Until You Met Me

Seventy Three

Setting the glasses that she had pulled out of the cupboard down onto the kitchen counter, Molly glanced around the room, an awed smile tugging at the corner of her lips. It still felt surreal. Despite the fact that it had been a handful of weeks since she and Gerard had moved the last of their boxes into their new home, the idea that she was actually stood in the kitchen of the home that they shared still felt hard to believe, but Molly loved it. It had taken a little getting used to. Both Molly and Gerard had been used to having their own space, and growing used to the idea that they now shared that space had taken a couple of weeks, but once they had settled, they had both realised how much they liked that the other was always there.

Shaking her head, she turned and picked up another handful of glasses before she set them down alongside the others, counting them to make sure that they had enough. The house-warming dinner hadn’t been her or Gerard’s idea. After having spent weeks unpacking boxes and assembling furniture, they were keen to make the most of the fact that everything was finally put away, but when Julia had asked when she and Xavier could see the new house, Molly hadn’t quite known what to say, leading her mother to take the silence as an invitation that Molly hadn’t had the heart to revoke. Their excitement for her and Gerard was infectious, and whilst she was more than looking forwards to the first quiet night that she and Gerard would have in their home, she was happy to postpone it for one more night if it meant making her parents, and Gerard’s, happy.

“How is it going in here?”

Molly, who’d moved to wipe a spot off of a glass, glanced up at Gerard as he stepped into the room. “We have enough wine glasses” she announced.

“Are you sure?” Gerard asked as he pushed himself up onto the counter “Because if we didn’t, I would be happy to go out and get some more. It might take me a while, but I’d happily do it” he added, an impish smirk on his face.

Molly shook her head, matching his smirk. “You’re not going anywhere” she said “If I have to stay, you do too” she added.

“You invited them” Gerard pointed out playfully.

“They’re our parents and my sister and brother-in-law” Molly retorted “Stop being so dramatic” she added.

Gerard scoffed as he caught a hold of Molly’s hand, gently tugging her to stand between his legs. “You’ve known me for long enough to know that that simply isn’t going to happen” he said.

Molly looked up at him, her expression softening a little. “I kind of wouldn’t have you any other way” she said.

Gerard offered her a soft smile before he dipped down, kissing the top of her head gently. “Are you sure about that?” he murmured into her hair.

“I’ve gotten used to you as you are” Molly replied “It’d be weird if you changed” she added.

Gerard pressed a soft kiss to the side of her nose, but before he could reach her lips, the sound of someone clearing their throat reached them, causing Molly to step away from him, smiling sheepishly at Xavier who’d appeared in the doorway. “Papa” she said “Did you need something?” she asked.

“Your mother sent me to see where the two of you are” Xavier replied “I think she wants a tour, so unless you want her to start going into rooms unsupervised, one of you ought to come and give her one” he added.

Gerard slipped off of the counter. “I’d be happy to do it” he announced.

“Happy?” Xavier poked playfully.

Gerard ducked his head, his expression sheepish. “OK, maybe happy was a stretch” he said “But I will do it” he added.

Xavier chuckled as he turned to walk out of the room.

Gerard moved to follow, stopping only to turn around and mouth ‘you owe me’ to Molly, before he disappeared from the room, leaving Molly smiling after him.

“So, how much longer are you two going to make us wait, huh?”

Molly, who was tucked sleepily into Gerard’s side, rolled her eyes at her mother’s question, the start of a smile on her face. Julia wasn’t trying to be pushy. After Molly and Gerard had decided to take a step back from wedding planning in order to focus on moving in together, they had been quick to ask for patience, insisting that they would get there when they got there, and she knew that their families and friends understood. They wanted to move at their own pace, to be sure that things were working for both of them, and no one begrudged them taking their time, not if it meant that they had time to be sure that what they were doing worked for them. Her and Gerard being happy was the most important thing to everyone that was sat in the room with them.

Gerard’s chest vibrated with a laugh. “I know you’re dying to bust out your wedding hat, but I think we’re going to wait for a little longer” he said “We’re not in a rush, are we, Molly?” he prodded, glancing down at where she was leant against his chest.

Molly shook her head, covering a yawn with her hand. “We’re happy” she said “And we’ll get to it eventually, but we’re not going to run into anything. Sorry, mama” she added.

Julia shook her head. “Don’t apologise” she said “Your sister and Felipe made us wait much longer” she added.

Poppy scoffed, something which made Julia roll her eyes playfully. Gerard laugh and Molly smile gently. She still wasn’t quite over how easily Gerard had fit into her family. It shouldn’t have been a surprise. She had known Gerard since they were children, and it meant that his relationship with her family, as well as her, went back years, but still, whenever she saw him with them, it made her smile. It was just another small reassurance that they’d found something wonderful

“Why do you look like you’re about to fall asleep?”

Molly blinked, glancing up at Poppy. “Huh?” she spluttered.

“How many glasses of wine did you have?” Poppy poked.

“One” Molly replied “But it’s not why I am exhausted. The last few weeks have been long, and stressful, and this is the first night in a long time that I haven’t spent trying to assemble furniture or unpacking boxes, so I am a little sleepy. Is that OK?” she prodded impishly.

“Do you want us to go?” Poppy asked.

Molly was quick to shake her head, shifting closer to Gerard. “I like you all being here” she said “And there’s not hurry to go. I’ll stay awake. Besides, we haven’t had dessert yet, and I can hear that chocolate cake calling to me” she added.

“I’ll go and get it, then” Montserrat mused “Can I have a hand, Julia?” she asked.

Julia got to her feet and followed Montserrat out of the room. Everyone else started another conversation, affording Gerard the chance to place a kiss against Molly’s head. “Are you sure that you’re OK?” he asked.

Molly nodded. “Certain” she said “Just tired” she added.

Gerard offered her a slightly dubious look, but Molly was quick to smooth out the crease between his eyebrows, smiling up at him reassuringly.