You Loved Me Once

61: I Know You Know It

Tapping a pen on the side of her desk, Alba glared at the half finished article that sat on the screen of her laptop, frustrated that she wasn’t able to finish it quicker. She had been at it for hours, ever since she had arrived at the office that morning, she had been working on the same piece, but still it was only half completed and it irked Alba who, until that article, had been getting through her work rather quickly. Leaning forwards a little, she jotted down a sentence before she let out a frustrated noise, deleting it once more.

“Are you going to join us for lunch, Alba?”

Alba, who’d taken to glaring at the laptop once more, looked up, her eyes landing on Jess who stood in the door way. “Huh?” she posed.

“Lunch” Jess repeated “You know, the meal between breakfast and dinner. We were wondering if you’d like to join us” the ginger woman grinned.

Alba looked at the laptop before she shook her head. “I’ll probably stay here” she commented “I want to get this article done before I go tonight and it’s not exactly going well” she added.

“I know” Jess quipped “My desk is pretty close to here and you make a lot of noise when you’re frustrated. You should come with us, take your mind off it” she offered.

Alba offered her a slightly dubious look before Jess stepped towards the desk, collecting her hand. “You’re not doing anyone any good by stressing right now, least of all that bump of yours. Come with us, we can grab some lunch, gossip a little, and then you can come back here and try and finish that, Ok?” she grinned.

Alba mulled the offer over for a moment before she nodded, settling her hand in Jess’. “You’ve made the right choice” Jess grinned as she led her out into the foyer where a couple of their colleagues stood.

Alba rolled her eyes, but smiled a little, something which made Jess grin. She much preferred Alba when she was smiling and cheerful, something she had been a lot in the 9 months that she and Lionel had been seeing one another.

“You’re dating Lionel Messi, no?” Catalina, one of Alba’s co-workers, fussed, her eyes fixed on the blonde who was happily perusing the dessert menu. It had been a pleasant lunch, Alba and the 3 other women had spent time gossiping about everything from their work colleagues to their own relationships, and Alba had to admit that she did feel a little calmer, even if she was itching to get her article finished, she was glad that Jess had insisted that she accompany them.

“I am” Alba confirmed “We’ve been together for 9 months now, almost 10” she mused with a small smile.

“They’re childhood sweethearts” Jess grinned.

Alba rolled her eyes but couldn’t mask the grin that spread across her features, something which made Catalina smile. “You’re all smitten” she teased.

Alba’s cheeks tinted a little pink, something which made Jess nudge her side. “I think she’s well past smitten” she teased brightly “I’d put money on them being engaged by the end of the year” she added.

“I don’t know about that” Alba returned, shaking her head.

Jess scoffed. “I’ve seen the man around you, Alba, he’s merely waiting for the thumbs up” she insisted.

Alba shook her head a little, her eyes peeking down at her bump. It had been a few days, after Lionel’s request that she move in with him, Alba had been subtly trying to avoid him, but she knew that she couldn’t do it forever, not with the days counting down until the birth of their daughter. She knew that it made sense, even in the simplest sense, Alba moving in with Lionel was the next logical step and it made sense that it happened before the baby came along, but still it unsettled her. Still she worried that she’d end up hurt like she had done before.

“Alba?” Emma, another of Alba’s co-workers, posed.

“He asked me to move in with him” Alba babbled gently.

“He did?” Jess posed.

Alba nodded. “He asked the other day, after we found that we’re expecting a girl and since then, I don’t think I’ve had a proper conversation with him” she confessed softly.

Jess’ expression flicked through a range of emotions before she shook her head, her eyes fixed on Alba who plucked at her napkin nervously. “We’ll circle around to the fact that you’re having a girl in a second, but why haven’t you been talking to the guy, Alba?” she pressed.

“What exactly am I supposed to say?” Alba mumbled “It scares me, Jess” she added, her blue eyes mirroring the ginger woman’s.

Jess sighed.

“I know it is the logical move forwards” Alba babbled “I know that it makes sense that before the baby comes along, he and I are in one place, but it still scares me and I don’t want to tell him that. I don’t want him to think that I am doubting him, I’m not, but it doesn’t mean I don’t worry that it will end up like before” she rambled.

Jess looked at Catalina and Emma for a moment before she moved to take Alba’s hand, excusing them both from the table before she pulled the blonde to somewhere a little more private.

“I don’t want to get hurt, Jess” Alba sighed.

“You’re not going to” Jess insisted “Alba, I’ve met the man and I can safely assure you that he’s not stupid enough to lose the two best things he has. You mean the world to him, Alba, it’s all over his face when he looks at you, and I can only imagine what he gets like when you talk about bump” she noted.

“He’s so excited” Alba mumbled, a timid smile on her face.

“I don’t doubt it” Jess mused “And you shouldn’t be worried. Alba, you worrying is only going to screw up something which from my point of view is destined to go the distance. The two of you are good, better than good, and in a little over 4 months, you’re both going to have a daughter to look out for her. You need to be in a good place for that and if you keep worrying, you won’t be. What happened, happened, Alba, but it is not going to happen again” she insisted with a warm smile.

Alba offered her a dubious look.

“Stop worrying so much” Jess grinned, nudging her side.

Alba offered her another look before she shook her head, a small smile pulling at the corner of her mouth.

“You’re good together” Jess assured her as she squeezed her hand “And I know you know that too. Do what feels right, Alba, what makes you happy” she enthused before she stepped back towards their table.

Alba watched her back to their table before she peeked down at her bump, knowing that Jess had a point.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)