Burn Us Down

82: Do You Really Doubt That?


Olivia wiped at her eyes before turned, smiling weakly up at Alex who had his head poked around the bedroom door. She knew why he was there. When her bridesmaids had disappeared from the room a matter of minutes earlier, they’d insisted that it wouldn’t be too long before her father appeared to take her downstairs, but she was surprised by how quickly those minutes had elapsed. It’d changed quickly. When she had spoken to Gerard in the early hours of the morning, she’d done nothing but wished the time away, but once things had started moving, she had done nothing but wish it would slow down and let her catch her breath for a second.

She had no doubt that it was what she wanted. Even amongst their worst moments, she had still be able to picture Gerard at the end of an aisle, watching her walk towards him, but now that the moment was there, she felt overwhelmed. She was happy that they’d made it, nervous that it could go wrong, and disappointed that two of the people she wanted to be there most in the world, her mother and her sister, weren’t going to witness her walk down the aisle.

“It’s time?” Olivia asked, brushing a tear off of her cheek with her thumb.

Alex smiled gently before he nodded. “Almost” he confirmed “You ready?” he asked.

Olivia took in a deep breath before she nodded, climbing up to her feet.

Alex stepped through the door and made his way towards her, stopping a pace ahead of her so that he could get a good look at her. Keeping quiet, he looked her up and down a couple of times before a soft, doting smile brightened his features. “You look so much like your mother” he whispered softly “You’re so beautiful, sweetheart” he added, tenderly smoothing out a flyaway hair.

“I wish she was here” Olivia replied quietly.

Alex leant forwards, pressing a kiss against his daughter’s forehead, before he stepped back with a soft, tearful smile. “She’d be proud of you” he said “So very proud. I know I am” he added.

Olivia closed her eyes, taking in a soothing breath, before she nodded her head slightly. “I’m ready” she whispered.

Alex gripped her hand, squeezing it gently, before he tugged her towards the door. Olivia followed after him, her dress held up in one hand to keep it from dragging along the floor, before they reached the elevator. Stepping inside, they stood in silence for a beat, before Olivia shook her head, smiling sheepishly down at her feet. “Have you seen him?” she asked quietly “Gerard, I mean. He’s actually going to be there, isn’t he?” she prodded. She didn’t like the silence.

“Do you really doubt that?” Alex replied, watching as the floors ticked by.

“No” Olivia replied “I just want to hear you say it” she added.

“Well, he’s here” Alex replied “The last time I saw him, he was wearing his shirt and a pair of shorts whilst he chased after one of the twins” he added.

Olivia’s grimace was softened by the warm smile she wore. “He’s not going to be dressed like that when we get out there, is he?” she prodded “Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty set on him being my husband, but if he’s wearing shorts at the altar, I’d be a little tempted to reconsider” she added.

Alex laughed and shook his head. “You don’t have to worry about it” he replied “His mother was ushering him back to his room when I left. I’m sure it will be fine” he insisted.

Olivia just nodded her head, falling quiet until the elevator reached the ground floor. Taking in a deep breath, she offered her father another gentle smile, causing Alex to squeeze her hand again as he led her through the hotel, only stopping when they reached the little group of bridesmaids that were huddled by the door that led outside. The group fell quiet, all eyes fixed on Olivia, before Paige stepped forwards, gently passing a bouquet of pastel coloured flowers into Olivia’s hands.

Olivia smiled gratefully. “Thank you” she said.

Paige shrugged. “You gave me mine when I got married” she mused “And then you walked down the aisle ahead of me and spent the whole ceremony making eyes at your boyfriend. Now that boyfriend is going to be your husband” she added.

Olivia’s laugh was surprisingly loud, causing her to flinch apologetically.

Paige wrapped her in a tight hug, talking into her hair. “I’m so happy for you” she said “Both of you. He’s a good man, Oli, maybe a little stupid sometimes, but…”

“A good man” Olivia finished for her as she stepped back.

Paige nodded. “Good luck” she cooed.

Olivia nodded, taking another a hug from Paige and the other bridesmaids before she watched them walk up the aisle one by one. Taking another deep breath, she turned towards Alex who waited beside her, a reassuring smile on his face. “Ready?” he prodded.

“Ready” Olivia replied, nodding her head firmly.

Alex chuckled gently before he threaded her arm through his. Waiting for their cue, he squeezed her hand gently before they began to walk. The steps were slow. Whilst Alex was surveying the crowd, beaming with pride, Olivia was watching her feet, counting the steps as they were made, making sure it was the same as it had been when she’d practiced it that morning. She didn’t look up until her father stopped walking, and when she did, she was greeted by Gerard’s warm smile and bright eyes. Feeling her cheeks flush, she smiled back at him easily before she took the last step towards him, gently entwining her fingers through his.

Gerard grinned, sparing a meaningful look down towards his tie.

Olivia laughed gently, her spare hand reaching up to adjust it before she smoothed it down. “Perfect” she said quietly.

“Not quite” Gerard replied “I might have another surprise up my sleeve” he added, glancing over her head.

Olivia’s forehead creased before she turned around, her expression softening as she watched Melissa step closer to the two of them, a tremulous smile on her face. Olivia blinked, her stare flitting between Melissa and Gerard a couple of times, before she stepped up the aisle. One step was quickly followed by another and another until she reached her sister, wrapping her in a tight hug that Melissa returned just as tightly. “I’m so sorry” the older sister whispered “I was selfish and stupid, and I am so sorry for it, Oli” she added.

“You’re here” Olivia replied as she pulled back, a bright smile on her face “That’s all that matters to me right now. I can’t believe you're here” she added.

Melissa tipped her head towards Gerard, smiling at him tentatively. “You should thank him” she mused “He talked a lot of sense” she added.

Gerard shrugged. “It’s been known to happen on occasion” he joked easily.

Melissa’s laugh was soft before she gently nudged Olivia’s shoulder. “Get up there” she encouraged.

Olivia beamed before she nodded, turning back towards Gerard who held a hand out towards her. Without hesitation, she placed hers into his, allowing him to guide her closer before she leant up, pressing a kiss against his cheek. “Thank you” she whispered.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)