You Loved Me Once

97: All That Matters

Sparing a yawn into her hand, Alba padded into the kitchen, her other hand pushing the blonde hair out of her face. It was early, with her mother having suggested that they pay a visit to a wedding boutique in search of bridesmaids dresses, Alba had opted to wake herself up a little earlier than usual, wanting to prepare herself to spend the day with her mother before she took her to the airport ahead of her flight home. It had passed quickly, the first two days of Annabella’s visit had been quick even if they had been a little tense, and as much as she was glad that they were slowly making amends, she was a little glad that her mother was returning home.

It had been tense, whilst Annabella had attempted to make conversation with Lionel, it had always appeared forced and awkward, and Alba was pleased that her visit was almost over. She didn’t quite know how much longer she could put up with Annabella’s negative attitude towards a relationship that she held close.

“You’re up early”

Alba, who’d padded towards the fridge without so much as a look up, jumped a little, her blue eyes flicking towards Lionel who was stood beside the counter, sipping on a glass of juice. “I don’t think I’ve seen you up this early in a while” he smiled.

“I’m due to spend the day with my mother” Alba countered, moving to flick the kettle on “I need some time to prepare myself” she added.

Lionel shook her head. “She’s not that bad” he noted softly “And at least she is taking an interest in wedding planning. That’s what you wanted, isn’t it?” he posed softly. He knew that it bothered Alba, since she had arrived, Annabella had made the slightest of efforts when it came to getting to know him, but Lionel wanted to ensure that it didn’t cause a problem between the two of them. Whether she admitted it or not, Alba wanted her parents involved when it came to their wedding day and he didn’t want her to push them away on his account.

“It is” Alba confirmed gently “But I would like it if she at least made an effort to get to know you again” she added, peeking up at him softly.

“It’s just going to take them some time, Alba” Lionel mused, pressing a kiss against the side of her head “It was always going to take them some time and we just have to wait it out. You want to do this, don’t you?” he posed softly.

Alba frowned slightly. “You know I do” she confirmed, a furrow in her forehead.

“Then that is all that matters” Lionel enthused, his arms resting happily around her waist.

Alba rested back against him for a moment, enjoying the quiet which filled the kitchen before the sound of Isabella’s whimpers echoed from the monitor which had been stowed on the countertop. “Your turn or mine?” Lionel mumbled, kissing her shoulder softly.

“Yours” Alba mumbled “I got her last night” she added gently.

Lionel nodded his head gently before he ducked down, kissing her shoulder gently once more before he ducked out of the room, leaving Alba alone for a lone for a moment. She knew that he had a point, whether her parents loved the idea or not, she wanted to marry Lionel and that was the only thing that really mattered.

“How many bridesmaids are you thinking about, Alba?” Annabella posed as she flicked through the selection of fabric samples which had been placed in her hand by one of the shop assistants which buzzed around them. It had been a pleasant morning, Alba and Annabella had spent a lot of it talking about the ideas that the younger woman and her fiancé had concocted for their wedding day, and whilst Alba had had her reservations about spending time with her mother, she had to admit that she had enjoyed it, even if her mother did still seem a little cold towards the mention of her fiancé, she was pleased that they had done it.

“I’ve already asked Eva to be my maid of honor” Alba quipped, wrinkling her nose at the lime green fabric that her mother was pointing out to her “And I was thinking about asking Calista, a friend from work and the girlfriend of one of Lionel’s friends that I’ve grown close to” she explained.

“And Leo had 3 groomsmen as well as a best man?” Annabella posed.

“His two brothers and his teammate Gerard” Alba confirmed “We’ve had the guest list made up for a little while now, it’s just the details we’ve got to sort out, like a venue and a dress” she quipped, a small grin forming on her face.

Annabella watched the smile on her daughter’s face for a moment before she shook her head, letting out a small sigh. “You’re sure about this, aren’t you?” she posed softly.

Alba, who was flicking through the fabric swatches, nodded. “100%, mama” she confirmed “And if you aren’t, you know what you can do. I know you don’t like him, and I get that, I do, but this is what I want and I need you, and papa, to respect that. If you’re going to cause trouble, I don’t want you around” she insisted quietly. She didn’t like saying it, regardless of what had happened between them, the woman sat beside her was still her mother, but she wanted to be clear. Her intention was to marry Lionel and she was more than content to do it with or without her mother and father.

Annabella tilted her head. “Alba, the man…”

“Broke my heart” Alba cut in “I know he did, mama. I was the one he told that he didn’t want to marry me, the one who cried for almost a week solid when I came home to you and papa. I know what he did, but I have forgiven him and I love him and that ought to be enough for you and papa to bury the hatchet. I know you’re looking out for me, and I am grateful, but this is something want to do, something I have wanted to do since I was teenager, and I am going to do it, with or without you” she insisted softly.

Annabella offered the younger woman a look before she nodded. “You’re right” she murmured “It should be enough for us, and we’re working on it, Alba” she insisted.

“I want you to get along, mama” Alba murmured as she directed her stare back towards the fabric samples in her hand “I want things to be like they were before Leo left” she added, a wistful expression on her face.

“That’s a long way off” Annabella murmured “But it is something we’re working on, even if it doesn’t seem like it. You’re one of the most important things in mine and your papa’s life and we trusted Leo with you before and look how that ended. We’re going to worry, Alba, we’re always going to worry about you” she insisted softly.

Alba offered her a slightly dubious look before she flicked her attention towards the fabric sample she held in her hand, offering towards her mother who admired it with a gentle smile. She knew that it was going to take a little getting used to, from the way both Alba and Lionel spoke, there was no doubt that they were going to end up married, and Annabella knew it was an idea that she merely had to get a grip on.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 for the comment :)