If Only Tonight

Blurry Dividing Lines: Chapter Forty Eight - Family Affair

Blurry Dividing Lines:
Chapter Forty Eight: Family Affair

"So your last two days of being work free are here. Aren't you going to miss not working when you go back on Monday?" Lina asked as Mia helped set the table for dinner.

"I don't think so. I'm kind of looking forward to being back." Mia said, putting down the fourth plate and glass.

"Am I that bad of a companion that you're actually looking forward to work?" Lina asked, with mock hurt.

Laughing, Mia shook her head.

"No, of course not. I actually had a lot of fun while off. But to be honest...I like to work...my parents used to laugh at my excitement for school. This is just the older version of that." Mia told her, as Lina started to laugh at the comparison.

"Leon was like that, from the two of us. I used to cry when my parents woke me up for school."

Just like Max...Mia thought silently. Her brother used to shiver when they would be waiting for the school bus in kindergarten. It had taken both their mother and father to put him on the bus during the first month of school. Mia smiled at the thought.

"Hey you two. I've been looking around for you guys." Leon said, as he entered the dining room. Mia watched as he slid his phone in his jeans pocket.

From the two of them, Mia had noticed that Leon was the patient, and sensible one, whereas Lina was more outgoing, and outspoken; both were kind, caring, and loving in their own way. Neither had made her feel like an outsider, it was hard to believe how fast her week with them had gone. She felt more than comfortable talking to either of them, which was surprising considering how long it took Matthew to warm up to her. Even now, talking to him wasn't as easy.

"What's up, Leon?" Lina asked, curious.

"Matthew's coming for dinner." Leon told them.

Both Mia and Lina were visibly puzzled.

"Uh...yea...that's why there are four plates." Lina pointed out.

"I mean as in he's coming to dinner...along with his new girlfriend." Leon said, shifting a little.

"What?" Both Mia and Lina said, surprised.

"Yea, he was hoping to catch everyone at one time. He thought I would be out but when he called and asked where I was I told him I was home. He said it was perfect since you're home and Mia hasn't gone back to work yet." Leon said.

Why exactly do I need to meet her? Mia thought, feeling a little ambushed. For one thing she didn't care who he went out with, and it wasn't any of her business; it wasn't like it affected her in any way. Why does he care if I meet her or not? I don't even know her name? Mia wondered.

"Urgh..." Lina muttered sounding annoyed. "Does this mean I have to change? We're not going out, are we?"

"Nope, he said they were just coming from a movie...so just set another place at the table." Leon said, his phone ringing again as he walked out of the room.

"Of course, dear Matthew loves sticking us with his girlfriend. Mia do you mind setting another plate? I should get the drinks out of the freezer." Lina said, as she left the room.

Feeling stupid that she was stuck meeting Matthew's girlfriend, Mia started to set another place. Too bad neither of Matthew's cousins knew in advance, or she could have gone to the movies or something. She had a feeling Lina and Leon would have joined her, if that was the case. It was odd how neither of them were thrilled at the prospect of meeting the new girl, maybe they had enough experience with Matthew's previous girlfriends to know what to expect.

"Come join us in the hallway, Mia." She heard Lina call out.

Checking if everything was right, Mia walked out of the dining room and down the hall. Lina and Leon could be heard mumbling in Italian, as she walked over to them.

"I was just telling Lina that you girls have nothing to worry about. I'm sure everything will be fine." Leon said, as he saw her walk up to them.

"It'll be nice to finally meet the wicked witch." Lina muttered, much to the amusement of Mia and Leon.

"She's probably not that bad." Leon said, sounding optimistic.

"Yea, you're right. She's probably worse." Lina retorted.

Their laughter died out as noises from a car came closer. The gates creaked open, and all three of them straightened up.

As light from the car's headlights entered the hall, Mia, Leon, and Lina, smartened up. Checking if each of them looked decent, they stood sizing each other up.

The engine cut, and silence filled the room. Mia could feel herself becoming nervous. This is not where I want to be right now, she thought.

The doorbell rang, as Leon moved to open the door, Lina came to stand by Mia; her hand looping through hers.

"Remind me to be nice." The older girl said, winking at Mia.

"Hi there. Come on in." Leon said, welcoming in his cousin and the new girl.

Entering with a dark haired lady by his side, Matthew looked as nervous as she felt. Mia watched as the girl took in her surroundings.

No sooner had the door closed; Leon had joined Mia and Lina in giving the girl a studying look. As silence settling over them, Matthew cleared his throat.

"Okay...everyone...this is Nevarra." He said, introducing them to his new girl friend.

Offering a smile, Mia waited for Matthew to introduce them; but before he could Nevarra stepped closer to the three of them, all the while smiling.

"You two must be Matt's cousins!" Nevarra said giving Mia and Lina a small hug, a little over zealously.

"And you must be his friend from work." She said to Leon.

It was clear Matthew had not told her very much about his family or his friends.

"You two look so similar. It's cute." Nevarra said to the girls. Did she just call me and Lina cute? Mia wondered, as she and Lina looked at each other exchanging surprised glances, while Leon managed to turn his laugh in to a cough.

Watching as a hesitant Matthew stepped closer to his girlfriend, Mia heard him clear his throat again.

"Umm...actually...Lina and Leon are my cousins. They're brother and sister. This is Mia, one of my...friends. She works with our team, she's my injury specialist, and we were roommates." Matthew said. His pause as he had described what her relationship was to him surprised her. She would never have thought he considered her a friend.

Visibly shocked, Nevarra gave them a calculating look. Mia felt Lina's grip on her arm tighten. She looked up to see the older girl's smile tighten.

"It's so nice to meet you all." The newcomer said at last.

An awkward silence settled upon them.

