Until You Met Me

Eight

“I’ll be right out”

Gerard, who was halfway through the door that led into Molly’s living room, stopped for a moment to offer her a small smile before he continued walking, quickly making his way towards her sofa where he sat down, pushing a nervous hand back through his hair. He had thought about not coming. Almost from the moment that he had dropped Molly off on the day she had extended the invitation to him, he had been thinking of a way to gracefully back out, but every excuse that he had come up with had sounded empty, and would have raised more questions than he could answer. He knew he’d made a mistake almost instantly. When Molly had climbed out of his car, and left him alone, he had quickly been drawn into all of the things he should have told her, all of the things that he had talked about with Ava, and he knew that, by agreeing to go to her father’s party with her, he had probably only made things more complicated, but he didn’t know what to say to fix it.

If he told her that he had changed his mind about going to the party with her, Molly would ask why, and Gerard didn’t know what his answer would be. He knew what he should say. He should have admitted that he wasn’t who Ava had set her up with, and that the dinner that they had shared shouldn’t have happened, but he was worried about what he would say after. He wanted to tell her that he had enjoyed it, that whether they were going to call it a date or not, he thought of it was one, and that, if she was interested in having a second, he’d jump at the chance, but the idea of saying it to her scared him. He didn’t know how she felt. He had never really had the nerve to ask, and if anything, the fear of finding out had only gotten worse. He didn’t know if they could recover from one of them feeling one way, and the other feeling another.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he worked on swallowing the lump in his throat until he heard the sound of Molly’s footsteps moving towards him, causing him to slowly look up, his eyes growing slightly wide.

Molly’s lips quirked upwards, amused by the look on his face. “You’ve seen me in this dress before” she quipped “It was only a couple of weeks ago, actually, so quit staring at me like that” she added, letting out a slightly bashful laugh.

Gerard blinked a couple of times, dropping his stare to the floor. “Sorry” he quipped “You look beautiful” he added.

Molly ducked her head, trying, and failing, to hide the pink tint that had coloured her cheeks as she sat down on the sofa next to Gerard, slipping her feet into her shoes. “Thank you” she murmured “You look nice too. Very smart. My mother will probably let you through the front door” she added.

“Was there a chance that she wouldn’t?” Gerard asked in surprise.

Molly answered him with a nonchalant shrug and an impish grin. “Does it matter?” she quipped “I know she will now, and even if she hadn’t, your mother is going to be there. She would have convinced her” she added.

Gerard shook his head, laughing softly. “You didn’t tell me there was a dress code” he said.

“You’ve known my mother a long time” Molly said “You’ve been to enough of her parties to know what to expect. She made you wear a tie when you were a child. I figured that you’d figure it out without my help, and if you hadn’t, we could have just dropped of my father’s present and hung out for the night here” she added.

Gerard just stared at her, his expression difficult to decipher.

Molly’s cheeks warmed a little under his stare before she pushed herself up and wandered across the living room. “Are you nearly ready to go?” she asked.

Gerard watched her across the room before he stood up and cleared his throat, causing Molly to turn back to look at him. “It wasn’t supposed to me” he announced.

“What are you talking about?” Molly asked.

“The date” Gerard clarified “The dinner, whatever you want to call it. I wasn’t supposed to be there. Ava never spoke to me. She had set you up with some guy named Dani that she works with and that you’d met at a party. It wasn’t supposed to be me, Molly” he explained carefully.

Molly blinked slowly, her eyebrows drawing together in confusion.

Gerard took a hesitant step towards her, scared that she would move back. “I was at the same restaurant” he said, not wanting to let the silence settle “I...I overheard Ava on the phone. He wasn’t going to be there, and you were sat there, waiting for him. I...I didn’t think. I just...I knew how much you were looking forwards to it, and I...”

“Thought you’d give me some kind of pity date?” Molly finished for him.

Gerard shook his head instantly. “No” he insisted “It wasn’t like that” he added.

Molly blew out a hollow laugh. “I did think it was weird” she quipped, making no attempt at all to look up at Gerard “I mean, Ava’s never mentioned thinking that you and I have chemistry to me, and so I thought it was really weird that she had said it to you, but I guess it makes sense now” she added.

“Molly...”

“What the fuck, Gerard?” Molly cut in sharply “You let me think that...You let me text Ava. How the hell did you convince her to lie for you?” she added.

Gerard shook his head. “I didn’t” he said “I just...I asked her to let me be the one to tell you” he added.

Molly let out another hollow laugh. “I didn’t need you swooping in” she hissed “Dani is not the first idiot to stand me up and I have always handled it just fine before. I didn’t need your pity, Gerard. I didn’t ask for it” she added.

“It wasn’t pity” Gerard insisted.

“Call it what you want to” Molly snapped “Fact is, you lied to me. You sat there, letting me think that it was a date. That there was a chance that you...” she cut herself off with a sharp shake of her head.

Gerard moved a step closer, but this time, Molly moved back. “You can forget about tonight” she muttered “Just get out. I...I really don’t want you to be here right now” she added.

Gerard didn’t argue. He stepped past her, sparing an apologetic look over his shoulder, before he walked out of the room.

Molly waited for the front door to thump closed before she walked back towards the sofa and sunk into it, burying her face in her hands. Letting out a shaky breath, she squeezed her eyes closed, hating that she had let herself think that there was a chance that Gerard could have had the same feelings for her that she had for him.
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Thanks to Twisted;;Symphony for the comment :)