Until You Met Me

Seventy Two

“I’ll be right back, OK?”

Gerard looked up from the cup of coffee he’d been staring into, offering Molly a soft smile that mirrored the one that was on her face. She was enjoying herself. After she and her friends had cleared the air, the dinner had morphed into something that was familiar to Gerard, and whilst he felt awkward about being there, he hadn’t made a move to curtail it early. He know how happy Molly was that they had finally talked, and he wasn’t about to be the reason that they left, even if most of the conversation had simply flowed around him. It was the happiest that Molly had looked since the night that she and her friends had fallen out, and he wanted her to enjoy it.

“You’d better be” Gerard teased “I don’t think I bought my front door key with me” he added.

Molly rolled her eyes. “What would you do without me, eh?” she quipped.

“Here’s hoping we don’t have to find out” Gerard chirped.

Molly rolled her eyes again before Sofia gently tugged on her arm, guiding her away from the table. Gerard watched her across the restaurant before he turned back to the table, his stare landing on Ava who was sat across from him, fiddling with the napkin in front of her. Letting out a quiet sigh, he rubbed his jaw nervously before he cleared his throat. “How are you and Jack?” he asked.

Ava looked up at him, surprised by the sound of his voice, before she shrugged her shoulders. “We’re good” she said “Nothing’s really changed, but that’s a good thing. We’re happy as we are. We aren’t quite ready to make the big steps that you and Molly are making” she added.

Gerard nodded. “They’re pretty scary” he quipped “But in an exciting kind of way. We’ve had to slow down a little, but I am pretty confident that, eventually, there will be a wedding. Molly’s mother and mine would probably kill me if there wasn’t” he added, letting a huff of nervous laughter fall out of his mouth.

Ava’s lips lifted slightly. “I think Molly would probably beat them to it” she played along “She...she really loves you” she added, her voice softening a little.

“You sound surprised” Gerard’s voice wasn’t accusatory, it was on the verge of playful, but the look he gave her was flat, an acknowledgement that whilst Molly was prepared to forgive and forget, he was slightly more wary. He wasn’t going to get in the way. He had known for a long time that Ava and Sofia weren’t the biggest fans of him, and he had made peace with it a long time ago, but it didn’t mean that he was just going to sit by and let them fill Molly’s head with doubts. He loved her, and whilst he knew that he had made mistakes, it wasn’t something that was going to change.

Ava opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, surprised by his reply, before she shook her head. “I’m not” she replied “I think I probably realised it before she did. We really were just trying to look out for her, Gerard” she added.

“By telling Tiago?” Gerard asked.

“He was her boyfriend at the time” Ava pointed out “And he was worried about you. How could he not be? We just...we told him that he didn’t have to worry. We didn’t want him to do something to hurt Molly, which obviously sounds stupid now, given how things between them ended, but at the time, she loved him, and we reassured him. We didn’t see how you two could stay friends, not with the way you looked at her” she added, her eyes flitting up to meet his for a second.

Gerard held her stare for a moment before he looked away with a soft sigh. “I’d have never interfered” he said “I know it’s hard to believe, given some of the stuff that’s happened between me and Molly since we got together, but all I want, all I have ever wanted, is for her to be happy, and I can’t believe that you don’t know that. I know you’ve never been overly fond of me, Ava, but you’ve known me for long enough. Do you really think I would do anything to make her unhappy?” he asked.

Ava hesitated for a moment before she slowly shook her head.

“I know I have been stupid at times” Gerard continued “I’ve done stupid things. I spent far too long lying about my feelings for her, to myself and to everyone else, but I really believe that I can make her happy, Ava, and I don’t...I don’t want voices to be added to the reservations that Molly still has about us. I am not asking you to tell her that everything is going to be amazing, or that I am perfect for her, because I still have reservations about that sometimes, but she values your opinion. I just...I am asking you to be supportive of her, even if you’re not necessarily supportive of me. Don’t we both want her to be happy?” he asked.

Ava’s eyes searched his face for a long moment before she nodded. “We do” she confirmed “And I know how happy you make her. You always have, in your own way. I am sorry for...for not being supportive” she added.

Gerard opened his mouth to say something, but was stopped when he felt a soft touch against the top of his head, causing him to glance up at Molly who smiled down at him gently. “You survived without me” she teased, slipping back into her seat next to him.

Gerard laughed, his stare flitting towards Ava briefly. “Just barely” he played along “You’re going to owe me” he added.

Molly pushed at his shoulder playfully, giggling. “I’ll come up with a way to make it up to you” she quipped “But first, one more drink before we go. Is that alright with you?” she asked.

“Of course it is” Gerard replied.

“Ava?” Molly prodded.

Ava, who’d been looking between Molly and Gerard, met the defender’s eye before she quirked a soft smile, nodding her head. “One last drink sounds good” she quipped.

Molly beamed before she turned to look for a waiter, something that allowed Gerard and Ava to share a look. Ava wasn’t going to magically warm to him, but they both had the same aim, and Gerard hoped that ensuring that Molly stayed happy was enough to convince Ava to take a step back. He wasn’t without fault, and he knew that he’d done some stupid things since he and Molly had started seeing one another, but he did make her happy, and he wanted to keep doing it for as long as he could.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)