Somewhere Only We Know

16: I Know What It Feels Like

Running a hand through her dark hair, Ariana peeked through the window of Iker’s private room, her throat going dry as she spotted the keeper changing his shirt. He looked amazing, even despite the cast on his hand and the pallor about his skin, and it made Ariana’s cheeks warm. She had often pictured what was under his shirt, but there was no denying that reality was better than her imagination. The years of football training had left him defined and, to Ariana’s mind at least, perfect.

“You could just knock instead of gawking” Sergio quipped.

Ariana jumped out of her skin. “What the hell Sergio?” she spluttered as the defender burst out into a fit of laughter.

“I just wanted to make sure that you came and talked to him. I thought you were just trying to make me shut up earlier” he spluttered out between laughs. Ariana rolled her eyes. She could see why Sergio was Iker’s best friend, his loud and slightly obnoxious personality was the opposite of Iker who was more shy and thoughtful and it created quite the contrast.

“What are you waiting for Ari?” the defender quipped with a smile “He’s in there getting himself ready for you” he added.

“Please tell me that he isn’t” she murmured, a hue of pink arriving on her cheeks.

“Ari, I have never seen him grin so wide as when I told him you were coming to see him. I know that you are not sure, but please try not to burst his bubble hard. He’s walking a tight line” he murmured. He knew that Ariana wasn’t sure, she had said as much, but he didn’t want her upsetting his friend. Iker was utterly besotted with the brunette and Sergio had no idea what would happen if she rejected him badly.

Ariana nodded her head. “I will try Sergio” she mused.

Sergio smiled at her thankfully before he gave her a little nudge, causing her to knock the door open. “Go get him” he urged with a smile.

Ariana opened her mouth to speak, but was cut off by the sound of Iker’s voice. “You actually came” the keeper breathed, his dark eyes tracing Ariana’s figure. He had missed her, just looking at her, and he wanted to bask in it for a moment. She got prettier every he saw her.

Ariana nodded. “I did. Sergio convinced me” she murmured.

Iker nodded, his dark eyes noting the distance she had kept between them. “Ari, you don’t have to be scared of me. I want to talk” he mused taking a step forwards. Ariana noted it and took a step back. “I’d rather you stayed over there” she bumbled out. She was weak for the scent of his aftershave and she didn’t want it near her. It would only make her lose focus on what she wanted to say to him.

Iker frowned. “Ari, I won’t touch you or anything, I would just feel a little better if we were stood a little closer. This feels awfully confrontational” he noted.

Ariana shook her head. “Please, just say what you have to say” she squeaked.

Iker let out a barely audible sigh, but nodded. “I didn’t kiss your sister Ari, Lucia made a move on me and I was trying to get her off. I would never do that to you” he explained, his dark eyes peeking up at hers.

“Iker, I don’t care who instigated it, I don’t care for a second, but I can’t shake the image of you two together. You know how insecure I am, you know that I cannot look at myself without spotting the problems and seeing that multiplied it all by about 100. Lucia’s pretty, she got bigger boobs that me, a prettier smile, a slimmer frame, and seeing her and you just amplified everything I feel about myself” she whispered, tears springing into her blue eyes. She didn’t want to cry, she knew that would make Iker wanted to hug her and make things better, but she couldn’t help herself. The scene between Iker and Lucia had made Ariana realize her worst fears and that wasn’t going to be easily forgotten.

Iker swallowed. “Ariana, you’re far more beautiful than her” he whispered, his feet instinctively dragging him towards her “You’re perfect Ari and I don’t want you to doubt that for a second. I fell for you, not Lucia, not any other girl. You” he whispered as he stopped ahead of her, his hand instinctively tucking beneath her chin and tilting her head to look at him. “Ariana, I love you” he murmured, his brown eyes shining as they peered into hers.

Ariana’s breathing hitched a little. Hearing it from Sergio was one thing, but the way Iker had said it was perfect. The softness of his voice twinned with the tenderness of his touch and the subtle scent of his aftershave made her want to melt there and then. “You…?” she breathed out shakily.

Iker quirked the corner of his mouth, offering her a timid smile. “I love you” he whispered.

Ariana let out a nervous little laugh, something which made Iker close his eyes for a second. He had missed that one perfect little sound.

“Ariana, I know that you were hurt by me, but I need you to know how sorry I am. I let your sister get too close and for that, I will apologize until I gain your forgiveness. It is you that I want Ariana, always you, and you can rest assured that I don’t even see other women when they are around. My eyes only see you Ari” he breathed as he gently took her hand in his good hand and placed it on his chest, allowing her to feel his slightly elevated pulse. "My heart races Ari, only for you” he added, the same quirked smiled on his face.

Ariana admired it before she flicked her eyes down to her hand, admiring the feel of the quick thumping of his heart. “I do that?” she posed.

Iker nodded. “Without fail. You’ve made it do that since I first set my eyes on you” he grinned, his dark eyes smiling down at the innocent expression on her face.

Ariana’s cheeks warmed.

“I am sorry Ari, forgive me” he whispered.

“I don’t know” Ariana breathed “Iker, how can I know that it won’t happen again?” she questioned.

Iker sighed. “Because I know what it feels like to be cheated on Ari and I could never inflict that pain on you. It is the worst feeling in the entire world and I wouldn’t ever let myself do that to you” he admitted gently.

“Someone cheated on you?” she whispered.

Iker nodded. “I thought we were fine and then I found her in bed with her personal trainer. It was the hardest thing I have ever seen Ari and that is how you know it won’t happen again. I couldn’t do that to someone I love as much as you” he explained, squeezing her hand gently.

Ariana smiled gently. “I love you too Iker” she whispered as she pressed a kiss to the back of his hand.

Iker smiled. “Is that your way of saying that you want to try again with me?” he nudged, his dark eyes wide and hopeful.

Ariana giggled softly and nodded. “I would like that Iker” she admitted.

Iker grinned and wrapped his arms around her, lifting her with ease off of the ground. “Te amo Ari” he breathed as he hugged her close for a few seconds. Ariana giggled and lowered her head, kissing him gently. She was still hurting, she would be for a while, but she couldn’t just ignore her feelings for Iker. He made her smile and feel safe and she didn’t want to give that up, not over a kiss she was sure that Lucia had instigated.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and Ladyfiaran for the comments :)