If It Gave Us Time

41: We Weren’t Brave

“How’d I let you talk me into this?” Gerard asked as he stopped in the kitchen doorway, his blue eyes fixed on Isla who stood beside the counter, reading something off of the screen of her tablet. It had been a busy morning, with Isla having somehow convinced him that they ought to host both of their families for the holidays, they’d spent a lot of time making sure that his house was ready for the impending arrivals, but whilst he was nervous about a lot of things, he couldn’t deny that a part of him was thrilled that they were doing it.

It was a big step, despite their families having been acquainted for years, the idea of the two families spending the day together was a big deal to Gerard, and he was glad that they were doing it, even if there were a few butterflies in his stomach. He knew that it was a little statement about how serious about them both he and Isla were.

Isla, who’d been quietly studying her recipe, flinched a little at the sound of his voice, surprised that she hadn’t heard him approach, before she shook her head, offering him a slightly amused smile over her shoulder. “It didn’t take too much convincing” she mused “I think I kind of half suggested it, and you jumped on it, saying what a wonderful idea it was. If we have anyone to blame for this, I think it’s probably you” she added.

Gerard grinned at her impishly for a few seconds before he stepped a little further into the room, stopping just behind her. Leaning forwards, he settled his hands on her waist before he dipped forwards, pressing a soft kiss against the top of her head. “You need any help?” he mumbled into her hair “I mean, I’ve already set the table, and put the gifts out under the tree. You need me to do anything else?” he added.

Isla leant back into him slightly before she shook her head. “I think I have the cooking under control” she mused “I can’t think of anything else that needs doing right now. Unless, of course, you know how to get rid of the knot in my stomach” she added, letting out a slightly nervous laugh.

Gerard smiled into her hair, a little amused by the nervous sound that had fallen out of her mouth. “You’re worried?” he prodded “This was your idea” he teased, tightening his arms around her waist.

Isla scoffed quietly, her hands messing timidly with his. “You’re telling me that you think it’s going to go off without a hitch?” she mumbled “You don’t think my mama will say something stupid, or that Rodrigo won’t bring out all of the embarrassing stories? That’s without mentioning you and my papa who are weird around one another all the time. You really think it’s going to be fine?” she asked.

Gerard stiffened for a fraction of a second, surprised that she had noticed the tension which still existed between him and Daniel, before he shook his head, squeezing her waist gently. “I do” he mumbled “And you want to know why?” he prodded, tilting his head so that he could kiss the side of her neck softly.

Isla smiled lazily at the feel of his kiss. “Why?” she asked quietly.

“Because I am expecting all of that” Gerard replied “I mean, your mother’s always making jokes about us getting married and giving her more grandbabies, and Rodrigo’s always telling embarrassing stories, especially since you always end up glaring at him. I’ve always been a little awkward around your papa too. Your family have their quirks, mine do too, and I am not going to be surprised by them today. It’s going to be fine, Lala. I know it” he insisted, dipping down to kiss her shoulder softly.

Isla closed her eyes, feeling Gerard scatter a few more kisses over her neck and shoulder, before the sound of the front doorbell filled the air, something which caused the defender to pick his head up, a boyish smile appearing on his lips. “You or me?” he asked.

“You” Isla replied firmly “I’ve still got to go and get changed. They’re early” she complained as she attempted to pull away from him.

Gerard, however, kept a hold of her arm, stopping her from getting too far away before he tugged her back to him, allowing him to lean down, kissing her softly. Isla let out a soft sound as he kissed her, something which made Gerard smirk a little as he pulled back, gently bumping her glasses back up her nose. “Relax” he mused “We’ve got this, nena. Trust me” he added.

Isla stared up at him for a second, her blue eyes searching his, before the slightest hint of a smile tweaked the corner of her mouth, something which made Gerard smile down at her before he stepped away, moving to answer the front door.

Taking a sip from the mug of tea that he held in his hands, Gerard quirked a small smile, watching Isla who was sat on the living room floor, chatting excitedly with her youngest nephew as she helped him get one of his new toys out of its box. Things were going well, despite Isla’s, and his, nerves about how the day would go, things had proven to be more comfortable than either one of them had anticipated, and it pleased the defender, even more so since Isla had looked nothing short of relaxed since her brother and his family had strode through the front door.

