Until You Met Me

Sixty Three

“Remind me, why am I not invited to a celebration of our engagement?”

Molly, who was applying a coat of lip gloss, glanced at Gerard's reflection the mirror, rolling her eyes slightly when she spotted the smirk on his face. He knew that it was an excuse. Since Sofia and Sebastian had gotten married a few weeks previous, chances for Ava, Sofia and Molly to get together like they had used to do frequently had been few and far between, but the news of her engagement to Gerard had provided the three of them an excuse, one that they hadn’t hesitated to take. They knew that drifting apart was inevitable. They were growing up, and in relationships that were likely to become the focus of a lot of their attention, but they were determined to make sure that they still made time for each other, even if it wasn’t as much as it had been in the past.

“You know why” Molly quipped “It’s just going to be me, Ava and Sofia” she added.

Gerard nodded his head slowly, his smirk unmoved. “You don’t think I would enjoy that?” he asked “You know I love your friends, and that they love me” he added sarcastically.

“They don’t dislike you” Molly argued.

“But they don’t like me enough to let me ruin your night out, right?” Gerard prodded impishly.

Molly rolled her eyes again, offering him a flat look via the mirror that made Gerard laugh, holding his hands up innocently. “Sorry” he said.

Molly’s lips lifted into a reluctant smile before she picked up her hairbrush, running in through her hair for a final time. “It’s not going to be all about our engagement” she said after a second of quiet “I mean, they’re probably going to want to talk about it, but it’s just...it’s been a while since the three of us had a night out, and as much as I adore you and your company...”

“You’d like me to stay home” Gerard finished for her.

“Is that OK?” Molly asked.

Gerard, who’d been stood in the doorway, shuffled towards her before he dipped down, placing a soft kiss on the top of her head. “Of course it is” he murmured into her hair “Just...when we do actually have an engagement party, promise me that I get to be there” he added.

Molly laughed softly, something which caused Gerard to smile as he kissed the top of her head again before he took a step backwards. Sitting down at the foot of the bed, he watched Molly finish getting ready before she stood up, offering him a slightly shy smile. “How do I look?” she asked.

Gerard was quiet for a moment, just staring at her, before he quirked a soft smile, his eyes lifting to hers. “I don’t say it nearly enough, but you’re beautiful, Molly” he said gently.

Molly’s face lit up, her cheeks turning a soft shade of pink. “That’s was a surprisingly sweet answer” she said.

“What were you expecting?” Gerard asked.

“Some comment about Ava and setting me up on dates” Molly answered.

Gerard laughed and shook his head as he reached out, gently capturing her hand in his. Tugging her close, he wrapped his arms around her waist before he tilted his head back, looking up at her warmly. “I can be sweet sometimes” he said.

Molly gently pushed his hair off of his forehead before she leant down, touching her lips to it. “I know” she whispered “And I love it as much as I love your jokes. I love most things about you. It is kind of why I want to marry you” she added, kissing the side of his nose gently.

Gerard grinned up at her, but before he had a chance to say anything in reply, Molly’s phone beeped, causing her to sigh before she leant down, pressing her lips to his. “Can I come back here tonight?” she asked, untangling herself from their embrace.

“You’ve got a key” Gerard replied “Might as well use it” he added.

“You really have changed your mind about that key” Molly quipped, flashing him an impish smirk as she moved towards the dresser, collecting her bag and phone.

Gerard shrugged. “What can I say?” he replied “Turns out, I like you being in my space. Who’d have guessed?” he added.

Molly stepped towards him, sneaking another quick kiss. “Everyone did guess” she replied before she padded out of the room.

“Let’s see it then”

Molly, who was sipping on her drink, blinked a couple of times at Ava, watching as the other woman held her hand out, asking Molly to place hers into it. She had been expecting that the request would come sooner. When she had walked into the bar where she had arranged to meet her friends, she had expected to be greeted with an immediate request to show off the ring on her finger, but it hadn’t come. Instead, she had been happily swept up in a conversation about Sofia’s honeymoon, which had been followed by a discussion about what Ava ought to buy Jack when his birthday came around.

Feeling her cheeks flush pink, she hesitantly placed her hand in Ava’s, allowing the other woman to stare at the ring on her finger before she looked up, a wide grin on her face. “You weren’t kidding” she quipped “I didn’t get the full effect of this on camera. It’s stunning, Molly” she cooed.

Molly nodded her head. “It is” she agreed “I’d love to give Gerard full credit, but he already told me that Pop helped” she added.

“She told me that it was pretty much all him” Ava replied “He just had her there for the final seal of approval, and she thinks that that was only because he wanted her blessing. It seems to mean an awful lot to him that everyone likes him” she added.

“He knows that I am close to my family” Molly said “And he wants to not get in the way of that. Pop was a little wary about him after our breakup, and so he tried to fix it” she added.

“How’d it work out for him?” Sofia asked.

“Pop helped him choose my engagement ring, didn’t she?” Molly replied with a lopsided smile.

Ava smirked. “How are you feeling?” she asked “You’ve got a fiance now” she added.

Molly ducked her head, smiling bashfully down at the table. “Honestly?” she replied “It’s still a little...I don’t know, a little surreal? But it is mostly just exciting. We’re not planning on rushing anything, so I am going to have a lot of time to get my head around it, but I am really excited, and happy, and...and it just felt right. When he asked me, I just wanted to say yes” she added.

“That’s normally a promising sign” Sofia quipped “I felt the same way when Seb asked” she added.

Molly shook her head, gently pushing her engagement ring around her finger. “I love him” she said gently “So much. I don’t know how I missed it for as long as I did” she added.

Ava shook her head. “Don’t think like that” she said “Everyone has got ifs and buts, but they don’t really matter. You and Gerard got there in the end, and now, in what I am sure will either be a couple of months or a few years, you’re going to get married. You found him, Mol, and he found you, and that’s all the matters” she added.

Molly tilted her head. “Why a couple of months or a few years?” she asked, a little smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.

“Your parents want it to be quick, don’t they?” Ava asked.

Molly nodded.

“Then it will either be quick, or really slow, just to annoy them” Ava explained.

Molly let out a loud laugh, shaking her head.

Sofia gently pushed another glass of champagne ahead of Molly as Ava lifted hers. “A toast” she quipped “To Molly and Gerard” she added.

“To Molly and Gerard” Sofia mimicked.

Molly opened her mouth to say something, but was stopped when someone else’s voice filled her ears, causing her to look up, her stare settling on Tiago who stood over the table, his stare already fixed on Molly’s left hand. “Gerard and Molly” he quipped “The girl I loved, and the guy she swore was just a friend” he added, his stare darting up to meet her eyes.

Molly blinked, not quite sure what to say in reply.