We Took the Fall

31: I’m Asking You To

“Catalina?” Fernando posed softly as he stepped into her home, stowing the spare key on the end table that sat in the hall way. It had been a while since he had spoken to her, other than a short conversation to wish him luck the previous night ahead of Atletico’s match with Real Sociedad, he’d not heard a thing and it made him slightly apprehensive. He knew that it was unrealistic to expect constant contact, it had never been Catalina’s style, but a message to say she was alright wouldn’t have gone amiss, even if it had just been a word or two. He just wanted something.

Settling his bag down beside the one that Catalina had placed there the day before, he padded into the kitchen and frowned, noting the strange air of silence that filled the room. It hadn’t been used, not recently, and it made the frown on his face deepen. Scanning the room once more, he made a beeline towards the steps and took the two at a time, making a move for Catalina’s bedroom where, much to his relief, she found her, sitting on her bed. “Lina” he squeaked.

Catalina, who had been quietly working, lifted her head. “Yes?” she posed.

“What are you doing up here?” he posed gently, padding a little closer to her.

“Working” Catalina replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“Why are you doing that up here?” Fernando posed softly as he sat down on the edge of the bed, his head tilted slightly. There was something amiss, even if he couldn’t quite put his finger on it, and it bothered him. He’d made it nothing short of clear that they were going to face up to any potential hurdles like the couple they were.

Catalina shifted a little before she offered him a slight shrug, her blue eyes making little attempt to look up at him.

“Catalina” Fernando mused “Amor, what is going on?” he posed, leaning a little closer to her.

“Nothing” Catalina replied, her voice shaking slightly.

“You’re lying” Fernando replied softly as he shuffled across the bed, his hands taking hers “And that makes me a little more worried, Lina. Something happened, didn’t it?” he murmured gently.

Catalina shook her head. “No” she replied feebly.

“Catalina” Fernando muttered “Nena, if you don’t tell me what is happening, there is very little I can do to help you” he mused as he gently tucked some of her hair away from her eyes, causing her to look at him for the first time. “Catalina” he whispered, trying to encourage her to talk to him.

“She sold me out” Catalina whispered, her eyes dropping to her hands which fiddled aimlessly in her lap.

“Who sold you out?” Fernando whispered, ducking his head so that he was in her eye-line.

Catalina scoffed. “Who do you think?” she muttered.

“Alicia” Fernando replied, shaking his head.

“She sold her story to the tabloids” Catalina muttered “Unsurprisingly, I don’t come off fantastically” she added.

Fernando shook his head, the slightest of snarls appearing at the corner of his mouth. “What did it say?” he muttered bitingly.

“It’s irrelevant” Catalina replied.

“Tell me, Lina” Fernando mused.

“It really doesn’t matter” Catalina noted, shaking her head “All you need to know is that she didn’t hold back” she added.

Fernando peeked at her for a second before he pushed himself up, stalking towards the door. “I will put a stop to this” he spat “If she think she can get away with this, then she is wrong” he added, pulling the door open with a level of force that caused it to smack against the dresser which stood beside it, filling the room with an audible thump.

“You going over there is not going to help” Catalina quipped “If anything, that is precisely what she wants” she added.

Fernando shook his head. “And what do you expect me to do instead, Catalina?” he spat “I left it to your padre, he promised he would sort it and now look at you. You’ve been crying, even if you did try and hide it, and I want to deal with the person that did that to you” he hissed.

Catalina shook her head and pushed herself to her feet, padding closer to him. “You going over there is only going to make things worse” she mused.

“And?” Fernando snapped, his face reddening slightly “I need to do something, Catalina” he exclaimed.

“No, you don’t” Catalina replied, her hands trying to take a hold of his in an attempt to calm him down.

“Yes, I do” he fired back “I am not having her do this to you, Lina” he added, shaking his head.

“And what is the alternative?” Catalina posed “You causing a scene and making things 10 times worse for us both?” she added, scoffing.

“If that is what it takes to make her get the message, then yeah” he returned “I am not having her reduce you to tears again” he added.

“It’ll pass” Catalina quipped “She’ll get bored eventually or she’ll find some moron to take for a ride. Either way, you going over there and causing a scene is playing right into her hands. She wants you to react, to defend me, and I am not going to let you do it” she added.

Fernando shook his head. “You’d have to be ridiculously naïve to think that she is going to just give it up, Catalina” he muttered “She’s got us right where she wants us” he added.

“And you going over there and drawing more attention to it would be even more naïve” she countered.

“I am not letting this go” he retorted.

“I am asking you to” Catalina murmured.

Fernando scoffed. “You just want me to sit by and let her do this to you? You want me to let her destroy whatever reputation you have?” he posed, his voice sharp and slightly angry.

“I just don’t want you making things worse” Catalina replied, chewing her lip shyly “And you would” she added.

“Catalina, she’s hurting you” he reasoned, stepping a little closer to her “She’s making you cry and I am not OK with that. I want to stop it” he whispered, his thumb gently brushing against the skin beneath her eyes, wiping away the few tears that still lingered.

“It will stop by itself” she replied.

“No, it won’t” he snapped “Catalina, your sister is a vindictive puta who’s only aim in life seems to be making your life miserable. You can sit by and wait it out, but I for one am not going to. I am going to stop this” he added, pushing himself away from her and making his way back towards the door.

Catalina watched him go and sighed. “Fernando” she muttered “Please, don’t do it” she added, her blue eyes peeking up at him.

Fernando shook his head. “I can’t just ignore it, Lina” he whispered, stepping closer to her.

“But you’ll only give her what she wants” Catalina protested gently, her tearful blue eyes staring into his as her voice shook.

“I can’t pretend that this isn’t happening” he repeated “I can’t pretend that she doesn’t make you cry or that she didn’t hurt you” he added, his fingertips lightly skimming over the faded marks on her cheek “I know it probably seems a little stupid, but I have to do it. I can’t let it go like you can” he whispered lightly before he dropped a kiss on her forehead.

“You can” Catalina protested, trying to stop him from making his way towards the door.

Fernando shook his head. “I need to do something, Lina” he murmured “I will see you in a little while OK?” he added, offering her a slight smile.

“Please” Catalina pleaded gently.

“I will see you in a little while” Fernando smiled at her softly before he stepped out of the room, leaving her a tearful mess in his wake.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)