We Might Just Be

23: Mark Your Territory

“Is there a reason I have to go to this thing today or are you just making me go because you can?” Imelda murmured as she straightened her light summer dress a little, her green eyes glancing back at Gerard who watched her amusedly from his spot on the bed. It had been a few weeks since the pregnancy scare and with Barcelona just a couple of weeks out from starting the season with a match against Getafe, Gerard had roped Imelda into attending a team barbeque with him, something which the dark haired girl had been hesitant about.

She had met them before, when Gerard had carried her onto the pitch after the team’s cup win she had been introduced to all of the team and their families, but still she remained a little hesitant. She wasn’t used to people looking at her and with Gerard at her side, something which he had promised to be for the duration of the party, people were bound to stare, something which still scared her a little.

“It is more option two than option one” Gerard noted as he stood up and placed his hand on her hips “But you’ve done this before and I would like to show you off. You look lovely in that dress, querida” he murmured as he placed a gentle kiss on her shoulder.

“You’re just trying to sweet talk me into not hating this” Imelda returned, teasingly shoving him back.

“Possibly” Gerard quipped “But you really do look beautiful in that dress, Immy. I am surely turning up with the most beautiful girlfriend” he added, cheekily pecking her forehead.

Imelda rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Geri, why do I have to go? I think we both know that these sorts of things are not my forte” she murmured as she adjusted the strap her dress, offering Gerard a teasing glance at the striped bikini she wore beneath it. Imelda noticed the trail of his gaze and shook her head, placing her palm beneath his chin. “Why am I going, Gerard?” she murmured.

Gerard smiled. “Because my friends asked me to bring you” he mused easily as he wrapped his arms around her slim waist “These things are all about bonding and, seeing as we have been dating for almost 3 months, they probably see you as someone they ought to bond with. You’re going to be around for a while and that means they want to make you feel as though you are one of the group” he added.

“Your friends asked?” Imelda poked, slightly incredulous.

Gerard nodded. “Insisted” he noted “And I daren’t disappoint, so, mi amor, shall we?” he grinned, offering her his hand.

Imelda giggled and shook her head. “Idiota” she muttered.

“But you love me for it” he noted chipperly.

“Imelda” Antonella smiled as she greeted the dark haired girl “He convinced you to make it” she added, offering a little look to Gerard who smiled back at her.

“It only took one of these, Anto” Gerard grinned, pointing to the smirk on his face.

“And a little flattery” Imelda added with a small teasing eye roll “But I am happy to be here. Do they need any help with anything?” she posed.

Antonella shook her head. “Leo and the rest of the team are situated by the grill, all staring at meat in that way guys do whenever they have a barbeque. The girls and I are set up by the pool if you would like to join us” she smiled politely.

Imelda shrugged. “Only if you are sure there is nothing I can help with” she noted.

“I am certain” Antonella quipped “But you are very sweet for asking” she added.

Imelda blushed gently before she turned to Gerard. “You going to go stand with the others?” she poked.

“Probably” he returned gently “But I will definitely see you later, especially if you are going to show off that bikini you are wearing” he added with a grin that made Imelda roll her eyes.

“I will see you later, Gerard” she noted before she followed Antonella away, leaving Gerard chuckling behind her.

“So, how did you and Gerard meet again? I am sure you explained it before, but I would love to hear it again” a woman asked, causing Imelda to smile at her. She was useless with names, she always had been, but she was pretty confident that the girl who had spoken was Iniesta’s wife, something which put her a little at ease. There was a division, some of the younger players’ girlfriends tended to stick together whilst the more established players’ partners formed another group, something which put Imelda slightly at ease. She had already been warned that some of the younger girls would be a little catty when they wanted to be.

“He was the best man at my sister’s wedding” Imelda noted, sipping lightly on the fruit flavored cocktail that she had been plied with “My sister dragged me to this dinner with him and, after that, we just hit it off. He’s a remarkably nice man” she rambled softly.

“We know that” Antonella quipped “I felt so bad for him when Shakira left” she added sympathetically.

“It messed him up” Imelda admitted “But I like to think that I have helped him get over it” she blushed.

“Oh you have certainly done that” Anna noted “That man smiles widely every time someone says your name. You should have seen his face when Andres asked him to bring you here today. He was like a kid in a sweet shop” she giggled.

Imelda flushed. “I bet he isn’t” she muttered.

“How about the fact that he hasn’t stopped looking at you since you sat down?” Antonella teased, gesturing over the other girl’s shoulder.

Imelda shook her head. “I am sure he isn’t” she murmured.

Antonella smiled and moved across, sitting on the end of Imelda’s lounger. “Immy” she noted “He hasn’t looked anywhere else” she quipped as she placed her fingers against the other woman’s cheek, turning her head slightly to look at the defender who, sure enough, stared right back at her.

“You two are adorable” Anna fussed with a little shake of her head.

Imelda blushed a little before she ducked her head, offering Antonella another look over her shoulder where she spotted an all too familiar blonde woman, making a beeline for Gerard. “Immy” she muttered causing Imelda to sit up a little.

“Huh?” Imelda quipped.

“Shakira is here” Anna finished for the other woman.

Imelda swallowed slightly and turned her head, watching as Gerard stood up to confront the blonde woman.

“You should go over there” Antonella noted “Mark your territory” she encouraged.

Imelda shook her head. “It isn’t very me” she murmured, her green eyes watching as Shakira attempted to kiss Gerard’s cheek “And I don’t want to ruin the party” she added before she pushed herself to her feet, mumbling something about needing to go to the bathroom.

Antonella and Anna shook their heads before they padded after her, sparing a little look to Shakira who seemed intent on dragging Gerard away from his friends.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comments :)