You Loved Me Once

75: I Don’t Know

Peeking down at the small box he held in his palm, Lionel let out a sigh, his mind still repeating Gerard’s words. He knew that the defender meant well, Gerard had developed a habit of looking out for both Lionel and Alba since they had gotten back together, but still it upset the argentine slightly. He knew that his friend had a point, he had proposed to Alba before and it had ended badly, but he didn’t see the need to hesitate, even if there was a small risk that Alba could turn him down, he didn’t see why she would. Eyeing the small box, he flipped it over in his hand a couple of times before he moved to stow in his drawer, closing it as Alba stepped into the room, a sleepy Isabella in her arms.

“This is where papa is hiding, Bella” Alba mused, smiling at him gently.

“I am not hiding” Lionel countered softly “I was merely trying to avoid all of the cooing women in my living room. What are you two doing up here?” he posed as he stepped towards them, his fingertip brushing Isabella’s hand gently.

“Isabella was getting fussy” Alba mused “She was starting to pout so I bought her up for a nap. The others are downstairs keeping an eye on dinner” she added.

“Do you want me to be put her down for a nap?” Lionel posed, his dark eyes flicking up to meet Alba’s blues.

“I can handle that” she mused “But I do need you to go downstairs and keep Gerard out of the food. He’s been trying to get at it since I started to cook” she grinned.

Lionel rolled his eyes. “That man is a pain” he complained with a small smile.

“He is, but you love him” Alba pointed out “And I love him too. He’s funny” she noted.

Lionel nodded. “He is” he mused “But I am better, right?” he teased.

Alba rolled her eyes and stepped towards him, her hand softly cupping his cheek. “You’re amazing” she quipped “I am lucky to have you” she added before she leant forwards, kissing him gently.

Lionel held her in place for a moment before Isabella let out a small whimper, causing her parents to pull apart. “I should really get her down for her nap” Alba mumbled, stealing another soft kiss.

“You should” Lionel quipped “But you’re the one who keeps kissing me” he pointed out with a small smirk.

Alba rolled her eyes and pulled herself away, something which made him laugh softly. “You know you love me really” he teased as he stepped towards the door, ducking out of the room.

Alba watched him go for a second before she turned her attention to Isabella, moving to settle the little girl in her crib. “Your papa is an odd man” she murmured as she sat down on the end of her bed, watching as Isabella shifted a little to get comfortable. “He is a little strange, but he is also sweet and kind and I know he’s never going to let anything happen to you, princesa” she fussed softly, her fingers brushing through the infant’s dark hair.

Isabella stirred a little more before she closed her eyes, something which made Alba smile gently. It was still strange to her, the idea that the little girl that had fallen asleep ahead of her was her own, but it was an idea that she loved. She had thought about it before, when she and Lionel had been together the first time, the idea of a child had crossed her mind, but it felt better than she had thought it would, even if she was still worried that she would put a foot wrong, she had come to adore being a mother.

“I cannot quite believe that the two of you have a baby together, Alba” Gerard mused as he sat down beside the blonde woman, gratefully taking the plate of food she had offered out to him. It had been a pleasant day, Shakira, Eva and Jess had spent a lot of it cooing over the new addition, but Gerard had enjoyed watching Alba and Lionel, a little surprised by how well they seemed to be handling Isabella’s arrival. He was unsure of them, Alba and Lionel had never been the most fantastic couple and he had worried that Isabella’s birth would put a lot of stress on them, but he was pleased to see that they were coping well, even if Lionel did seem to be getting ahead of him, they looked as solid as ever.

Alba, who’d moved to collect her own plate, smiled. “You’re not the only one” she teased “I can’t quite believe that I am a madre myself yet” she grinned.

“You look like a natural” Jess grinned “I don’t know about Leo, but you look amazing” she teased.

Lionel rolled his eyes, mumbling something beneath his breath.

“Seriously” Jess smiled “You two look completely at home with her and she’s adorable. She clearly got all of the good genes” she grinned.

“That’s all on Alba” Lionel mused with a soft smile directed at Alba, causing the blonde’s cheeks to tint a soft pink colour.

Shakira, who was sat beside her boyfriend, flicked her stare between the two of them before she shook her head. “Is there a chance of wedding bells in the near future?” she posed.

Alba, who’d flicked her attention to her food, startled, her blue eyes widening a little. “What?” she squeaked.

“The two of you are adorable” the blonde woman fussed gently “I just wondered if it is on your radar” she added.

Alba offered her a soft look before she shook her head, her eyes flicking down towards her lap. “I don’t know” she murmured “It’s not something I am thinking about yet” she mumbled before she pushed herself to her feet, excusing herself quietly.

Shakira watched her go before she flicked her attention back to Lionel, frowning a little. “Did I say something I shouldn’t have done?” she posed.

Lionel shook his head. “You weren’t to know” he murmured “Marriage is a touchy subject for Alba, especially with me” he added.

“Why?” the singer posed.

“Because they were engaged before” Gerard quipped, his blue eyes glancing towards Lionel who dropped his head.

“They were?” Shakira quipped.

Gerard nodded his head “They were” he confirmed gently “And then, 3 weeks before they were due to get married…”

“I broke her heart” Lionel interrupted “And now the topic of marriage is clearly off limits for us, something you weren’t to know” he insisted.

Shakira stared at him for a moment before Gerard climbed to his feet, pulling her attention away from Lionel who merely stared down at his hand, the look on his face undecipherable. “We should go” he mumbled.

“We should” Jess seconded “Eva, I could give you a lift back to your hotel” she added.

Eva nodded and mumbled a quick goodbye before she ducked out of the room with Jess in tow, affording Gerard the chance to pad towards Lionel, patting his shoulder softly. “Lo siento, hombre” he murmured.

Lionel merely waved him off. “It’s fine” he muttered “At least it happened now and not when I was down on one knee” he added.

“I am still sorry” Gerard murmured.

Lionel merely shook his head. “It’s fine” he repeated softly “I’ll see you tomorrow?” he posed.

Gerard nodded and offered him a weak smile before he ducked out of the room, leaving Lionel alone.

The argentine watched his friends out of the room before he let out a small sigh, his stomach turning at the thought of the conversation he and Alba had to have.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)