You Loved Me Once

96: You Ought To Get Used To It

Pacing the spot she stood on, Alba allowed her eyes to scan the airport terminal, a few knots in her stomach. It had been a while, after her parents’ last visit to Barcelona, Alba had been reluctant to invite them over again, but with her mother desperate to be involved in the planning of her wedding to Lionel, she had had little choice.

It meant a lot to her, when Alba had envisaged planning a wedding, she had always thought that she would have her mother’s help, and whilst she was glad that Annabella wanted to lend a hand, she was dubious about the prospect of having her around. It was still a little awkward, both Annabella and David hadn’t hesitated when it came to insisting that they still didn’t like her choice in boyfriend, but she hoped that the more time they spent around him, the warmer they’d get towards the idea that Lionel wasn’t going anywhere.

Pushing a hand through her hair, she looked around the airport terminal once more before she felt a hand tap against her shoulder, causing her to let out a small startled noise.

“I didn’t mean to scare you” Annabella insisted as Alba turned to look at her.

“It’s fine” Alba mused “I was in a little world of my own. Is papa not with you?” she posed, checking for any sign of father.

“You know how much he loves going to work” Annabella quipped “Aren’t you happy to see me though?” she pressed.

Alba nodded. “Of course, mama” she enthused with a small smile. “It’s been a while” she added, moving to pull the older woman into a soft hug.

Annabella grinned and hugged her tightly before she pulled back. “I cannot wait to see that beautiful little granddaughter of mine” she enthused as they padded towards the luggage carousel, quickly collecting her suitcase.

Alba nodded. “Leo put her down for her nap before I came to collect you so she ought to be up by the time we get back. Are you sure that you’re OK to stay with us?” she posed gently. It hadn’t been her idea, when her mother had suggested the idea of coming to visit, Alba had tried to convince her that a hotel would be best, but Annabella had been insistent. It wasn’t often that she got the chance to visit her older daughter and she wanted to make the most of it.

“You’ve got a spare room, no?” Annabella posed as they padded towards the exit.

“We do” Alba agreed “But I was just asking. You’ve always loved hotels” she pointed out with a soft smile.

“I’m only in town for 3 days, Alba, and I want to spend as much time as I can with my daughter and granddaughter” she enthused.

“And Leo” Alba added gently.

Annabella nodded. “And him too. I want to get to know him again, Alba, before you two get down the aisle” she enthused.

Alba offered her a slightly dubious look before she led her towards her car, hopeful that her mother would at least attempt to get along with her boyfriend.

“Can I get you anything to eat, mama?” Alba posed as she pushed herself to her feet, her eyes glancing towards Annabella who was sat in the armchair opposite her, cooing over Isabella who was sat in her lap, her blue eyes peeking over at her mother.

“No, thank you, Alba” Annabella smiled.

“Leo?” Alba posed, glancing at her boyfriend who was sat beside her, his earphones in his ears.

Lionel noticed her looking at him and sat up, tilting his head. “Huh?” he posed.

“I was going to get something to eat. Did you want anything?” Alba posed.

“No, thank you” Lionel smiled.

Alba returned his grin gently, pressing a kiss to his cheek before she stepped out of the room, leaving her boyfriend with Annabella who watched him, her expression thoughtful. She knew that she wasn’t going to change Alba’s mind, even despite their breakup, there had always been a part of her daughter that had loved the footballer, but still Annabella didn’t quite know what to make of him. She didn’t quite know that she trusted him enough to believe that they’d make it up the aisle the second time around.

“Have you and Alba talked about our wedding plans yet?” Lionel quipped as he moved to collect Isabella from her grandmother’s arms, pressing a small kiss to the little girl’s cheek.

“Not yet” Annabella noted gently “Have you got particularly far?” she posed.

“We’ve picked a date” Lionel enthused “May 28th” he added with a soft smile.

“That’s not very far away” Annabella quipped “Are you sure that you don’t want to wait a while?” she pressed gently.

Lionel shook his head. “Alba and I agree that we need a couple of months to get used to the idea of getting married, but neither of us want to hang around for too long. We liked the idea of a spring wedding” he enthused softly.

Annabella offered him a small look, one that made Lionel sigh. He knew the look on Annabella’s face, it was one that she and her husband had perfected since he had appeared in Alba’s life once, and it irked him a little that they still seemed so uncertain about him. He knew he couldn’t ask them to trust him, after the end of his previous relationship with their daughter, they were well within their rights to be dubious about his intentions, but he had hoped that they would have warmed to him slightly, something they clearly hadn’t.

“Mrs Nunez” he sighed softly “I know you have no reason to trust me, but I mean it when I say that this is what I want. I love your daughter, you know that, and I am going nowhere this time. I am going to marry Alba, Mrs Nunez, and I think you need to get used to it” he insisted as kindly as he could.

“In fairness, that is what you said last time” Annabella countered “I merely don’t want to see her hurt again, Lionel” she added.

“She’s not going to get hurt, not by me, not again” he insisted softly “I am going to marry her, Mrs Nunez, and I want you to be there when I do because I know how much it means to her, but I am not going to have you and your husband try and ruin it by making Alba doubt me” he added, his dark eyes meeting Annabella’s blues.

Annabella met his stare for a moment before she nodded quietly.

Lionel offered her a slight smile before Alba stepped back into the room, her eyes flicking between the two of them. “Are we OK in here?” she posed softly.

“We are” Lionel confirmed with a small smile “Aren’t we?” he posed with a look towards Annabella.

The older woman looked back at him for a moment before she nodded, earning a smile on Alba’s face. She knew that it was going to take a little work, even despite the fact that Alba and Lionel had been together for over a year, Annabella still wasn’t used to the notion that they were together again, but she knew that it was something she had to warm to. One look at Lionel suggested that he meant what he said and Annabella knew she merely had to deal with it.
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Thanks to FootieJo and Jayme112234 for the comments :)