You Loved Me Once

68: Just What I Wanted

Letting out a small groan, Alba rolled onto her side, her hand hitting the top of the alarm clock which bleeped in the distance. It was early, too early for Alba who’d spent most of the night tossing and turning in an attempt to get comfortable, but with a day of work ahead of her, she knew that there was no option but to get up, even if it was the morning of her 29th birthday, she had no choice but to get up.

Letting a small yawn escape her mouth, she rolled onto her back and placed her hand against her bump, rubbing it gently. “You definitely take after your papa, don’t you?” she mumbled, smiling a little at the barrage of kicks which tapped against her stomach.

Offering the bump another soft rub, she moved to sit up a little, her hand collecting her phone which sat on the end table, its lock screen lit up with a text from Lionel. It had been a long month, with Argentina progressing through to the semi-finals, Alba hadn’t seen Lionel face to face for almost 4 weeks, but was she happy for him, even if she did miss him, she was glad to see him and the team doing so well.

It had been a little tough, without Lionel around, the baby had developed a habit of kicking more and more, but Alba was learning to cope, even if it did mean she got a little less sleep than she was used to, she was getting better at coping.

Pushing a hand back through her hair, she smiled a little at the short message on the screen, a little impressed that he had gotten in first. Smiling at the message, she leant back slightly and snapped a picture of herself before she sent it back to him, accompanied by the caption ‘Happy birthday, love Alba & bump’.

Ensuring that the message was sent, she placed her phone back onto the end table and prepared to move into the bathroom, only to pause as the sound of the doorbell echoed, causing her to frown a little. It was early, just a little past 7 in the morning, and it perturbed her slightly that there would be someone at the door.

Finding a jumper, she padded out of the bedroom and quickly made her way towards the front door, pulling it open to Jess who grinned at her, a bouquet of lilies held in her hand. “Jess?” Alba squeaked.

“Feliz cumpleaños, Alba” Jess grinned as she stepped into the house.

Alba frowned. “What are you doing here?” she posed bluntly.

Jess smiled. “Your boyfriend sent me” she shrugged as she moved to place the bouquet of flowers down “He told me to get here early, take you to breakfast and then out shopping” she added.

“And what about work?” Alba posed, pushing her hair out of her face.

“We’ve got a day off” Jess smiled “It turns out, your boyfriend can be awfully persuasive when he wants to be” she added.

Alba shook her head. “He got us the day off?” she posed.

“He certainly did. Your editor went all googly eyed when Leo suggested that he could get him tickets to a game next season” Jess grinned, causing Alba to roll her eyes a little. “Anyways, it means that we have the day off and I am under strict instruction, so why don’t you go and get dressed and I will find a vase to put these in, eh?” the ginger woman grinned.

Alba offered her a slightly uncertain look before she nodded, heading up the stairs without a word.

Jess watched her go before she shook her head, clasping the bouquet of flowers in her hand. It was sweet, the plan that Lionel had concocted before he’d departed for the Copa America for Alba’s birthday was nothing short of adorable, and it made Jess a little envious. She doubted that her boyfriend would pull out all of the stops for her like Lionel had for Alba.

“Is there a particular reason that you keep checking your watch?” Alba posed as she rested back into the passenger seat of Jess’ car, her eyes glancing towards the ginger woman who’d been checking her watch for hours. It had been a pleasant morning, Jess had taken Alba to one of her favourite cafés for breakfast before they’d spent a little time shopping, and whilst Alba had enjoyed herself, she felt as though there was something she wasn’t being told. Jess had been quiet, for most of the morning, she had only spoken to respond to the questions that Alba had asked, and it was starting to irk the blonde woman who’d never been the fondest of surprises.

Jess, who was steering her car back towards Alba’s home, shrugged. “I was just checking the time” she noted.

“Like you have done every five minutes for the last hour” Alba countered “Are we running late for something?” she added.

“No” Jess quipped, turning another corner.

“Are we early?” Alba posed.

Jess scoffed. “You’re never early for anything” she pointed out with a smirk.

Alba shook her head. “You’re not telling me something” she pointed out.

“Can’t you just wait?” Jess countered, pulling up towards Alba’s home.

Alba offered her a little look, but sighed, nodding. “OK” she conceded.

“Leo spent an age working on this, you know” Jess commented as she pushed herself out of the driver’s side, padding around to help Alba “It’s adorable” she added.

Alba rolled her eyes. “Do you know what I did for him today?” she posed.

“What?” Jess posed.

“I sent a few presents to his hotel and I sent him a picture of me and bump, something I already know is going to pale in comparison to whatever lovely gesture he has planned” Alba mumbled softly, her fingertips tugging at the bottom of her shirt. She knew that it would be adorable, even in their previous relationship, Lionel had always been the more romantic one, and it made her feel slightly bad. He had probably gone all out for her whilst she had done relatively little for him.

Jess, who’d moved to help Alba to her feet, shook her head. “You’re going to give him something pretty special in a couple of months, Alba” she pointed out softly “And he knows that right now, your focus is on that bump. He’s not going to mind you not making the biggest fuss of him today” she added.

Alba shook her head a little, something which made Jess squeeze her hand. “You’ll make a fuss next year” she pointed out softly.

Alba offered her a slightly dubious look before Jess tugged on her hand, leading her towards the house. “Come on” she fussed softly.

Alba nodded her head and followed along behind her friend, her blue eyes widening a little as they reached the living room. “Calista?” she squeaked.

Calista, who’d been picking at the plate of food which sat on the coffee table ahead of her, grinned, moving to hug her sister tightly.

“What are you doing here?” Alba squeaked.

“Leo paid for me to fly out and surprise you” Calista enthused.

“He did?” Alba squeaked, holding onto her sister tightly.

“He felt bad for Christmas and so he invited me, and Eva, to come and see you. We’re going to have a nice and quiet movie day which will inevitably end up with us gossiping like we did when we were kids” Calista grinned.

Alba smiled brightly. “You and Eva?” she posed.

“Of course” Eva grinned as she stepped into the room “And Jess and Shakira” she added, grinning at the two other women who’d moved to finish setting out the snacks that they’d bought.

Alba shook her head. “My boyfriend came up with this?” she posed.

“With a little help” Eva shrugged “But it was mostly his idea. He told me to tell you that he wants you to relax and that he loves you” she grinned.

Alba’s cheeks tinted a little pink, something which made the other women coo, fussing over how cute she was.

Alba shook her head a little before she moved to sit in the middle of the couch, gratefully taking the bottle of water that Eva held out to her as she moved to get settled, making a mental note to call Lionel and thank him for getting her precisely what she wanted for her birthday.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)