Until You Met Me

Forty Nine

Molly blinked dazedly, trying, and failing, to stop the blood rushing through her ears as she stared down at Gerard who was staring back at her, his expression caught somewhere between vulnerable and just as dazed as she was. It was the answer she had wanted. From the moment that her question about whether or not his joke had simply been that had left her mouth, she had wanted him to shake his head and tell her that it was more than that, but now that the words had actually came out of his mouth, she didn’t quite know what to do. She wanted to say something, to tell him that she felt the same way, but as hard as she tried, she couldn’t quite force the words out of her mouth. She couldn’t quite wrap her head around the idea that Gerard saw their future as clearly as she did.

“Are you OK?”

Molly managed a small nod, her lips quirking upwards into an awed smile. “Uh, yeah” she spluttered “Just a little surprised” she added.

“Only a little?” Gerard asked, huffing out an embarrassed laugh.

Molly laughed softly. “Maybe more than a little” she admitted “I just...I didn’t think that you’d even entertain the idea of having that conversation, let alone admit...that so readily. I might need a second to get my head around it” she added.

“Do you want to sit down?” Gerard asked.

Molly’s only answer was a slow, slightly dazed nod, something which caused Gerard to smile a little before he gently guided her back down onto the sofa, allowing a slightly heavy silence to fall over the two of them. Shifting in his seat slightly, Gerard rubbed his jaw uncomfortably, trying, and failing to come up with something to break the silence.

He had told the truth. Despite a part of him screaming to play it off again, and tell Molly that he had been joking, he had been honest with her, and he didn’t quite know what to make of her reaction. He wanted to believe that she was just surprised, that his admission had caught her off guard and that she needed a few moments to think, but the longer she was quiet, the more concerned he got. He knew that she had wanted to marry Tiago, but just because she had wanted it with her ex-boyfriend didn’t mean that she wanted it with him, and he was terrified that, by admitting that he had thought about it, he had maybe found another way to ruin things between the two of them.

“You’ve thought about it?” Molly’s voice was cautiously soft, almost like she was scared to ask the question at all.

Gerard turned to look at her, a slightly rueful smile on his face. “I don’t think I would go that far” he answered “I haven’t picked out decorations or pictured you in a wedding dress or anything like that. I just...I just kind of think that if I was going to be standing at the end of an aisle, I would kind of like the bride who was walking towards me to be...to be my favourite person. That’s you, by the way” he added, letting out a strained laugh.

Molly smiled gently. “You’re my favourite person, too” she replied.

Gerard grimaced, letting out a slightly pained groan. “Please, just tell me what you are thinking” he said “If you’re trying to tell me that this is too much, too soon, just do it. I would rather just know than have you try and let me down gently” he added.

“Do you think that that is what I am trying to do?” Molly asked.

“I don’t know” Gerard replied “I just know that I can’t listen to you tell me that you think I am wonderful, but that that isn’t where you see this going. You’ve been on the other side of that conversation. You know that it’s no fun” he added, lifting his head to offer her an apologetic smile.

Molly flinched a little, but nodded her head in agreement. “That’s not what I am trying to do” she said after a moment.

“No?” Gerard spluttered out in surprise.

“No” Molly replied “I just...I can’t quite get my head around the idea that you feel the same way as I do. Because now, when I see myself walking down an aisle, I know that I would kind of like to be walking towards you” she added, her voice caught between soft and playful.

Gerard’s expression softened in awe, something which made Molly shake her head, letting out a shaky laugh as her cheeks flushed a gentle shade of pink. “You can see why I needed a second now, can’t you?” she asked “It’s a pretty huge thing to get your head around” she added.

Gerard was quiet for a long moment, trying to process what she had said, before he shook his head. “I am going to ask you to marry me, Molly” he announced “Not now. Probably not even soon, but I want to ask you. I want you to know that” he added.

“I want you to ask” Molly replied “But you’re right. Now is not the time” she added.

Gerard nodded his head in agreement, allowing a brief moment of quiet to fall between the two of them, before he quirked an impish smile, something which Molly noticed, a bemused smile spreading across her face. “Why are you smiling like that?” she asked.

“I can’t just smile?” Gerard asked “I mean, we just got engaged to get engaged. That’s worth smiling about, isn’t it?” he added innocently.

Molly just offered him a flat look in response, causing Gerard to roll his eyes, huffing playfully. “I might be thinking about how ridiculous the proposal is going to be” he said “Because it is going to be ridiculous. I really want you to know that” he added.

“Ridiculous in what way?” Molly asked “In a sweet way, or as in you’re going to embarrass us both?” she added.

Gerard just grinned at her. “You’ll have to wait and see” he quipped, slipping the pen that he had stolen from her out of his pocket and putting it down on the table ahead of them. Leaning down as he stood up, he kissed the top of her head softly, sighing contentedly into her hair. “I love you” he murmured softly.

Molly wrapped her arms around his waist, leaning into their embrace. “I love you, too” she replied.

Gerard smiled against her head for a moment before he pulled away, telling her that he ought to leave so that she could get back to work before he padded out of the front door, not quite able to stop grinning to himself, partially in relief, but mostly in excitement.