You Loved Me Once

20: You’ll Get Used To It

Chewing on the end of her pen, Alba peeked at the screen ahead of her, trying her hardest to conjure the perfect final sentence for her latest article. She had been working at it for a while, almost 2 hours had passed since she had concluded the rest of the piece and she was a little irked that the last sentence simply wouldn’t come, especially since almost everyone else in the office had departed for the night. She merely wanted to get the article sent off to her editor. Chewing on the plastic cap of her pen, she leant a little forwards in her seat and typed a few words before she let out a little huff, deleting them once more.

“Do you ever leave this office?”

Alba, who’d closed her eyes in frustration, sat up, her eyes peeking at Lionel who leant in the doorway, his kit bag hung off of his shoulder. It had been a week since their dinner, but with Lionel having flown out to Georgia for the European super cup match with Sevilla and then to Bilbao for the Spanish super cup, Alba wasn’t surprised that they’d not seen one another, but she was a little surprised to find him stood in her doorway. She had figured that he would call if he wanted to see her again. “What are you doing here?” she posed softly “I thought you’d be staying the night in Bilbao” she added.

“We were going to” Lionel noted “But after the result, we wanted to get back as soon as we could. You didn’t watch?” he posed.

“I’ve been working” Alba replied “It went badly?” she posed.

“If you call losing 4-0 in the first leg badly, then yeah” Lionel mused.

“I’m sorry” Alba mused.

Lionel shook his head, a slight grin on his face.

Alba noticed the smile and frowned. “What are you grinning at?” she posed.

“You” Lionel replied, offering her a small shrug.

Alba offered him a slightly dubious look before she turned her attention back to her laptop, jotting a few more words down before she shook her head, deleting them once more.

“Struggling?” Lionel posed as he pulled up a seat beside her.

“I’ve finished the majority of this article but I can’t seem to piece together the final sentence and it’s starting to get at me. I promised this would be with my editor tonight” she mused.

Lionel nodded his head and scooted the laptop off of her desk, settling it in his lap as he rested his feet on the wooden surface.

“What are you doing?” Alba posed “Surely you’re more interested in going home and resting after the game” she added.

“I thought about that” Lionel mused “But then I thought I could see you and that was something I wanted more. I know you told me to take it slow, but I was hoping you’d join me for a late dinner” he added. He knew that she wanted to take her time, after their first date, she had been more than clear that she wanted to take their relationship step by step, but he hadn’t been able to resist a shot at seeing her, even if it was a little out of the blue. He was disappointed in the match, the result, and he wanted to get it off of his mind, something spending time with Alba would almost certainly achieve.

Alba lifted an eyebrow. “You came all the way down here to ask me to dinner?” she posed.

“I did” Lionel confirmed “I figured you’d still be here” he added, shrugging slightly.


“Leo” he corrected gently.

“Leo” Alba mused “You could just call” she pointed out.

“I know that” he commented as he shifted the laptop slightly “But you’d have either not picked up or said no, something I know you’d struggle to do face to face, so here I am” he grinned before he typed something, causing Alba to frown.

“What did you do?” she posed, collecting the computer from his hands.

“I finished you article for you” Lionel mused.

Alba shook her head. “Why would you do that?” she posed, quickly scanning over the sentence which he’d added to the end of her review.

“Because if I hadn’t, you’d have been stuck here longer and I would have had no chance of dinner with you. It’s a good ending, no?” he pressed, grinning at her impishly.

Alba scanned the words which he had added to the end of her article before she shook her head, a small smile playing at the corner of her mouth.

“You like it” Lionel enthused.

“It’s not the worst thing” Alba agreed gently.

“Then send it” Lionel quipped “And then I can take you to dinner” he added.

Alba offered him a look, still a little nervous about the notion of dating him, before she nodded her head, something which made Lionel grin. He knew that he had to take his time, Alba wasn’t going to let him in quickly if all he did was push at her, but it was something that he was willing to do, even if he did simply want things to be as they had been before.

He knew that he had to take his time and ensure that Alba was comfortable with him.

Walking through the emptying streets, Lionel held Alba’s hand close to him, swinging it slightly between them. It had been a pleasant night, after he had gotten Alba out of her office, she had relaxed a little, and Lionel was pleased to see it, even if there were still a few moments where she looked as though she would rather be anywhere than stuck with him, he was pleased to see her warming to the idea of them once more.

“You really didn’t have to come to my office tonight, you know” Alba quipped.

“I know” Lionel noted “But I want to feel a little better about the game and I wasn’t going to achieve that sat alone. It’s been fun, no?” he pressed.

Alba shrugged. “I wouldn’t use the word ‘fun’” she mused “But it’s been nice” she agreed.

Lionel quirked a grin. “Nice?” he posed.

“Comfortable” Alba replied, clarifying herself “It didn’t feel like the last one which felt pressured and awkward. I’ve enjoyed myself” she babbled, a small hint of pink playing on her cheeks.

Lionel shook his head. “You’re still no good with words, then” he teased, offering her hand a little squeeze. It pleased him, the idea that the Alba he had taken to dinner that night was not too dissimilar to the one he had dated before, and he wanted to enjoy the fact that she was still the same. Her personality was the overriding reason that they made it as long as they did.

“Shut up” Alba muttered, nudging his shoulder slightly.

Lionel chuckled. “Don’t worry, I still think it’s cute” he enthused.

Alba offered him a mock glare before he pulled them to a stop, pressing an affectionate kiss against her lips.

Alba stilled a little, still not entirely comfortable with the idea of kissing him, but she didn’t push him back, something which made the forward smile a little. “You’ll get used to it” he commented as he moved to recapture her hand “I’ll make sure of it” he added with an impish grin.

Alba admired the look on his face for a moment before she shook her head. “What makes you think I want to get used to it?” she posed, following him towards his car.

Lionel offered her a shrug. “I know you” he replied simply.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)