You Loved Me Once

41: Inevitable

“You know that it is only 9 in the morning, don’t you?”

Alba, who was stood in the bathroom fixing her blonde hair, smiled, not missing the sleepiness that accompanied Lionel’s voice as it snipped into her ears. It was early, given that they had retired to bed at gone midnight after a long flight, it was too early, but with Eva having texted and insisted on getting coffee, Alba had agreed, not wanting to spurn the opportunity to catch up with her friend who she’d not seen since her wedding. “I am aware of that” she mused “Which begs the question, what are you doing up? You were safely snoring when I got in here about half an hour ago” she quipped as she moved to greet him with a small kiss on the lips.

Lionel held her close for a second before he pulled back, his arms still resting comfortably around her waist. “You were gone” he noted softly “I rolled over and tried to put my arm around you and you were gone so I got up. How come you are up and dressed so soon?” he posed, his fingertips drumming against her lower back.

“I’m going to go to coffee with Eva” Alba mused “I’ve not seen her since their wedding and I have a feeling that if I don’t go, she will show up here. I should only be an hour, maybe two” she added.

“Two hours?” Lionel sighed “And here was me thinking we’d have a quiet morning here” he mumbled.

Alba shook her head. “It’s two hours, Leo” she mused with a small smile “I am sure that you can spare me for that long. Besides, I need to pick up some flowers or something for your mama before dinner tonight” she added, flicking his nose slightly.

Lionel shook his head. “You’re sure that you can’t stay?” he posed, a small pout on his face.

Alba pecked his lips. “Certain” she insisted “But we will have the afternoon together before dinner. I am sure that we can do whatever you had planned for this morning then” she quipped with a grin.

Lionel offered her a mildly unimpressed look before he sighed, relenting. “Fine” he mumbled.

Alba rolled her eyes before she stepped out of the bathroom, moving to collect her coat and phone. “You’re going to be fine by yourself” Alba teased as she placed her jacket on.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “How are you so chipper?” he posed “You’ve never been a morning person and here you are, all bright and breezy” he noted as he padded after her.

Alba merely offered him a shrug. “It’s just a good day, I guess” she mused as she moved to collect her bag. “I’ll see you later?” she posed.

Lionel nodded. “Of course” he mused “Tell Eva hi from me” he added before he stepped towards her, pressing a soft kiss against her lips.

Alba smiled into the soft kiss for a second before she tugged away from him, offering him another soft grin.

“You have a nice smile” Lionel mused as he adjusted her coat slightly, ensuring that it was safely done up.

Alba’s cheeks warmed. “I have to go. I will be back soon” she insisted before she pulled away from him.

Lionel smiled and watched after her, happy to see her so content.

“So much for not wanting him back then?” Eva teased as she placed a cup of coffee down ahead of Alba, a wide grin on her face.

Alba, who was checking her phone, rolled her eyes. “Shut up” she muttered.

“Oh, come on, Allie” Eva teased “You spent a whole month pouting over him being here and, only a few weeks later, you’re cuddled up to him at a match and smiling like a little kid on Christmas. You’re really not going to tell me what happened?” she added, sipping on her drink. She was thrilled for Alba, for the first time in a long time, the blonde looked completely at ease and happy, and Eva was pleased that it was Lionel that had made her so. As much as Alba had liked to deny it, she and Lionel were good together and it had always been a matter of time before one or the other had figured it out.

“There’s nothing to tell” Alba shrugged, sipping on her own warm drink “He’s a persistent guy and eventually, he convinced me to give him one date. One date became two and before we knew it, we were where we are now” she mused as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.

Eva rolled her eyes. “You’re no fun” she teased.

Alba shook her head. “I really don’t know what you want me to say, Eva. It’s…amazing” she mused softly.

Eva admired the grin on her friend’s face before she leant across the table, her hand lightly squeezing Alba’s which rested around her cup. “Can I admit something to you?” she posed.

Alba nodded. “You should know that you can tell me anything, Eva” she insisted.

Eva nodded. “I do, but this…please don’t freak out” she babbled.

Alba lifted an eyebrow. “Eva?” she pressed.

“We did it on purpose” Eva mused “The whole you and Leo both being involved in the wedding thing, Oscar and I, we planned it” she admitted softly.

Alba frowned.

“You were miserable” Eva insisted “And despite what he did, he made you the happiest you’ve ever been and so we figured we’d give it a shot. It worked out” she chirped hopefully.

Alba offered her a look, a small frown playing at the corner of her mouth briefly before she shook her head. “You’re lucky” she muttered.

“Lucky?” Eva peeped.

“That it worked out, because if it hadn’t, I don’t think I’d ever speak to you again” Alba finished with a small smile.

Eva let out a relieved sigh, something which made Alba giggle.

“You really are happy, aren’t you?” Eva teased.

Alba nodded. “I am” she confirmed “I mean, it’s steady and moving along at my pace, but I am happy” she insisted.

Eva offered her a wide grin, but it was quick to fall, her eyes noticing the woman who stood over Alba’s shoulder, her blue eyes fixed on the blonde.

“Eva?” Alba posed.

“It’s nothing” Eva quipped, quickly pulling her stare away from the other woman.

Alba frowned a little and swivelled in her seat, her blue eyes meeting those of her mother who merely shook her head, leaving the small café without so much as a word.

“I heard about your papa’s visit” Eva noted as Alba turned back in her seat, her eyes fixed on her hands “For what it is worth, I think he was completely wrong and if he could see you now, I think he’d know it too. You and Leo, it’s inevitable” she insisted.

Alba shook her head. “I doubt that my papa would ever accept that” she muttered, fussing with the cup in her hands “As far as he is concerned, my relationship is an accident waiting to happen and he’s made it clear where he, and my madre, stand. I just wish that me being happy right now was more important to them than what has preceded it. I know what happened last time, I know it better than anyone, but if I can put it aside, I don’t see why they can’t. It’s my relationship, Eva” she insisted softly. She didn’t want to let it get to her, her parents had been remarkably clear with what they wanted, but it did hurt Alba. She hadn’t missed a family Christmas since she had been born and she was disappointed by the way her parents had pushed her aside simply because of the man she was seeing.

Eva shook her head. “They’re idiots, Allie” she mused “You and Leo, it’s the best thing for you both and if your parents can’t see it, then you shouldn’t concern yourself with it. You’re happy, right?” she pressed.

“Very much so” Alba admitted shyly, a hint of pink on her cheeks.

“Then don’t worry about them. If it works out for you and Leo, then you’re the one who gets to say ‘I told you so’” Eva mused.

Alba offered her a slightly dubious look before she nodded, knowing that it was best not to concern herself with her parents. They had been the ones to push back and if they didn’t want to be involved with her, then she didn’t want them around. For the first time in a long time, she was content and she didn’t want to see it spoiled.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comments :)