You Loved Me Once

35: Because It Was You

Wrinkling her nose a little, Alba blinked her eyes open, slightly dazed by the bright November sunlight. It was early, the fact that Alba’s alarm had yet to sound confided it, and she was a little surprised to be awake, especially given that she and Lionel had spent most of the night awake, she was more than a little surprised that she had woken early. It hadn’t been her intention, after meeting his teammates, Alba’s main intention had been to return home and fall asleep, but with her ‘I love you’ lingering in her ears, she hadn’t been able to help herself. What had started as an innocent kiss had escalated quickly and whilst it was quick, Alba didn’t feel regretful. If anything, she wondered what had taken her so long.

Sparing a yawn, she pushed her fingertips through the knotted blonde hair which fell down her cheeks before she turned onto her side, frowning at the empty side of the bed. She had been expecting that he would be there, after she’d fallen asleep with his arm around her waist, she had expected to find him curled up at her side when she woke up, and the idea that he wasn’t stung a little. Admiring the made up duvet, Alba spared a little sigh before she sat up, pulling the blankets around herself whilst she tried to find something to pull on.

“You’re getting ready for work so soon?”

Alba, who’d located a shirt of Lionel’s which was sat on the floor, looked up, her blue eyes widening at the sight of the tray of food he held in his hand. “You made breakfast?” she squeaked.

“I did” Lionel quipped as he stepped a little deeper into the room “Your favourite too. I even remembered the raisins in your pancakes” he enthused.

Alba shook her head. “You didn’t have to do that” she murmured shyly.

Lionel smiled gently and sat back on the bed, settling the tray of food between them. “I know” he noted gently “But I was up and I figured you’d be hungry. You must have worked up quite the appetite” he teased with a smirk.

Alba shook her head, her cheeks pink.

Lionel smiled at her gently for a moment before he picked up his drink, resting back against the pillow as a comfortable silence lapsed around them. It felt familiar, waking up beside Alba without much clothing, and it was something he had missed, even if he didn’t want to admit it, he was pleased by the idea that Alba felt ready enough to allow it to happen. He knew that they still needed work, whilst things between the two of them were good, he doubted that they would stay that way forever, but he wanted to enjoy it whilst he could. For the first time in a long time, things between him and Alba felt perfect.

“I thought you’d left” Alba mumbled, breaking the silence around them.

Lionel frowned. “Why would I do that?” he posed.

Alba shrugged. “I don’t know” she murmured “But your clothes were gone and the bed made…”

“Alba” Lionel interjected “Nena, there is nowhere I would rather be right now” he insisted.

Alba smiled. “I know that” she murmured “I just worried” she added, her fingertips pulling at the duvet slightly.

Lionel shook his head. “Did you forget what happened last night?” he posed as he sipped on his drink “Did you forget me saying that I loved you and you saying it back to me? Or that we spent the entirely night being intimate? Alba, nena, trust me when I say that right now, you’ve not got anything to worry about. We’re good, Alba, more than good” he enthused softly. It was a trait of hers, even when they’d dated before, she had worried too much, and he wanted to relax her slightly. That morning was about them, only them, and whilst he knew that eventually he would have to get up, he wanted to enjoy spending time with Alba without her worrying.

Alba smiled a little. “You’re good at that” she murmured “Calming me down” she added.

“It’s a skill that I developed through a lot of practice. You were not always the most rational friend” Lionel teased as he moved to lay back, stretching his legs out “I have a distinct memory of you crying uncontrollably because you thought I was going on a date with your neighbour” he grinned.

Alba scoffed. “She was so into you” she protested “She used to hang around with me just to get at you” she added.

Lionel laughed. “I never had any interest in her” he insisted “But you never believed me” he added.

“You would always flirt with her” Alba noted.

“I was merely nice to her. You misconstrued it as flirting. Alba, I have never been a flirt in my life” he insisted with a wide grin. It felt nice, reminiscing was not something he and Alba did a lot of, but it was comforting to him, especially when it made her smile, he liked that idea that not all of her memories of their past were negative.

Alba rolled her eyes. “You were simply being nice?” she posed, a teasing smile on her face.

“You were jealous. Your neighbour moved in when you were 15, about the time that you realised that you had feelings for me” Lionel grinned, stealing a piece of food from the plate between them.

Alba scoffed. “It was you that realised you had feelings for me. I still remember the night you told me” she quipped.

“It was a good night” Lionel mused softly “You almost cried” he added.

Alba shook her head. “It was a lot to take in. You were you, the little boy I had grown up with and who’d moved all the way to Barcelona, and I didn’t quite understand why you’d want to be with me” she mused softly.

“Because you were you” Lionel mused “Thoughtful, clever, kind, funny and that’s without mentioning how beautiful you were…how beautiful you still are” he fussed with a grin on his face.

Alba smiled gently. “You’re sweet” she cooed softly.

Lionel grinned back at her before he leant down, shifting the tray of food that sat between them to the floor before he shuffled a little closer, his hand softly cupping her cheek as her grin grew a little. “Don’t you have somewhere else you need to be this morning?” she teased as he kissed the side of her jaw, nipping at the soft skin slightly.

“I do” Lionel quipped “But it’s not even 7:30 yet and I have about half an hour to spare before I have to get back to mine and get ready for training. Do you think you could come up with something to do in those 30 minutes?” he teased, his nose tracing the line of her jaw before he pressed a kiss against her bare shoulder.

Alba giggled a little before she nodded. “I think I can” she teased before she placed her palm against his cheek, tilting his head so that she could kiss him, a smile playing on her face.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)