Where We Are

77: What Makes You Happy

“Are you sure that you and papa don’t mind doing this, mama?” Maia posed from her spot at the kitchen table, her blue eyes settled on her mother who stood a little away from her, cooing softly to Ella who sat in her high chair. It had been a few days, after her mother and father had arrived in Florence, a little under a week had passed, and with them due to fly back to Porto the following morning, Carolina had offered to watch Ella and Charlie for a few hours, wanting to afford Maia and Iker a little time for themselves.

It had been a while, between the move and their two young children, Carolina was sure that it had been a while since the two of them had taken a few hours to themselves, and Carolina wanted to encourage them, even if Iker had just suggested that he would be taking Maia out to breakfast. She wanted to help to allow them to enjoy a little time as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Carolina, who’d moved to place a bowl of food down in front of Ella, smiled before she lifted her head, shaking it slightly. “Of course I don’t mind” she mused “I offered, remember? I wouldn’t have done that if I minded, would I?” she added.

Maia shook her head. “I guess not” she mused, shyly tucking her hair behind her ear.

Carolina smiled a little before she stepped across the room, settling into the seat beside her daughter. “I am happy to watch them for a couple of hours, sweetheart” she mused “It’ll be a while before I am back here again and I want to spend as much time as I can with them, and if it means that you and Iker can take a couple of hours off, it’s a win-win no?” she posed as she reached out, offering Maia’s hand a light squeeze.

Maia spared a soft look down towards their hands before she quirked a timid smile. “It’s been a while since we went on a date” she mused.

“Then you should enjoy it” Carolina encouraged warmly before she spared a glance over Maia’s shoulder, something which caused the brunette to turn, her blue eyes settling on Iker who stood in the doorway, her jacket held in his hands.

“Are you ready to get out of here?” he asked, offering the coat out towards her.

Maia smiled a little at the small romantic gesture before she stood up, allowing him to gently place the coat around her shoulder before he dipped his head, pressing a soft kiss against her cheek. “We shouldn’t be gone for too long, Carolina” he mused, peeking up at the older woman who stood a little away from them, a fond smile on her lips.

Carolina waved a hand. “Take all the time you want” she encouraged “Me and Hector don’t mind” she added.

Iker offered her a small smile before he offered his hand out towards Maia, allowing her to knot their fingers together before they padded out of the room, something which made Carolina shake her head, a fond smile on her face. She knew that they were still figuring things out, with Maia not adapting quickly to their new home, things had been ever so slightly off between the two of them, but still the sight of them together made Carolina smile. They were good together, both Maia and Iker had a habit of bringing the best out of the other, and Carolina hoped that it stayed that way. She hoped that it wouldn’t be too much longer before she was watching her little girl make her way up the aisle.

“I am going to order myself another drink. Did you want anything?” Iker posed as he waved his hand, capturing the attention of a nearby waitress. It had been a quiet morning, with Carolina and Hector keen to watch Ella and Charlie for a while, Iker had been quick to make plans for him and Maia, and he was glad that he had, even if they had just headed to a nearby café for breakfast. He glad that he had a little time alone with her, something they’d not had a lot of since his transfer had been confirmed.

Maia, who was quietly stirring her drink, smiled. “I’d not say no to another plate of toast with strawberry jam” she quipped.

Iker nodded. “I am sure that that can be arranged” he quipped playfully.

Maia rolled her eyes playfully before she turned back towards her drink, taking a small sip of it. “This has been nice” she mused softly after a couple of seconds of quiet.

Iker, who’d finished ordering their food, smiled a little at her words before he nodded, his hand gently reaching for hers. “It has been” he agreed “I kind of like it when it is just the two of us” he added, gently skimming his thumb over the back of her hand.

Maia watched the small movements of his thumb briefly before she peeked up at him, a soft smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. “You know” she mumbled after a couple of seconds of comfortable quiet “I’ve been doing a little thinking over the past couple of days” she added.

Iker lifted an eyebrow. “Should I be worried?” he quipped, his voice caught between playful and nervous.

Maia shook her head, not missing the slight hint of apprehension in his voice. “It’s nothing bad” she noted “I’ve just...I’ve been thinking about getting back into writing again” she babbled, her eyes trained on his face in anticipation of his reaction. It wasn’t something they talked about a lot, between her two pregnancies and then the move to Italy, the idea of her returning to work had been firmly placed on the backburner, but she wanted to start to think about it again, even if her job wasn’t going to be the same as what it had been. She wanted to start thinking about getting back into it.

Iker blinked a couple of times, surprised by her words, before he tilted his head. “What?” he asked.

Maia shrugged. “I am not suggesting that I get back to work right away” she noted “I mean, Charlie’s only a couple of months old, but I want to start to write again, even if it is just a few articles here and there. I know that things are different now, and that my old job, it’s not compatible with us and what we’ve got going on, but I want to do something, Iker. I think it could be good for me” she explained.

Iker looked at her for a moment, not missing the expression which had appeared on her features, before he nodded his head, offering her hand a light squeeze. “You think it could be good for you?” he posed.

Maia nodded. “I love being a mother” she noted “You know how much Charlie and Ella mean to me, and how much I love spending time with them, but I need something else to focus on as well and I think this could be good. I’ve been toying with the idea of sending a text to Melena, just to ask her for a few suggestions, but if you want me to hold off...”

“Do it” Iker interrupted.

Maia looked up at him hesitantly. “You sure?” she asked.

Iker nodded without a beat of hesitation. “If it is what you want, then do it” he insisted, offering her hand another light squeeze “But I did have a thought of my own” he added, a small grin pulling at the corner of his mouth.

Maia frowned confusedly. “You did?” she asked.

Iker nodded his head before he shifted his hand, gently passing his fingers over the engagement ring which sat on hers. “We’ve been engaged for a while” he noted “And I was thinking that maybe now was the right time to look at making a few preliminary plans” he added.

Maia, who’d been watching his fingers, lifted her stare, meeting his. “You...you want to think about planning a wedding?” she posed.

“Is it that bad an idea?” Iker posed.

“No” Maia replied “I just...I thought you wanted to wait?” she posed.

Iker shrugged impishly. “We have waited” he countered “I proposed at New Year’s, Maia, and we’ve hardly mentioned it since. I know we’ve been busy, with Charlie coming along and the move, the last few months have been pretty hectic, but things are settling down and I kind of want to think about it. If I am honest, it’s a pretty exciting thought to me” he added with a warm smile.

Maia marveled at his soft smile before she shook her head, a shy smile playing on her lips. “You want to make plans?” she asked.

“I do” Iker confirmed “But if you still want to wait, then that’s OK too. It’s just a thought” he added, his voice slightly shy.

Maia allowed his words hang around them for a second before she carefully leant over the table, pressing a swift kiss against his lips. “Let’s do it” she mumbled as she pulled back.

Iker gently lifted his hand, tucking her hair off of her face. “You sure?” he asked “We can wait” he added.

Maia leant into his hand slightly before she shook her head. “We have waited” she quipped, mimicking his earlier statement.

Iker let out a small laugh before he leant forwards, pressing another soft kiss against her lips. “Let’s do it then” he mumbled, playing along.
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Thanks to mslou1, Jayme112234 and FootieJo for the comments :)