He knew why she had been nervous, for a lot of the same reasons, he had been nervous too, but there had been a part of him that had been convinced that things would be fine, even if it had been a while since both of their families had been together. A part of him had been confident that their rapport would still be as good as it had ever been.

Smiling, he watched Isla and Jacob laugh together before he felt a nudge against his side, something which caused him to turn, rolling his eyes immediately as he spotted the smirk on Rodrigo’s face. “Don’t say it” he quipped.

Rodrigo lifted an amused eyebrow. “Say what?” he prodded innocently.

Gerard shook his head, a knowing smirk on his face. “Your madre’s already made a few comments about how cute Isla is with your boys” he quipped “And my mama’s thrown in a couple too. I’d rather you didn’t join in” he added.

Rodrigo grinned, taking another sip of the glass of wine that he held in his hands. “You’re not getting ideas?” he teased “I mean, you and Isla would make some pretty cute kids” he added, spluttering out a tipsy laugh.

Gerard merely rolled his eyes, something which made Rodrigo’s smirk widen a little before the sound of Eva’s voice reached them, something which caused them both to jump before they turned around, glancing at the older woman. “Do you two think you can spare the time to join?” she asked “We’ve bought a few presents with us and we thought we could open them before Cara and Rodrigo need to get out of here to get the boys home” she added.

Gerard offered her a sheepish smile. “Of course” he mused.

Isla, who was still sat on the floor, let out a small snicker, not missing the slight blush which had spread across his cheeks.

Gerard offered her a mock glare before he plopped down on the floor beside her, something which caused Isla to shuffle towards him, happily wrapping her arm around his waist as she got comfortable.

Eva, who’d moved to distribute presents around the room, glanced at the couple briefly before she shook her head, unable to stop herself from smiling. “Aren’t you two just adorable?” she gushed.

Both Gerard and Isla blushed, something which made Eva clap her hands together, a motherly grin on her face. “How did this not happen sooner?” she pressed “I mean, imagine where you’d be now” she added

Gerard and Isla shared a look before the blonde shrugged, a soft smile spreading across her face as she gazed into the defender’s eyes. “Neither one of us was brave enough to just say it” she mused.

Gerard just grinned back at her, something which made Isla giggle before she looked away, glancing up at her cooing mother. “We weren’t brave” she repeated “And then he moved away, and we drifted apart, and...”

“Drifted apart?” Rodrigo snorted “You mean papa interfered and tried to ruin things between the two of you” he added.

Daniel, who’d been talking to Gerard’s father, looked up at Rodrigo’s announcement, his eyes wide in panic. “Rodrigo...”

“What do you mean papa interfered and tried to ruin things?” Isla interrupted, pushing herself up to her feet.

Rodrigo blinked a couple of times, recounting his words in his head, before he shook his head. “I...uh....I didn’t mean to say that” he spluttered.

“But you did say it” Isla pressed “Rodrigo, what are you talking about?” she asked.

Rodrigo looked around the room, glancing between Gerard and Daniel, before he shook his head, letting out a quiet sigh. “Who do you think told Gerard’s mother about you and that guy you went out with?” he murmured “You think that they just stumbled across that? Papa told her, and she told Gerard, and Gerard stopped talking to you” he added quietly.

Isla stood still for a few seconds, allowing the words to sink in, before she slowly turned around, her eyes glancing between her father and Gerard a couple of times before she shook her head. It was obviously true, even without asking, she knew it, and the looks on both Daniel and Gerard’s faces confirmed it, something which caused her stomach to twist a little before she mumbled a small excuse, quickly hurrying out of the room.

“Isla” Daniel called, making a move to stop her.

Isla merely dodged his hand, stepping out of the room without another word.

Daniel shook his head, glancing briefly at Rodrigo who shifted on the spot, before he met Gerard’s eyes, not missing the firm look that the defender wore.
♠ ♠ ♠
Thanks to FootieJo for the comment :)