You Loved Me Once

07: You Lost That A Long Time Ago

“You’re sure that you’re OK to do this, aren’t you?” Eva posed as she followed Alba towards the small dance studio, her expression slightly dubious. It hadn’t been long, only a couple of nights previous, Eva had spent almost an hour trying to comfort a tearful Alba who’d conversed with Lionel, and Eva doubted that she was ready to face the man again, even if she insisted otherwise. It had been a big a step, talking to Lionel was something that Eva had doubted that Alba would ever do, and she was proud of her, even if it had upset her, she was pleased that she had taken that step.

“It’s a dance lesson, Eva” Alba noted as she pushed the door to the studio open “I think I will be able to handle it” she added.

“You’re going to be near him” Eva pointed out gently “He’s going to be your partner. I just want to be sure” she insisted.

“You’re going to be married in 3 weeks, Eva” Alba noted “At that wedding, people will expect me to dance with him. It’s just something I have to put up with. It’s one lesson, Eva, one dance. I’ll be fine” she insisted. She was grateful for Eva trying to look out for her, it seemed to be something the other woman did a lot of, but she didn’t want to duck out. As far as she was concerned, she merely had to make it through another 21 days before she could return home and resume pretending that her ex didn’t exist.

Eva offered her another dubious look before they moved a little deeper into the room, her eyes landing on the instructor who talked with Lionel and Oscar. “Wow” she squeaked.

Alba, who’d been looked at her feet, tilted her head. “What?” she posed.

“The instructor” Eva noted “Look at him” she added.

Alba frowned a little before she lifted her head, her blue eyes widening slightly at the handsome man who grinned boyishly at something Lionel had said. “Wow” she mused a little louder than she had intended to, causing the three men to turn and look at her.

“Subtle” Eva muttered quietly before she stepped forwards, offering her hand out to the instructor. “Hola, I am Eva Lopez, the bride to be” she noted.

“Hector Fernandez” the instructor smiled before he turned his attention to Alba, his smile growing a little “That means you’re the maid of honour, no?” he posed.

Alba blinked. “Uh, yes” she mused “Alba Nunez” she added, sticking her hand out awkwardly ahead of her.

Hector smiled. “There is no need to be so nervous, hermosa” he mused.

Alba’s cheeks warmed a little, something which didn’t go unnoticed by Lionel who stood a little away from him, a tight expression on his face. He knew that he had no right to be upset, Alba hadn’t been his girlfriend in a while, but he didn’t like the notion of Hector flirting with her, nor did he like the idea of Alba responding to it. It wasn’t something that was ever going to sit well with him.

“We should get started” Hector mused, clapping his hands together “Alba, would you assist me for a moment?” he posed.

Alba shook her head. “I have two left feet” she babbled shyly.

“It is very easy, I promise” Hector grinned before he stepped towards her, offering her his hand.

Alba eyed it hesitantly before Eva knocked against her back, pushing her forwards.

Hector smiled and took her hand, his other hand settling on her waist. “It is easy” Hector enthused “You just follow my steps” he added.

“That’s easier said than done” Alba quipped.

Hector flashed her one more boyish grin before he started the music, leading her through the first few steps. Alba followed his movements, her own actions uncertain for a moment before she relaxed, grinning a little.

Lionel, who stood a little away from her, shook his head, something which made Eva nudge him. “Don’t even think it” she muttered.

“I wasn’t” Lionel muttered, his eyes not once shifting away from Hector and Alba.

“Tell your face that then” Eva muttered “You know that you lost the right to be jealous a long time ago” she added, offering him another pointed look.

Lionel nodded quietly before he flicked his attention back to Hector and Alba who were giggling together, a sound that had his stomach in knots. He knew that Eva was right, any right he had to be jealous had disappeared the second he had made the choice to leave Alba, but that didn’t mean the feeling just disappeared. The mere sight of Alba with Hector’s hand on her waist was enough to make him want to wipe the smile off of Hector’s face.

“Oscar, Lionel, you should lead the woman, guide her” Hector enthused from the front of the room, watching as the two pairs made their way around the room.

“What does he think I am doing?” Lionel muttered, glaring slightly at the instructor.

“He’s probably referring to the fact that you keep treading on my feet” Alba countered “We’ve been doing this for 10 minutes, and you’ve already trod on me 3 times” she added.

“This is not my forte” Lionel noted, his voice softening a little.

“I remember” Alba noted “At my cousin’s wedding, you almost tripped me over” she added.

Lionel smiled. “I wasn’t the worst dancer there” he countered “Your sister’s boyfriend was worse” he added.

Alba smiled a little at the memory, something which made Lionel smile himself. It had been a long time since he’d been the reason for her smile. “You have a nice smile” he complimented gently.

Alba’s cheeks warmed a little, making his smile widen.

“That should do for now” Hector noted, clapping his hands together “You have another lesson in a couple of days, no?” he posed.

“We do” Eva noted before she moved to collect her bag, affording Hector the chance to pad towards Alba who’d pulled away from Lionel.

“You’re a natural, Alba” he mused, offering her a smile.

“I doubt that” Alba retorted, fiddling with the bottom of her shirt “I’ve never been much of a dancer” she added.

“Then you learn quickly” Hector smiled “You did well, even if your partner was not so good, you looked great” he enthused.

Lionel scoffed, earning a slight glare from Alba.

Hector eyed the footballer for a moment before he turned his attention back to Alba, offering her another smile. “I was wondering what you were up to for dinner tonight” he noted “I know it’s a little forwards, but I’d like the chance to take you out” he added.

Alba blinked. “You would?” she posed.

Hector nodded. “I would. I know a nice place not too far from here and I’d like to take you out. Does that sound like something you might be interested in?” he posed.

Alba thought for a second, her eyes glancing towards Lionel who’d moved away slightly but was clearly still listening to her conversation. She knew that she couldn’t let him hold her back, for 5 years, she had put off dating, but still she didn’t feel comfortable with it. Whether it had been 5 years or not, the notion of dating anyone that wasn’t Lionel felt a little foreign to her.

“One dinner” Hector noted “Please, Alba” he added.

Alba nibbled on her lip briefly before she nodded. “Alright” she agreed “One dinner. I will meet you here at about 7?” she posed.

Hector grinned and leant down, kissing her cheek softly before he moved away, allowing Alba to glance at Lionel who shook his head.

Alba watched him for a moment before Eva bounced up to her side, patting her shoulder. “You’re going on a date?” she squeaked.

“I agreed to have dinner with Hector” Alba confirmed, not looking away from Lionel.

Eva followed the line of her stare and shook her head, not missing the expression on Lionel’s face.

It was one she figured that they would see a lot of if Alba made a go of something with Hector.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)