If It Gave Us Time

13: Better Than OK

Trying not to look down at his watch, Gerard spared a look towards the door of the bar that he sat in, hopefully looking for any sign of Isla’s arrival. He knew that she was only a few minutes late, when he’d checked the time on his phone, something he’d done a lot since he’d sat down nearly half an hour previous, the time that they’d arranged to meet at had only just passed, but still he was a little nervous, more than looking forwards to seeing her again. Watching the door for a few seconds, he quietly shook his head before he returned his attention towards the table, taking a sip of the drink which sat ahead of him.

“I’m so sorry”

Gerard spluttered a little, surprised not only by Isla’s voice but by the soft touch that she had landed on his shoulder, before he turned around, offering her a small smile. “Hola” he mused, clearing his throat a little.

Isla flashed him an apologetic smile before she leant forwards, briskly kissing his cheek before she shuffled around the table, taking a seat opposite him. “Sorry” she mumbled sheepishly “I didn’t mean to scare you. I just...I was flustered because I was late and I didn’t want you to think that I’d stood you up. You Ok?” she asked.

Gerard ducked his head, trying to hide the small hint of pink that had spread over his cheeks, before he nodded. “I’ll recover” he teased.

Isla rolled her eyes playfully before she leant across the table, collecting the wine menu. “Have you been here long?” she asked.

Gerard shrugged. “A little while” he quipped “But I was worried that you’d stood me up. I mean, Isla Vasquez being late? It’s practically unheard of” he added teasingly.

Isla scoffed, a small amused grin playing at the corner of her lips. “You can blame my brother for that” she mused “My parents host dinner every Sunday and Rodrigo, who normally shows up alone, bought the boys with him and, no matter how hard I tried, they wouldn’t let me get away. I’m only here now because Cara, his wife, needed him home. I should have texted or something, to let you know that I was going to be late” she added, pushing her glasses back up her nose as she stared down at the drinks’ menu.

Gerard watched her for a second, smiling a little as she messed with her glasses, before he shook his head. “It’s OK” he mused “I mean, it’s going to be tough for me to get over it, but I think I’ll get there eventually, if you’re lucky” he teased.

Isla shook her head, but couldn’t quite shake her smile, something which made Gerard grin back at her. “You’re an idiot, you know that?” she quipped.

Gerard, who’d been watching their waiter as he stepped towards the table, flashed her a quick wink before he turned, reeling off their order to the other man. Isla caught his wink before she shook her head, trying to ignore the familiar feeling of warmth spreading over her cheeks.

Scrolling through his phone, Gerard took a sip of his drink, sparing a brief glances across the bar towards the bathrooms where Isla had disappeared a few seconds earlier. It had been a good night, despite a few awkward pauses in the flow of conversation, things between the two of them had felt fun and relaxed, and Gerard had enjoyed it, something he knew that Isla shared in, even if she did still keep fiddling with her hair and glasses. He knew enough about her to know that she was starting to feel increasingly comfortable around him.

Typing a quick reply to a couple of texts that he’d received, he took another sip of his drink, before the sound of a glass being put down on the table next to him reached his ears, causing him to look up, his eyes landing on the waiter who stood at the end of the table, settling a glass of Isla’s preferred wine down. “Did my friend order that?” he asked.

The waiter shook his head. “She didn’t” he mused “The guy with the glasses, he asked to have it sent over” he added, gesturing towards a man who sat at the bar, trying to be subtle about the glances he was sending over towards the table.

Gerard followed the gesture, offering the other man a brief look, before he turned back to the waiter, offering him a slightly tight smile as he felt his stomach tighten a little.

The waiter smiled politely in return before he walked away, leaving Gerard in silence for a few seconds before the sound of Isla sitting back down reached his ears. Blinking a couple of times, he shifted a little in his seat before he looked up, smiling at her gently. “You didn’t bail out of a window then?” he teased halfheartedly.

Isla scoffed. “Your company’s not that bad” she quipped “Besides, I’d have to call a cab and wait around for it. It wouldn’t be worth it” she added with a grin.

Gerard smiled as best he could back at her, but didn’t say anything, allowing Isla to turn her attention down towards the table, her blue eyes lighting up at the sight of the new glass of wine. “You know” she quipped “If you’d wanted me to stick around for a little longer, all you had to do was ask. I’ve probably had one too many of these” she added before she picked the drink up, taking a sip of it.

Gerard briefly contemplated telling her that he wasn’t the one who’d bought the drink, before he shook his head, letting out a soft laugh. “You’ve always been more fun when you’re tipsy” he quipped “I mean, I remember when you got drunk for the first time” he added.

Isla let out a laugh before she grimaced, realizing that it was a little too loud. “That was a disaster” she mumbled.

Gerard smirked. “I don’t know” he quipped “I mean, you sneaking out to get drunk with some of your other friends probably wasn’t your best idea, but you could have had a worse friend than me when you needed somewhere to sleep off your hangover before you ventured home. I don’t remember teasing you that much” he added.

Isla offered him a pointed look, something which made Gerard let out a laugh. “Ok” he conceded “Maybe I teased you a little, but I did let you sleep in my bed whilst I took the floor. That sounds like a pretty great guy to me” he added.

Isla’s teasing smile softened a little before she reached her hand across the table, gently settling it down on top of his before she offered it a light squeeze. “He was” she mused “And he’s not that bad now, either. I mean, he still makes some pretty terrible jokes, but I think he’s Ok. Better than Ok, actually” she added, letting out a slightly tipsy giggle.

Gerard marveled at the soft sound of her giggle before he gently lifted his hand, tucking a few loose blonde hairs back off of her face. “I’m going to take the compliment” he mused “And I am going to call you a cab. If you’re being so nice to me, you’ve probably already had enough of these” he added, gently slipping the glass of wine out of her grasp.

Isla merely smiled at him, happily leaning into his hand as he allowed it to settle softly against the side of her face.

Gerard allowed his thumb to brush against her skin for a second, his blue eyes mirroring hers, before he gently pulled his hand back, collecting his phone which sat on the table. “Let’s get you home” he quipped as he shuffled back to his feet.

Isla nodded her head in agreement before she shuffled to her feet, giggling softly to herself as she attempted to wrap her jacket around her shoulders.

Gerard rolled his eyes gently before he stepped towards her, helping her with the coat before he held his hand out towards her, something which made Isla giggle again before she placed her own in it. Gerard gently wrapped his fingers around hers before he guided her out of the bar, not missing the opportunity to send a quick smirk over his shoulder towards the man who sat at the bar.

Leading her outside, he quickly dialed the number of a taxi company before he pressed the phone against his ear. “Hola” he quipped “I need a...” his voice faltered a little as Isla pushed herself up onto her toes, pressing a soft kiss against his cheek.

Shaking his head, he felt the familiar warmth of a blush spread over his cheeks before he looked down at her, something which made Isla grin up at him cheekily before she let out a giggle, tugging his arm so that it rested happily around her shoulders. Gerard watched her amusedly, but didn’t say anything to her, instead opting to speak into the phone as he gently squeezed her shoulders.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)