Where We Are

41: How To Be A Couple

Lightly pushing her fingers back through Iker’s hair, Maia smiled to herself, her blue eyes watching as his nose wrinkled in his sleep. It was still early, with her parents having spent the night in their bedroom, she and Iker had had little choice but to spend the night on the couch, and whilst they’d gotten to sleep pretty quickly, it’d become uncomfortable, something which had woken her up. It had been a tense night, after Iker had spotted the message from Melena on her phone, what had been a good night had quickly soured, but she was pleased that they’d talked, even if there had been a slight hint of tension between them when they’d fallen asleep the night previous. She was glad that they hadn’t let the issue go unresolved.

Gently pulling her hand back, she yawned into it softly before she moved to sit up slightly, her feet gently settling on the cool floor. Flinching at the cold sensation, she let out a soft squeak before she peeked over her shoulder, making sure that she’d not disturbed Iker. Pausing for a moment, she watched him stir slightly in his sleep before she pushed herself up to her feet, quietly making her way through towards the kitchen.

“Are you hungry?”

Maia, who’d made her way quickly towards the fridge, startled at the sound of her mother’s voice, something which made Carolina laugh softly. “I didn’t mean to scare you” she noted.

Maia shook her head. “It’s OK” she noted “I’m just surprised that you’re awake. It’s still pretty early” she added.

“It is” Carolina agreed “But I’ve always been an earlier riser, sweetheart. You must have forgotten that since you moved out” she added, her voice warm and teasing.

Maia offered her a small smile before she turned back towards the fridge, collecting a carton of orange juice. “How was last night?” she posed “Did Ella give you any trouble?” she added, moving to settle down at the kitchen table.

Carolina, who’d turned back towards the stove, shook her head. “She was an angel, Maia” she mused “She’s a very quiet baby, a lot like you were” she added, her voice shifting slightly. It hadn’t been intentional, when she had gotten out of bed the previous night to collect a glass of water, she hadn’t anticipated overhearing Maia and Iker talking, but still it played on her mind, even if it was none of her business. The last thing she wanted was to watch the two of them stumble so soon after their little girl had arrived.

Maia frowned slightly, not missing the slightly change in her mother’s tone, before she nodded her head. “You’re not the first person to say it” she noted “She looks a lot like Iker, but I think she’s got more of my temperament” she added, fiddling with her glass timidly.

“She’s a wonderful combination of the two of you” Carolina noted, not shifting her eyes away from the pan which stood on the stove.

Maia’s frown deepened slightly before she pushed herself up to her feet, moving to sit herself down on the counter beside the stove. “Mama, are you alright?” she posed, ducking her head so that she could meet her mother’s stare.

Carolina held her stare for a moment before she shook her head, a small sigh escaping her lips. “I overheard you and Iker last night” she admitted.

Maia blinked a couple of times, surprised by her words, before she shook her head. “Mama...”

“I didn’t mean to overhear” Carolina cut in “I’d gotten up for a glass of water when the two of you came in, and I overheard you talking. It sounded pretty serious” she added, her expression softening as she peeked up at Maia.

Maia spared her mother a look before she let out a soft sigh. “I got a text” she noted “Melena, my editor, she sent me a text saying that we needed to talk, and Iker saw it. He jumped to some pretty familiar conclusions” she added, fiddling with the ends of her hair.

Carolina lifted an eyebrow. “He thought that she was offering you a job?” she posed.

Maia nodded. “It was a pretty ambiguous text” she noted “It simply said that we needed to talk, and Iker took that to mean that she was planning on offering me a chance to leave. It completely escaped him that I’ve still got a few months of maternity leave left” she added, tucking her hair behind her ear.

Carolina watched her for a second before she reached her hand up, gently knotting her fingers through her daughter’s. “You know that he loves you, right?” she pressed.

Maia scoffed slightly before she nodded. “Of course I do” she noted.

“I don’t want to give you a lecture, Maia” Carolina noted “We both know that you’re old enough and bright enough to handle this by yourself, but I don’t want to watch this fall apart again, especially not now that Ella is around. I know that you don’t like to talk about it, sweetheart, but I know how much it hurt you when Iker called it quits, and you must know that that pain you felt, he felt too, and now he’s worried. I know that you’re not going anywhere, you’re too settled and too happy around Iker and Ella to think about it, but Iker? He got used to you being here before, Maia, and then you went away and came back, and every time he got settled with you, you were off again, and it’s going to take him some time to get used to the idea that you’re here to stay. He’s not accusing you of anything, sweetheart, he’s just slightly wary and I think that that’s understandable” she explained, her hand gently squeezing Maia’s.

She knew that Maia was frustrated, the look on her face when she’d spoken about the conversation that she and Iker had had the previous night confided it, but Carolina wanted to try and help her to see it from the keeper’s point of view. It had been a sticking point between them, Maia’s job had caused them problems first time around, and she wanted Maia to see why Iker was wary, even if she was certain that her daughter had no intention of going anywhere. She wanted her to see that it was something which was likely to play on Iker’s mind.

Maia spared a glance down towards their hands before she shook her head. “I just want him to put faith in my word” she murmured.

“I know you do” Carolina noted “But, like everything else, it’s going to take time. It’s very easy to forget with Ella in the picture, but you two were apart for a while and you’re still figuring out how to be a couple again, and it’s pretty different this time around. You’re not gone for weeks at time anymore, sweetheart, you and Iker, you’re around each other more frequently now, and you’ve got to let yourselves grow into it.” she added encouragingly.

Maia, who was still watching their hands, chewed on her lip thoughtfully for a moment before she lifted her head. “Do you like him?” she posed.

Carolina smiled. “I think he’s a lovely man” she enthused “And I think you could do a lot worse. He’s a keeper, Maia” she quipped warmly.

Maia’s cheeks warmed at her mother’s compliment before she shook her head. “I love him, mama” she murmured.

“I know you do” Carolina noted “And I know that he adores you, Maia. It’s all over his face” she added.

Maia simply grinned sheepishly, something which caused Carolina to lean up, kissing the top of her head gently. “Don’t mess this up again” she mumbled “He’s good for you, Maia” she added before she stepped back, passing by Iker who’d stepped into the doorway, Ella cuddled into his arms.

“Did I miss something?” Iker posed, stifling a yawn into his hand.

Maia admired him for a moment, quirking a coy smile, before she shook her head. “I was just catching up with my mama” she noted.

Iker nodded. “Did she and your papa mind watching Ella last night?” he posed.

Maia shook her head. “She said that she was an angel” she enthused.

Iker scoffed, mumbling something about them having already known that, before he sat down at the kitchen table, cooing happily at Ella who laid in his arms, reaching her little hands out towards him. Maia, who was still sat a little away from him, watched him for a second before she quirked a timid smile, allowing her mother’s words to circulate in her head. She knew that she had a point, the relationship that they were in that time around was a different one to the one that they’d been in previously, and it was likely to take some figuring out, even if it did mean a few fights along the way, she was sure that it was something that she wanted to work out.
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Thanks to Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)