous, you don’t sleep well. I still remember how hard you kicked me before you took me home to meet your papa. I had a bruise and everything” he added impishly.

Olivia didn’t say anything. She just sat there for a moment, smiling to herself.

“Did I lose you?” Gerard prodded “Livy?” he added.

“No, you didn’t” Olivia said softly “I was just thinking about how much I like your voice” she added.

Gerard made a sound down the line, suggesting to Olivia that he was probably smiling on the other end of it. “Yeah?” he asked.

“I guess I’ve never really thought about it before” Olivia answered “But’s it’s nice. It’s warm and comforting. I like hearing it” she added.

Gerard laughed. “Good to know” he mused “I mean, after today, you’re committed to hearing it for a long time to come, so it’s good that you like it” he added.

Olivia giggled softly, twining the ends of her hair around her finger. “Did you call for a reason?” she asked.

Gerard was quiet for a few seconds before he breathed out a soft, bashful laugh. “It’s going to sound silly” he replied “Because I saw you into your room last night. I kissed you in the doorway, said goodnight to the girls, and I know that you’re just down the corridor, but I needed to hear your voice for some reason. I needed to hear you say something, anything, so that I could hear if there was anything in your voice” he explained.

“You needed to hear if I had cold feet” Olivia rephrased for him.

“Told you it was silly” Gerard chirped, letting another bashful laugh out.

Olivia shook her head, nibbling on her lip for a moment. “It’s not silly” she mused “You’re just nervous” she added.

“Why?” Gerard asked “I mean, really, what’s going to change after today? We’ve lived together for years, we’ve already got two children together. I don’t know why I am so nervous about celebrating us, Livy, but I am. Are you?” he prodded. He needed to hear her say that she was nervous too, that she had the same ball of knots in her stomach.

Olivia smiled gently. “Yeah, I am” she confirmed “But I am excited, too. Aren’t you?” she asked.

“Of course I am” Gerard replied “I can’t wait to see how adorable the twins look in their little dresses. I can’t wait to see you walk up that aisle. I’m pretty sure the thousand times I’ve pictured it are going to pale in comparison to the real thing” he added.

“You won’t be disappointed” Olivia boasted impishly “I don’t want to oversell it, but the dress I’ve got has made a lot of people speechless” she added.

“How many people have you shown it too?” Gerard played along “Are we just talking fawning bridesmaids and biased parents? Because if we are, I think the data might be misleading. Of course they were going to be speechless, Livy. It’s you in a wedding dress” he added.

Olivia laughed. “I promise, you’re going to love it” she insisted “And if you don’t, that’s on you. I know I look great in it” she added.

Gerard’s laugh was softer when it came down the line again. “I bet you do” he replied “And I can’t wait to see you in it, Livy” he added.

Olivia went to say something back to him, but stopped herself when she heard the sound of one of the twins crying. Letting out a soft sigh, she closed her eyes for a moment before she turned back to the phone. “I need to go” she said gently “I think Aria’s up and you know that if she is, it’ll only be a matter of minutes before she wakes up Rosalie. I’ve got to go and get them settled so that I can handle breakfast by myself before the other girls get here” she added.

“It’s fine” Gerard replied “I just wish I was there to help. They’re handfuls” he added.

“And who’s to blame for that?” Olivia teased “They’re definitely your girls” she added.

“I’m taking that as a compliment” Gerard chirped “They’re great kids” he added.

Olivia smiled gently. “They are” she agreed “And I really need to go and get them. I’d say I’ll speak to you soon, but I think we both know that the next time we see one another, it’s going to be at the end of the aisle” she said.

“It will be” Gerard confirmed “I can’t wait, Livy. I love you” he added tenderly.

Olivia bit her lip, trying, and failing, to stifle her giddy smile. “I love you too” she replied “I’ll see you up there, cariño” she breathed, feeling the little butterflies in her stomach twitch excitably again.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)