"Why don't we head to the dining room for dinner?" Leon suggested, motioning for Matthew to take the lead.

As the footballer started to walk, Mia was about to follow when she felt Lina squeeze her arm. It was apparent that they were going to hang back for the moment.

When she felt Lina squeeze her hand again, Mia looked up at her questioningly, Lina only stared straight ahead. It was then Mia noticed another stare. Nevarra was glaring at her. For whatever reason, Nevarra had fallen behind Matthew and was glaring at the three of them, but it seemed as though it was pointedly towards her.

Noticing that Mia had caught her staring at her, Nevarra haughtily turned around, her hair flipping over her shoulder, and walked quickly to catch up with Matthew who had almost disappeared down the hallway.

Mia watched as Nevarra caught up with the player, and slipped her hand in to his, much to Mia's surprise. Nevarra shot the group as look of victory. It was clear that the move hadn't only surprised her. No sooner had Nevarra entwined her hand with Matthew's, Matthew pulled his own away.

Both Lina and Mia exchanged looks, as they tried to stifle their laughter.

"Come on, you two." Leon said, starting to walk down the hall.

"What a piece of work." Lina muttered as they trailed behind.

"We're going to need a warning system for that one." Leon commented, the siblings murmured in agreement.

"So what's your verdict, Mia?" Lina asked her.

Hesitant, Mia chose her words carefully.

"She seems...interesting."

"How diplomatic of you." Lina said, with a wide smile. "I have much to teach you."

"Oh dear..." Leon muttered as he went in to the dining room before them.


Already, Matthew could tell the dinner was a disaster.

Having saved Nevarra from being shredded by Lina, he could tell neither of his cousins were pleased with his choice. Nevarra had already struck out with Lina by confusing who was who, and of course calling her cute. There was much Lina could tolerate, but being called cute was not included.

However in her defence, Lina had reason to be miffed. If Nevarra had only waited for Matthew to introduce the three of them, Nevarra would have stood some chance; but her over excited and curious demeanour had meant his cousins would be wary of Nevarra.

It was hard to tell what Mia thought, however, Matthew hadn't spotted any kind of emotion on her face when Nevarra had greeted her. What was I expecting? He asked himself, as he stabbed another piece of pasta with his fork. If he was honest with himself, Matthew was hoping that he would have detected some sign of jealousy from Mia...but he was disappointed.

"So, Mia, how did you meet Matt?" He heard Nevarra ask. She must have finished questioning Lina and Leon, Matthew thought.

Looking up from his plate, Matthew noticed Nevarra, sitting beside him, looking a little too interested in hearing the story, while Mia looked unsure what to say.

"Umm..."Mia started.

"I play for the team she works for." Matthew said, succinctly.

"I wasn't asking you, Matt. I want to hear it from Mia." Nevarra said, patting his hand.

"Besides you would probably leave out all the interesting stuff." She muttered low enough for only him to hear.

"So, what's the story?" She asked Mia once more.

"I was told by my mentor to apply for the job. Apparently there was an opening for an injury specialist, and he surprised me by giving me a good recommendation without me knowing about it. Actually, my mentor, Doctor Phillips, used to work for the team too...he was Matthew's old specialist." Mia said, quietly.

"Wow that is interesting. So how did you meet Matthew?" Nevarra pressed on.

"I was assigned a roster...and he was on it."

"Oh wow...and you were his roommate too?"

"It was a mix up." "There was some confusion." Both Matthew and Mia spoke at the same time.

"Really?" Nevarra asked, Matthew could tell she wasn't believing any of it.

"Yea...they thought I was a guy...and assigned me to the men's dorm." Mia said, sheepishly. "In hindsight...I probably should have put my full name on the papers I submitted with the job application."

"That's so funny! So how long have you known each other?" Nevarra asked.

"A little more than a year." Mia responded.

"It must be so cool working with such an amazing player." Nevarra gushed, as she gave Matthew a smouldering look.

Giving her a tight smile, Matthew looked over to Mia who was giving Nevarra a confused look.

"Yea, the entire team is amazing...I've enjoyed working with them. Matthew is a great player." Mia said, measuring her words.

Before Matthew could stop Nevarra from asking any more questions, Lina got up from her seat.

"It was so nice meeting you Neve." Lina smiled sweetly. Matthew glared at her, she knew exactly what she was doing. I can't believe she's pulling this, He thought annoyed.

"It's Nevarra."

"Of course it is. Anyway, we made reservations to watch Les Miserables in the West End tonight. So, I'm afraid we can't stay and talk some more, or we'll be late. Would you like to join us?" Lina asked, Matthew knew she was daring Nevarra to say yes. Her eyes glinting with ferocity. Clearly, Lina had not enjoyed the evening.

"No thank you. We just got back from watching Midnight In Paris. Matthew promised he would give me a grand tour of the house." Nevarra said, not noticing Lina's attitude.

"Alright, well we hope you'll join us some other time. Talk to you later, dear cousin." Lina said, her eyes telling him there would be much to talk about. Lina was going to give him hell for ambushing them with Nevarra.

She left the room, after picking up her plate.

"Yea, bye." Matthew muttered, as Leon got up and followed his sister.

"See you two, later." He said, waving goodbye.

As though confused, Matthew noticed that Mia hadn't moved. She looked unsure as she moved to take another bite of garlic bread.

"Mia, come on. We're going to be late." They heard Lina call down the hall for her.

Dropping her piece of bread, Mia picked up her plate and made to leave the room.

"It was nice meeting you, Nevarra." She said, looking at them. "I'll see you later. Bye."

With that she exited the room, leaving Matthew and Nevarra alone together.

"That went well." Nevarra said, as they heard the front door close. Matthew gave her a smile in reply. That's putting it nicely, he thought.

"I think your family liked me!"