If It Gave Us Time

26: You Don’t Want To Be Late

“Stop looking at your watch. I’m not going to let you be late”

Isla, who’d been subtly glancing down at the watch that she wore on her wrist, smirked little at the teasing tone of Gerard’s voice before she lifted her head, offering him a playful roll of her eyes. “Who says I am not just bored of your company?” she retorted “I mean, we spent almost all of yesterday together, and we’ve been together all morning. Maybe I’m just waiting until I can get rid of you” she added, her voice bright and playful.

Gerard, who’d moved to sip on his drink, smirked over the rim of his cup before he shook his head, settling the mug back down onto the table that sat between the two of them. “We both know that’s not true” he quipped impishly “You’re worried about your meeting?” he asked, his voice softening a little.

It had been a comfortable morning, after his conversation with Luna, he and Isla had dropped by his place before they’d found a small café for breakfast, and whilst he knew that Isla was enjoying being around him, he could tell that she was a little tense, something he had put down to the meeting that she was due to have later in the day. She wasn’t obviously nervous, the conversation that they had had flowed easily, and Isla had appeared engaged and cheerful, but there were little things that gave her away, things that Gerard, and not many other people, could pick up on instantly.

Isla, who’d been quietly perusing the menu, smiled a little to herself before she shook her head, peeking up at Gerard slightly. “What gave me away?” she asked, gently nudging her glasses back up her nose.

Gerard shrugged, grinning at her boyishly. “I guess I still have sense for these things” he quipped “What’s making you nervous?” he asked.

Isla shrugged. “It’s nothing really” she mused “I mean, my parents have set me up with clients before, my mother in particular has a lot of friends with daughters around my age who are getting engaged, but it’s just a little more pressure. I love my job, I really do, but when my parents set up the meeting...” she trailed off, sheepishly brushing a few wayward hairs back off of her face.

Gerard watched the movement of her fingers for a moment before he carefully leant across the table, brushing his fingers against her spare hand without taking a hold of it. “I’m sure you’ll be great” he mused “I mean, I’ve only seen the few pictures you’ve got up at home, and the few that your mother insisted on showing me last night, but I’d hire you” he added, his voice caught between playful and reassuring.

Isla, who’d been staring down at their hands, scoffed quietly. “She showed them to you?” she asked.

Gerard nodded. “You were distracted by your nephews” he mused “And she insisted on showing them off. I couldn’t quite work out which one she was more proud of, Rodrigo, who was the groom in the pictures, or you, the person who took them” he added.

Isla snorted out a soft laugh. “It’s definitely Rodrigo” she mused “I mean, don’t get me wrong, she and my papa are very proud of me, but Rodrigo? He’s got Cara and he’s given them two grandbabies. I can’t even begin to compete yet” she added, carefully shifting her hand so that it sat in his comfortably.

Gerard lifted an eyebrow, a little surprised that she’d opted to take his hand, but didn’t say anything, instead opting to knot their fingers together gently.

Isla spared him a slightly cautious look, a soft blush on her cheeks, before she shook her head, redirecting her stare back down towards the table. “Did I apologise for them last night?” she asked “I mean, my mother was....she was overexcited, and my papa, he was weirdly quiet, and Rodrigo, well he was Rodrigo, but I just...”

“They were fine” Gerard interrupted with a soft laugh.

Isla blinked a couple of times, something which made Gerard chuckle a little more before he lifted her hand up slightly, allowing him to drop a soft kiss against the back of it. “They were just like I remembered them” he mused “And I like to think that I didn’t make too much of a fool of myself in front of them, so you don’t need to worry. I think it went really well” he added gently.

Isla offered him another unsure look, allowing a few moments of silence to pass between them, before Gerard shook his head. “I...uh...” he stumbled out “I actually had a conversation with your papa last night” he added.

Isla tilted her head. “You did?” she asked.

Gerard nodded. “He was looking for you and your mama” he noted “You’d both disappeared upstairs, and so we talked” he added, his words thoughtful and considered.

Isla quirked a small confused smile, slightly perturbed by the tone of his voice. “What did you talk about?” she prodded.

Gerard glanced down at their hands for a few seconds, thinking over what it was that he wanted to say to her, before he opened his mouth to say something, only to be cut off as blonde haired woman stepped up to the table, her eyes settled on Isla. “I did think it was you” she gushed “I’ve not seen you since the wedding. How are you, Isla?” she added excitedly.

Isla blinked a couple of times before she quickly pulled her hand from Gerard’s, moving to settle it down in her lap. “I’m good, Serena” she mused “What about you? How was the honeymoon?” she added politely, not missing the slight frown which had passed over Gerard’s face.

Serena grinned. “It was amazing” she enthused “And so where the pictures that you took. My madre showed me the proofs and they’re gorgeous. You did a wonderful job” she gushed.

Isla smiled politely, something which allowed a moment of silence to pass between them before Serena turned, her eyes landing on Gerard before another wide grin spread across her lips. “Who’s this?” she pressed.

Isla shifted a little in her seat before she bumped her glasses back up her nose. “Gerard” she mused “Gerard, this is Serena. Our mothers are friends” she added quietly.

Gerard fixed a grin onto his face before he held his hand out, something Serena was quick to take, shaking it slightly. “You never mentioned having such a gorgeous boyfriend, Isla” she quipped.

Isla spluttered a little before she shook her head. “He...we’re....it’s...” she babbled before she caught Gerard’s eye, something which caused her to fall quiet, her eyes settling on the floor ahead of her.

Serena looked between the couple for a second, not missing the blush on Isla’s cheeks or the frown that Gerard wore, before she took a pace backwards. “I...I have to be going” she noted “It was really good seeing you, Isla” she added before she scuttled away.

Isla watched her walk away before she shook her head, her eyes peeking over at Gerard shyly. “Gerard...”

“It’s fine” Gerard mumbled, cutting of her inevitable apology.

Isla shook her head. “Gerard...”

“You ought to get going” Gerard interrupted again “You don’t want to be late” he added.

Isla frowned for a second before she spared a look down towards her watch, something which caused her to let out a soft sigh before she shuffled to her feet. Wrapping her jacket around her shoulders, she watched him across the table, briefly debating whether or not she should lean over and kiss him, before she lifted her bag onto her shoulders. “I’ll...uh...I’ll see you?” she asked.

Gerard nodded stiffly, fixing the best smile he could onto his face. “I’ll see you” he confirmed.

Isla stared at him for a second longer, hesitating, before she turned on her heel and walked away, something which made Gerard shake his head, trying his best to swallow the small lump of upset in his throat.
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Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)