Until The Sunshine Fades

Forty Six

“Are you not even going to get changed?”

Isabella gingerly lifted the arm that she had draped across her eyes, her stare landing on Gerard who stood at the foot of the bed, smirking down at her amusedly. The party had gone late. Gerard had planned for dinner. He had thought that they would spend a couple of hours with the friends and family that he had gathered before Isabella made her excuses, but once it had started, she had been reluctant to stop, and what had he had thought would only be a couple of hours had quickly become all night, not that he minded. Isabella had had a good time and that was what he had wanted.

“I just want to sleep” Isabella complained.

“And you can do” Gerard said “Just as soon as you get into some pyjamas” he added as he leant down, pulling her shoes off of her feet.

Isabella let out a groan before she sat up, glaring at Gerard as he turned back towards her, holding the set of pyjamas that she had left on top of a chest of drawers.

Gerard grinned at her amusedly. “You’ll be five minutes” he quipped “And I am pretty sure that you’ll thank me for this when you wake up tomorrow, not wearing tonight’s makeup and a dress that looks stunning, but probably isn’t that comfortable to sleep in” he added knowingly.

Isabella sighed softly, taking the pyjamas from him. “You’re probably right” she mumbled.

“Probably” Gerard boasted.

Isabella let out another sigh before she padded past him, tugging the bathroom door to after herself. “You spent a lot of time with Unai and Alex tonight” she called.

Gerard, who’d been shrugging out of his shirt, nodded to himself as he pulled a t-shirt out of a drawer. “I told you that we get on” he called back “Besides, I had to find someone to talk to. You were kind of busy for most of the night. I think you spent more time talking to Elena and Dani’s infant son than you did with me” he added impishly.

“I knew I was going to be coming home with you” Isabella said, leaning against the door frame with her toothbrush in her hand.

“It wasn’t a complaint” Gerard said, noticing that her tone was slightly defensive “You enjoyed yourself, that was kind of the point” he added, flashing her a lopsided smile as he sat down at the foot of the bed.

Isabella’s slightly tense expression softened before she shook her head, smiling sheepishly down at her feet. “Thank you” she said “Tonight was...well, it was what I didn’t even know I wanted. I speak to them all of the time, no matter what my mother has told you, I call them almost as frequently as I call you, but I didn’t quite know how much I needed to be in the same place as them all. It feels like it’s been forever since we did it” she added.

“I’m glad you liked it” Gerard said “Until I saw you smile, I was pretty concerned you’d kill me for surprising you” he added, his voice caught somewhere between playful and bashful.

“I like surprises” Isabella mused.

“No, you don’t” Gerard countered with a playful scoff.

“I do” Isabella protested.

“No, you don’t” Gerard repeated “You’re a planner, Izzy. You like to know what’s happening because you hate being caught off guard. You’ve always been the same” he added with an amused shake of his head.

Isabella couldn’t stop herself from laughing, even as she rolled her eyes. “What’s wrong with wanting to know what’s coming?” she asked.

“It makes things predictable” Gerard quipped “And predictable is boring. Everyone needs a little spontaneity in their lives. Are you about to tell me that you’ve already planned where we’re going to be in year’s time? Five years? Have you already picked out our potential wedding dates or when we’d have our children?” he added, grinning up at her.

Isabella just stared at him with wide eyes.

The grin on Gerard’s face dimmed slightly, growing confused. “What?” he spluttered.

Isabella opened and closed her mouth a couple of times before she shook her head, exhaling a slightly shaky breath. “You can’t say things like that so casually” she squeaked, retreating a couple of paces into the bathroom.

“What’d I say?” Gerard asked bemusedly.

“You said we were going to get married!” Isabella’s voice was loud and squeaky.

Gerard blinked a couple of times, trying to understand what had upset her, before it hit him, causing him to urgently shake his head. “I didn’t mean it like that” he insisted “I was just trying to make a point about you not being that spontaneous. It was just a joke, Izzy” he added.

Isabella stared at him wordlessly, something which caused Gerard to shake his head, exhaling a slightly frustrated sigh. “I’m sorry I said it like that” he quipped “I was just trying to point out that, sometimes, you prefer things to be predictable. I should have used another example. I should have guessed that you’d not want to talk about our potential future” he added.

“Gerard” Isabella warned. She could hear the frustration in his voice, even if he was trying to hide it.

Gerard shook his head, exhaling and deflating slightly. The last thing he wanted to do was fight with her. He knew it wasn’t a conversation that they were ready to have. They were still figuring out how their relationship worked with her in one city and him in another, and he knew that if he let her know just how far he’d thought ahead, it’d add pressure to them that he wasn’t sure that they were equipped to handle.

Rubbing his jaw, he allowed a few moments of quiet to pass before he lifted his head, looking up at her as she stared down at him. “I’m sorry” he said quietly “You’re right. I shouldn’t throw big ideas like that around so casually, but, it does prove that you’re not as fond of surprises as you’d have people believe” he added, smiling as best as he could at the joke.

Isabella’s lips quirked, but she didn’t allow a smile to fill her face. Instead, she took a step towards him, pressing a quick kiss against his lips before she retreated back into the bathroom, closing the door properly behind herself. When she heard Gerard’s footsteps on the other side, moving away from the door, she allowed her head to fall forwards against it, a shaky sigh falling out of her mouth. Moments like the one they’d just shared were becoming more and more frequent and Isabella didn’t know what to do about it. She didn’t know what the best thing for them was.