We Took the Fall

84: You Can’t See It

Gently ghosting her fingers over the material of her dress, Catalina spared a quick towards the door which stood ahead of her head, wordlessly scanning over her reflection. It had been a little while, after she and Fernando had arrived at the venue that they’d chosen to host their reception, they’d been quickly ushered off with their photographer for a while, but with the party due to get underway, she had slipped away, wanting a couple of seconds to herself before she found herself surrounded by her friends and family who were itching to coo and fuss over her.

Passing her fingers over the skirt of her dress, she tentatively straightened the light material before she felt an arm wrap around her waist, causing her to smile softly before she lifted her head, looking up at Fernando who smiled down at her tenderly. “I thought you were checking on Felix” she mumbled as she took a step away from him, flicking her attention back down towards her dress.

Fernando watched her for a moment before he nodded. “I did check on him” he noted “He’s with my mother and he seems to be fine, although, I think he’d like to see you soon. We both know that he has a habit of getting a little upset if you’re not around” he added.

Catalina quirked a small smile. “What can I say?” she posed “Like his papa, he seems to love me” she added impishly.

Fernando let out a small laugh at her joke before he took a pace towards her, gently wrapping his arms around her once more. “I do love you” he murmured.

Catalina nodded. “I know you do” she mused “And whilst I love you, I am going to need you to stop hugging me. This dress seems to wrinkle easily and I’d like to avoid looking like a mess for a while yet” she added.

Fernando merely tightened his grip slightly, a scoff falling out of his mouth. “You look wonderful, Lina” he murmured “And no amount of wrinkles in your dress is going to change that. You look so beautiful” he added, dropping a small kiss against the back of her neck.

Catalina’s cheeks flushed at the feel of his lips against her skin before she turned around, her blue eyes peeking up at him softly. “You’re not just saying that?” she posed, her voice caught between timid and teasing.

Fernando smiled at the softness in her voice before he leant forwards, pressing a soft kiss against her forehead. “No” he murmured “I am not just saying it, and if we walked into that room right now, I’d have a group of people to back me up. You look amazing, Lina, I promise you” he insisted.

Catalina spared him a slightly dubious look before the sound of footsteps reached her ears, causing her to pull out of their embrace as Esther appeared at their side. “I hate to intrude” she noted “But we would like to get this party underway at some point in the near future and that means you two have show up. Do you think you could spare us a couple of hours before you fall into honeymoon mode?” she posed teasingly.

Catalina, who’d moved to adjust her dress, scoffed slightly at Esther’s joke before she nodded. “I’m sure that we can handle that” she mused.

Esther nodded. “We’ll try not to keep you too long” she quipped before ducked away, leaving Catalina and Fernando alone.

Shaking her head at Esther’s joke, Catalina turned her attention back towards Fernando before she gently reached her hands out, adjusting his tie slightly. “We have to go in there, don’t we?” she mumbled.

“Probably” Fernando quipped “I mean, we did spend a lot of time planning it. It’d probably be a shame if we didn’t show up to our own party” he played along.

Catalina huffed out a playful sigh before she offered him her hand. “Ready?” she posed.

Fernando let out a small laugh before he knotted their fingers together, offering her hand a soft squeeze. “Ready” he quipped.

Catalina hesitated for a split second before she took a pace forwards, making her way into the room as all eyes moved to settle on the two of them.

~#~
Plopping down into his seat, Fernando moved to loosen his tie slightly, his brown eyes not moving away from Catalina who stood a little away from him, giggling at something Sergio had said. It had been a few hours, after he and Catalina had arrived at their reception, the party had been quick to get underway, and whilst a small part of Fernando was itching to leave, he was enjoying himself.

It had been a tense day, between his nerves and Catalina’s mother showing up unannounced, he had felt tenser than he had been expecting, and he was relieved that it was almost over with, especially since the day had passed with little to no major hiccups. He had been worried when he had heard the news of Marisol’s arrival, after the way he and Catalina had left things when they’d last visited her, he had been certain that the older woman’s only intention would have been to cause trouble, and he was surprised by how quiet she had been, even if he had caught the odd dirty look here and there. He was surprised that she hadn’t tried to make more of a scene.

Pulling his tie out from beneath his collar, he tucked it into his pocket before he moved to pick up his glass, taking a sip of the wine which sat in it.

“Are you happy now?”

Fernando, who’d been quietly watching Catalina, jumped at the sound of Marisol’s voice before he turned, offering her a small frown. “What?” he posed.

“Are you happy now?” Marisol repeated “I mean, things worked out the way you wanted them to, didn’t they?” she added.

Fernando allowed her words to hang in the air for a moment, not missing the bitterness in her voice, before he shook his head. “I don’t want to fight with you, Marisol” he noted “Not today” he added.

Marisol scoffed. “Did you ever love Alicia?” she posed “Or did you just string her along until you ran into Catalina?” she added.

Fernando closed his eyes, trying to keep his composure, before he shook his head. “I loved her” he noted “It might not seem like it, but I did. But what we had together, it wasn’t good for either one of us, so she cheated on me with Matteo and I...I pined after her little sister until I realized that Alicia was never going to make me happy. We made a mistake, Marisol, me and Alicia have grown to accept that, and until you do, I don’t want you around me, my wife or my son” he added, his tone even and calm. It irked him, the idea that Marisol wanted to have that conversation on a day which was supposed to be so special, but he didn’t want to let it show. The last thing he wanted was to cause a scene and spoil a day which, until that moment, had gone precisely to plan.

Marisol shook her head. “Your showing up ruined my family” she noted.

“You did that yourself” Fernando noted, looking up at her “You picked sides, you put Alicia ahead of Catalina time and time again, and it showed your true colours. You’re selfish, Marisol, and that makes it pretty hard to like you” he added.

Marisol rolled her eyes. “You’re going to sit there and call me selfish?” she pressed.

Fernando nodded. “You’re so wrapped up in yourself that you can’t see that things have worked out” he noted “Alicia is happy and Catalina is happy, and that should be what matters to you, not how it happened. I fucked up, Marisol, I did hurt Alicia, but she hurt me too and it was best that it ended. Neither of us would have been happy if we’d stuck together and that’s what you don’t seem to understand. Alicia isn’t miserable, she’s not stuck of me and I am not stuck on her, and I don’t understand why you can’t just let it go. It worked out, Marisol” he explained.

Marisol let out another scoff before she moved to fire something back, something which Fernando was quick to curtail, pushing himself up to his feet. “I am going to go and find my wife and ask her for a dance. You should get out of here” he noted before he stepped away, quickly making a beeline towards Catalina who was still smiling and laughing with Sergio.

Sparing a look over his shoulder, he watched Marisol skulk out of the door before he flicked his attention towards Catalina who looked up at him, a slight frown on her face. “You OK?” she posed “You looked preoccupied” she added.

Fernando shook his head. “I’m fine” he noted.

“You sure?” Catalina posed.

“Certain” Fernando replied “But I do think I am in need of a dance with my new wife. Do you think we can do that?” he posed.

Catalina spared him a slightly dubious look, not quite sure that she believed that he was fine, before she nodded, offering him a small smile. “I think we can probably manage it” she played along.

Fernando flashed her a boyish smile before he took a hold of her hand, leading her out towards the dance floor. He knew that he had to tell her, the fact that he had had a conversation with her mother wasn’t one that he could hide from her, but he wanted to put it off. He didn’t want to allow that day to end on a sour note.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and mslou1 for the comments :)