In the End

23: That’s One Way of Describing Him

Quirking an amused smile to herself, Estella glanced across the table, her eyes fixed on Ariella who sat opposite her, trying to subtly glance down at the phone which she had left beside her plate. It wasn’t the first time she had tried to look at it, since they’d sat down in the restaurant that Ariella had chosen to take her mother to for lunch, she had spared a lot of glances down towards her phone, and Estella didn’t have to be psychic to guess who was on the other end of the texts. The grin on Ariella’s face spoke volumes.

Pushing her food around her plate, she watched as Ariella slipped her phone off of the table before she let out a small laugh, something which caused the brunette’s head to whip up, her eyes wide “What?” she spluttered.

Estella rolled her eyes playfully before she shook her head. “You” she replied “I mean, we’ve been here for almost an hour, and I don’t think you’ve looked away from that phone for longer than a couple of minutes. I will concede, I am probably nowhere near as interesting as that boyfriend of yours, but I would appreciate it if you at least tried to make conversation with me. After all, I didn’t come out to lunch with you just to watch you stare at that phone” she added, her voice warm and playful.

Ariella scoffed, but couldn’t keep the blush off of her cheeks, something which made Estella smile. It had been a little while, after Ariella had told her that she and Gerard were attempting to make things would between them, a little over a month had passed, and it pleased Estella to see that her daughter was still so content. She was worried, after the way things had ended between the defender and her daughter the first time around, a small part of her was concerned that it was only a matter of time before Ariella got herself worked up over something or other, but she was thrilled that things seemed to be going well, even if Ariella was still a little reluctant to talk about it with her. One look at her daughter’s face told her all that she needed to know.

“I’m sorry, mama” Ariella mused, stuffing her phone into her pocket “It’s just....”

“Your boyfriend is adorable?” Estella finished for her, a grin on her face.

Ariella tried not to smile, but failed, allowing a soft grin to spread across her lips. “That’s one way of describing him” she mumbled timidly.

Estella admired the soft smile that had appeared on her lips before she gently shook her head, her foot lightly nudging Ariella’s beneath the table. “Aren’t you going to tell me how things are going?” she posed curiously.

Ariella shrugged. “What do you want me to say, mama?” she posed, a coy grin on her face.

Estella rolled her eyes. “Would it hurt you to humour your madre?” she posed “Here I am, taking an interest in you, and you don’t want to give me anything?” she stressed playfully.

Ariella let out a soft laugh before she gently shook her head, performing her usual nervous tick of tucking her dark hair away from her eyes. “I don’t really know what to say” she noted “I mean, it’s been about a month since we started see one another, and I think it is going pretty well. He’s...he’s really great, mama, he’s sweet and funny, and I guess that that is something I took for granted before. He’s really amazing” she fussed softly, her fingers tentatively playing with the ends of her hair as she attempted to try and stifle the grin which itched to appear on her lips. It wasn’t like her, for as long as she could remember, she had never been the type to gush over anything, but she couldn’t help herself, even if she knew that she and Gerard were taking things tentatively. A small part of her couldn’t wait to fuss over how well things had gone between them for the month or so that they’d been dating.

Estella watched her for a moment, not missing the slightly excited tone of her voice, before she leant forwards, gently guiding Ariella’s hand away from her hair. “I’m glad to see you so enthused, baby” she mused “Perhaps that will help you to keep yourself from fretting” she added, her voice softening slightly.

Ariella’s expression softened at her mother’s words, something which caused Estella to squeeze her hand softly, a motherly smile appearing on her lips. “I am not trying to discourage your excitement, Ella” she mused “I love that you’re so excited about what you two have got going on, and I am one of many people who are rooting for you, but I just want you to keep in mind that it is early days. I’m thrilled for you, baby, I know how amazing a man he is, and I know, despite everything, that you’re completely crazy about him. I just think it is worth remembering that it’s only been a month” she explained thoughtfully.

She wasn’t deliberately trying to dampen Ariella’s excitement, if anyone was thrilled to see her so excited about what she and Gerard had going on, then it was Estella who had been rooting for the two of them all along, but she wanted to try and encourage her to be careful, not wanting her to get too far ahead of herself when things were still so new. She had been excited before, when she and Gerard had originally admitted to having feelings for one another, Ariella had been giddy throughout the honeymoon phase of their relationship, and Estella wanted to try and keep her grounded that time around, not wanting to watch things between them fall apart for a second time.

Ariella offered her a soft look, mulling her mother’s words over for a few moments, before the soft buzz of her phone filled the air, causing her to shake her head, a shy smile appearing on her lips as she peeked down at the phone in her hand. “His ears must be burning” she joked softly.

Estella merely smiled, squeezing her daughter’s hand gently.

“He’s outside” Ariella mused “We have plans this afternoon and he offered to pick me up. Do you mind?” she posed.

Estella shook her head. “Of course I don’t” she mused “I’d hate to disrupt your plans, baby” she added.

Ariella nodded her head before she ushered herself up to her feet, something Estella was quick to mimic. Placing enough money to cover their meal down onto the table, she wrapped her coat around her shoulders before she followed her daughter out of the restaurant, her eyes quickly settling on Gerard who stood beside his car. Smiling a little, she watched as Ariella made a beeline towards him, greeting him with a soft kiss before she pulled back, gesturing towards her mother. “Are you going to come and say hola, mama?” she posed.

Estella smiled pleasantly. “If you don’t mind” she mused “I’d hate to scare your boyfriend off” she added, sparing a playful glance towards Gerard.

Gerard laughed. “I don’t tend to scare easily” he boasted lightheartedly.

Estella laughed warmly before she stepped towards him, greeting him with a soft hug. “It’s good to see you, Gerard” she enthused.

Gerard didn’t hesitate in returning the hug. “You too, Estella” he replied “You’re still Ok with me calling you that, aren’t you?” he posed as he stepped back, a slightly uncertain expression on his face.

Estella smiled before she reached up, patting his cheek softly. “I insist you call me it” she noted.

Gerard smiled at her shyly before Ariella tugged on his sleeve, mumbling that they had to get moving. Gerard nodded his head before he offered Estella another warm smile. “We should get together soon” he enthused “Me and Ella, you and Stefan. It’ll be fun, no?” he posed.

Estella nodded. “I’ll hold you to it” she enthused warmly “Adios, Gerard” she added.

Gerard offered her a small wave before he climbed into the car, something Ariella was quick to mimic, settling into the passenger seat.

Estella watched the two of them for a moment, marveling as Ariella’s cheeks flushed a light shade of pink as she laughed, before she shook her head, hoping that things worked out for the two of them that time around. They were good together, all anyone had to do was spend a couple of minutes around them to know that they were a wonderful couple, and she hoped that things would be more successful for them second time around, even if she did want them both to be careful. She hoped that the ending that they had would be happy for them both.
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Thanks to mslou1 and FootieJo for the comments :)